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Boyfriend & I are not seeing eye to eye on the future. Do I hang in there or say goodbye and good luck?

Tagged as: Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 October 2017) 4 Answers - (Newest, 9 October 2017)
A female Canada age 26-29, anonymous writes:

My partner and I have been together for almost 3 years. We love each other, but have always fought in our relationship. I put it down to the fact that we don't see eye to eye with a lot of things.

He is a city boy...his work + home are there. I'm a coastal girl....my job and home are there so for the past 3 years we have spent over an hour commuting to see each other every weekend.

I spend my week nights and some of my weekends at the beach doing water activities / my partner spends his week nights arriving home late, watching television and then going to bed because his job is very demanding. On the weekend, he does a few activities but just wants to sleep.

He has said many times he wants to move to the coast permanently but would like me to live with him for a few years so that he won't need to commute as far to work each day. I just don't see the point when I have my job on the coast. He wants me to leave my job, pack up, relocate, then relocate again in another 3-5 years time back to my home town on the coast.

Because of this, we have been fighting a lot lately. He has told me "I need to work out what I want" and let him know. Why is it that I need to work out what I want? Doesn't he need to work out what he wants if he wants to be with me? I've suggested for him to get a job closer to me but his excuse is his salary will be much lower and he likes where he works so it's up to me. He's even told me that he is the "bread winner" and it will be like this if we have children so it shouldn't be him moving.

I just feel we have very ideas about life and the way to spend money. My idea is that I get less pay but spend less because I have a good lifestyle....his motto is make more to buy a handful of expensive things such as new cars, a boat, go out for fancy dinners, a house right on the beach. Etc.

I just don't know if this is going to work and I really don't want to move to the city. Should I hang in there hoping it will last and he will change his mind or should I just say goodbye and goodluck?

View related questions: his ex, money

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (9 October 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntIf you loved him and wanted to be with him, you would compromise, but it sounds like you are not willing to uproot yourself for a couple off years. I can see why he is leaving it up to you, he has said he will move to the coast in a couple of years, but you are not willing to move at the moment, it might be best you figure out why you don't want to and then let him know why.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (9 October 2017):

CindyCares agony auntIn other words, you are saying : my way, or the highway.

Because he did offer a compromise, a reasonable , workable one.

Tbh, I don't understand what's the big deal about moving to the city for 3 -5 years- It's not like moving for 3- 5 months !, that you haven't even finished unpacking.. when it's time to pack up everything again. And, as another poster says, it's not at the other end of the world ;- it's just one hour down the road. If you are leaving behind friends or relatives, you can see them once a week or more , if you want.

It might even be that in 3-5 years you get to like city living and you don't want to move back anymore.

Or, if , instead, you still miss the coast, you can stick to the original plan and relocate.

It's a win-win situation, IMO. In fact, the scales are in your favour. It's true that you'd have to sacrifice first- but only for 5 years tops. Then, when it's his turn to sacrifice , i.e. to live somewhere less than ideal for him, that's for the rest of his life !

As for the money angle, it makes sense, not only to me but in general, I'd say, that the one who should move is the one who earns less and has less career / income possibilities. The word " breadwinner " sounds old fashioned in this context, , yes, but, at the end of the day, if someone, like your bf, can earn more * doing something that he likes * , as he does, -what's wrong with that ? It's not just about the income, ( although, with rare exceptions, anyway it's foolish to try on purpose to earn less than you could ), it's also about the security of doing something he likes in a workplace he likes, i.e. his realization, and psychological, not only material, wellbeing.

Maybe if you like the simple lifestyle, you are also not particularly invested in your job and do not identify what you do as a source of pride, status and meaning in your life- which is not necessarily wrong, of course. Let's say that you get your gratifications from your private life, not your work, and that for you work is a "whatever" mean to an end. Again, not wrong per se, but... if you are not particularly attached to your work, or workplace, or status , or income etc..., that also means that YOU are the one for whom it's easier and simpler and more logical to relocate and change job, no ?

He is open to change, although a few years down the road. Apparently, you are not open to any change, ever.

So, his advise to work out what you really want, it's an invitation to work out what your priorities are, - whether keeping your lifestyle exactly as it is now , or making your relation work at the cost of a temporary adjustment.

I think that deep down you have already decided in favour of the first option.

... But if you wait, will you wear him down, will he change his mind ? Hard to read the future without a good crystal ball- but FWIW, I think he won't. Because he offered some sort of compromise already, so probably he thinks that you should meeet him halfway. Out of fairness, if not out of love.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (9 October 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntTo be honest, OP, he *knows* what he wants. He wants to stay in the city to earn more, then move to the coast later. If his salary is higher in the city, it may be worth staying there for a few years to build a good financial foundation for starting a family.

You don't want to compromise at all, that's the problem. If he's being honest, he *wants* to move to the coast, but in the future. You don't want to move at all - you want to keep your life as is.

This isn't about waiting for him to move his life - you're hoping he does all of the compromising. That's why you probably won't work out long-term. Maybe the spending differences would become an issue too, but I don't think it's the main one here.

I think you're seeing that you're not compatible, but not realising it's mostly down to you not being willing to live in the city for a while and expecting him to do all of the moving.

Good luck, OP, but you need to find someone local.

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A male reader, Allumeuse United Kingdom + , writes (8 October 2017):

He has told you what he wants, you have told him what he wants. They are not the same. Neither of you are willing to compromise for the other. Does that not say something about what your priorities are?

I would say that if you are not willing to move out only to move back in 3-5 years you don't want to move- It's not New Zealand-its an hour down the road!

Your subconscious has made your decision and its way smarter than you- when you meet the right one you'll move around the world. Good luck.

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