We broke up when I left, but R stayed in that town (it’s where he was raised and he’s never really lived anywhere else) getting research work with the university when he could but mostly just working as a server at a local cafe while staying at his parents’ house. He did plan on going overseas to teach once I had left, but the plan just sort of fizzled out and he never did.
After a year of being broken up, we both still missed each other terribly, and so we reconnected (a choice I’ve never regretted), and we did long- distance, talking every day and visiting each other when we could while I finished my post-grad.
A few months ago, after thinking about it for a long time, I finally told him that I was tired of doing the long-distance thing and I was ready to do normal couple things, like seeing friends over the weekend togethe, or falling asleep in the same bed. We spoke about it for ages, and he explained that he had been feeling the same thing. Although both of us were prepared to move anywhere as long as it meant we’d be together, I found a beginner job in my field here in the city in July, so he decided he would start looking for a teaching job here.
Fast forward a few months, and I feel like he’s stagnating. I know this is so much harder for him than it is for me. I already have a job while he’s still searching for one (a daunting task, I know), I’m not moving away from home for the first time in my life, on top of moving to a massive city when I’m used to a small town. I have family and friends here, while he will be starting afresh (he does have a brother in the same city, but they’re not super close).
He suffers from anxiety, just like I do, and it’s stopped him from doing things in the past, like teaching overseas like I mentioned earlier. If I could, I would do this for him and save him the fear – but I can’t, that’s not how it works, and in the end this is something he’ll have to do for himself. I want to be mindful of the very real emotional (fear of the unknown, anxiety disorder) and practical (need for a good job) challenges he faces and have patience.
But at the same time, I worry that I might spend the rest of my life waiting for him to do something he just can’t (or won’t) do. He was originally going to go overseas, and he didn’t. He was going to move up by the end of September, job or not (he’d stay with his brother until he got on his feet), but then he didn’t.
I guess what I’m trying to ask you is: How long should I be patient and understanding? And when should I stop waiting in vain for our lives together to start and MOA? I think a part of me would want to wait forever for him, but I know that that’s not the best thing for me. Help!
I’ve discussed this with him too, of course, but I’ve stopped myself from phrasing it bluntly because: 1) I really don’t want to hurt him; and 2) I don’t want it to be like I’m blackmailing him by saying, “Move up by such-and-such a date or I’ll break up with you!”… Help? — Meg
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.