Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

From the Mailbag: “I’m Going to Move for Love, Despite Your Advice Not To”

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I felt compelled to write you and offer an alternative ending to the “8 Things You Need to Do Before You Move For Love” article. Comments appear to be closed.

I am a happy Los Angeles woman. I’ve lived on the beach for most of my adult life. My grown child lives in LA, about to graduate from college. I love the climate, I love my city, I love the personality of the beach town I live in, I love our culture, I love our ethnic polyglot. I don’t mind the traffic nor even the risk of earthquakes. I’ll gladly take the perhaps of an earthquake over the certainty of winter.

Here comes the curve ball: I read your article because I am seriously considering moving to a godforsaken Midwestern town called Springfield, Missouri. How do people live without seeing the ocean out their window? I hate the prairie states. I am a flaming liberal Californian. I cannot imagine seeing cows or whatever they have in Missouri – I drove through once as a teenager. All my family lives within four hours drive of Springfield, but the real driving attraction is a man there. I’d not be moving for love; I’d be moving because love might be possible.

I’m in my early 50s, and grand gestures like moving to close the gap in a long-distance relationship are foolhardy in my experience and observation. I don’t even technically have a relationship with this man since, although I’ve known him professionally for years and we certainly have mutually acknowledged chemistry, his divorce is not even final yet. We have never stepped over the line. I have played the role of “Transitional Object” too many times to count in my own life, and I am loathe to play it again. But I’ve been single-again for decades now, and this man is one of a handful I have ever met who has the qualities I prefer in a life partner.

There’s a place a woman may come to in her life – you may not be there yet – when you realize that it is important to take chances. To step out. To act boldly. I own a virtual company, so working in the new location isn’t an issue. I do not expect to sleep with him nor even date him until his life is a bit more settled. I just insist on being first in line when he comes back on the market. Men like him don’t come around very often.

He is not affluent by California standards. He’s handsome enough but not jaw-dropping, like so many men here in LA. He’s got some quirks and some childhood trauma that could prove challenging. While I respect your article and the position from which you are writing, I have to suggest that you consider that sometimes, for someone older, carpe diem is the best possible choice. — Ready to Carpe Diem

Tomorrow my husband and kids and I are getting on a plane and heading from New York City to … Springfield, Missouri, where my parents retired to a few years ago and where I went to college in the 90s. It’s not a “godforsaken town,” although it is in the Midwest and you can expect it to be very different from LA. It leans pretty conservative, but it’s a college town and also a hub for the medical industry in the Midwest and you can find lots of left-leaning professors and students and educated medical personnel, as well as a fairly large immigrant population who come to the city for the educational and professional opportunities. There’s also a small, but bustling, downtown area, a thriving arts scene, very low cost of living, some surprisingly good restaurants, and an abundance of outdoorsy activities. And, yes, you will also find tons of the more stereotypical characters and sites you’re probably already expecting: gun-nuts, evangelicals, hillbillies, and mega churches on every other corner.

But you didn’t ask about Springfield. Actually, you didn’t ask a question at all. But I’m going to give you an answer anyway: If you are up for the adventure and you understand what you’re risking and you give yourself an exit strategy — an easy way to return home if things simply don’t work out in Missouri — go for it. Carpe Diem, seize the day. Be the first in line when your dream guy is ready to look for love again. The worst that will happen is you get your heart broken, you get your ego bruised, and you live in a place for a while that has winter and Trump fans. On the other hand, you may find the kind of relationship that has eluded you for decades while at the same time experiencing the joys of cashew chicken and Table Rock Lake in the summer time. Good luck.

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

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.

104 comments… add one
  • avatar

    artsygirl October 3, 2016, 8:19 am

    As a Midwesterner – I found the LW to be excruciatingly condescending.

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    • avatar

      SLS October 3, 2016, 10:46 am

      Me too!

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      • Cleopatra Jones

        Cleopatra Jones October 3, 2016, 10:57 am

        Me three!

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark October 5, 2016, 11:11 pm

        Seriously. Good luck in Missouri. You’re gonna need it.

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    • avatar

      Nikoe4Sho October 3, 2016, 11:31 am

      I live in MO now, but went to high school and college in CA. So many Californians view other states this way. I got SOOO many judgmental scrunched-nose grimaces when I decided to move back to MO.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy October 3, 2016, 11:50 am

        You get that here in New York, too. Plenty of people are respectful (at least to your face), but there are lots of New Yorkers (natives and transplants) who will actually express sympathy if you say you’re from the midwest or that you’re going to the midwest to visit family. Or, they’ll get the states confused, like they’ll say to me, “Have a good time in Minnesota,” when I’m going to Missouri, because, of course all the flyover states are basically interchangeable cesspools of strip malls and Cracker Barrels. I tend to stay away from snobs like that.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy October 3, 2016, 12:11 pm

        I should also say I get the reverse, as well. I can’t count how many times someone in Missouri will hear I live in New York and say, “Ew, I hate New York. It’s dirty, it’s loud, the people are rude…” And then I’ll say, “Have you ever been there?” And nine times out of ten, the answer is no.

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      • avatar

        Nikoe4Sho October 3, 2016, 12:22 pm

        That is true, I’ve gotten similar comments about California. Lots of assumptions that it’s a state full of superficial snobs and rampant earthquakes.

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      • avatar

        kat15 October 3, 2016, 12:26 pm

        Me too! I am from Kansas City, MO and went to school in NYC. They (playfully) called me Dorothy and constantly mixed up Missouri and Kansas, kidded me about my accent, etc . . .. It didn’t bother me but I swear some people thought we still drove covered wagons and had no tall buildings. And then, like Wendy, the opposite where people from Missouri called New Yorkers rude which I feel is largely unfair, most New Yorkers in my experience are not rude, they just mind their own business. But if you ask for help, they are very nice. Just had to put in my two cents.

