Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Afternoon Quickie: “My Boyfriend Wants Me to Move With Him After I Graduate”

I am currently a college junior and will graduate in May of ’16. My boyfriend of two and a half years is a college senior who lives in another city in my same state, and he will graduate this December. I told him I want to move back home (two hours away) after I graduate so that I can get my finances in order and get back on my feet. He told me that isn’t a good idea because I will be limited in my job prospects. He pretty much wants to either stay where he is or move somewhere where there is a big technology presence, technology being the industry he wants to pursue. We want to get married, but I don’t want to move somewhere where I can’t get a job. I don’t know what to do. We don’t want to live together before we’re married, so we’ll have to live separately and I don’t have any income to support paying for rent while I’m unemployed. I don’t know what to do. — Confused Junior

Graduation is still several months away. Start applying for jobs now and, if you’re lucky, you might have one lined up right after you receive your degree. If you aren’t so lucky, move to where, as you say, you can get your finances in order and get on your feet. Maybe your only option at that point is moving in with your parents, especially if they are kind enough to offer you free rent. Then you can continue applying for “real” jobs near your boyfriend (and elsewhere as there’s no point in limiting yourself at this stage) and maybe staying at his place when/if you get called in for interviews. In the meantime, you can do temp work or retail work, wait tables, or fill any of a host of other low-skill jobs you might have better luck landing as you continue looking for work in your field.

Bottom line though: Stick to your guns and don’t let your boyfriend guilt you or manipulate you into following him wherever he gets a job. Your career and your job search and your life are as important as his are to him. Of course you two want to live in the same city, and hopefully that will happen eventually, but, if it takes a few months or a year or two to find good jobs in the same location, that’s still just a drop in the bucket if you’re talking about spending the rest of your lives together. If a guy can’t wait a bit for you to feel that the time and opportunity are right for you to live together (even if “together” is just living in the same zip code), then he’s not husband material for you anyway.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

11 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Lucy February 16, 2015, 1:38 pm

    Why are you even talking about this now? You don’t even graduate for over a year. You may not even be dating this guy then. Both of you should stop borrowing trouble.

    Reply Link
  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark February 16, 2015, 2:00 pm

    Yeah, this is all 14 t0 15 months away… I’d stop worrying about this as A LOT can changes in that period of time…

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    mertlej February 16, 2015, 2:45 pm

    Also, how does she know that she can’t get a job in that city? Seems like you won’t know until you try.

    Reply Link
  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray February 16, 2015, 3:12 pm

    I like that you’re planning far ahead and thinking practically, but you’ve got time… At this point, I’d probably be thinking generally about what type of job I want (and then applying to a ton, in lots of different cities) and I may also be thinking about grad school and if that’s something to consider instead of entering the job market and then researching the shit out of that …. I wouldn’t get your mind set on one possible outcome at this point. Instead, I’d try to set yourself up for as many options as possible come graduation day.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    acastil5 February 16, 2015, 3:18 pm

    Do what you need to do to succeed. Right out of school this is the time to put those things on the back burner, because some opportunities only come once. Also, echoing Wendy, this is far in the future, and it may be that other things break you up. I am leery of basing your plans off a college relationship, so many things may change, that its best to look out for number one (you)

    Reply Link
    • Lyra

      Lyra February 16, 2015, 7:07 pm

      Agree that it’s a slippery slope making plans on a relationship in college — especially one where it sounds like they are long distance.

      Reply Link
  • River

    River February 16, 2015, 4:42 pm

    WWS. You have over a year before you graduate. My husband and I graduated 6 months apart and it really changes the relationship dynamic when one person is working and the other is in school, so I wouldn’t make any decisions yet. Also, visit your school’s career service’s office, the sooner, the better. I started about 6 months before I graduated and had a job lined up for after graduation, even with the economy in the tank. If you start now, they might be able to help you find an internship for this summer, which could turn into a job after you graduate. If nothing else, they can point you to resources and help you with your resume.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    snow.angel February 16, 2015, 4:52 pm

    It’s definitely way too early to be stressing out about this. Your graduation is over a year away! It sounds like your boyfriend has a solid plan for where to look for work and start to establish his career when he graduates in a few months, but even then there is no guarantee he will find the perfect job situation in a city he wants to be in right away. I get wanting to try to map things out so you and your boyfriend work in (or near) the same city, especially since you guys don’t want to live together before marriage. Working in the same area will make things easier on so many levels and help further along your plans for the future. Even if he did end up finding something great, wouldn’t it be an option for you to move back home to save money while you start to look for work in or near his area if you aren’t able to obtain a position before your graduation? Is there a reason you’re sure you won’t be able to find a job in one of the areas he wants to be in? If that is truly the case you guys might need to compromise and live somewhere in the middle of where you both end up working so that you each have a chance to have the most fulfilling careers and neither one of you is stuck with a horrible commute.

