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Should I Move to Be with Him?

09/09/2009

Advice King in the OSU O’Colly (reprinted from O’Colly website)

Dear Advice King,
I’ve been dating a guy for three months now. He lives in Washington, D.C.; we met in January through mutual friends while he was in Tulsa (my hometown). At first, we talked on the phone all the time – just as friends – until I went to visit him. Ever since, we’ve been officially a couple and have been traveling back and forth every few weeks to see each other. I honestly believe that this guy is “the one,” and I want for us to be together. When is it too soon to move to another state to start a future with someone? How can we keep the connection when we are so far apart?

- Long-distance Lamenter

Dear Lamenter,

I once faced an eerily similar situation – but with different cities and the complexity of a commitment to the military (his, not mine). I was just as sure as you are about this guy, and, after knowing him for two months, I married him and moved away from everyone and everything I knew to be with him.

Not only did I resent him for my homesickness and lack of social connections, but a year and a half later, I finally discovered all of the cheating, lying and self-destructive behavior that had been going on behind my naïve, unquestioning little back since the moment we met, and I filed for divorce the very next business day.

I don’t presume to know that your guy is or is not a creep – or, “hiding his crazy,” as I like to call it – but you shouldn’t, either. Three months is hardly long enough to really know someone when you live down the street, let alone halfway across the country. You can be anyone you want when the main ties that bind are telephone lines.

If you really feel in your heart like this is something you should pursue, then you owe it to yourself to give it your best shot; but you must do it carefully, cautiously and wisely.

Give it a few more months in your current arrangement to allow time for some of both your inevitable dirty laundry to air itself. If you don’t run screaming for the hills, it might be time to examine what opportunities Washington, D.C., holds for you — other than just being this guy’s main squeeze.

It shouldn’t be about whether he would move for you; rather, it should be an issue of whether you would still move there if he didn’t exist.

Most, although not all, relationships cannot handle the pressure of one person being “the reason” for another’s relocation.

As for keeping the connection, my advice is to be open and painfully realistic about what you each expect from the relationship as far as exclusivity and what is regarded as inappropriate conduct. And remember, although he may be perfect for you, nobody is perfect!
—–
Send your questions to the Advice King on Twitter @advicefromjess or via email: jess.king@okstate.edu

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