This weeks advice question was brought to you by your local hometown high school sweethearts.
Guys, this one is not a hypothetical! I am LIVING this right now!
I grew up in small town, Midwest USA, and couldn’t WAIT to move as far away as possible! When the opportunity to transfer to Phoenix came along, I snatched that sucker up like a clearance item at Sephora. Seriously, I did’t even wait until the start of the new school year! I hopped on a train, and never looked back! For 3 years I called that toaster oven home. Unforeseen circumstances brought me back to the Midwest. Call it a loyalty, call it stupidity, but by 2007, my body was back, but my heart was still buried in the sand beneath a cactus.
To this day, that big, scorching hot city, is home. (SERIOUSLY! I love you desert dwellers and miss you all so much it hurts!) Moving back home was supposed to be temporary. I’ve been here now going 12 years, to the day actually, and I am desperately looking for ways back west!
However, there was a very attractive catch.
About 6 years ago, I met Alex. I was married, but going through a very devastating divorce, and was ready to pack up and leave for good as soon as that was settled. I started a second, part time job, to save money and hit the road, but then the strangest thing happened when I was not looking for love in the slightest.
I found my soulmate. I know it sounds ridiculous, and maybe you don’t “believe” in that sort of thing, but for me, it couldn’t be more true. I have my best friend and lover, and couldn’t be happier. Sure, its not picture perfect all the time, but it’s as good as it gets in my book!
There you have it. The once attractive “catch”, has become an “emotional” Venus Flytrap. It just so happens to snags a LOT of my dreams, dragging them right down to the bottom of the nearest river. I never wanted to stay here this long, BUT I have a sort of agreement with myself that I would give him time to adjuster to our relationship, and the idea of leaving the area. He’s never even been to another state, and we are only about a hop, skip and a jump from another! Being in his first long term relationship ruffled feathers back at the coop as well, so there were a few relationships to mend before we decided to jump on the next ship.
I’ll give you the same advice I gave myself, and I’ll repeat the same sentence you’ve seen on here MANY times before… YOU HAVE TO COMMUNICATE AND COMPROMISE OR YOU WILL GET NO WHERE. This applies to so many things, I am ALMOST sick of hearing myself say it. It sounds SO simple doesn’t it? Just tell your partner what you want, listen openly to their rebuttal, and find something in the middle. In this scenario, the middle is life changing and might take a little time to get to.
If I had to place some specific suggestions on this for ya, I’d have to know a little more about your situation. In the meantime, I can give you some examples of what might work with myself and Alex, but I realize things won’t always apply to other situations!
For instance, I am an entertainer by hobby, but also the primary income in our home. I would love to finish up college, and get a job at an online creative community located either in Austin, or somewhere in California. Alex, has no reason or motivation to leave where we are now. My family is already moving to Texas, and I have friends a few hours away. For me, this makes it an easy decision, but still scary. I still have to muster up the courage to leave my comfort zone, pack up our little furry family and move. Finding a new job could be hard, especially while I am working on school. If I succeed, however, I can get the job I REALLY want! Overall, the idea seems like a no-brainier to me. Maybe not so much to him.
As a compromise, I have given him an undetermined amount of time to get comfortable with the idea. He still needs to make amends with family, visit friends, and eventually come to terms with the move. In the meantime, I’ll finish classes online, and start applying for jobs, while we BOTH work on our credit to make finding a house in the Austin easier. When the time comes, we’ve both agreed to weigh our pros and cons, and if I don’t get the job I want, we resume square one. This means a new city, and new plan. Admittedly, none of this would work, if he didn’t love me and cherish our relationship. We try to do things as a team as often as we can. Its a lot easier to do when your feelings are genuine, and you have committed completely to the happiness of your relationship.
I think the best thing to do here, is talk to your partner. Layout the plan as you see it working, and make it very clear that this is not a final decision, ultimatum, or set in stone. Have a conversation. Someone who truly loves you will jump at the change to support your dreams as openly as you would theirs. It’s not always going to be exactly what you’d hoped for, but the same goes for you. If you know that say, your partner has a passion for growing medical marijuana, but you want to move to a state where it’s still illegal to do so, you might have to find a new option for your move. You can always make plans to visit home often, and maybe your partner will offer up some relocation suggestions that are outside your original scope.
At the end of the day, if they truly love you and are worth the rest of you life in loyalty and hard work, you’ll be able to compromise. No one should ever ask you to stop chasing your dreams because they are too comfortable where they are. I hope that they love you enough to realize that. Start the conversation. Don’t put expectations on time limits, but give reasonable tables to follow. Keep it as an idea or even a request; not a demand, and see where it goes. If they REALLY care about you, you’ll be able to find a middle ground, and everything will work out the way it’s meant to!
Thanks for tuning in, and please comment anything you’d like to add!