    My boyfriend and I had a very similar situation. We currently live about 45 minutes away from one another, and I feel very strongly about not living together until we’re at least engaged (if not married). I was working in the job I got right after graduating from college, but it wasn’t in an area we would ever want to live or raise a family in, and I was planning on starting to look for a new job after finishing grad school in December. My boyfriend kind of job-hopped a lot, so there wasn’t anything very stable in his career. Since neither of us were very tied down to a specific area, and we both had plans to look for better opportunities, we had a discussion and decided that in terms of our future planning we would try to settle down in the area whichever of us got the best job opportunity first and plan from there. Luckily, he got an amazing job in a great area over the summer. After my graduation, I began looking for jobs in my field in that area like crazy, and ended up getting one in the same town! It’s definitely made planning the timeline for our future much easier since we now work in the same area, but we had also discussed alternatives for if I hadn’t been able to get a job in the same area as his job (things like living somewhere in the middle or him transferring offices to be closer to my job in the future if needed).

    My boyfriend and I got very lucky, but it took us the better part of 4 YEARS for our career and educational paths to align enough to be able to get good work in our fields in the same area. Setting the foundation for your career is important in your early 20s, and it can take time to build up the professional reputation and experience to be able to obtain more “ideal” jobs in your preferred locations. You and your boyfriend need to be flexible enough to be able to live in a way that will allow both of you to be successful in your careers. Hopefully, you will be able to find work in the same city, but that is no guarantee. Plus, things can happen, like layoffs or taking time off to raise a family, that might influence where you guys need to live to put yourself in the best place financially.

    Reply Link
  • Lyra

    Lyra February 16, 2015, 7:04 pm

    I see him trying to tell you where you live after you graduate as a flag of sorts. Not necessarily a red flag, but a flag all the same. You may feel like you have this all figured out, but as others have said, you need to put yourself first, and a LOT can happen in a year. Don’t feel obligated to move to where he is…you plan to move back with your parents is a smart one. The last thing you want to do is get stuck in a lease you can’t afford. If he reacts poorly to your choice to move back in with your parents, that is not a good sign. That is him subconsciously telling you that he won’t support your decisions.
    .
    I know my own experiences influence my advice here, but I put a LOT of stock in my college relationship. We had been together for over 3 years and I graduated before him, so I was still in pseudo college world — VERY different from the “real world” — even though I had been out for a year or two. I moved to where he moved because I was terrified of living without him, even though my gut was telling me not to follow through with it. If I had looked at the signs — him guilting me into moving to the same location as him, me listening to my gut when I was realizing that the relationship was not great, me listening to my friends when they told me they thought something was off — I would have saved myself a lot of headache.
    .
    I’m NOT saying that this relationship is destined to fail, I’m saying trust your own instincts and remind yourself that you have to put YOUR NEEDS first. I know you love him. I know you want to marry him. But don’t run down the aisle just yet. Marriage is a BIG deal. Sometimes things appear different in the college bubble than they would in the “real world”. Follow your instincts and trust your gut.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    csp February 17, 2015, 8:52 am

    I am late to this but LW, I do not believe it is too early to worry about this. I think you should be heading to career services at your college today and talk about options and most importantly, an internship this summer. An internship at a large, fortune 500 company looks very good on a resume. Also, start looking into on campus interviewing and resume prep. There are also interview classes you can take. Plus, dress up for the career fairs and go to them. You will never have that many interested companies to speak to again.

    I am a recruiter and i cannot tell you how many entry level resumes I see with no internships, and just an education. The top candidates in college have job offers first semester of Senior year. Also, students with those offers make on average 15k-20k more than ones who wait until after graduation. If you have a full time, permanent job offer by first semester senior year, then you and your boyfriend will be able to have an open conversation about your future.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    109 February 17, 2015, 11:39 am

    I really resent this whole thing where the man takes for granted that the woman will move to follow him. It doesn’t mean he’s a bad person, just that it’s what he’s used to seeing. Same as expecting the woman to change her name. But those assumptions have no place in your relationship. LW, sit down with your BF and ask if he’s ever thought about following you. If the answer is no, explain to him that you’re an equal in this relationship.

    Reply Link

Leave a Comment