Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “Is It Time to MOA?”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I consider my boyfriends one of my best friends, and I love him very much, but I don’t know if he is “the one.” He is in a band, and while he has a full-time job, he is perfectly content to keep going as he is, not really pushing himself when it comes to getting a better job, financial security, etc. — all things that are important to me. We have broken up twice, but always get back together. He is very kind and loving, but also very “hands off” in the relationship; I didn’t get a present for Christmas even though we went to his parents’ home, and he doesn’t buy me flowers, or take me out on dates, etc. I love him, but I feel like realistically it can’t work.

Recently, I have been considering moving cross country for a fresh start with one of my best friends. This excites me and scares me, but I feel so torn because I love my boyfriend so much. I guess I don’t want to give up on the relationship, but on the other hand, I feel like if he really loved me he would do everything in his power to try to get me to stay. I don’t know what to do. I graduated college and am still serving tables, so I am not fulfilled in my career, and just kind of feel like I need to start over. But it always comes back to him. I love him so much and I really did think he would be it for me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I am having a very hard time with this. — Time to Move On?

65 comments… add one
  • avatar

    katiebird March 21, 2012, 9:05 am

    “I really did think he would be it for me.”

    Key word, DID. You no longer think he is the one for you. Sometimes two people who love each other may still not be right for each other for many different reason, religion, location, or like you, goals in life. You know he isn’t right for you, and it’s time to take the plunge and end it so you can both find the right people.

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  • avatar

    cporoski March 21, 2012, 9:13 am

    I say that this doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Why not move and continue your life and stay in touch with your boyfriend. People act that life decisions have to be all or nothing. You shouldn’t live your life waiting for someone else. Live your life and see where it takes you. My brother and his college girlfriend dated and broke up after college. They got back together a few years later and are getting married in September. They needed the time to grow as people. Don’t act like this is all or nothing because it doesn’t have to be.

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    • parton_doll

      parton_doll March 21, 2012, 1:25 pm

      Excellent advice!

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      • avatar

        cporoski March 22, 2012, 6:46 am

        Thanks 🙂

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  • avatar

    milli March 21, 2012, 9:19 am

    Just GO!

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  • avatar

    Mlippart March 21, 2012, 9:21 am

    Do you love him now, or did you love him a few months ago and are now feeling the residual momentum of that? I ask because he doesn’t share in the things that you listed as being important to you (job, security, etc). You say he is kind and loving, but that you don’t go on dates, he doesn’t buy you gifts for christmas (which must matter to you because you mentioned them). You are thinking of moving away, but I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t join you, not if his band was important . . .

    i think you answered your own question.

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  • avatar

    silver_dragon_girl March 21, 2012, 9:21 am

    I think what you’re really looking/hoping for here is a grand gesture from your boyfriend. You say he never takes you on dates or gets you gifts or flowers, and that if he really loved you he’d do “everything” he could to make you stay. It sounds to me like you’re feeling really under-valued and maybe taken for granted in your relationship. So, two ways to handle this:
    1. Tell your boyfriend exactly how you feel (how many times have you tried this already, though?)
    2. Break up (and presumably move across the country with your friend)

    #1 may of course lead directly to #2, but he might always surprise you.

    But here’s the thing- if you really, honestly believe that “realistically, it can’t work,” then you need to move on, and the sooner the better. The longer you wait the harder it’s going to be.

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    • avatar

      SweetPeaG March 21, 2012, 9:27 am

      Yes, I get the sense that she is looking for this guy to “fight” for her. She is waiting for him to make it known that he really wants her in his life. I understand this and don’t blame her. I think you gave her good advice on how to deal with it!

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey March 21, 2012, 9:34 am

      But do you think that you should ever have to convince someone to fight for you? I mean, there could have been a lot of miscommunication (or no communication at all), about needs in this relationship…but buying Christmas gifts and going on dates aren’t things that need to be asked for, in my opinion. There are a few basic things in a relationship – love, respect, commitment, honesty, etc. – that I think you should get without having to ask for them.

      Maybe it’s just me, but someone who doesn’t put in any effort unless asked, or someone who wouldn’t “fight” for me without prodding…isn’t someone I’m interested in being in a relationship with, anyway.

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      • avatar

        silver_dragon_girl March 21, 2012, 9:41 am

        Well, I’m not talking about “convincing” him to fight for her…I’m talking about sitting down and saying, “I feel like you don’t appreciate me, I feel like you take me for granted because you do XY and Z, and because you DON’T do A,B, and C.”

