Social Question

Mariah's avatar

When do you think would be an OK time to bring up this subject with my boyfriend?

Asked by Mariah (24428points) August 18th, 2014

My boyfriend and I are both seniors in college. We have only been together for about seven months but it has been wildly happy for both of us. I have never felt this way about anybody.

We’re job hunting. He’s already had some interviews. Neither of us really has any idea where we’ll be, geographically, a year from now.

From where I stand now, I am sufficiently in love that I would be willing to make sacrifices to be near him. I can’t even fathom a job offer that would be worth breaking things off with him over, and I hate long distance relationships. I would wonder “what if?” for the rest of my life if we ended for a stupid reason like this.

I haven’t wanted to bring up the topic of future living situations, staying together after college, or trying to get jobs in the same city, mainly because I’m afraid it is too early to talk about big commitment like that and that I might just come off as a crazy, clingy girlfriend. But it needs to happen pretty soon, because we’re both going to be getting very serious about the job hunt within the next few months.

Any advice on what is appropriate here?

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34 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

A lot depends on what both of your future jobs are going to be, and whether one of you will have a career that makes it sensible for the other to follow and pick up what’s available for employment in the local area when you relocate. And knowing the kind of education that you and he have had (and congratulations, by the way! for having made it to senior year as well as for the relationship), it’s very likely that if you take jobs related to your education – engineering-wise, that is – either one of you might be relocating on a more or less regular basis.

Even if one of you takes “a good job in a strong company in your area of expertise”, that one may still undergo many temporary relocations, short-to-long-term reassignments in various field locations, branch offices, customer sites and the like. Even if one of you elects to sacrifice career for the sake of following the other, the jobs that you or he get that require either or both of you to make these temporary times apart may force you into long-distance relationships – even while you share a nominal “same address”.

I wish you all the happiness in the world in both career and romance, but I think you need to face the likely fact that there will be various periods of separation no matter what you plan to do – unless you can both get desk jobs in a stable company and location, and I’m not sure that I’d wish that on anyone.

Mariah's avatar

Oh – I should have mentioned that we have the same major – computer science – so the jobs are plentiful and we’ll be looking in some of the same regions, but there are a lot of regions to choose from.

Thanks for the advice @CWOTUS. I’m sure I’m capable of handling some distance sometimes. I just really don’t want to part ways with any amount of permanence, you know?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Gosh…has he said anything?

Mariah's avatar

Not yet. Feels like a bit of an elephant in the room.

zenvelo's avatar

You’re just starting the school year. I wouldn’t bring it up until either one or both of you have an interview, and then it comes up in the discussion afterward; or the second semester, when you are both at a point of making decisions about when school is over in the summer.

But enjoy this year together. If you think/plan ahead/contemplate the two of you being near each other and continuing the relationship, stay positive and see what may happen! If you starting thinking about all the ways it will fall apart, it will do so very quickly.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Just let things take their own direction without adding any extra stress. You have been through enough and the last thing you need is more headaches to deal wth. Enjoy each other and take it one day at a time, things will fall into place on their own.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Seven months, and you’re nervous about bringing up the issue? There’s no avoiding it, and it’s too important to ignore. One of you must take the initiative, and if it’s you , so be it. Don’t worry about appearing pushy, you clearly aren’t. Are the 2 of you already living together? If you’re both wildly happy in your relationship, you’d be fools to trade such happiness for anything as trifling as a job. It sounds as though employment will be no problem for either of you wherever you go. Sit the guy down and tell him the obvious, that you should attack the employment thing as a team, because whether he knows it or not, you are a team. Long distance relationships are truly sucky, and you might as well discover whether or not your fella is ready for commitment. State the case, and if need be, gently push him. It’s for his own good.

pleiades's avatar

Hm.. I don’t see what’s so hard about telling anyone you love dearly that you’d like to live with them and that you’d be willing to job hunt where ever it is they easily find a job. I’d actually be flattered!

I recommend telling him about your idea maybe over an outing and some easy dinner, nothing fancy just some night life one of these weekends. I’ve found I tend the get the most honest answers/reactions from people when they’re away from their immediate environment

JLeslie's avatar

I think when it comes to SO relationships where people want to live or are willing to live is near the top of things to consider and I have seen it be a huge factor in discord and even divorce for marriages.

I would think some time soon the topic will naturally come up. Has he mentioned any cities he is interested in? Are you both going to school fairly local to where you grew up?

My husband asked me really early in our relationship if I would be willing to move. He knew he would follow the money and career path. It is as important as asking if a potential SO wants children in my opinion.

Your boyfriend probably has some idea of where he might want to focus his efforts. The cities and companies he wants to work for.

Stinley's avatar

Don’t forget that what you want out of your career is also important and it needn’t be about you making choices based on what he decides to do. That sets a bit of a dangerous precedent in my book.

