Post # 1
My boyfriend and I are not engaged, but will be in around a year
We both live near our families, and we have grown up in this area- Ohio. I have always known that I don’t want to stay here, and that I want to move south. I have made this clear since we began dating.
When I brought this up to him years ago, he seemed fine with the idea. Now, he says he will move, he would just be really upset about it.
I am not very close to my family, and my extended relatives live in NY and IL. My boyfriend is very close to his family, especially now that he has 6 nieces and nephews. Lately, he keeps on bringing up how awful it would be to not have a close realationship with grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. I am not used to being close to mine, so I have no problem with this.
The other day, my BF, his mom, and I were all together. Randomly, he says ‘how would you feel if you only saw your grandkids like 2 times a year’. Then (right in front of me), they start saying how awful that would be and how no one could watch them grow up.
I am not sure what to do. I really want to move within the next 3-4 years, and he says he will, but I don’t want him to be that upset. Am I being unreasonable? Is it bad that I don’t care if we have a close relationship to his family?
Post # 2
Maybe I’m outside the norm, but geography was a HUGE thing to me while dating. I’m pretty sure I actually flat out told my husband on our second date that I wasn’t interested in living farther north than a specific city (which happens to be six hours south of where he grew up).
We knew from the very beginning that if we were going to be together, there would be a permanent move involved for him (we met in grad school, so he was already away from home) and although my ILs are pissed about it and ask ALL THE TIME when we’re moving to their city, we have no intention of ever doing so.
Where you live has a huge impact on your life and your satisfaction with that life. If you definitely want to move and he’s dug his heels in on staying, I’d move anyway – on my own. He can then make the choice to go or stay and you can leave the guilt out of it if he does it on his own.
Post # 3
If this is an issue now – it will be a major issue when married.
I think you should spread your wings and explore!!! find someone who is more on your vibe.
– I think it is important to marry someone with a similar idea of life goals . Someone with similar values.
If this guy wants the girl nextdoor to always be at home- thats what he wants!
If you stay- you might always be resentful of never going to see whatelse the world has to offer.
If you go – you might miss out on a lovely established family life with THIS guy. – he might just marry someone else. . .
But either way – be true to YOU.
Post # 4
Thank you! It is frustrating, because just a year ago, our conversation went like this:
me: I plan on moving maybe to NC. Would you be okay with that?
him: yeah, but I would like it if I could come with
i think it is just starting to feel real to him. I really want to move, and I wont let him stop that. I am just confused by his change in attitude
Post # 5
I totally hear you on that. DH was that way about another one of my non-negotiables/deal breakers… Totally agreed to it until after we got married and the rubber met the road and it was time to do it.
I was hurt at first and then I flat out asked him (calmly) what changed between when we agreed to it and his change of tune. He explained that it hadn’t really sunken in until it was our reality and it was easier to agree hypotherically. We had a great conversation about communication and each other’s expectations, and we were able to get back to the “both on board” place. 🙂
Post # 6
Was there a recent family health scare ? or Death? Things like that usually cement people back to the home. Also it could be a case of the meddling mother who wants her baby to always be near. – Meddling moms have a lot of power in a sons life if he isn’t the type who is very gung ho to be exploratory on his own.
Post # 7
I’m sorry OP, but honestly I think this sounds like you and your boyfriend aren’t compatible in the long term. Whether or not you bring up your children in your hometown/around your family is a pretty big issue, and it doesn’t seem like either of you are truly willing to compromise. Would you be willing to move a few hours away, rather than moving “down south”? What about moving down south for a few years, and moving back before you had children? Do either of these options sound like they might work for you?
“I am not sure what to do. I really want to move within the next 3-4 years, and he says he will, but I don’t want him to be that upset.” It’s less about him “being upset” and more about the fact that he’ll be moving/doing someting he realy doesn’t want to do, for you. That will lead to much more than him “being upset” – it’ll lead him to resent you, which is much worse.
“Am I being unreasonable?” It depends. Are you willing to compromise (like I suggested above)? Wanting to move isn’t unreasonable. Demanding that yourboyfriend happily move even when he really doesn’t want to, is unreasonable.
“Is it bad that I don’t care if we have a close relationship to his family?” Honestly? I think yes. I’m sorry that you don’t have a close relationship with your family, but your boyfriend does have a close relationship with his, and it’s obviously important to him that he maintain it. The fact that you “don’t care” about his relationship with his family is pretty cold.
ETA: Try to flip the situation and look at this from another perspective. If this were a guy writing and saying that his girlfriend was really close to her family, and wanted to bring up her children around family, but the boyfriend wanted to move and “didn’t care” about his girlfriend’s relationship with her family because he wanted to move … what would you think?
Yes, it’s shitty that he said that he would be ok with it when he’s obviously not ok with it, but we all have a right to change our minds, and it’s something you guys need to discuss in depth before getting engaged or married.