        I really don’t think it’s fair to just expect your SO to be able to read your mind on stuff like that. Now, in this case, I think it’s highly, highly likely that she’s ALREADY had this talk with him multiple times, and I’m not sure it’s going to do a lot of good. But on the off chance that she hasn’t, I think she at least owes it to him to discuss WHY she’s unhappy *before* she breaks up with him.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey March 21, 2012, 9:46 am

        No, I definitely think communicating your needs and expectations is key. I guess I feel that there’s just a very, very fine line between what goes without saying, and what needs to be said. For me, this feels like gray area…but I’m falling more toward “Hey, it should be pretty damn obvious that you should take me out on dates and get me a Christmas gift.” Not doing those things just reeks of disrespect and malaise, to me.

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      • avatar

        silver_dragon_girl March 21, 2012, 9:52 am

        Well, it does to me, too…up to a point. What’s “duh” for some people isn’t even on the radar for others. For instance, I’m in an LDR…so when I do see my bf it’s usually for a day or two once a month. And we hardly ever go on actual dates. Mostly we cuddle up watching movies or sports, and I help him out while he works (which is fun for me).

        My best friend’s boyfriend doesn’t celebrate birthdays or do much for holidays. Nothing for her birthday, their anniversary, or Valentine’s day, and his Christmas gifts tend to be very practical and come somewhere in the two months around Christmas, rather than on that day, under the tree kind of stuff. It drove her crazy for the first year they were together, because she felt like he didn’t care about their relationship at all. Well, it turns out in his family they never did anything for birthdays or anniversaries, so he doesn’t see those dates as important at all. Now, this explanation probably doesn’t fly for this LW and her boyfriend, but my point is that some people have different views on what kind of stuff is optional and what isn’t. So if you have a problem with how your SO expresses love/appreciation, you need to talk about it!

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      • Just Max

        Just Max March 21, 2012, 12:45 pm

        “What’s “duh” for some people isn’t even on the radar for others.”
        This.

        Growing up, as far as I can remember, my mom never made a big deal, or small deal for that matter, out of birthdays or anniversaries (“because it isn’t necessary!” she used to say). I never thought about celebrating anything, or gifting; but that is how it was in my mom’s household (Gee mom! Thanks for ruining it for me and my future SO!) Then I met, and married, my ex who’s family is all about celebrations; birthday cakes EVERY year, lots and lots of gifts for Christmas/birthdays ( lots of gifts as in ‘let’s go broke and worry about the bills after the holidays’ kind of lots). Talk about extremes! But, it’s been a long time now, and I feel I’ve found a middle ground; and understand that it is important to give/celebrate, up to a point.
        Long story to say that I agree with you that some people have different views. 😉

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      • avatar

        oldie March 21, 2012, 11:07 am

        I wouldn’t do this. The relationship, if it is a relationship rather than just a prolonged FWB, isn’t working. Doesn’t ever even take her on a date? No Christmas present. That doesn’t sound like an actual bf to me.

        The reason I wouldn’t do this is that if she lays out all her wants and grievances in this failed ‘relationship’, then she is pretty much obliged to give him time to change and work things out. This likely aborts her chance to move with her friend and get a start on her career. She’s better off just moving now. There is nothing to save in this ‘relationship’.

        This ‘he’s very kind and loving’ but extremely hands off and distant and making zero effort in the relationship seems all too common in letters to Wendy. Do the LWs really not realize that guys can be very kind and loving when they want sex and during the act, but that it can mean almost nada to them? Is this guy really putting forth any more effort than that?

        I agree she still has the hots for this guy, but doubt she loves him as much as she says. If she really loved him, the specifics of the letter would be much different. I think she’s writing out of apprehension about moving and starting over and the inertia and sort of comfort/security of the bad situation she is in. They’ve broken up twice before and it sounds as if nothing has changed. He doesn’t seem to care about her very much, which she has definitely picked up on, yet he hasn’t even pretended to care.

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      • avatar

        Muffy March 21, 2012, 12:08 pm

        I love the line about the prolonged fwb. Don’t waste your time with a man that undervalues you – it’s just rewarding him for crappy behaviour.

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      • avatar

        Francine March 21, 2012, 6:29 pm

        She definitely needs to communicate her needs but it might come off like criticism if she uses the words “you don’t appreciate me” and “you take me for granted” even if they’re preceded with “I feel like”.

