He Has To Move To Be Closer To His Kids

Season 4 of the podcast starts today. Find Episode 1 on Apple or Spotify. It’s about balls. Send your relationship questions to [email protected].


Dear Meredith,

I have been dating a guy for just about six months. I can’t even put into words how amazing the relationship is. We started our dating relationship during the height of COVID, so we built a strong connection over digital dates before we ever met in person. We have since realized the many things we have in common and how natural/easy the communication is between us. Since we met in person four months ago, we have traveled together multiple times – including one multi-state road trip where I fell in love with him.

He doesn’t know it yet, but it’s true. I love this man. He gets me and supports me in a way I haven’t felt with others. He he loves my dog, and he pushes and challenges me on my views, and allows me to do the same to him. We are discussing the future.

But here’s the big but. At the beginning of COVID, his ex-wife took his kids and moved out of the area to live with her parents in the country where it would be safer than the large metropolis area we live in. Since then she has realized that is where she wants to be and where she wants to raise their kids. She has since bought a house and moved the kids there. Being the amazing man and good father he is, he cannot imagine being that far away from his kids (even if it is less than four hours one way). He is having conversations with realtors in that area to consider buying a house there, and has gotten his work to agree to let him work remotely, with occasional in-office requirements. At this point, it is about a 98 percent certainty that he is moving and would be more than three hours from me. I am at a complete loss for what to do. I know the reality of long-distance relationships. I know the town he is looking at (as well as the general area), and I know with 100 percent certainty I *CANNOT* move there. I know I love him. I know he will be back in my area approximately one to two weeks a month for work and is talking about staying with me during those times – that would be “our time.” But now I’m questioning if it is even worth it anymore.

Are we just delaying the inevitable heartbreak that will be worse in 6 or 12 months time? Just writing this, I am breaking down in tears, and I am devastated that he was put in this situation, and devastated that I fell in love with this man who is so perfect yet doesn’t seem to fit into my life anymore.

– Continue?


“But I’m now questioning if it is even worth it anymore?”

Here’s the thing. When you date someone with kids, you’re basically saying that you know and understand that you are not your significant other’s only/top priority. It was always possible that he would plan around them and their needs before considering your relationship. It was never going to be the two traveling the world without anyone else in mind.

If you need to be someone’s first priority most (or all) of the time, this isn’t the relationship for you. The kids are No. 1 when it comes to big decisions. Or at least they should be.

But if you’re open to being part of a larger circle of people, this doesn’t have to end. If you can handle making some drives, arranging your own remote time with work, and staying flexible when it comes to expectations, it’s worth seeing how this plays out. This entire relationship has happened during COVID-19, which means you’ve had a ton of time to be together without many others rounding out your life. In a world where you can see friends, hang out indoors, go to the movies, or whatever you used to do to fill up your life, would you want to be with this man 24-7? Maybe in a post-COVID life, two weeks a month (with a visit during the off week) would be enough. It’s something to think about.

You love him and you’re super into this. Don’t grieve anything just yet because the heartbreak isn’t inevitable from where I sit. You’ve only known him for six months (four in person). Unless you know you know you can’t be flexible with a guy with kids, and that a relationship must be about someone fitting into your world, let this continue and figure out what it means. Consider your needs over time and don’t make any assumptions about what’s to come.

– Meredith

Readers? Worth continuing?

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