My girlfriend and I have dated seriously for six months. We were friends years ago, and this relationship happened naturally when we connected again, both early 40s.
We’re both unattached, with no kids. She was married for a short time in her mid-20s.
Suddenly, we’ve been faced with a serious decision. My girlfriend has been told she’s being considered for her dream job in another city halfway across the country.
Meanwhile, the clientele I’ve built up are all based here. I’m in a position where many people depend on me and I’ve built strong professional relationships with them.
To her credit, my girlfriend raised the discussion about her potential job offer very thoughtfully…. she didn’t announce it, but instead, asked how I’d respond and feel about it.
This woman is very important to me, yet I don’t want to hold onto her through making her feel guilty if she decides she has to move to the job.
But I already know that I don’t want a long-distance relationship for years ahead, and I know that I can’t pick up and move with her.
Is there a way to handle this that we can both accept and move on without feeling we’re giving up our best chance at a lasting love?
You’re both wise not to rush this decision, especially as she hasn’t yet been given a contract and go-ahead with the new job.
Even if that happens, a test period of her being away and you two visiting each other when you can, might bring important new information:
Her job might turn out to be less wonderful than she’d believed, or the location less appealing. You might find that it IS possible to re-build a clientele in that same location, or that you can handle working in both locations for half a month each.
All this is just conjecture, but my point is that you both don’t really know for sure what the future holds, even if she accepts the new job.
Don’t back away from this woman and the relationship until there’s been a realistic view of what the change will bring.
It’s a natural tendency to protect your own feelings by saying, “Do what you need to do.” Forget it.
You have something strong between you and she wants to keep the discussion going, as you both think through what’s possible and what’s worth a try.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding effects of social media and tech devices on teenagers’ brain development (January 28):
“As a teenager who suffered from mental health problems and often couldn’t attend school, "screen time" was my life saver. Without it, I’d have been isolated, and without friends.
“Instead, I interacted with people who shared my interests and made some lifelong friends. As an adult, texting keeps me in touch with friends who are busy with their families, or working three jobs to make ends meet, or doing ever-changing shift work. Otherwise, it’s often impossible to make plans.
“I work with teenagers. They use social media to make plans, meet up last minute, boost each other up when feeling down.
“They’re aware of what's going on in the world because they have immediate notification of world events.
“I believe online bullying is a negative issue, and I'm not arguing against physical activity and time spent face-to-face.
“But it can't be argued that technology is the root of all evil or that whole generations of children are negatively impacted by it.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose partner moved in but never says when he’s coming home, and never goes out with her (January 25):
Reader – “Whatever you do, do NOT marry this man.
Pack his bags and put them outside with a note: GET OUT!
“He isn’t thinking of you, he’s all for himself, there’s no room in his mind for you and your children.
“He just wanted a place to park his butt and do what he wants. GET WISE GIRL!”
Ellie - This reader’s confident belief that the letter-writer’s partner isn’t worth her time, suggests to me that she must’ve had some similar experience(s) in her life of being taken advantage by so-called boyfriends.
I understand that. However, the letter-writer said he was very good with her children, does love her, and wants time to try to change since his ways are different from hers.
Where there’s mutual love, compromising is worth a (short-term) try.
Tip of the day:
When a relationship feels right, don’t walk away from challenges. Talk them through, try ways to adapt.