        I’d phrase it more like “I need A, B & C to feel appreciated and I don’t feel I’m getting those things in our relationship.” and see how he responds. Maybe he’ll be willing to try to give her what she needs or maybe he’ll say that he isn’t comfortable in a relationship where those things are necessary. Whatever the case, there doesn’t have to be a right and a wrong or a fight. They just need to let each other know what they need and what they can give and decide from there if they’re compatible.

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      • avatar

        SweetPeaG March 21, 2012, 10:00 am

        I do think that some guys (or people!) are pretty clueless when it comes to romance and certain gestures. What’s important to one person is not always important to another.

        For Valentine’s Day this year, my boyfriend got me flowers. He was surprised and shocked when I gave him a whole bag of thoughtful little things. I had obviously put a lot of effort into making it personal and romantic. He said he never really put much thought into that particular holiday, but he saw how it was a big deal to me… and said he would put more effort in the future. (Please note, I didn’t say anything to him and didn’t really care- I love getting flowers! But, I think he is starting to see that I always make a big deal about giving gifts).

        Now, I don’t think that the LW should have to “convince” her boyfriend to fight for her. But, maybe he just really has no idea that he is lacking in certain areas. Since everyone expresses feelings differently, maybe he thinks he is doing a stellar job.

        I think I agree with you, Regina, that the LW has pretty much made up her mind that she is ready to move on and they don’t seem like a good match. But, I also don’t think it is an awful idea for her to tell her boyfriend exactly how unappreciated she has been feeling. If nothing else, he’ll know for future relationships that neglecting to bring your girlfriend out on dates or giving a Christmas gift is pretty damn lame.

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  • avatar

    Sleepy March 21, 2012, 9:23 am

    Sometimes you can really love a person, but know deep down that they are not right for you in the long run. This makes breaking up, or leaving much harder. But I think this sounds like a fabulous opporunity, and you should take it. You need to do these sorts of things before you get bogged down in life. You won’t regret it. As the other writer said, you can stay in touch, and see what happens. My guess is that you will get away and realize that the relationship was very limiting. You are young – go adventure!!

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey March 21, 2012, 9:28 am

    LW, You’re at the point in this relationship where the only thing you really need to convince yourself that this relationship is done is space. When you’re in a relationship that’s all but fizzled out, you often theoretically know the facts — that it isn’t a very good match, that he doesn’t treat you how you really want to be treated, and that you’re yearning for new things that don’t necessarily include him. But, because you’re still in the relationship, the love you still feel for him confuses you just enough to be hesitant.

    I was in your shoes about seven months ago. I felt that, in many ways, my boyfriend (who I’d started dating in college, and continued dating a year after graduation) and I weren’t a good match any longer. I found myself frustrated with the things he wasn’t — Much like you find yourself frustrated by his lack of “pushing himself,” and his lack of attention to some important needs. But I hesitated, because, like you, I had once thought he’d be “the one.” And frankly, it’s really hard to walk away from someone who you once thought that about.

    Theoretically, I knew it wasn’t going to last. But I loved him, and I felt guilty for having the feelings that I had, so I tried to stick it out. Ultimately, though, I ended it. And you know what? Through my tears, I breathed a big sigh of relief. All it really took to convince me that I’d made the right decision was a bit of space and hindsight — The ability to more objectively, without being clouded by emotions, look back and see all of the things that weren’t right.

    Ultimately, I think that’s all you’ll need, too, to understand that this relationship isn’t right for you anymore. And honestly, it sounds like you guys just simply aren’t a good match. Feeling dissatisfaction with a significant other’s path in life is a pretty big dealbreaker; as are not getting your needs met — Like not getting a gift on Christmas.

    It’s OK that this relationship didn’t work out. It’s OK that you thought he was “the one,” but that it turned out he wasn’t. It happens; and it probably will happen more than once. It takes a fair amount of strength and courage to walk away from something you know isn’t right for you — to not let your emotions cloud what you know to be true. But I think you can do it; I think you’ve known you needed to for quite some time.

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  • avatar

    artsygirl March 21, 2012, 9:29 am

    LW – I am sorry to say but your relationship sounds a lot more like a friends with benefits deal than a real relationship. You readily admit that he doesn’t buy you presents (even at holidays) and he doesn’t take you on dates. Basically, it sounds like you are a lot more invested in this relationship than he is and it is likely you are going to get burned eventually. It is also possible that you are hesitating because it is a huge step to move away so you might be subconsciously inflating your relationship as a way to get out of making such a life changing decision. I doubt if you stay in your current situation that anything will change – he will still hook up with you but not provide the emotional bonds you need and you might even come to resent him because you gave up opportunities to stay. Best of luck on the new chapter in your life.

