Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Long Distance Information” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Long Distance Information” whose family was putting pressure on her to get engaged before moving across the country to be with her long distance boyfriend. Not yet ready for marriage, she wondered if that meant she shouldn’t be moving either. Keep reading to see what she decided to do.

Sorry for the delay in the update, but the truth is I had to do a lot of soul searching before I could “woman up”. Basically, I had to tune out all the voices (aka opinions) around me before I could figure out what I actually wanted, not what everyone thought was best for me. I also wanted to see how things would play out when my family and my boyfriend saw one another again.I realized that while I do love my boyfriend, I am not ready for marriage. I started talking to him about how I thought moving first made more sense, and I realized that he thought because my family wanted marriage before a move, I wanted the same. He was surprised when he thought I was changing my mind, but we both realized we’re just not there for that yet, and communication between us improved a hundred-fold.Then came discussions with my sisters (there’s 4 of them), who all admitted their mandate was for two reasons: because our dad would want it that way, and because they’re afraid I might make a mistake by uprooting myself without the solidarity of an engagement. I was clear in that IF it was a mistake it was mine to make and that it showed a lack of faith in my judgment and in my boyfriend. With the exception of one sis (who is devout Christian and now thinks I’m going down a path of sin) everyone else was sorry they made me feel that way as they do trust me and love my boyfriend. They also all admitted they don’t want to see me go, which was part of their concern.

Finally, I had a very long conversation with my conservative dad, who was more understanding than I expected. While he wasn’t happy, I did assure him that my plan is to marry my boyfriend, but that moving won’t be the reason; when we’re ready will be. And even if it didn’t work out, I was an adult and had to make these decisions on what felt right to me.

My boyfriend was just here for the holidays and everything was great. My family was warm to him and my sisters brought up our eventual move, even though we hadn’t yet decided anything. But, after that discussion, he and I made a concrete plan that this year we are battening down our finances to finally make the move (most likely me to him, as I mentioned, because I can find work more easily out there than him here). We’re going to check in with each other in spring to see how our financial goals are looking to finally make that plunge by summer, if not definitely by the end of the year.

Thanks to you, Wendy, and all the comments, even the harsh ones. This was the push I needed to start (basically) standing up for myself and what I want, and I’ve definitely been doing that these past few months, and really liking how it has stemmed into other parts of my life too!

Good for you! Best of luck as you get closer to making a decision about the move.

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

12 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Taylor January 13, 2012, 11:19 am

    Awesome! LW, I moved across country to try things out with my guy – we weren’t engaged, which worried my family and friends to no end. We just weren’t ready. Then we moved, things were good, we got engaged (and are a year into the 18 month engagement), and things are great. I wouldn’t change the timeline at all – we know each other so much better, and I am more relaxed about the wedding than I thought I could be. So, best of luck with your move, and kudos to your womaning up =)

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  • avatar

    TECH January 13, 2012, 11:37 am

    Great decision, letter writer! While it seems like you’d have more “security” by being engaged first — you’re just not there yet and that’s ok! It’s much better to be true to yourself than rush into something you’re not ready for. Damned what any one else thinks!

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  • avatar

    Allison January 13, 2012, 12:08 pm

    Glad to know you are doing what YOU want. My son married a girl he was living with (for 2 months) because his dad told him he wouldn’t ever visit him while he was living in “sin”.
    My son felt guilted into getting married. And the marriage didn’t work out as they didn’t really know each other that well.

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  • theattack

    theattack January 13, 2012, 12:10 pm

    It’s always good to hear about people doing their relationships on their own terms.

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  • avatar

    haggith January 13, 2012, 1:12 pm

    “With the exception of one sis (who is devout Christian and now thinks I’m going down a path of sin)”

    I KNOW!!! why don’t they focus on their own family and their “salvation” (whatever that means), and let others leave their lives as they see fit. Anyway, if you don’t feel ready to get married, then you’ve taken the right decision; there’s nothing worse to get married for the wrong reasons.
    good luck!!!

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    • avatar

      Something More January 13, 2012, 1:59 pm

      Right? How would this sister feel if they rushed the marriage, only for it to end in divorce because they weren’t ready? LW would still be a ::gasp:: “sinner.”

      LW, kudos to you for sticking up for yourself. Especially to your family, which is sometimes harder to do. I hope everything works out with you guys!!

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  • avatar

    Kristen January 13, 2012, 1:12 pm

    It’s great that you found the confidence to make your own choices, even in the face of potential disapproval from your family. I’ve always struggled with that because I hate disappointing my parents, even though what they want isn’t always what I want. At some point, I think I just need to let them know I’m an adult and can make my own decisions.

    I took a small step in that direction today by telling them that I’m taking my brother out for a drink tonight for his 21st birthday. They don’t drink and were kind of upset, but I figured it was better to be honest than to have them find out later. At the end of the day, they’ll still love me, so I have to go for it.

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    • avatar

      Sonia January 13, 2012, 5:13 pm

      Hi there…I’m the original letter writer…I know what you mean about the disappointment, but I have to say, ever since the original letter post I’ve been pushing my boundaries enough to just say how I feel, especailly with my family. And it’s been soooo liberating. As you say, Kristen, they still love you at the end of the day, even my devout sister, and you can only live the life you feel most comfortable with, cause ultimately you also have to live with the consequences.

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    • avatar

      Anna January 13, 2012, 7:53 pm

      I struggle with that too. I know my parents disapprove of my boyfriend and I living together, which is why we have NEVER had a conversation about it. It’s also probably why they have never been to my apartment even though I have lived here since summer of 2005. I don’t try to hide it at all…when I see them I don’t hesitate to refer to it as “our place” or say “we are going home.” They just never start any kind of conversation about it because they don’t want to know.

      I am very glad the LW decided what was right for her and stuck to it. I would probably do the same thing regarding moving if my boyfriend and I hadn’t been together so long already. If we were one or two years into the relationship, I wouldn’t be so adamant on engagement first…the 8 yrs is the reason I am insisting it has to move forward so I’m not trying to have kids in my 40’s.

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  • katie

    katie January 13, 2012, 8:01 pm

    good job, LW! i think that one of the most adult, rational things a person can do is make a choice and then rationalize why they made it. being able to tell your family exactly why you were making the choices your going to make was the perfect way of womaning up!

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    • katie

      katie January 13, 2012, 8:03 pm

      oh, and ps- i am about to be living with my boyfriend for 2 years, and we are on our way to being engaged and eventually married. i really feel like living together is a pre-cursor to an engagement, and i also totally get just not being ready for marriage yet.

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  • avatar

    *HmC* January 14, 2012, 12:06 pm

    Great update! You sound level headed, LW, and it really seems like you made the best decision for yourself instead of just becoming defensive. Good for you that you were able to take even the harsh comments in a constructive way. I’d personally be afraid to open myself up to harsh criticism on the internet, because sometimes people do get carried away. So I think it’s really great that you not only put yourself out there, but were truly open to different perspectives instead of just seeking validation for your own.

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