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      • avatar

        SLS October 3, 2016, 2:23 pm

        Me too! (on the KC part). Hilariously enough I went to college in OH and I was referred to as the “southern belle” and “Miss Kansas”…. and the quintessential “Dorothy”. I just always got a laugh at people from Ohio thinking I was from the South – I took it as a compliment 🙂

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      • avatar

        artsygirl October 3, 2016, 3:24 pm

        When I was in middle school we took a school trip to DC. We got paired with another school group from a state in the Northeast *cough Vermont*. The students all asked us if we had Gaps (it was the late 90s) in my state and if we were all raised on farms – their teacher had to point out that there were actually more people in our city than in their entire state.

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      • avatar

        Ange October 3, 2016, 6:13 pm

        Having now been there for all of a week I will join you in defending New York until I die. ?

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      • avatar

        Nikoe4Sho October 3, 2016, 12:20 pm

        Yes, I get Minnesota and Montana all the time! And lots of “WHY?” when I announced my move, as if they thought flyover states have absolutely nothing to offer. I’ve gotten the most shocked reactions upon mention of arts & culture, or going to a winery… it blows people’s minds.

        We actually have a newish restaurant in town called “Flyover” which I thought was kind of cheeky 🙂

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      • avatar

        ktfran October 3, 2016, 1:08 pm

        Oh my gosh. I’m from small town midwest. Moved to FL after graduation for a job. Moved back to the midwest 6 years after that. When I told people in FL I was moving back to the midwest, they thought I was crazy. I’d get a lot of “do you know how cold it is there?.” Well yes, I do. I spent my first 23 years in the midwest. I’m not crazy and I miss the seasons. Or they’d tell me stories about how much they hate Chicago. Blah, blah, blah.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover October 3, 2016, 12:50 pm

        I mix up Minnesota and Missouri all the time. And I used to mix up Mississippi with them too till I went there and kind of “cemented” it in my head. I don’t mean anything by it, I just don’t know much about those states and their names are similar. I’m not American though so maybe that makes it a bit more excusable. 🙂 It’s not like I learned the states in school or anything, I just know what I’ve picked up on my own.

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      • Just Max

        Just Max October 3, 2016, 1:05 pm

        I’ve worked in the NYC area for over a decade, and live right across the Lincoln Tunnel, in NJ.
        The judgmental looks have been plenty when people find out I live in the far away, forsaken state of NJ. (eye roll).

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray October 3, 2016, 3:14 pm

        This reminds me of the time in college when I said I was from Missouri and the person thought I was from Mississippi. Because, you know, all those “M” states are the same. It didn’t bother me. Except I realized later that she thought Missouri *was* Mississippi. (This woman had a British accent and grew up … in Hong Kong, I think. Now that I’m thinking of her, I’m gonna go see if I can find her on Facebook. She was so cool. But I digress.) So all the things she had heard about the deep south and Mississippi she thought was Missouri. I didn’t realize her confusion for like 4 years. So for 4 years she would call me her southern friend and talk about how cute my southern Missouri accent is. I didn’t quite get it, but considering her background I figured she was just referring to my American accent. It wasn’t until graduation that she figured out that no, I’m not from Mississippi, that Missouri is a whole other state. I don’t think by that point she had heard a real southern accent before. Anyway, that’s it.
        *
        Ok, this story isn’t that interesting or on point after all, ha.

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  • avatar

    MoeP October 3, 2016, 8:24 am

    This letter irritated me. It almost seems you are creating drama before any drama even exists (Do I stoop to the depth of those Midwestern country folk for the love of a man? Oh the sacrifice! Oh how brave I would be to do such a thing!) You have no idea if and when you will even go out with this guy let alone move for him! everyone has preferences for the area they want to live. If and when the time comes, try it out with an open heart or don’t, but maybe now is the time to focus on the here and now.

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  • avatar

    Kate October 3, 2016, 8:38 am

    Omg, her tone.

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  • avatar

    Ashley October 3, 2016, 8:49 am

    I’m going to laugh if he thinks they have been “just friends” this whole time and has no idea what chemistry she’s talking about. OR he’s getting divorced because he already has someone else lined up. But seriously, you sound like you could use being in a different environment, one where you come into contact with people with different viewpoints and where minorities are people and not window dressing used to make you feel superior to those close minded midwesterners.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 October 3, 2016, 8:51 am

    just because you want to ignore the advice, it doesn’t mean what you are doing is the right thing. You are taking a chance despite how things normally workout, it doesn’t mean you have to try and put down everyone, and every place a long the way. Just take your chance, and hope you are one of the small percentage of people that it can workout for.

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  • avatar

    MissDre October 3, 2016, 8:53 am

    My mom had the same attitude when she reached her early 50’s. She got engaged after only 3 months. I said, “Mom, don’t you think 3 months is kind of fast? I’m happy for you but are you sure you’re ready?” and her reply was similar to this woman’s. When you get to her age, you have enough life experience that you “just know”. Of course, she didn’t “just know” and ended up divorced after 3 years. I have no advice (not that she asked for it). This is just my cautionary anecdote.

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    • avatar

      Ron October 3, 2016, 6:46 pm

      At least your mom had 3 months of dating her guy. It sounds like LWs next date with this guy will be her first. A professional relationship is so different from a dating relationship that happy with one doesn’t translate into happy with the other, even if the LW and the imagined love of her life spent half a dozen nights at hotel bars and talked well into the night. A colleague from another company with whom you happily pass stray platonic evenings is just not someone who has even auditioned for life partner.

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  • avatar

    Ale October 3, 2016, 8:59 am

    Leaving your whole life for a guy who is in the middle of a divorce to be “first” in line for him, yeeeah, smart. I thought people were supposed to grow up and mature and make better decisions with age and leave the stupid ones for the “youngsters”…

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    • Nookie

      Nookie October 3, 2016, 9:18 am

      There’s no age limit on bad decisions, please see Donald Trump for reference.

