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He's delaying my move

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  June 14, 2011 05:26 AM

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Good morning. Dublin is just like Boston except that "Bridesmaids" comes out later here. And they don't seem to have iced coffee.

Q: Dear Meredith,

I've gotten the same advice from nearly everyone I've asked, but I'm still looking for someone to tell me I'm not nuts.

My boyfriend of a year and a half is moving away to go to grad school in the fall. We're in our mid and late 20s. Our relationship is good -- not perfect, but that's another letter.

Bottom line is we don't want to break up but can't figure out a way to stay together. At first the plan was that I'd move with him (I work from home, and my employers have given me the green light to keep my job if I move). I've been itching to live somewhere different for a few years now, and the prospect of this new city and building a new life with my boyfriend is absolutely thrilling to me. But now he's decided that it would be better for both of us if I waited until his first semester is over to come down. Everyone we've tapped for second opinions seems to think this is logical -- I can visit and see if I like the city, he can see what he'll be like in this new high-pressure situation, etc.

That might be true for most couples, but here are my fears: 1) If he moves first, the city will always be "his." My boyfriend is outgoing, charismatic -- and territorial. Once he sets up his life there and I come down, I will always be a guest. Instead of discovering new places together and making friends together, he'll do it alone and then "show me around" when I'm there. His friends will always be his friends, never ours. Moreover, it will be a shock for him to have to make room in his new life for me, since he'll be used to seeing me once a month, and I worry that will cause resentment on his part and I'll end up walking on eggshells and feeling unwelcome.

2) The selfish fear that I will be hurt, jealous, and resentful as I hear about how he's settling in. It's already happening. It kills me when he talks about inside jokes from orientation weekend, the bars he likes, the concerts he wants to go to (even though he invited me to come down for them). I'm usually supportive -- I even encouraged him to choose this school despite of the problems it would cause between us because it obvious he really wanted it. I'd love to be a saint here and be supportive remotely and wait for him to be ready, but that just spells months of agony for me, followed by moving down there and into a likely miserable situation.

One thing we do agree on -- we don't live together now, and would continue to live separately if I moved. We think it would help each of us feel more independent in the new city, and moving in is another huge step altogether. So how do we agree what to do without ruining our chances together? Is the fact that this is so difficult a red flag?

Should we just cut our losses now and go our separate ways? I have to let my roommate and landlord know if I'll be signing the lease for September ASAP, so the pressure is really on and I'm completely overwhelmed.

Side note: Thanks for all the great advice you offer -- you do a lot of good and help a lot of people out there.

– Left in the Dust, Brighton

A: I side with you, LITD, and I'm surprised that all of your second opinion givers believe that you should wait to move. That doesn't make sense to me. You're going to have your own place in this new town. You'll be able to give your boyfriend space during school. You'll be doing your own thing -- but getting acclimated together. That should be ideal for him, right?

My guess is that he wants you to wait six months before moving so that he can decide whether he wants you there at all. And if that's the case he should say so. It wouldn't make him a bad person, just a tentative one. You both need to be able to discuss your real expectations for the relocation -- what it means and what will happen if it doesn't work. He might relax a bit if there's a Plan B.

If you're ready to go when he goes and you want to start living your own life in a new place, he shouldn't stand in your way. He's making you press pause and I'm not sure that's helping anyone.

Ask him what he's really waiting for. And then ask again so you get an honest answer.

Side note: You said that your relationship isn't perfect "but that's another letter." I'd like to read that letter. That stuff might be relevant to his opinion about the move and might explain why your friends want you to wait.

Readers? Does it make sense for her to wait? Should he have time to acclimate himself without having to be a good boyfriend to her? Am I missing something? Does it help or hurt matters that she'll be living on her own in this new place? Discuss. And suggest Irish songs of the day on Twitter.

– 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.
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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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