But it’s lovely that you are happy and want to be together and that’s a good place to start the discussion

2davidc8's avatar

The fact that you’re both computer science majors makes a big difference, because jobs are plentiful in your field. I don’t think you need to worry about this until the second semester. Things will be a lot clearer then. If your relationship is still strong and you can definitely see a future together, then whoever gets a job first, the other should prepare to follow and get a job in the same region. It doesn’t have to be the same city, just the same general area.

flutherother's avatar

It sounds like a very exciting time in your life @Mariah and I am pleased for you. It is time to bring the subject up so you can discuss where you might want to live so you can plan your job applications and perhaps travel together for job interviews. Good luck! and keep us posted.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It’s understandable how you feel. Others have felt the same when when in a similar situation. I suggest bringing the subject up. It’s heavy on your mind and could impact your performance until this “elephant” is cleared from the room. What you may find is that he assumes that it is a given that the two of you will pursue jobs in the same city.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, there is always that niggling little fear that he many not see the relationship in the same light as she does…..that would stop me from bringing it up…

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Communicate!!!!!!!!!! It’s been seven months. If you can’t talk to each other about the future now, how are you going to discuss issues in the future. You’ve overcome so much, this shouldn’t be a big problem.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Dutchess_III I thought of that, too. There are school relationships that end once they move on, be it after high school or college. I’d rather know now rather than later if my boyfriend just looked at our relationship as a college fling. The last thing that I would want is to end up working in the same area that he does right after it ended.

JLeslie's avatar

@dutchess_III That’s the reason to bring it up.

Mariah's avatar

We do communicate well. There is zero doubt in my mind that he is as “into” this relationship as I am. I am not sure he has thought about the future of it quite as much as I have, or maybe he is feeling similar trepidation to mine in bringing up the topic.

It’s interesting to see the mixed opinions on this. My personal inkling is to talk sooner rather than later. Thanks everybody.

marinelife's avatar

Why would you not feel free to ask about future plans? It only makes sense to find out what he’s thinking and if your searches should concentrate on the same areas of the country.

Mariah's avatar

I think I’ve read too much bullcrap on the internet from dudes who are not nice guys like my boyfriend is, talking about clingy women. The word “crazy” is always involved.

2davidc8's avatar

I’m with @zenvelo on this one. But best wishes to you, @Mariah, whatever you decide.

KNOWITALL's avatar

AWkward. I’d just ask him so you can focus on school & the job hunt. Don’t make it a big deal though.

Mariah's avatar

I have nice news.

M had a phone interview with a prestigious company and made it through to the in-person interview. This company has multiple offices, and he had expressed a preference for the one that is near our college, but the email he received talked about flying him out to Seattle to interview with his future (potential) manager at their main office.

He told me this and I got kind of freaked out because there is pretty much just the one major software company in Seattle. It would be a different matter if he were talking about going far from home to California, for example, where there are lots of other jobs I could aim for, but Seattle is scary.

So, well, I got a little nervous and teary but I tried to hide it because that was not how I wanted to approach the topic at all, but he noticed and knew immediately what was happening in my head and I said let’s chat about this.

We had some driving to do, so I cooled off during that and when we got into bed last night we cuddled up and had a chat. I spoke my mind – I don’t want to part ways with you after college, I think that what we have is special, I hate long distance, I’m willing to make compromises to make this happen. M was super on the same page with me! He emphasized that he loves me, and he says he can’t even imagine making the transition out of college by himself (so true for me as well). He said he’s been contemplating all this stuff as well and also trying to figure out when to bring it up.

M said he was already stressing out about the Seattle email and that he’s going to reply and ask again about interviewing for the other office. He understands that it is likely to harm his chances at getting a job with this company, as they’re mainly hiring at their Seattle office, but he understands that Seattle is a difficult place for me to follow him to, and he doesn’t really want a job where I can’t come with him. So, this shows he is also willing to make sacrifices for me.

I cried with relief and happiness and love after we talked. It feels great to know that all of these feelings are mutual.

JLeslie's avatar

@Mariah Is there actually only one company? Or, only one large company? Sometimes employers will help employ the spouse. That usually is done when the first person getting hired is at a high level and has actually been headhunted into the position. Have you put your resume in with them also?

Mariah's avatar

@JLeslie I still have some research to do for my part. There could be something else there. Seattle just isn’t known for having lots of options like some of the other places we’re looking at. I can also apply to this company but I don’t feel at all confident that I’m good enough for them.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Mariah Hey, you’re tough, you’ve overcome a lot, and you are sharp. Turn that attitude around. How do you know they’re good enough for you. Go for it lady.

JLeslie's avatar

@Mariah If you are interested in the company you should try!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Doesn’t hurt to try! You will probably be pleasantly surprised!

Mariah's avatar

Oh this happened a bit ago but I just remembered this question and thought y’all might appreciate an update. There was a career fair at my school at which both of us talked to a lot of local companies. M really liked some of the positions he looked at. They didn’t have the same prestige (Seattle company was a big big name), but he thought the work would be more interesting.

M had his interview in Seattle and it went pretty well by his metric but they turned him down.

So – situation now is that we’re both looking locally (I’ve been having interviews left and right ever since the career fair) and the whole Seattle concern is out of the picture now. There are lots and lots of openings locally and we’re happy to stay near our families and friends, anyhow.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yay! Thanks for the update @Mariah!

JLeslie's avatar

Sounds great.

Mariah's avatar

Update: We have both accepted job offers, 15 miles apart. We plan to get an apartment together. YAY.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good Mariah! Happy for you!

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