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  • avatar

    bethany March 21, 2012, 9:32 am

    MOA

    You’re young, and you have the urge to explore and carve out your own path in life. Do it now. If it’s meant to be with you and your boyfriend, maybe you’ll meet up again somewhere down the line. I know way to many people who are 35 and divorced with 2 kids, who got married before they really had a chance to live their lives for themselves.

    It doesn’t sound to me like this guy is right for you in the long run anyway- You’ve broken up twice, you’re unsure about him, he doesn’t meet your needs the way you want him to… It doesn’t sound to me like it’s worth fighting for.

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  • avatar

    Fabelle March 21, 2012, 9:33 am

    If you have the means to move across the country with your best friend, and you guys are serious about planning, then I say you should go & ditch the boyfriend. Based on your feelings towards him at the moment (“I feel like realistically, it can’t work”) & your list of dissatisfactions (“not really pushing himself…”, “very ‘hands-off'”) it seems like the relationship is kind of at a dead-end.

    You do describe loving feelings for him, & it’s understandable that you’d feel sadness over possibly ending it– but it sounds like you’re more mourning over the loss of what COULD have been. So it seems like you know it’s already over?

    If you DO decide to officially MOA, please do it decisively & don’t begin by saying something like “So, me & Jenna have been talking about moving to Cali.” I’m bringing this up because of the line you included about wanting him to “do everything in his power to try to get me to stay.” I hopeeee you’re not going to introduce this idea to him as a test, where if he’s like “That sounds cool, babe!” you surprise him with a break-up because he was supposed to fight for you. That’s not fair! Just talk to him & brief, decisive, and mature.

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  • Budj

    Budj March 21, 2012, 9:38 am

    My bro is in a band with me, with a full-time job (works full-time temp at the same company I’m employed at), a relationship, and he is ambitious as hell. With all that he still finds time to make his gf feel appreciated…it’s not always perfect and they are constantly working on a balance, but I think overall he does a pretty good job considering how thinly spread out he is. If you aren’t happy you need to make a decision.

    On the flip side…is this band just something he does for fun? Like gigs out every now and then with his buddies and is content with “having fun” and not thinking about the future? If so I don’t blame you for being less than satisfied because that is man-child behavior… Or is he spending time managing the band as well? If he is managing a band and trying to make it something I don’t blame him for being temporarily(!) satisfied without security (if you guys are young) and if you truly care for him you could try and stick it out for a bit with him. Set a deadline with him…let him know your concerns…you don’t want to end up with a broke wanna-be musician, but I’m sure he would also appreciate you supporting him while he tried. As long as his head isn’t in the clouds about it….and as long as he gets his career positioned later if it doesn’t work out.

    As far as moving across the country I know it can be something that feels like it would change everything…but you just run into the same shit in a different location with potentially better weather… Make sure you have a plan A and plan B and an exit strategy if you go.

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    • avatar

      silver_dragon_girl March 21, 2012, 9:56 am

      Agreed about moving across the country….”wherever you go, there you are.” Not saying it’s not a great experience, but really, people are the same everywhere.

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      • avatar

        Nadine March 21, 2012, 10:34 am

        Sigh. I am still learning this.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow March 21, 2012, 1:17 pm

      Oof. I will admit, I’ve dated my fair share of band guys. Some of them DO act like man-children forever. One guy is 34, living with a bunch of dudes, working occasionally, and only dating way-younger girls. One of my friends (not an ex) is 30, in 4 bands, living with his parents, and has never had steady employment. My stepdad lived like that well into his 40s and didn’t really get his shit together until my mom apparently lit a fire under his ass. Sometimes the stereotypes are true, haha. But I’ve seen one guy go to school and become an optometrist, and another guy quit his band once he had a kid and he got his shit together FAST – he put himself through college, got a full-time job with benefits, bought a house, got married, and still does music stuff on the side.