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  • avatar

    Essie October 3, 2016, 9:13 am

    I’ve taken some crazy leaps in my life, so I get the urge to do that. I think the obnoxiously condescending, superior attitude is going to cause her more problems than a cross-country move.

    I do wonder how much of the “mutually acknowledged chemistry” is actually mutually acknowledged, though…

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    • avatar

      artsygirl October 3, 2016, 11:58 am

      Yeah she is definitely going to have to check her attitude when she is interacting with us Midwesterners – we might get all huffy when she decides to educate us on how small and unfortunate our lives are since we do not have the benefit of living in LA.

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  • Nookie

    Nookie October 3, 2016, 9:18 am

    It’s weird that she read the article and doesn’t realise that Wendy moved across the country for love, right? She seems to be saying that Wendy’s too cautious but Wendy took a big chance!
    .
    I don’t know, the LW seems a tad too defensive about her choice – maybe a lot of people have been giving her the ol’ side eye about it. But you never know until you try, so why not? But yeah, have an escape route planned out if it all goes wrong.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy October 3, 2016, 9:56 am

      This weekend was the nine-year anniversary of my move from chicago to NYC to follow love. But I guess this move across the country counts as cautious because I was actually in a relationship, knew the guy loved me and welcomed me with open arms, and I had some plans set up for various scenarios. Obviously, it worked out for me and I like to think I gained some wisdom through the experience, which I’ve shared in many ways, including the original article the LW references (“8 Things You Need to Do Before You Move For Love”). But then again, what do I know? I’m just a youngin’ (lol) from the midwest.

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      • Nookie

        Nookie October 3, 2016, 10:08 am

        Yeah, you’re such a cautious soul. Moving across country for love, having a start up company… Really, you should try taking some risks!

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom October 3, 2016, 9:21 am

    Begin by losing the attitude. Many of the people who live in Springfield will love Springfield. They will be able to list the things that they love about where they live just like you can list the things that you love about where you live. If you arrive with the attitude that Springfield is godforsaken you will have no friends while you live there. You will be miserable. You will miss the pleasures that Springfield has to offer. I’ve never been there but I’m sure that there are appealing aspects to Springfield if you are willing to see them and experience them.

    I don’t live anywhere near Springfield but I can say that one of the pleasures of my home is that I can look out my front window and see cows and horses in a small pasture across the road from my house. Learn to value and treasure whatever pleasures you can see from your window in Springfield. There is so much more to nature than just the ocean and beach. It’s about time you experience those treasurers and learn to appreciate them and value them. If you can’t why would the man from Springfield want to date you. You with the horribly, negative, condescending attitude. There probably are lots of other, nicer, women already in Springfield who won’t be making such ugly, judgemental statements about the place he lives. If he loves Springfield and you consider it godforsaken you will begin with a huge rift between you. Get to know Springfield and appreciate it before trying to get into a relationship with this man. If you find it impossible to at least like Springfield you should move back to your beach and leave Springfield alone.

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  • juliecatharine

    Juliecatharine October 3, 2016, 9:26 am

    The tone of this letter is just…wow. LW, I know you’re set on this one teensy suggestion: let this dude know you expect to be first in line. Because that conversation might tells you a lot. Frankly if someone told me there were moving across the country for a chance to call dibs on dating me I would think they were nuts.

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    • Raccoon eyes

      Raccoon eyes October 3, 2016, 9:43 am

      That was my thought too- that this may well be put a HUGE amount of pressure on any future relationship. Better to make it a “change of scenery/being closer to family” move, and see how you like it, than an “omg-I-moved-here-to-be-first-in-YOUR-line-o’love (so-this-SURE-better-work-out!) type of situation. Because that is just… ick.
      *
      Good luck, LW! Lose the condescension before you go and you may just have a (small) chance of making it work!

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  • avatar

    Hannanas October 3, 2016, 9:38 am

    “How do people live without seeing the ocean out their window?” is one of the most entitled things I’ve ever read. But I wish you the best of luck! Also, keep us posted.

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    • avatar

      Ange October 3, 2016, 7:59 pm

      With a lot less rust on all their shit is what I would reply but what do I know, I’m from a small town.

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      • avatar

        Hannanas October 4, 2016, 6:36 am

        Touché!

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  • avatar

    Northern Star October 3, 2016, 9:40 am

    What a wonderful life you will build, amongst people you find distasteful in a city you find abhorrent.

    You’ve got it all figured out. I’m sure it’ll go great! LOL.

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  • avatar

    Brise October 3, 2016, 9:54 am

    I would have a more humble attitude. Don’t get swept away by your enthusiasm. I understand the wish to take a chance and follow your desire, your gut feeling. Fine. But that doesn’t prevent you of making a thoughtful choice. What else will it bring you? You don’t do it only for a man, right? You need a change, don’t you? Despite your californian cliches, you have a grown child, you are single and you want a new start. List all the good reasons to go, not the negative, crazy lines you served us. If it doesn’t work with this man, will you still agree with your move? That should be your motive. It will make you calmer and stronger, and freer. Add the exit strategy Wendy suggested, just in case. Good luck!

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie October 3, 2016, 10:06 am

    LW – I think you’re shooting yourself in the foot here. If the attitude in this post shows through IRL I can’t imagine this wonderful man wanting to spend life listening to an endless narrative of how you gave up so much for love. If you want to move to Missouri, move. If the only thing that appeals about Missouri is one single person, that is a huge burden for a person to carry – let alone have it foisted upon them. It just sounds like you’re ready to remind him repeatedly of all that you gave up to be with him when he’s not even asking you to do this. Saying you want to be the first in line makes it sound like you’re going with the hope that he picks you – and not any mutual agreement that you both want a relationship.

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  • Monkeysmommy

    Monkeysmommy October 3, 2016, 10:13 am

    I hope this is a troll… but if not…

    Lady, you are a fucking loon. This guy isn’t going to give you the time of day. He will feel your attitude and generally nasty outlook, and will run far. And what nasty vulture prays on a man who literally JUST divorced??? Just ew.