Post # 8
I’ve been in this exact situation, except we were engaged. We had plans to move back to my home state (were living in his homestate, about 5 hours from mine), but when it became a reality he decided it would be harder for him to move than he thought and it became a major point of contention. We eventually ended up breaking up (for that and other issues) and I moved back to my homestate alone.
When I started dating again, I made it very clear to every guy I dated that I will be staying within 2 hours driving distance of my family; I am very close to my parents and siblings, as well as extended family. I cannot imagine raising a family without being close to my mom. It was a dealbreaker for me, and luckily Fiance is on board with this, even though he is also very close with his family who live in NY. We had numerous conversations about this and agreed to visit his family at least 2x per year for a week at a time, as well as alternate holidays and also eventually buy a vacation property by his family’s home when we are financially able.
This has the potential to become a divisive issue- best of luck navigating it and coming to a solution that you both can live with.
Post # 9
Thank you everyone for the advice. I understand if he was always super close to his family, etc, but he really hasnt been. For the most part, it seems like he doesn’t get along great with them (Mom is overbearing, dad is distant, not super close to sisters, nieces are young and he says how annoying they can get). This is not my opinion, rather what he says
i think it may be just the realization that he would know no one/know nothing. He has always lived in the same city, so moving could scare him.
if it were only up to me, the city I would move to is around 9 hours away. There are some other options around 6 hours away, but even that isn’t great. I will talk to him more about it. I am glad he is willing to move, but I don’t want to feel like i am dragging him away from his family.
Post # 10
I think it is pretty shitty he blindsided you with this conversation with his mother using emotional manipulation
Post # 11
I totally understand your issue. I am extremely close to my friends and family where as my Fiance is more of a lone wolf. Loves his family of course and has tons of friends but he isn’t afraid to move across the country and start somewhere new. And me i’m like heck no!! He would need to be making life changing money in order for it to be worth it for me. However, we’ve talked about this many times and he understands my point of view so it’s not an “issue” for us. He’s okay staying here and we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it if some amazing opportunity really did come along. What is life without your friends and family? That’s my view 🙂
Post # 12
I was in a similar situation except I ended up choosing to move where he lived when it wasn’t originally what I wanted.
He (we now) lives way out in the middle of nowhere, about 4 hours away from where I was from. We had discussed moving to the nearest big city which would cut down the travel time to see my parents and let me be closer to civilization lol while still in reach of his friends. After dating for a while more, I saw that there was no way he would be happy moving. His whole life is in this community and with his friends. I know that I left all my friends, but for him it’s different, his friends and socializing gives him life. I decided that I would give up my hope of living in a city closer to my parents and just drive the extra hour. I visit them all the time so it’s not too bad but I would love to be closer.
He told me when I said I’d move in with him that was he hoping he could make me fall in love with the place and that I would want to live there because he didn’t want to move (even though he told me he would!!!!). I really do like where I live but it’s not where I would choose to live if he wasn’t in the equation. I made the right decision to stay with him and give up my location preference because his saddness and resentment about moving would be greater than my inconvenience I experience.
Basically, someone is going to need to compromise for this to work. It’s not so unusual that he was ok with the idea a while back and isn’t ok with it now
Post # 13
Moving far away from home is a BIG thing on most peoples lives. For some, it is a great-happy thing which comes easily because they don’t have a lot of ties to their hometown (like you); for others, it means getting away from your comfort zone, from the people you know, and facing uncertainty (like you BF might feel). You need to have a calm and serious conversation with him were you address both the reasons you want to move and the reasons HE doesn’t want to move.
In my case, DH always said he didn’t want to leave our hometown while I refused to live there all my life. We talked, and eventually DH (while BF) said he would try other places before we decided where to settle. He also confess he was scared of being away from home because all the thing that would change (having to make new friends, new responsabilities, etc.) Nowadays, we live out of our hometown and we enjoy it a lot! We do not plan to stay where we currently are, but we don’t really want to go back to our little town to live there.
It has been hard on both of us, mostly DH, but there have been a lot of awesome things too!
Post # 14
Neither of you is unreasonable – you in your desire to move, he in his desire to stay and you each have valid reasons for feeling the way you do; however you may incompatible if you can’t reach a compromise you’re truly both happy with.
Post # 15
I don’t think either of you are unreasonable… but it is a major issue to work out. Just because he said one thing a year ago doesn’t mean heh doesn’t have the right to change his mind. Not only would he be leaving his family, but his friends and job. If he is in a field difficult to find a job, it may not be a great idea. I honest to my husband about wanting to move from the beginning too, but he was willing. It was really hard on his family, but we were moving close to mine (it would have been really hard if we were moving somewhere he knew no one), and there were MUCH better job opportunities for both of our fields. However, I stayed in the city we met an extra year so my husband could build up his resume more for a better job, and I gave up the idea of living abroad, something I would have done if I haven’t met him. Relationships are all about compromise… but you have to be happy with the compromise. If you can’t be happy together in the same place that is enough to make it not right.