Post # 1
Ok, I’m a lurker, but I have big decisions to make and you guys have valuable life experience and different perspectives.
I have been with bf for nearly 3 years, long distance. He is 30 (Nevada), I am 27 (Maryland). I will finish my MS in February and he will finish his MS in May 2014.
I am currently job hunting. The area where my bf lives has very little in terms of jobs for me (marine biology) because he lives miles away from the nearest coast.
After 3 years of long distances (and approximately 10 visits in those 3 years), we both agree that we need to live in the same town for a while before becoming engaged. He basically gave me a gentle ultimatum, saying I had to move to be with him or we would end the relationship as long distance is tiring.
I have cold feet about moving – we’ve lived together (twice) for a month at time when school allows me to take breaks and it is simply lovely being with him. I feel fairly confident that we are good couple. Unfortunately, I feel torn between investing in a career or investing in him. I’ve been in school so long and I am anxious for a job, starting a long term career and pay off my (thankfully very small) loans. I am a little uncomfortable about the idea of moving to be with him and working at Walmart and being intellectually unfulfilled while I wait for him to finish school so we can look for a new place to start our lives together and our careers.
My bf’s career field is very narrow and competitive and will have to take whatever job he can get, my skill set is suited for coastal areas, I am afraid that in summer 2014, we find out that our careers cannot be carried out in the same city. I love this guy dearly and I’m not particularly keen about losing him because we both have severe speech impediments or audio processing problems. I guess I mean to imply that it can be slightly difficult to find a partner (and employers) who can overlook this or be patient (not saying this to be mean).
Did anyone make similar decisions? I am leaning toward moving at the moment, but scared of being bored and broke.
Post # 3
I wouldn’t feel comfortable trying to pursue a career in marine biology in Nevada, especially since you’ve clearly invested a lot in your education. If you’re worried about breaking up because you don’t think you’ll find another boyfriend…. well unfortunately that’s a sign that you probably should break up.
Post # 4
I’m a strong believer that if it is meant to be everything will work out. It sounds like you really love, so I say move and give your relationship a fighting chance, if it doesn’t work out it wasn’t meant to be.
Post # 5
You’ve been dating for three years and he says he’ll break up if you don’t live nearby? Even if it’s said nicely, this sentiment does not say “the one” to me.
Post # 6
@AlwaysSunny: what about women who say they’ll break up if the guy doesn’t propose within a certain timeline? In my opinion that’s even worse.
Post # 7
I advise against making a career sacrifice for someone you are not married, or at least engaged, to.
Post # 8
I agree with your BF- either move or the relationship should end. If you think he may be the one you want to marry, then I’d say move out there and give it a chance. As much as I get that you are concerned about finding a job, living in Nevada is not permanent. You’d have to move knowing that you may not find your dream job there, but you’ll be with the man you love. You can always move again for work, but you can’t always find someone you want to spend your life with.
Post # 9
As a fellow marine biologist I feel your limiting yourself…. You’re claiming you’re going to be stuck at Walmart if you move to Nevada? Quiet honestly that could happen even if you’re living on the coast. Which I’m sure you know. I just feel like marine bio wise you’re not thinking outside the box when it comes to work you’re just thinking “oh it’s land locked no jobs for me!” you can go into teaching, there’s fish farms, labs looking for people who can be techs, theres lakes, etc. more than likely not what you were hoping to do but it is an option.
I don’t feel like this ultimatum of his is to be mean. I just feel like he’s done this for three years and wants to take the relationship to the next step. Ultimately you have to decide what you are comfortable with living with. Are you okay with taking the career and maybe lossing him? Or are you okay with trying for him and sacrificing some career?
Post # 10
I think you should pursue your career in coastal areas, perhaps in California? Maybe being within driving distance is the compromise. Like another poster said, I’d caution against stalling your career for a man who has yet to make a commitment to you.
He’s asking you to make the big sacrifice and why? Is there a reason why he can’t transfer to a school in an area where you find a job? Men do this all the time. Suggest it and see what he says. Seems to me that’s a smaller sacrifice than stalling your career just to see if it works out!
Post # 11
It sounds like you’ve invested a great deal of time and energy in your education. I think you’d be selling yourself short to not pursue a job in your field. Chances are, your post-education job search will be country wide, if not even international. Does he even know if he’ll be able to get a job there when he’s finished? In this economy, and in specialized fields, you really have to take what you can get.
Making sarifices because you fear you will have a hard time finding a new partner is a mistake, and selling yourself short.