    Now, on to your nasty remarks about Springfield… as it happens, I am not from Los Angeles, but my spouse happens to be. And I fucking hate it there. I think it is dirty, gross, smells disgusting, and is full of bums and homeless people who will literally jump in front of your car hoping to sue you when you hit them (has literally happened to us). My native Californian spouse feels the same. Unless you live in orange county (and no one living there would dare call it LA!!), then it totally sucks there. So yeah, I am not interested or impressed by your “LA lifestyle”.
    I have been to areas of MO for work (St. Louis for one) that I would live in well before we would ever move back to the LA area. So get off your high horse, you aren’t special.

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    • avatar

      ktfran October 3, 2016, 10:40 am

      I remember visiting Santa Monica for the first time. I stayed a week because I had a few different friends that moved out there. People who worked at the stores and coffee shops and restaurants DID NOT SMILE. All I wanted was to see one person working in the service industry smile. Nothing! I will say that when I was walking around, the drivers were nicer than where I currently live. But maybe that’s because they learned to drive defensively as to not hit a bum?

      I also spent some time in Laguna Niguel and I liked it better. As well as Santa Barbara.

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    • avatar

      Ange October 3, 2016, 8:02 pm

      Yeah I wasn’t impressed with LA either. We stayed down Santa Monica/Venice Beach way and it was just really dumpy and horrible and sad to me. A real culture shock. Plus as ktfran mentioned people didn’t seem overly happy to be there.

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  • juliecatharine

    Juliecatharine October 3, 2016, 10:16 am

    Also, not for nothing but she knows this man through work….I’m a sales rep and have been fortunate to have warm, friendly relationships with many of my clients but while they know me they don’t KNOW me. It’s work so there are professional boundaries in place even when they get smudgy because of genuinely warm feelings. LW, I think you owe it to yourself to take a very hard look at your motivation here; mutual attraction isn’t a firm bet when you’re talking about uprooting your entire life and are insisting on being first in line with zero indication that you’ve shared your plans.

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  • avatar

    Wendy's Dad October 3, 2016, 10:27 am

    Stay in LA. With your attitude, you’ll not like Springfield (or anywhere else). This is a wonderful place to live, not godforsaken at all, and thankfully free of snooty types from the left coast.

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    • juliecatharine

      Juliecatharine October 3, 2016, 10:59 am

      Boom! Dad burn!!!

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      • GertietheDino

        GertiethDino October 3, 2016, 3:24 pm

        Wendy – I think your dad should weigh in on some of the “He Says” segments.

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    • avatar

      Anonymousse October 3, 2016, 12:20 pm

      Seconding this! I’m sure your dream man is not looking for someone who moves so far to be “first in line” for him, especially when they hate where he’s chosen to live.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray October 3, 2016, 3:26 pm

      Oh SNAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Portia

    Portia October 3, 2016, 10:28 am

    I’m not sure if the LW has seen the show Crazy Ex Girlfriend, but it would probably be a good idea to watch it before moving. It gives some good pointers on what not to do when you move somewhere for someone you’re not in a relationship with. Oh, and because it’s funny and the songs are fun.
    .
    Actually, Wendy, if you watch that show (or watch it in the future), it’d be funny to hear your advice for its characters.

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    • courtney89

      courtney89 October 3, 2016, 11:25 am

      I keep hearing about this show and haven’t started it yet.. I think it’s time!!!!!!! Let the binge watching commence…

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      • Portia

        Portia October 3, 2016, 11:44 am

        It is best watched binged, in my opinion. And they got renewed for a second season!

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray October 3, 2016, 3:25 pm

        I love it. I have watched season 1, twice. Can’t wait for season 2. But i’m worried it’s going to fizzle. I don’t know how they can keep up all this goodness for too long.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy October 3, 2016, 11:29 am

      Haven’t seen it yet. Will had the queue after we finish Transparent and the new Woody Allen series.

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      • Portia

        Portia October 3, 2016, 11:42 am

        Awesome! Addy started a forum topic about it a little while ago. It fills my musical theater need that Glee once did before it went weird/crazy. I love when they satirize classic musical theater songs (like one was basically Ya Got Trouble from Music Man). But it’s all about relationships, not just the main character’s unrequited love.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray October 3, 2016, 3:21 pm

      YES! (And I just commented about that below; didn’t see your post.) Can we talk about that show some more? I love it so.

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  • avatar

    TheHizzy October 3, 2016, 10:42 am

    She’s going to hate the Midwest because her attitude and her won’t fit in.

    Good luck to that.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros October 3, 2016, 10:44 am

    I would be more on board if she wasn’t so condescending toward the Midwest. Moving for love is cool if you’re an adventurous type who feels like you’d enjoy the place you’re moving to without a relationship (that tends to be what makes it possible for people to not have just thrown away years of their life if a relationship they moved for fails). But she apparently has no other reason for moving than a man that she’s not even dating. Felicity, much?

    I hope she’s wealthy because picking up and moving at her age could be extremely detrimental to her financial stability. (At any age, but it’s harder to get a job and this is an important time for preparing for retirement.)

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom October 3, 2016, 10:56 am

    If and when you arrive in Springfield don’t talk about the wonders of California or the ocean or the beach. You need to talk in a positive way about Springfield and why you are there. People are curious and they will want to know why you chose their town. They will expect to hear something positive because they love their town and know lots of reasons why it is a great place and they will wonder which of those reasons brought you to their location.

    Don’t tell anyone that you moved out of the hope of being first in line to date a local man. That makes you sound a bit creepy. Like you assume you get to claim a man without any input from him and that you would move across country to a place you don’t know to chase a man who might have no interest in you. Creepy and stalkerish come to mind.

