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 now. Today, we hear from “Love or Adventure,” who was conflicted about whether to stay with her boyfriend in their small town and put down roots, or to spread her wings and travel the world and perhaps even live outside the country before settling down. She updated us once before saying she decided to stay with her boyfriend in their small town and travel on the weekends and during time off. Now, her situation has changed and she has a new update.
I wrote to you about a year and a half ago to ask whether I should continue to live in the town where I grew up in order to stay with my boyfriend, or end my relationship in order to pursue my desires to travel and see the world and live outside of the half-hour radius that I was so familiar with. My boyfriend owned a house five miles from where I grew up and was very professionally-rooted, and I felt that, if I wanted to stay with him and see where our relationship could go, I had to commit to being in my hometown for the long haul. I updated a few months later to say that I had decided to prioritize my relationship with my boyfriend since I had realized that you can still travel the world, even if you live in only one place.
It seems that life had different plans for me. About six months after giving you that update, it was announced that the company I was contracting for was relocating several hours away to the heart of the nearest big city. Because of the move, I was offered a full-time job – for my dream job, working for the biggest company in my field, basically setting up the rest of my career – and there was no way that I could turn down the offer. My boyfriend and I were unwilling to break up, so the original plan was that I would move to the city to get a year or two of work experience under my belt and travel back to see my boyfriend on the weekends — sort of semi-long distance — with the idea that I would eventually move back and find a job in our area. Well, I was gone for about two months before my boyfriend announced that he was going to rent his house and move to the city with me! He decided that it was crazy for me to move back to my hometown, where jobs are few and far between, when opportunities were abundant for the both of us in the city. Now we live in a cute apartment on the outskirts of the city, he has a new job right downtown, and I finally feel like I’m getting to experience something different than the suburban life I grew up with.
It’s a perfect situation in a lot of ways. We’re two hours away from both my parents and his parents, so we can still visit them all the time. There’s more for us to do here than back home. There are a lot more jobs here in our fields, so if one of us gets laid off, it’s much more likely that we’ll be able to find another position. We both know several people who live here, so we already have a circle of friends. And there is, of course, the intangible: it may sound silly, but it feels like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. As much as I loved the town that I grew up in – it was truly a great place to be a kid – there was a part of me that felt smothered by it. I can’t explain why, but running into people I knew from high school at the grocery store, or driving past my middle school on the way to work, just made me feel trapped. Because my boyfriend was so great, and because he also loves to travel, I was willing to just accept that feeling.
But I feel much lighter now. I love my new city. I love my hometown, too, but now I can drive the two hours back and experience my favorite restaurants and the familiar scenery in small doses. And I love my boyfriend. I’m extremely thankful every day for the fact that he decided to take a chance and come here. In my past, with other relationships, it always felt like I was the only one making sacrifices. I’m so grateful that he was willing to make a sacrifice to be with me, and I try to make sure that he knows all the time how much I appreciate it.
Overall, life is good. 🙂 Thank you, all, again.
What a wonderful update! I’m thrilled things are working out so well for you. Maybe your next update will be the sound of wedding bells…
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
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