I was in a LDR for over a year with a man in the military. When he got posted half-way across the country, i transferred to move in with him. My work situation was terrible, and his job was extremely stressful. Within 4 months, we were done. Living together day in and day out is FAR different than the time you spend together in LDRs, even when you spend extended time together. Like your bf, I would never agree to marry someone until I had lived close to them for a period of time to assess how day to day life would be, so I don’t think he’s being unreasonable about that.
Unless he’s in a position to financially support you while you’re there (which it doesn’t sound like, given he’s a student) I would be very hesitant to move to where he is and put my own career ambitions on the backburner after all that work to get a MSc. But I am a career oriented person, and being self-supporting has always been extremely important to me. You should look in your heart and answer for yourself if you will be filled with resentment should you find yourself scanning merchandise at Wal-Mart or making lattes at Starbucks if that’s the only work you can find where he is. I’d also consider what kind of financial pressures you might be under in that situation–if you’ve got loans, rent, car, food etc to pay but can only find a low wage job.
Post # 12
Thank you for the feed back so far. Really.
A few extra notes.
I understand the perspective of wanting a more firm commitment (engagement) before moving. Under different circumstances, I would want the same thing. For now, we both agree no engagement until we see how well we work together long term in person. We lead very separate lives and have no mutual friends or common activities due to the distance, except we read the same books (on purpose) and talk about them. We’ve spent time with each other’s family as well. Everytime I see him, it still feels like a honeymoon phase, there is never a chance for stress to kick where we are snappy with each other or have a fight.
@celticbride: You are right, Nevada would not be permanent. We would move again after he finishes school. I would almost hope not to find a my dream job because it would make it hard to move later.
@seabyme: Agreed, I do have more flexibility with my degree then perhaps I’m implying. Reading all the responses, I’m realizing maybe I’m asking a different question, is a 1.5 year break too long in the industry? Assuming that I become a general lab tech for a year before we moved, I’m afraid I won’t be as competative of a candidate in a higher level job or different career arc. And I agree, he is definitely not doing this to be mean and I completely understand his perspective.
@RedAngelDreamer: To be fair to my bf, he did try to move out with me before he started school but it didn’t work out because when he filled out job applications, he realized he needed more school and ultimately made a career change which was necessary. He can’t transfer schools because he got a significant scholarship that covers the majority of the cost which is a huge blessing.
Post # 13
Does his gentle ultimatum include engagement and a ring? Personally, if my SO asked me to move or he would breakup with me and there was no engagemnt/ring involved, I would be hesitant to do so.
I would need a bigger commitment from him before moving.
Post # 14
I moved across the country for my then Boyfriend or Best Friend (now FI). I did it twice. However, there were several differences – I did not do it under the threat of an ultimatum, I had transferrable job skills and contacts in each city, we had an engagement timeline we both agreed with, and we had an agreement that if I could not find a job he would support me. That’s key- you need to sit down with your boyfriend and say, honey, i would love to move with you but if i cannot find a job in my field, it is your responsibility to take care of me while i keep looking or continue to add skills to my degree. I would also speak with him about a strict timeline for an engagement.
Post # 15
First a relationship is about give and take. But from both sides. He can’t expect you to just drop everything and go there if he would not be willing to do the same thing. It would be one thing if he had a career there that didn’t allow him to move (ie. military and not getting posted for a while) but that is not the case. It would be a little bit more understanding if he even already had a job in his field.
Also, I wouldn’t be too doubtful about not being able to find someone out there who love you unconditionally no matter what. The right guy that you are meant to be with is out there and you will find him.
The question you need to ask yourself. Would you really be willing to give up your career to be with this guy? If you do move to be with him would you be willing to chose a new career? Can you see yourself spending the rest of your life together?
If you are saying that you have to stay with him because I am not going to be able to find anyone else then it is like you saying “I don’t want to be here, but I also don’t want to be alone.” And that is not a good reason to stay into a relationship.
Post # 16
To those who say they need stronger commitment before sacrificing:: I moved in with my then Boyfriend or Best Friend and his parents right after college (May 2011). I didn’t need a ring to validate my move – he is all I needed. I got a job offer before I moved because I had been applying there and where I lived to keep my options open. We have been engaged for 4 months now and living together for over a tear.
@redblueskies: Whenever career comes into question, it becomes tougher to form clear reasoning behind your decision. You don’t want to commit career suicide but you also don’t want to lose this man. I would advise you to think hard about your priorities. Everyone’s are different. Apply to a bunch of places there and where you are and wait. Time sometimes makes everything work for the best! 🙂