    Also keep in mind that the qualities you find so appealing about this man might exist because he lives in Springfield and has the attitude and manners of the local people. He may very well represent Springfield and the people of Springfield, whom you consider godforsaken.

    Go in expecting to meet nice people. Go in expecting to see the beauty of nature even if it isn’t your little patch of beach. Go in with the idea that you will try what the local area has to offer from food to festivals to nature to men who might want to date. Explore the area with an open mind and don’t constantly put it down in comparison with California. If you can’t do that don’t be surprised when everyone begins to argue over who hated you first. Remember that if everyone dislikes you the man you want to date won’t find you acceptable. If you are socially ostracized for being stuck up you won’t have a chance with him.

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  • avatar

    Lucy October 3, 2016, 11:24 am

    No point roughing the LW up for her attitude when so many already have.

    LW, I have a friend who was the man in this scenario. A woman he knew well and had some romantic interest in, but was not in a relationship with, moved from her major city to his city (a much larger city than Springfield) because she wanted to date him once his divorce was finalized.

    Shortly after she signed a lease and let go of her old place, he started dating someone else. A part of it was that he couldn’t shake the feeling that anyone who would move based on a hypothetical future relationship was at least somewhat crazy. But mostly… he just met someone he liked better. And almost two years later, they’re still together, and this woman is still sitting on the sidelines, hoping for his relationship to fail, refusing g to accept that even if it does, he won’t get involved with her. It’s pitiful.

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  • avatar

    Vathena October 3, 2016, 11:26 am

    I can’t imagine being this guy, in the midst of a divorce, and suddenly dealing with a rando who decided that he is “the one”. What’s going to happen when you get there? “Hey Steve, SURPRISE! I just moved in next door, and I’m gonna be real angry if you start dating someone else!” I mean, I’m sure he’s great and all, but probably not your Final Chance at Love. If he was even aware of the possibility of starting a relationship, that would be different. I hope that all the meanness and judgment about the Midwest was a poor attempt at humor…but it might be wise to actually visit Springfield (or anywhere) before committing to a life there.

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    • avatar

      Anonymousse October 3, 2016, 12:22 pm

      Ha ha ha, what a mess. I’d be freaked the hell out.

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  • Cleopatra Jones

    Cleopatra Jones October 3, 2016, 11:36 am

    I dunno, y’all. It may be me…but it feels like this LW is trying to pin all of her hopes and dreams of happiness on some random dude who was nice to her. Has she actually met this guy? How does she even know that he wants to have a relationship with her? Because ‘mutually acknowledged chemistry’ could mean he just wants to hit it and move on. It doesn’t mean y’all are going to build some great life together.
    .
    LW, has your previous relationships been so shitty and unfulfilling that a random dude that you met through work is now your end-all, be-all? I think that if that’s the case, you should scrap the cross-country move and get thee to a therapist to find out why YOU think this is your only shot a happiness. You can use the excuse of age but really many people find love at all ages. My neighbor is a 70 year old widow, she’s recently found herself a new boo thing. 🙂 I imagine that you could as well but this is NOT the way to do it.
    .
    Before you pick up and move to a place that you hate for a man that you’re not in a relationship with, I’d re-evaluate what’s really going on in your life.

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  • avatar

    TeacherNerd October 3, 2016, 11:42 am

    Funny, I must have missed all that attitude part, instead focusing on her material point (or, how I interpreted her material point). There are lots of pieces of advice out there that focus on what one should or should not do before committing, moving, etc. One reaches a certain age, though, when one realizes a few things: That not all advice will suit everyone in every circumstance, and that no matter what one does, someone else will think it wrong. One’s decisions will sometimes not work out, but sometimes they do. And having one’s heart broken and ego bruised are indeed extremely unpleasant, but survivable for many of us.

    Before I moved to Utah from Pennsylvania for my now-husband, a now former friend was very upset that I would move so far away; she kept focusing on “what if everything goes wrong?” Well, what if? I was college-educated, had marketable skills, spoke the language, and had confidence in my ability to take care of myself even if things were to go wrong. Things worked out in this case, but not in the previous case, where I’d moved a shorter (but still quite a) distance for a long-term relationship that fizzled. Folks will be eager to tell you why you’re wrong, but so what? (And I think we can stop harping on her attitude, folks.) 🙂

    (And now I wait for people to tell me why _I’m_ wrong!) 🙂

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    • avatar

      artsygirl October 3, 2016, 12:11 pm

      The passage I found offensive was: …I am seriously considering moving to a godforsaken Midwestern town called Springfield, Missouri. How do people live without seeing the ocean out their window? I hate the prairie states. I am a flaming liberal Californian. I cannot imagine seeing cows or whatever they have in Missouri – I drove through once as a teenager.

      Basically she admits that aside from this guy there is absolutely nothing appealing about the Midwest yet she knows nothing about the community she wants to move to since she has not been in the area in about 4 decades. Seriously, who slags off on a large portion of the country without bothering to visit or learn about it?

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      • avatar

        TeacherNerd October 3, 2016, 12:23 pm

        I did, TBH. I visited Utah maybe 2-3 times, for a week or two at a stretch, before moving here. It worked out, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be comfortable here as I will be on the east coast. (I am in a somewhat drastic religious and political minority, but I’m fortunate I work in a field that’s a bit more liberal than the general community. I do actually like being surrounded by people whose backgrounds, religions, and politics are different than mine, but being in a continual minority does get tiring sometimes.)

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. October 3, 2016, 5:01 pm

        Being surrounded by people whose backgrounds, religion and politics can be awesome and enlightening, but only if you don’t have contempt for them.

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    • Cleopatra Jones

      Cleopatra Jones October 3, 2016, 12:41 pm

      I think you missed the part where she’s not actually in a relationship with this guy. I think that’s the difference between her situation and yours.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover October 3, 2016, 12:45 pm

        AND the guy doesn’t seem to be aware that a) she’s moving there and b) she’s planning on having a relationship with him.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover October 3, 2016, 12:46 pm

        And I guess c) she absolutely detests his city and seems to think it’s beneath her to live there.

