As you’ve said in your LDR advice, a year into a relationship is a good time to discuss moving for love, and it’s only been about six months for us. However, I feel this man is the one and I don’t want to miss this opportunity. While I love Chicago (born and raised) and my family here, I’d love to live in NY and I could probably transfer through my current company since our corporate headquarters is in NJ and a move is something that could actually benefit me professionally. The catch is: I have a 5-year-old daughter and I’m having a hard time explaining to people, like my parents, how I could move across the country for someone I haven’t even spent more than nine consecutive days with.
The truth is, I know my boyfriend better than anyone else, and, as someone who’s been in a LDR as well, you know that those late night phone calls can really open a person up. Besides that, living on my own with my daughter doesn’t scare me — I lived five hours from my family before when she was a baby and managed. When you moved from Chicago to New York for love, how did you justify what you were doing? — Might Move for Love with 5-Year-Old Daughter
I did move from Chicago to New York for love, but I never felt like I had to justify that move to anyone. For one thing, we’d been dating a year and a half (not just six months) and had visited each other every 2-3 weeks during that time. I’d recently finished grad school and was at a point in my life and career that I could pretty easily relocate (more easily than my now-husband, who had a great job it would be hard to replace elsewhere, and family, including an elderly father, close by he didn’t want to leave; I had no family near me at the time). There was no reason to justify my move to anyone, including myself, because it simply made sense. And because I was ready to move for love. And because I had exit strategies planned (for example, I left most of my belongings in storage in Chicago and didn’t send for them until I was sure I wanted to stay in NYC, which took about five months).
If you’re feeling like you need to justify your potential move to people — and, more importantly, if you’re having a hard time justifying your move, then there’s probably a reason for that. And I’d say having a 5-year-old daughter in the mix is definitely a big reason to be hesitant. Other reasons include only dating this guy six months and only seeing him about, what, six times total in those six months? Yeah, sorry, I think uprooting a young child across the country, away from family and her friends and school, for a guy you’ve had maybe six long weekends with, is kind of nuts.
But, I get it. This guy could be the one. And you don’t want to miss the opportunity. But here’s the thing: if HE’s the one for you, then YOU should be the one for him, and, just as you don’t want to miss an opportunity, he should not want to miss the opportunity either. To say after six measly months you shouldn’t be boyfriend and girlfriend anymore doesn’t sound like someone who’s all that deeply committed. A better course of action would be to discuss with you an end date and formulate a plan. But he just rushed into what essentially sounds like a breakup discussion. I mean, how can you even be sure he WASN’T trying to break up with you? Maybe the distance between you was a convenient way to let you down easy without feeling like a bad guy. I don’t know. I just think it’s weird and a bit telling that he’d be willing to throw away what you consider an amazing relationship because six months of long distance has worn him down. But maybe he’s scared and maybe he needs reassurance from you that there IS an end date eventually and this long distance thing won’t go on forever.
As I said, my now-husband and I did the LDR thing for a year and a half. Drew was open from the get-go that he wasn’t moving and that I would be the one to have to make the move if we were to be together. I told him from our first weekend together that I was open to moving, but I didn’t commit to the move until maybe 10, 11 months in. And then I said I needed time to save money because moving across the country is expensive and I didn’t want to be entirely dependent on him (as it was, he did have to support me for a few months since it took longer for me to find a job than I anticipated and I eventually ran out of savings).
Anyway, my point is, Drew was willing to wait for me. It was hard — for both of us — but we kept our eyes on the prize and buckled down and got through it. And now, nine years later, we both view that first year and a half as a drop in the bucket. And I can only imagine that, forty-one years from now when we’re celebrating 50 years together, our long-distance period will be the faintest of memories — a mere blip on the radar of our life together. And six months? Jesus, if you want to spend your life with someone, six months is nothing. I’d be concerned if a guy I loved was willing to throw our relationship away because he couldn’t wait another six-twelve months to be together-together.
And waiting six-twelve months is exactly what I would advise you do. It’s too early to uproot your daughter now. And you wouldn’t want to move her in the middle of a school year, so you’re looking at next June as a potential move date. That gives you and your boyfriend time to really establish your relationship and discuss potential challenges (especially the challenge of his adjusting to having a young child in his life). It gives you time to make some exit strategies if things don’t go well in NYC. And it gives you time to make sure you’re really ready to move for love. If by then you still feel like you need to justify your decision to people, then you should take that as a sign it might not be the right move. You should feel so confident in your decision that explaining yourself is the easy part. You’re not there yet. And if your boyfriend can’t wait for you to get there, he ISN’T “the one” and you should, as he says, probably stop being boyfriend and girlfriend.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.