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He wants to move back to the UK

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  June 27, 2011 08:30 AM

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Q: My longtime boyfriend is from the UK, and despite having lived in Boston for years, he has just sprung on me that he is homesick, that his homesickness is making him depressed, and he wants to move back. I had hoped that by this point in our relationship we'd be talking about building a life together.

I'm reluctant to go with him, not only because I fear his depression might be chemical -- then I'd be moving to a foreign country with someone who might not even want to go back there for the right reasons -- but also because I love the US and want it to be my home. My problem here is that I love my boyfriend more than I can explain ... but I don't want him to stay if he truly thinks he'll be happy back in the UK.

Instead of wanting to up and move soon, he's talking about doing it in the fall/winter, meaning we will be together until then, knowing the relationship is going nowhere.

Compounding things is that he says he hasn't made a decision but that he's weighing his options. I'm confused. I don't want to split up with him because while he's here, I want to spend as much time with him as I can. I also realize that he can get better with counseling (which he has agreed to do) and that he may decide he's not as unhappy here as he thinks. Which is another reason I'm hanging on. Am I wasting my time?

– Confused in Love, Boston


A: You're just going to have to wait this one out, CIL. Because you'll get all of the answers you need in the next few months.

It's possible that he'll spend the rest of the summer preparing for a move without considering your feelings. It's possible that he'll lobby you to move with him and come up with a plan for keeping you both happy in the UK. It's possible that you'll get so fed up with his wishy-washy feelings that you'll decide to end the relationship no matter what. It's also possible that after getting some counseling, he'll decide that he's actually happy here. Maybe.

That's why the next few months are a gift. They'll give you time to determine his motives and to do some soul-searching about what you're really willing to do for this relationship. Because even if he stays, it's possible that he'll want to move back when he's older.

My big fear is that he's going to look at you this October and say, "I'll decide next summer." He's already dragging his feet about making a decision that would require planning and paperwork.

If you know that you'd rather lose him than move for him, this relationship probably isn't worth the hassle. Take these next few months to consider your own needs. And set some boundaries. He can't keep you (or himself) in limbo with this decision forever. You shouldn't be debating this in 2012.

Readers? Should she end this now or wait to see what he wants to do? If he decides to stay, are they in the clear? Or will these issues come up again? Discuss.

– 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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