Q: Dear Meredith,
I was born and raised in Boston and that's truly where my heart lies. My company relocated for work (5 years ago) to a different city that isn't too far from Boston, but far enough to make traveling back difficult and costly (but not impossible). Ever since I left Boston I've been miserable, and for the last three years I have looked for the right job opportunity that would allow me to return. After almost five years away and three years actively looking, I have a few job prospects and I feel comfortable that one should work out. A few of those jobs would start in a month or two, and I've made it to the final round of interviews.
Here's the twist. I met a girl (Julie) and I know she's "the one." We're both in our mid-30s and have been in a number of long-term relationships. Julie's everything I could possibly imagine and hope for in a life partner. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and, without question, the best thing that has come from the state I'm living in now. We're better people together, we never fight, and we have similar values and views. We have respect for each other, support each other, and she's even more beautiful on the inside than she is on the outside. We are just happy to have each other. Needless to say, I love her with my whole heart and we're engaged to be married next year.
Here's my hiccup. It's no secret to my fiancee that Boston is my home and that I really want to get back. However, her family is all in the local area, she just bought her dream house a few months before I proposed to her, and she has a good job and is perfectly happy with her life here. She pretty much needs to be where she is living for now, and leaving would take me getting my "dream job" with a salary that could support our life (including two mortgages). Wishful thinking but not very likely.
As the wedding gets closer, I realize that once we get married, my dream of returning home might be dead. Needless to say, that is freaking me out a little bit. I have thought about calling off the wedding and not because I don't want to marry Julie. I just can't imagine living the rest of my life outside of Boston. I can't imagine not having Julie in my life either. I feel like I have two loves in my life and I can only have one -- and now is the time to decide which one I am going to go with. Am I looking at my situation all wrong? Am I looking to have my cake and eat it too?
Your loyal reader,
– A Crossroad Between My Beloved Red Sox Or My Beloved
A: So ... when you proposed to Julie .. or even before then, did you make it clear that you'd be moving back to Boston no matter what? I assume that you did, but something got lost here. You guys didn't make a plan. You say that she "just bought her dream house" a few months before you proposed. Why did she do that if she was on board with relocation? Did you discuss how the property would affect your ability to move?
You seem more committed to this city than you are to her, and that's OK. It sounds like you fell in love with her with the understanding (at least in your mind) that you could bring her home. Suddenly the plan has changed.
The way I see it, you have two options. You either take one of these jobs and meet with a real estate agent about renting out her house, or you hold off on these jobs but come to an agreement about exactly how long you have to live where you are before you move to Boston. I think you could put up with a two-year plan. Maybe she just needs a little more time to prepare.
I'm not suggesting that you throw her an ultimatum. You just have to have the conversation you've been missing. She knew this Boston thing was a "when," not an "if." It's always been that way and you've been clear about that (right?). Yes, she bought her dream house, but isn't it time that you both had one of those together?
Readers? What has to happen here? How did they get this far without a real plan for Boston? Has the letter writer been clear about the future? Is this what happens when you try to combine the lives of independent 30-somethings? Help.
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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.