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cutiepi92's avatar

So what happens if you and a significant other (not married) get jobs in different states?

Asked by cutiepi92 (2226 points ) January 12th, 2013

My significant other and I are both seniors in college, however I am likely to graduate before he does. My chosen career field, while available in my current city, has better options and opportunities on the other side of the country. I do not want to move that far if I don’t have to, but it seems like the best offers will come from there. My boyfriend on the other hand has plenty of very good options and opportunities where we live now. This is a hypothetical situation, but has anyone been in a case where you have to move away from your significant other? If so, how does that work? I’m just so worried and scared about it. I love him dearly and we have been together for 4 years now. We have discussed marriage and even children, but it has been only recently that I realized my current location might not be best for my job. At the same time, just the thought of having to leave him/break up hurts tremendously. I feel like I will have to choose between him and my career which is something I don’t want to do. I used to be happy that I found love so early in my life, but now it feels like a curse moreso than a blessing…...

How should we discuss this? He says it’s too soon to tell what is going to happen. That is true, but I’ve always been one to think to the future and it is very likely that one of us will have to move.

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6 Answers

burntbonez's avatar

Long distance relationships are really hard. I don’t have any statistics, but my guess is that about 75% of them don’t make it. You may have to decide which is more important to you: relationship or career opportunities.

I will say this. There’s more than one way to have a career.

livelaughlove21's avatar

You sound a lot like me, actually. I’ve always worried about the future and thought “what if?” about every little thing. When I started reading this, I’ll admit I thought I was going to say that you should go because you’re in a college relationship and not married, so you wouldn’t want to risk your career for a guy you don’t know will even stick around.

Now, that’s still a valid point, but my husband and I met at 17 so I feel that, if this is a 4-year-long relationship, I’m not going to undermine it by telling you the odds are against you.

When I went to college, I had the option to go to school in San Diego (from South Carolina), a place I love, and live with family while I got my medical degree. My husband was not the only reason I didn’t go, but he was part of it. I never regretted this decision. I ultimately decided the medical field wasn’t for me and I love where I currently go to school. I also kept my man and recently married him and bought our first home. Needless to say, a little sacrifice on my part worked out in my favor.

I’m not saying that you definitely shouldn’t go; I’m just saying I understand your dilemma. Your career is very important, and there’s no way I know the right answer.

@burntbonez is right that most long-distance relationships fail. That doesn’t mean yours will, but it’ll make it very hard and it will certainly stall your relationship. You can’t get married or have kids when you’re so far apart. Is there any chance he could move with you?

If you want a future with this guy, that should be taken into account. You have to decide if it’s all-or-nothing or if you could compromise. If it’s all-or-nothing and you can’t have both, you need to decide if your career or relationship is more important. It’s a hard decision but, hey, that’s life.

For now, I’d relax and listen to your boyfriend. A lot can happen in a year.

Good luck!

Brian1946's avatar

My boyfriend on the other hand has plenty of very good options and opportunities where we live now.

How do those options for him, compare the ones for him where your options are the best?

wundayatta's avatar

If you want to discuss it, you should talk about principles upon which you can make a decision, no matter what the actual facts are. So you should decide what your priorities are. How important is career for you? How important for him? How important is money? How important is chance of advancement? How important is the relationship?

This last is probably the great question. On the one hand, it may be clear to both of you that you want to stay together no matter what. Then it’s just an issue of how you decide where you both go. On the other hand, you may not be willing to say that to each other, and that could be hurtful. And it could mean the end of the relationship. It’s best to be as honest as you can be without making a hash of each other’s feelings.

This is a hard thing to discuss. It’s hard for everyone who faced it with both partners having job opportunities. I once moved with my girlfriend because she went to Philadelphia for grad school. Other than that, I’ve never had to make this choice. But I had no job, so it was just as easy for me to go to Philly.

cutiepi92's avatar

@Brian1946 They are honestly about equal, but the cost of living is higher (California)

@livelaughlove21 He says he would be willing to move for me; that he doesn’t plan to ever leave my side. We just talked today and he says that since I’m graduating about a year before him, he’ll know where to look for a job by the time he graduates. I guess my main thing is that I don’t want to keep him from being able to reach his goals as well :/ It feels like I’m being selfish by asking him to leave where we are comfortable to go all the way to a new strange place that is more expensive.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@cutiepi92 If he wants to do it, let him. He’s an adult and can decide what he wants. Apparently, what he wants is you, so let him have it! :)

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