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      • Cleopatra Jones

        Cleopatra Jones October 3, 2016, 1:36 pm

        Right. Because if that’s how it works…I have a list of celebs that I’m moving to LA for.

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      • avatar

        artsygirl October 3, 2016, 3:26 pm

        Dibs on Ryan Reynolds

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover October 3, 2016, 4:16 pm

        Lol I hear Brad Pitt’s back on the market.

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      • othy

        othy October 3, 2016, 4:45 pm

        And he’s from Springfield. Maybe he IS her man whose ‘divorce isn’t even final yet’.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. October 3, 2016, 5:02 pm

        OMG, how great would that be?

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      • avatar

        Anonymousse October 3, 2016, 6:55 pm

        Ba ha hahahahahahaha!

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover October 3, 2016, 9:04 pm

        Hahhahaha I literally lol’d at that!

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    • avatar

      dinoceros October 3, 2016, 1:09 pm

      I echo the fact that her moving for someone she isn’t in a relationship with is putting the cart before the horse.

      I mean, sure, if anyone on here was posting dozens of comments about her attitude, then they should probably stop, but if you write something with the purpose of the internet reading it, then people will comment on it. Some people may post similar comments.

      One of the big things to me is that this LW tends to be perceiving that if someone warns something of something (particularly something that has a low success rate), then they are aggressively being told their wrong. If someone asks for advice, they’re going to get it, and it might not be what they like. Like how I don’t think that those of us posting responses to your post are telling you that you are “wrong” but sharing other opinions.

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    • othy

      othy October 3, 2016, 4:48 pm

      I, too, moved from PA to UT to get married. I had plenty of back up plans, but I figured Utah was just as nice of a place to live as anywhere else. Especially if you find those neighborhoods that more align with your values. Every state has more liberal/more conservative areas, and it’s easy enough to move to those places when relocating.

      Of course, Othello and I had been dating for a while (long distance for 3 years, with summers living together), so we weren’t just a possible relationship at that point, which is what LW is pinning her hopes on.

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    • avatar

      Jessica October 5, 2016, 11:21 am

      I agree with you, TeacherNerd. She said she has her own virtual company, so she’s not in financial risk, and probably smart. Family is 4 hours away, so apparently she has some experience of the midwest already. And she’s “of an age” where the adventure might be worth it. I’m guessing this is a “try it and see”, not a done deal. The “not seeing the beach” is probably more wistful than anything else. I did not read this as condescending but as encouraging.

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  • Miel

    Miel October 3, 2016, 12:02 pm

    I thought this was going to be “I moved for love even though my situation was the complete opposite to what Wendy recommend… but now it’s been 10 years and we’re still very happy together!”

    But no… it wasn’t.

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  • avatar

    PurpleStar October 3, 2016, 12:39 pm

    LW – do not move.

    I do not understand your obsession with this man that you have only had a working relationship with. You say you have been a“Transitional Object” too many times – this, to me, indicates that you have a predilection for leaping without looking. This move to Springfield is a grand leap.

    You seem to think that by making such a gesture this gentleman will, of course, swoon at your feet as soon as he is legally unbound. Um, hate to say it, but if he was interested in you as a future life partner, he would have expressed it – since his marriage is ended. Well, almost ended. Well, maybe going to end.

    Stay in California. Set more realistic relationship goals. Meet men in your area, by the ocean that you love. Find something/someone more solid to pin your hopes and dreams on – this professor is a pipe dream. There are other suitable, lovely, men out there.

    Good Luck

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    • avatar

      Anonymousse October 3, 2016, 12:49 pm

      Yeah, that transitional object line rang out to me as well. She’s setting herself up to be that object again.

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    • Cleopatra Jones

      Cleopatra Jones October 3, 2016, 1:37 pm

      She still shouldn’t pin her hopes and dreams of happiness on a local dude. She should find out why she’s unhappy, and fix that. Then she’ll be able to find a good healthy relationship.

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  • avatar

    Anonymousse October 3, 2016, 12:48 pm

    I am inclined to feel this is even more reckless than moving blindly for love at a much younger age.
    You don’t have a relationship, just your hope for one. And at a more advanced age, retirement, savings, and budgets figure more prominently in to your planning. Of course, your income will probably mean more in MO than CA, especially LA. But hey, you are going, full speed ahead, no matter the outcome. More power to you,

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  • avatar

    McLovin October 3, 2016, 1:05 pm

    “He’s got some quirks and some childhood trauma that could prove challenging.”

    Maybe the LW and Mr. Springfield have already had some intimate discussions since she refers to knowing about his childhood “trauma.” That’s a topic that seems would only come out if there is some trust in place, whatever that trauma may be. But still, moving to a city that you’ve never visited, are already close-minded to, leaving behind family, denying yourself the joy of seeing your beach every day? All of that, and much more I’m sure, just to be first in line when he’s finally single again and you HOPE that he wants to date you? Wow.

    You said that you’re seriously considering a move to Springfield, which means you’re still somewhat on the fence. Ask yourself this question. If a friend came to you and said “I’m seriously considering a move” and laid out the same mind-numbing reasoning that you’ve used…………what advice would you give if the roles were reversed?

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  • avatar

    wobster109 October 3, 2016, 1:48 pm

    NOOOOOOO don’t do it. You want to leave somewhere you love for somewhere you hate, and you’re giving it up to be with a guy with emotional problems who is still married! And I know nothing Wendy or I or anyone here says will make a difference. Just make sure you keep an emergency fund, k?