      It’s hard to tell which way they’ll go. But if the LW is sensing a general lack of ambition her BF, he may very well end up being a “man-child” indefinitely…

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 March 21, 2012, 9:51 am

    There must be other ways your boyfriend is showing that he cares for you, that makes you love him so much, because you haven’t listed anything here that really makes me believe it. It sounds like he is perfectly comfortable in a relationship that he knows he doesn’t have to work hard at or put any effort into. I would like to know what happened in these break ups, are you breaking up with him, and who is the one trying to get back together, because it really seems like he is taking advantage of a really good situation that he has going.
    Honestly if you say you love him as much as you really do, the first thing you need to do is talk to him about moving across country, and see what his reaction is. It some what sounds like you might have tried this, but I really can’t tell, because you never actually say you did this. If you already did, and he really doesn’t seem like he cares, well then he doesn’t, and you should definitely do what’s best for you right now, you are young, and I can tell you there are better people out there for you. So I say move with your friend, find your dream job, and have fun playing the field.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest March 21, 2012, 9:51 am

    Since I know all these lovely commenters will give splendid advice, I will leave it to them, but one thing popped out at me here. Am I crazy for seeing this:
    LW says BF is in a band (great, healthy hobby, and maybe more someday), has a full-time job (stable, earning income) but then goes on to kind of bash him in a way saying he’s not pushing himself further. Thought this was weird and then got weirder when she said she’s waiting tables, sounds like she has zero stability or job prospects since she can so easily up and move across the country to see whats out there.

    I’m all for telling LW to MOA and go cross-country. I just found this a little hypocritical I guess.

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey March 21, 2012, 10:02 am

      No, I noticed it, too. I think it may be a good example of “What we don’t like in ourselves, we REALLY don’t like in other people.” While I don’t think this relationship is right, regardless, I think she may be projecting some of her own insecurities about career prospects and figuring out what she wants to do on her boyfriend.

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      • avatar

        oldie March 21, 2012, 11:14 am

        It could be a number of things. She could want a bf/husband to support her and feel he is unlikely to ever fill that role, or she could be putting her career on hold and taking a flexible job to stay with the bf and travel around with his band. Either way, she’s far better off putting her priority on getting her own career in order.

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    • avatar

      cookiesandcream March 21, 2012, 10:04 am

      I think what she means is that her BF has his hobbies and his job but doesn’t have any concrete plans to use those aspects as stepping stones to something more. It sounds like he has no plans to try to get a better paying job or get promoted because he’s fine just where he is. On the other hand, the LW has dreams and goals for herself and she wants to be more than what she is now.

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    • Budj

      Budj March 21, 2012, 10:07 am

      Full-time job could be a low paying, flexible houred job, to facilitate the band he is in. My humble guess is that there is some resentment on both sides because she is pushing him to quit or move on from the band and he doesn’t want to…that could explain his lack of effort…because obviously he had to have put effort in when the relationship started or she wouldn’t be missing it now.

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      • Budj

        Budj March 21, 2012, 10:10 am

        And there is nothing that can turn off a wanna be rock star more than dating a girl that wants you to quit it for her.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 21, 2012, 10:58 am

        Budj, did your girlfriend write this letter? #awkward! 😉

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      • Budj

        Budj March 21, 2012, 11:07 am

        d’oh!

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      • Lili

        Lili March 21, 2012, 2:35 pm

        Wanna be?! Budj you ARE a rock star in my book!

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    • avatar

      SweetPeaG March 21, 2012, 10:09 am

      To me it sounds like he is content doing what he is doing… where as, she is NOT content with her job situation. Which is the major difference. He is probably a “work to live” kind of guy who is perfectly happy where he is in life.

      I can respect both frames of mind- but they may not be compatible if it is a big deal to her that he do something more prestigious/lucrative.

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    • avatar

      kittyk March 21, 2012, 10:28 am

      This stung a little for me because I find myself doing this in my own relationship.

      I’m working a job I hate for terrible money, not using my degree at all, was working two (waitressing) until recently, and overall having a hard time getting my act together and bettering myself (in this one aspect of my life, at least). My boyfriend is similarly under employed at a job he hates, and I think I project a lot of my personal disatisfaction on him. But, at the same time, I know I’m working towards bettering myself in a lot of ways and very careful with my money, planning etc, whereas most of my frustration with my boyfriend stems from his inability to make any forward motion- he’s bad with his money and always behind on bills, etc.

      But I feel that I don’t have any ground to stand on to criticize because I am struggling with much of the same with relation to my career (or lack thereof).

      No advice, just verbalizing some things and relating to that comment.

