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Should I move with him?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  April 22, 2011 08:30 AM

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Q: Hi Meredith,

I have been a lurker on LL for a few years now and decided that now is the time to be writing in for advice. I apologize in advance if this letter gets lengthy!

I met my boyfriend a year and a half ago through a mutual friend. At first we were just making grilled cheese, but as we grew to know each other, it turned into a lot more. I honestly could not ask for a more loving and genuine man. We also share the same goals and can easily see a future together. Here's the problem -- he's an officer in the military and being with him means becoming a "military wife."

We knew (though I chose to forget) from the beginning of our relationship that he would only be stationed in Boston for two years. What we didn't know until recently was where he would be stationed for the next three years. The answer ended up being New Orleans. It's worth mentioning that he will be at a land job there and that based on his position in the military, he doesn't go abroad. So my question now is -- do I go with him?

He wants me to move with him and at 25, I feel we're at the age where this would be a natural progression for the relationship. But I've never really been the adventurous type. I don't like change or surprises. It's been nerve-wracking to contemplate moving to a city that I hear nothing but bad news about, especially when I love it here in Boston. If the decision were just about love then I would go with him. But I think realistically, it takes more than that.

If I move I'd be giving up my job, living close to friends and family, and living in a city I adore. Sure, I could find a new job (I don't like my current one anyway) and new friends easily enough. But it's the thought of having to start that process over again in a new city every few years that's truly overwhelming to me. On the bright side, I'd be with an amazing man who would provide me with a secure and happy life.

What factors should I be using to determine whether I go? Should I stop questioning everything and just take a leap of faith?

– Do I Stay or Go? Cambridge, MA


A: A few weeks ago, DISOG, we had a letter writer ask about becoming a military wife. Her issue was the lifestyle and the fear of deployment. Your issue seems to be change. And for that reason, I say go. Go and make yourself uncomfortable. Go and see a new city. New Orleans is a wonderful place with music, scenery, Anne Rice's vampires, history, Brad Pitt, and some of the best food I've ever consumed.

And really, I think you already know that you're going. So let me give you some practical advice. Look into joining some social groups ASAP -- book clubs, a cooking class, etc. Sign up before you even get there. Then ask two of your friends or family members to commit to visiting you within the first three months you're there. That will help.

Then sit down with your boyfriend and ask him for advice. He's more accustomed to change and must be aware that it's not going to be as easy for you. Ask him to be sensitive to how you're adjusting and to make sure that he's including you in his new life, not just after he gets home.

Even if you stay here, your home life is going to change. You're 25. Somebody's going to move or have a kid or marry some person you don't want to see. Life is fluid. And this is the best time to find out what you actually think of this man -- and this lifestyle.

Readers? Is this about the military or about moving for someone? Any advice for the LW about how to avoid freaking out on a partner after a move? New Orleans tourist info? Is it relevant that his military job keeps him at home? How is the LW different from the other? Have a happy Easter.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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