November 12, 2017 at 11:58 am #726729
From a LW:
I am from California and have lived my whole life there (I am 24). I have recently made a huge move to Portland, OR due to my girlfriend having family up here and to pursue new work opportunities. She is 26 and originally from the area that I am from in Nevada, but most of her family (Aunts, Uncles, Cousins) reside up here in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve been dating over 2 years and have gotten really close with one another, and have talked about marriage quite a bit. Her mom recently quit her job as well and moved to Portland since both her sisters live up here and the majority of her family. Her mom has been wanting to be up here in Portland for years, but she had to sell her home and wait for the right time to go.
My girlfriend and I both quit our stable jobs in California on a whim to move up here without a job lined up. She was at her job for a year, I was at mine for 6 months. I know what you’re probably thinking, and I agree, it wasn’t the best idea to make such a move with nothing lined up for us when we arrived in Portland, but my girlfriend had an aching to move to be close to family in this environment and to start a new adventure. She didn’t like her current position at work, so she basically felt like nothing was holding her back. I didn’t love my job much either, but I was working for the state government and passed my probationary period which means even since I left, I am still entitled to a job back with the state if I wish to return. So I thought why not try something new?
Currently we are living with her mom and brother in a 2 bedroom apartment until we can get our own place. It’s definitely small, and not somewhere I want to live for months on end, it’s very temporary. I just appreciate her mom letting us live with her rent free. So far, I am liking it up here and my girlfriend is in love with the area and has no intention of moving back to California since her whole support system is up here now. To me, the culture is great, the people are nice, the cloudy weather is meh.. I can take it or leave it but honestly miss the sunny days back in California and not sure how the weather will affect my mood since winter hasn’t even begun yet. We’ve only been up here a little over a month, but already there’s something off about living up here to me.
My family and I back in California are extremely close, especially my mom and I. We’ve been through a lot in the past couple of years with my dad passing away back in 2014 from heart failure to my grandpa passing away only a short time after. We’ve always been really close since I was little and I can honestly say my mom is my best friend and the person I always go to for advice or whatever it may be, she’s always there to help me whenever I need it. I think the hardest part about the whole thing is that my girlfriend and my mom are not that close relationship wise. They’ve tried to connect and talk before, it just seems forced and somewhat awkward since they have nothing in common to talk about. With my previous girlfriend, my mom had a lot easier time talking to her since she was a little more outgoing and put herself out there, but my current girlfriend is a true introvert and doesn’t like small talk and conversation unless it’s truly something interesting and she wants to talk about. Just their connection alone has led me to think, do I really want to spend my life with a woman my mom doesn’t like? My moms opinion means the world to me when it comes to women, and it’s hard knowing they don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things. It’s also hard not being able to just drive to her house whenever I want and having to call her on the phone or Skype instead, which to me, isn’t the same. I could always go visit her every once in a while or have her visit up here, I just feel it isn’t enough time to spend with her.
I do think I am starting to get a little bit homesick for Sacramento. Although there are a lot of great things about Portland that I have loved since I’ve been up here, I just don’t feel at “home” if you know what I mean. Of course, nobody is going to feel at home with only living somewhere new for a month, but I just feel it isn’t the right city for me and I’m not really sure why. I suppose spending constant time with her mom since I live with her for now and always seeing both her Aunts and their families have really made me miss my own family. I do get along quite well with her family, I just will probably never see them as my own family. To me, if I decided to go back it would just be weird saying I miss my home and don’t want to live here anymore, after I gave up so much just to make the trek all the way up here in the first place. Am I giving up too soon?
So that’s why I am emailing you for some advice. What would you do if you were me? There are two options I see that I have:
1) Would you stick it out longer in Portland in hopes that I find employment and a place of my own with my girlfriend hoping I will remain happy?
2) Break up with my girlfriend and move back home with my mom with the life and town I was comfortable with until I can get a place of my own?
Thank you so much in advance for your help. I am looking forward to your response.November 12, 2017 at 12:35 pm #726732
Break up with her. Go back. 24 is far far to young build your entire life around your partner’s preferences, which is what she got you to do already and will continue to demand do going forward. At 24 you are already living in a house with her family, away from all of your own friends and family. Do you think that this is going to get better. Do you think that the things you want will magically start to take precedence?
If you’re already questioning if the relationship is worth it, it’s not going to get better. Pack your things and go home. Build your life there.November 12, 2017 at 12:45 pm #726733
Oh wow…this whole letter from start to finish is just so I’ll advised. LW you left your job and home for a woman you’re not sure about to couch surf on her mom’s sofa. Less than a month in you want to go home so that’s probably what you should do. FYI you’re probably going to find that you aren’t entitled to shit with getting your State job back—you’ll be eligible sure, along with everyone else. Why would they jump to hire someone who bailed after only 6 months?November 12, 2017 at 1:13 pm #726734
I’m not quite as pessimistic as Fyodor. The world looks a lot darker when you are unemployed, newly separated from your accustomed places and routines and crammed into too small a space with your gf’s kin. Jobs and your own place will make some of that better. The rest?
Frankly, neither you nor your gf strike me as mature and independent enough for marriage — you are both too tightly bound to parents. Will the new nuclear family attachment really happen? It is concerning that you seem almost more concerned about your mother’s relationship with your gf than your own relationship with your gf. Given how REALLY tight you still are with your mother, perhaps the same mismatch between your mother and your gf exists between you and your gf.
Fyodor is correct that you need to be sure that your gf also cares that your needs are met.November 12, 2017 at 2:53 pm #726741
I think you are learning the hard way that you shouldn’t make life altering decisions on a whim.
I’d say you should give it more time to find jobs and a place of your own but that commits you to a year long lease with your girlfriend if you do find jobs and get a place and I’m not sure you want another year with your girlfriend. I’d begin by deciding whether you want to commit to a one year lease with your girlfriend. If the answer is no then go back home. If the answer is yes then give yourself a set amount of time to find a job and a place to live. Say four or six months. If you can’t find jobs in that amount of time you probably aren’t going to do well in that area and may as well leave.
You seem to have a stronger relationship with your mom than your girlfriend which is concerning. You shouldn’t be considering marriage to anyone if your mom is still your best friend. Whoever you might marry should become the person you to turn before your mom. If you can’t make decisions without your mom you aren’t ready for the adult world, let alone marriage.November 12, 2017 at 9:26 pm #726787
Generally, I’d say that a month is way too soon for you to decide how you feel about the area. You’re judging a place where you don’t have a job, aren’t used to it, don’t have family, and presumably have no friends and comparing it to your home state (not sure if that’s Nevada or California, but at least somewhere you’ve lived a while).
At the same time, you don’t see all that into your girlfriend, so I guess the question is whether you want to be with her. I will caution you on making your mom the sole decision maker in your relationships. The stuff that your mom doesn’t like about your girlfriend isn’t objectively bad, at least based on your description. It’s that they don’t have as much in common. I have to say that I find it a little odd that you’re trying to make “doesn’t have a lot in common with my mom to talk about” a deal breaker for your relationships. I mean, sure, I’d like a partner of mine to have a lot to talk about with my parents, but as long as they don’t hate each other, I’m not sure why it matters. But if you NEED your mom to love the person you’re with, then I guess break up. Or if you are just making excuses for why she isn’t right for you, then break up.