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  • avatar

    Ron October 3, 2016, 2:23 pm

    No dependent children to worry about, portable business, so no big deal. If this bombs, nobody gets hurt except LW and she just feels foolish, has a two-way moving expense, and missed a bit of ocean time. Living in a different part of the country among people with a difficult outlook may be exactly what she needs to round herself out a bit and lose a little of the snide. There really is no serious danger in going for it, although I think her chances of latching onto the guy aren’t huge. It would be a lot easier if they currently were more of a thing, even a long-distance, haven’t-seen-you-in-person-for-a-while type thing, where at least she can be certain they are on the same wave length. Since th guy didn’t suggest that she come to MO so they could find out whether they actually are seriously attracted to each other, he may not exactly wecome her arrival.

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    • avatar

      Jessica October 5, 2016, 11:28 am

      Yes, that’s what I was thinking. Why not? is a bigger question. It seems like she’s OK financially. Who really cares if it doesn’t work out? Sounds like she is looking at it as an adventure more than as a “this works out or I die” kind of thing. I’d say go for it actually. And maybe this guy did say something. The childhood trauma thing got me thinking, too. They must know each other pretty well, beyond work. Guys don’t share that stuff easily.

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  • avatar

    Baccalieu October 3, 2016, 2:31 pm

    TeacherNerd, I don’t know how you missed the attitude, the LW’s contempt for the mid-west was pretty clear (and, as other commenters noted, doesn’t bode well for her plan, and therefore commenting on it is relevant to her question) but on your main point I don’t think Wendy or anyone else really disagrees. There is nothing wrong with taking a huge risk as long as you do it with your eyes open (and if you are smart, with a backup plan in place). For the reasons set out by others, the odds of success here don’t seem great, but I’m all in favour of taking a chance, as long as you don’t irredeemably ruin your life, or make yourself miserable while doing it. The funny thing here is that LW has set up Wendy (somewhat dramatically, but then she seems to enjoy the drama) as the one opposing her great dream when Wendy isn’t at all opposed to moving for love, having done it herself, and her article, far from telling people not to do it, is actually a just a list of things to consider. And actually, while not ticking every box (Wendy doesn’t contemplate moving for a relationship that doesn’t exist yet) she actually satisfies a number of the criteria. Her job is portable which means that she can satisfy #7 and also #5 because it won’t be too much trouble to move back if things don’t work. I get the impression that this woman isn’t short of money (#6) and in any event that isn’t as important since she will still have her job. As far as #8 is concerned, she obviously has no doubts. Living arrangements (#4) shouldn’t be a problem, since in this circumstances she would expect to get her own place initially (at least we hope). And finally, one would hope that resenting him if things don’t work out (#2) isn’t an issue, since he is not only not encouraging her to do this, but apparently doesn’t even know about it. The one piece of advice I would give her is not to let the guy know that she moved in the hope of starting up a relationship with him, at least at first, because of the pressure it would put on the relationship and the stalker-ish vibe it gives out. Her attitude should be, “Hey, I’ve moved to Springfield for (some unrelated reason) and since we now live in the same community I was wondering if you might like to go out on a date.” The fact that I think some subterfuge is appropriate here probably says something about her plan, but clearly if she’s going to do this, that seems like the way to go.

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray October 3, 2016, 3:17 pm

    In addition to the cashew chicken (which really is the best), you’ll get to enjoy Andy’s Frozen Custard and being able to say you live in the city where both Brad Pitt and Addie Pray were born! Except actually, I think Brad just grew up there but was actually born in Oklahoma, if all my years of reading shitty celebrity magazines are paying off. And I on the other hand was born there but raised elsewhere. So there you go.

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray October 3, 2016, 3:19 pm

    Also, LW is TOTALLY Rebecca Bunch from Crazy-Ex Girlfriend! (Can we talk more about that show? It’s the BEST.)

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    • TheLadyE

      TheLadyE October 3, 2016, 10:26 pm

      IMO, she’s not, actually, because let’s remember that Rebecca Bunch:
      1) Was actually in a relationship with Josh previously, and
      2) Wanted to leave NYC and live somewhere else, rather than loving it there.

      Just thought I’d point that out. 😉

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray October 4, 2016, 10:26 am

        Ha, I can’t argue with you!

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom October 3, 2016, 3:27 pm

    How about making a bit of a trial run. Contact the guy and tell him you are thinking of getting away from the crowds and costs of California and you thought you’d come look at his region of the country. Ask if there is anywhere in his area he thinks you should see or might like. Would he like to show you around.

    See how he responds. Does he think it’s a great idea and encourage you to come visit. Does he say he thinks you’d hate it and you should look somewhere else. Does he say he’s too busy to show you around. If he is noncommittal and doesn’t want to show you the area you have your answer. If he does love the idea and wants to show you around go and see if you could possibly be happy living in Springfield.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. October 3, 2016, 4:51 pm

    Lady, you’re not even moving for love. You’re moving because “love might be possible”. That’s even crazier. Is love not possible in your fantastic, ethnically diverse, cultured, beach-front LA town? If not, I’d take a close look at that. And you “insist” on being first in line when he is free to date? Who are you to decide that? You do not sound adventurous, you sound desperate. I will be 50 on Nov 16, and even if I had the financial means to abandon my life in San Francisco (which I love) I sure as hell wouldn’t do it for some man who barely knows I’m alive and who lives in a place I profess to hate. And how kind of you to consider taking him on even though he’s not as jaw-droppingly handsome or affluent as the men in LA. I’m sure he’ll be very grateful to you. Sounds to me like you’re a little bit ashamed of having kin from the Midwest. Could it be because you’re afraid people will judge you as you obviously judge them? If you want to be adventurous, jump out of an airplane, swim with sharks, climb El Capitan. Or, go ahead and move to the Midwest if you really want to, but ditch the attitude, it’s really unattractive.

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny October 3, 2016, 5:53 pm

      Oh hiiiiii fellow SF person! *waves*

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. October 3, 2016, 10:16 pm

        Hi Moneypenny! *waves back*

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  • avatar

    Bondgirl October 3, 2016, 4:59 pm

    This should end well…what could possibly go wrong?