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    • avatar

      Lindsay March 21, 2012, 11:33 am

      There’s a difference between waiting tables for now and being content waiting tables forever. Not that there’s anything wrong with waiting tables. But if you’re ambitious and want the same in a partner, then it’s going to be a problem. I imagine that sticking around is what’s been hurting her job prospects.

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    • avatar

      NicoleMarie March 21, 2012, 12:16 pm

      But… how much does she make in tips??? 😉

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 21, 2012, 12:28 pm

        Oh no, no more tip discussions! Haha.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow March 21, 2012, 12:48 pm

      I saw it as more of his lack of ambition that was bothering her.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 21, 2012, 12:58 pm

        Yes, but she said he is employed and even has a “hobby.” She makes no mention of it being a low-paying or dead-end job. Maybe its a great job that he wants to keep. Staying at a good job is certainly not indicitive of a lack of ambition. That’s kind of what I was getting at.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow March 21, 2012, 1:01 pm

        Well, she said he’s not “pushing” to better himself, so I kinda read between the lines. Plus I’m probably projecting (see below). 🙂

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 21, 2012, 1:09 pm

        Its entirely possible he does have a dead-end job or something. Or even just that she’s the type who never stops and just keeps finding better and better. My brother is one of those.
        Either way, she should just go on the trip.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow March 21, 2012, 1:21 pm

        Agreed.

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      • avatar

        Francine March 21, 2012, 5:24 pm

        It bothers me that ambition has become synonymous with the drive to earn more money. Why can’t someone’s ambition be to have more flexibility, be more creative, to work with their hands, spend more time with their family, or whatever they might value, even if it means having little financial security?

        People sometimes leave high paying jobs for much lower paying positions that they find more personally fulfilling (often referred to as “escaping the rat race”)and it’s applauded but people who take a job right from the get go that they find fulfilling but pays very little are looked upon as not being ambitious.

        The LW’s ambition may be to have a different job and make more money but just because her bf doesn’t want the same for himself doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t have his own ambitions (that may have nothing to do with his career).

        Hopping off my high horse now. I don’t think anyone here is knocking people with low paying jobs. Just felt the need to speak up for anyone with a little paycheck and a fair measure of satisfaction with their life. In my opinion, the world could use more people like that.

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  • avatar

    cookiesandcream March 21, 2012, 10:15 am

    LW, I feel like you’ve been treating your boyfriend as your safety net for quite some time. You say you two broke up twice, and I wish you had elaborated on why exactly you two broke up. It seems like you were bothered by your boyfriend’s lack of ambition and his inability to meet your needs, but you two got back together because it was better than seeing what else was out there. When you say that you want your boyfriend to fight for you, I get the feeling what you really mean is that you’re so scared about what might happen if you move across country so you want to make sure that your safety net is still there.

    I really think you two need some time to grow as people, so go get your fresh start. Find out what else is out there and see what happens. If you don’t, then you might regret it and always wonder what could have been.

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  • avatar

    Nadine March 21, 2012, 10:41 am

    I would say if you have the opportunity to leave town and see what is out there, to take it! You are in the perfect time of life to do it, newly graduated, no job prospects lined up (not to be hurtful, you just didnt mention any) and a best friend to travel with. A fresh start can REALLY hammer home to you who you are and who you want to be, away from the people you have always adjusted yourself for. When I graduated, I stayed in my hometown for two years working at full time at my job at the job I was doing part time during Uni. It was fun, and I enjoyed having money, and being confident and comfortable in the town I’d lived in all my life, but I had no idea what to do next, what job or even hobby I should do. I had always just done school. Then I left the country and I had to seek out the things that made me happy. Turns out my perfect day is reading in the park by myself, in the sun. And now I know what I intend to do with my life, but it took my a lot of time, and research, and listening to other people talk about their lives.
    I get that its hard to leave someone comfortable, but I think he will get less comfortable over time, and you may start to resent him for ‘curbing’ your dreams. You dont want to compromise too much, too soon. You have your whole life to compromise for someone, so don’t start too young.
    If you dont want to hurt him, which of course must be a concern, as you say he is one of your best friends – dont leave him hanging, make sure he still has the band and his bandmates to lean on.
    Then you leave. Then you tell him to contact you when/if he wants to be friends.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay March 21, 2012, 11:27 am

    The issue here is not whether he loves you enough to try to get you to stay. In fact, if a person loves you, I’d hope they’d want you to be happy and have a good career. You said that you don’t think it will realistically work and name many reasons why he isn’t “the one.” If he’s not, then don’t stick around for him. Why give up a great experience that you’re excited about for someone you’ll likely end up breaking up with (again)? Yes, he’s your best friend and you’ll miss him, but sometimes you have to move on.