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny October 3, 2016, 5:57 pm

    To me, it seems really really risky to move to a “godforsaken” place that you already hate, just for a man. Because if you’re going to live there, you may as well try to find *something* about it to like, right?! And your attitude doesn’t sound like you’re in a place to do that. So.

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  • avatar

    VelvetPaws October 3, 2016, 7:22 pm

    Sometimes change for change’s sake – or even a vague aspiration towards improving your lot – can work, but your odds will improve if you really embrace the entire move. Don’t do it on the basis of a vague possibility. Look up Springfield! Do your homework, and get ready to admire the novelty of a horse or chicken outside your window! (If that’s a thing in Springfield.) Spectacular skies, real seasons, people who are living a less frenetic life (read: have more time for smiling). I moved from a big city to a tiny town, and there is so much to enjoy in both. The experiences are just profoundly different. But the people living in each are still people – and almost everyone is good natured and ready to extend a hand in friendship, regardless of one’s background. Openness and a readiness to appreciate are critical. If you can’t commit to being happy there…if you’re always going to be frowning at the cow and wishing for sand…why bother? You’ll just be a less happier you in a place you despise. That does not sound like a winning combination.

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  • avatar

    Lisa October 5, 2016, 11:40 am

    I am the original poster. I’m charmed by all your virulent responses, and some well-thought-out ones. Thank you.

    Obviously, the man in question and I have spent time together, enough for me to be certain he’s as interested as I am. We have not touched one another in any inappropriate way. I could live anywhere in the world, and I have done so, and my income stays the same. Further, I am not “home” a whole lot, because of my work. Neither is he! We both have mobile lives.

    He and I have discussed what he plans to do when the divorce is final, ergo I am not moving without the assurance that this is what he wants, too. If it works out and I enjoy Springfield, fine. If it works out and I don’t enjoy Springfield, so what? We will become long distance or we’ll move somewhere. Or I’ll learn to like it, because I’m not home very often anyway. So what? We both spend a large part of our months on airplanes.

    The original point I was trying to make to Wendy, not then knowing she had “moved for love”, is that older women sometimes become habituated and fear-based and to me, that seems silly. I have friends who want everything to stay the same. I’ve survived heartache and a lot worse! If this doesn’t work out, well, then it doesn’t. Men are not that central to one’s life. I like this man, but don’t know him well enough to love him yet.

    I’m surprised, frankly, by the Vitriol expressed here. As much as one might zealously defend Springfield, Los Angeles or any other hometown, it has little to do with one’s ability to get along with people in another place. While I am no fan of “Trump fans” nor “winter”, as she wrote, (great line BTW), there’s little risk in this decision from my perspective.

    I wish my fearful girlfriends (from all over the world) would stumble over this pseudonymous post and think, “You know, I could at least make a stab at my dreams! It’s not too late!”

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover October 5, 2016, 3:46 pm

      I don’t think anyone really cares if you do this or not. It’s your call. The problem was with the snottiness in your letter.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom October 5, 2016, 4:36 pm

      You’ll note that Wendy’s original column was titled, “Eight Things to do Before You Move for Love.” It wasn’t titled, “Don’t Move for Love.” You made an assumption and wrote a letter apparently without reading the column and really without even thinking about the title of the column. You could have written a similar letter that encouraged people to take a chance and relate your personal life to the eight things to do and whether you felt all of them were necessary and whether you had any more things to add. I agree with RedRover, the tone of the letter is what annoyed people, not the fact that you are considering moving. You also made it sound like the guy had no idea you were considering moving to him which sounded like a creepy situation. If the majority of the people reading your letter didn’t get the context of what you were trying to say you probably didn’t make your point clearly.

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  • avatar

    Baccalieu October 5, 2016, 9:25 pm

    And……Scene! The curtain closes with our heroine, having delivered her passionate final speech, marching towards the future, determined (despite the imaginary opposition) and, more importantly, pure.
    I’m not normally quite this sarcastic, but your further response is simply a reprise of the first one, with a side of sorrowful martyrdom at the fact that you received such harsh criticism. One would expect then that you might actually deal with two of the main issues that you were criticized for, namely your horrible and prejudiced comments about Springfield, and your incorrect assumption that Wendy was opposed to taking such risks, but you didn’t really touch on that..
    The only criticism that you do deal with is the criticism you received for moving when you hadn’t had any experience of being in a relationship with this guy and, it seemed, didn’t even know if this guy wanted to be in a relationship with you. You have now clarified that the guy is totally on board with the plan and thank you for that.
    Two things, though. One, you say that you and this guy “have not touched one another in an inappropriate way”, by which I assume you mean you haven’t had sex (although maybe you mean you haven’t even kissed romantically or cuddled). You are particularly concerned to make sure that we know this. You also mentioned it in your first post, which is probably why we assumed that you didn’t know if this guy was interested in a relationship. Well, if you haven’t had sex, why the hell not? He’s willing; you’re willing, you are both adults, you both travel a lot so it could easily be accomplished, neither of you are virgins (at least he certainly isn’t and I hope you’re not) so there’s no issue about maintaining your “purity”, and virtually nobody on this continent thinks that there is anything wrong with being in a sexual relationship with someone who is permanently separated and moving towards divorce. The few that do believe that usually believe that any sex outside a marriage is wrong, but that doesn’t appear to be your concern since you say you won’t have sex with him until his situation is more stable not that you want to wait until the vows are said. I (and I suspect most of my fellow commenters) don’t think that you are noble for not having sex yet, we think you are foolish for denying yourselves some fun and not taking the opportunity to test and deepen the relationship before you move.
    Two, since the guy is on board and it won’t affect your job to move and you travel so much that it doesn’t matter much where you live, it doesn’t seem like you are really taking much of a risk at all, at least no more than anyone that enters upon a new relationship. Therefore, why all the drama? What is the big romantic risk that you are taking that you think others should be inspired by you? Best of luck to you in your normal, ordinary, undramatic endeavours.

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