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  • landygirl

    landygirl March 21, 2012, 11:27 am

    LW, MOA. There is no need to put your life on hold. Don’t wait for him to get his life together before you start yours. I also don’t believe there is “The One” I think that’s a myth because pretty much every guy is “The One” until you break up and the next guy comes along. Once you are happy in your own life, you’ll attract someone who will enhance it in a positive way.

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  • avatar

    Renee March 21, 2012, 11:40 am

    It’s OK to go.

    My husband isn’t big on holidays anymore, but on random odd days he’s good surprising me with some steamers(clams) (we’re live in New England) from the market just as a treat when the kids go to bed.

    It isn Christmas or flowers, it is that he shows no affection what so ever. Couples grow together, neither of you are growing. You’re not growing apart, the relationship seems to be permanently stuck in time.

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  • avatar

    jaybro March 21, 2012, 12:01 pm

    First off, you should definitely go and move. Because what I see happening if you stay is growing resentful of your boyfriend for “not letting you spread your wings” (or whatever cheesy phrase) if you stay, because you’d be staying FOR HIM.

    As to whether you should MOA or not, I don’t have as clean-cut an answer. Besides, as another commenter mentioned, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Have you thought about an LDR? Maybe when you let your BF know that moving is the best thing for you right now, he’ll want to break it off anyway. If he “really loves you”, he’ll understand though that you’re not happy with the career and would understand why you need to move and would support you in the decision. Maybe you both want to try the LDR, but it doesn’t work. Being apart doesn’t work out for you guys, and it fizzles out.

    What’s important to me here is that you don’t stay for him, because that’ll only lead to resentment and the relationship failing anyway.

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  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow March 21, 2012, 12:59 pm

    I dated a similar guy when I was (what I assume to be) your age, LW. We got together when we were about 20 or so, dated throughout college, broke up, got back together. And he was (still is) in a band.

    While we obviously had feelings for each other, the relationship was stagnant. He never made any effort in the relationship whatsoever. And I stayed, because I loved him as a person, and because we had fun together. Plus we were comfortable. But he never finished college, never put any effort toward finding a decent job, lived with a bunch of dudes, and smoked weed all the time.

    And finally I just realized, “What’s the point?” Why were we even together if it wasn’t going anywhere? In the end, we just weren’t a good match. So I broke up with him, and I thought I would be sad, but mostly I was just relieved. And I didn’t look back.

    Oh, also! He was the type that decided to put in more effort whenever he realized that he couldn’t “have” me. In fact, 5 years after our breakup, he decided to profess his undying love for me – once he found out I had a serious boyfriend. Even though he could have told me a dozen times before that because we were friends and saw each other frequently (friends in common, small town). So if you DO try and break up with your BF (and I’m thinking you probably should), and then he starts acting all lovey-dovey, DON’T fall for it. He will go back to his old ways eventually.

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    • theattack

      theattack March 21, 2012, 2:35 pm

      Great advice to not give in when he “changes.” I was with someone for two years who completely sucked as a boyfriend in almost every way possible. He was the most selfish person I’ve ever met, but when I broke it off, he was suddenly buying me stuff, writing me poems, leaving me flowers in my car. Every single morning. (In fact, it was actually very stalkerish that he would use his old key to my car to put stuff in it and watch me get in my car to go to school every morning). They always try to make grand gestures afterward, but if you tried to address it while dating and they didn’t change until later, they don’t really mean it.

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  • avatar

    Samantha March 21, 2012, 12:33 pm

    Move across country, for sure. If you want to give the LDR thing a go, talk about expectations beforehand. Like Wendy says, LDRs should have an end point – if he’s not willing to work with you to figure out that end point, then you’ll know to break it off now. But maybe this move could shake things up for both of you – jar him out of complacency as well as provide opportunities for you. Or it will provide you with the answer you already seem to know – that you need to MOA and find someone better suited for you.
    It’s tough to let go, LW, but in writing this letter, you already acknowledge that maybe it’s time. I hope you can find the courage to do what is best for you.

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  • avatar

    Renee March 21, 2012, 1:36 pm

    In defense of ‘band guys’.

    My neighbor, who is old enough to be a young grandfather, is in a cover band.

    He holds a regular stable day job, has a house, is married, and older children in their 20s.

    He practices day and evening (not after 10). Thank God he’s a really good singer and I enjoy all the covers dating from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, because we hear everything!

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  • avatar

    demoiselle March 21, 2012, 2:07 pm

    It’s time to move on. Staying with him is not fulfilling you, and will actively prevent you from furthering your career and your future. Don’t deny yourself something that is very exciting for something that was a fantasy of what you wished would have been (but obviously won’t ever be).

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  • theattack

    theattack March 21, 2012, 2:29 pm

    You should go, but not because he doesn’t buy you flowers or Christmas gifts, or because he works a job you’re less than satisfied with (You’re waiting tables yourself). You should go because of this sentence: “I love him, but I feel like realistically it can’t work.”

    I don’t believe that the band/job/gift situation is what is bothering you. Those are the only reasons you gave for why it can’t work, and it’s possible to work through those issues. It sounds to me like there’s an underlying issue, and these points are just examples of things you’re frustrated with. Maybe you feel you’ve grown past him? Maybe the gift issue is indicative of how you feel more like a friend than a girlfriend, and the romance is gone? Maybe you are resentful because your relationship economy is a big lopsided. Before you make a huge move, you should try to get to the root of what’s bothering you, but if you’re checked out of the relationship, there’s no reason to lead him on any further and waste your own time.

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  • avatar

    MiMi March 21, 2012, 2:50 pm

    This is the movie “Contact” and Jodie Foster is telling you it’s “Okay to go”
    In the end you just won’t be able to stifle yourself enough to remain on this guy’s lackadaisical level, so what are you waiting for?
    Take the good opportunity you have and get out there. And don’t forget to ask yourself while you’re on the road why you have spent so much effort loving someone who gave so little in return…

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  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ March 21, 2012, 2:29 pm

    LW, you and your boyfriend are two different people. I think you are looking for some grand romantic gesture ala Hollywood movies (John Cusack and the boombox, anyone?) to show you that he truly does care about you, truly does love you. Honestly, I think he’s a lot more laid back than you, and has different values than you do. Because of this, and because you are already talking in past-tense terms of your relationship, I just don’t think it’s a relationship worth salvaging.

    Move across country and enjoy yourself. Find someone you are more compatible with. You like the idea of having a musical boyfriend because of the whole artistic, deep, musician boyfriend (dark, brooding, etc). Let me tell you, the majority never make it big, and they don’t make a lot of money in whatever they do end up getting into. My 1st stepfather died penniless, and with a ton of debt at the age of 42. My mother’s “brooding musician”. We even found out he had a son after the funeral (to add to his five daughters across the country from his touring days).
    Don’t be a groupie. Be an independent woman who gets what she wants. A real relationship with someone who has the same values as you, who values you the same way you value HIM. You’re only asking for more heart-ache and second-guessing if you stay with this guy.

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  • avatar

    Beth March 21, 2012, 3:55 pm

    I’d say you are young, still finding yourself….now is the time to explore, learn more about yourself, and really be free to be who you want. IF he is the one for you, he will be there if/when you decide to return to him. Really you would be missing out on a really wonderful opportunity/adventure with your best friend if you stayed behind for him…and I can bet that you would regret it or resent him for it.

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  • Lyra

    L March 21, 2012, 4:50 pm

    When something like “is it time to MOA?” is in the title of a letter, 99.9% of the time my answer is “yes”. This case is no different. Move on. Find yourself. If you and your boyfriend are meant to be, things will work out.

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  • avatar

    Francine March 21, 2012, 4:50 pm

    “He is in a band, and while he has a full-time job, he is perfectly content to keep going as he is, not really pushing himself when it comes to getting a better job, financial security, etc. — all things that are important to me.”

    When you say “a better job” I think what you really mean is a job that pays better. For some people the best job is one that allows creativity, some people value flexibility in scheduling he most, some think the best job is one with a big paycheck, etc. Let’s face it, the job he has may be the best one for him.

    It really sounds like he’s someone you love but he’s too laid back to be the one for you. Don’t try to change him. There isn’t anything wrong with him. He simply isn’t right for you. I know it’s hard to admit since you love him but it’ll be harder to spend the rest of your life wanting things from him that are just not in his nature to give.

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  • avatar

    Amanda March 21, 2012, 9:43 pm

    Wow. What sort of arse doesn’t buy his girlfriend a Christmas present?

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