Why can't I stop the mope?
January 13, 2010 1:18 PM   Subscribe

I'm not ultra-dependent, boyfriend and I have a healthy relationship, so why am I so bummed about moving out of his place?

This is puzzling to me, oh mefites and mefriends. My boyfriend and I have been dating seriously for nearly a year. Recently I moved to the city in which he lives (I had been living about 40 minutes away previously). I have a fantastic job and recently secured a room for rent at a reasonable rate. To help transition, I stayed with him for a little over three weeks as I moved everything up and settled in the job. This overlapped the holidays, which we also spent together.

Today I'm moving out, and am incredibly bummed. He can read it all over, and I can't seem to alter my mood or mopey actions. I don't know my new roomate all that well, but for chrissake I'm only moving 9 blocks away. What is the matter with me? I'm acting like we're breaking up, and that's hardly the case.

He's patient as everything, but this is frustrating to both of us. Any advice (including a kick in the pants) is welcome, but be gentle with your kicks, please. I could really use an objective viewpoint here.
posted by thatbrunette to Human Relations (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm acting like we're breaking up, and that's hardly the case.

You intellectually know you're not breaking up, but you're going through the kinds of motions people do when they break up (if they're living together on a long term basis), which is triggering the kinds of emotions you would have if you were breaking up. On top of that, maybe you just liked the experience of living with him and are sorry it's not going to last. I don't see the big mystery here.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:21 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]

Are you mourning something that feels like a step backwards?
posted by chrillsicka at 1:21 PM on January 13, 2010 [8 favorites]

Is there a particular reason other than a lack of space or similar that you're not staying with him? I think that might be worth addressing. I've been through the same thing and it really helped to know why exactly we didn't want to live together and how that affected us as a couple. (FWIW, it eventually became a major reason for us breaking up. YMMV)
posted by youcancallmeal at 1:23 PM on January 13, 2010

Jalcoth has it. You're being torn out of the just-moved-in-together honeymoon phase wherein your brain is flooded with so many irrational Happy Feelings that it is equally irrationally ticked when you have to leave. Heart thinks "why the hell can't I stay here? It's great here! I'm angry!" and brain's "Because it is a bad idea and we're not ready yet" is being totally ignored.
posted by griphus at 1:24 PM on January 13, 2010 [4 favorites]

This is a perfectly natural reaction to me. Being independent doesn't have anything to do with it; you love your boyfriend and you liked spending as much time with him as you have over the past few weeks. I would certainly be bummed if I didn't get to live with my husband anymore. Did you talk about the possibility of you staying there permanently at all? I'd look at this as a clue that maybe you're wanting to take that next step. And there's nothing wrong with that.
posted by something something at 1:25 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

it's fairly normal to get all "nesty" when you're spending so much time together. you're in a period of great transition and you were able to lean on him in a way that was comfortable. add the holidays to that and it's easy to see why your brain settled into a cohabitating place. now you're in upheaval again and it probably makes you nervous to leave the safety of his place for your new adventures.

there's nothing wrong with being mopey and down and there's no real need to define it. chances are that it'll pass and you'll be glad to have your things where you want them.

to help aid the transition, plan an intimate meal at your new place and spend more time cuddling.

(and while i might get flamed to hell for this: it might be worth examining where you are in your cycle. i know that i have a hair trigger to interpersonal snafus 2 or 3 days before my period and also during ovulation.)
posted by nadawi at 1:26 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

It's possible that you're moping not so much because you feel like the relationship is ending, but you're going through a pretty big transition and now it's all becoming real.

Staying with your boyfriend created a sort of an emotional green zone between you and the *biglifechange* you're about to undergo. Sure, everything's awesome (cool new job, you like the new city), but you DON'T KNOW what's going to happen next. Previously, whatever was going on in old city may not have been great but it was familiar and known. This time with your boyfriend may have been new, but it's also been comfortable, he's familiar and you have a sort of routine with him, one that's satisfying and friendly.

That's not going away, but your new life starts now -- and you don't know what to expect. Don't mope. Don't be mad at yourself for feeling a little weird, either. Just recognize that you're a little anxious about the changes going on, even if they are good, because you're experiencing something new. Try to be excited, and try to be upbeat. For all of the things you feel mopey and scared about, try to focus on the ten exciting and new things that are going to be happening for you instead. You'll get the hang of it. Don't worry so much!
posted by pazazygeek at 1:26 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]

Nthing the fact that you're taking a step backwards, weather you like it or not.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:27 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

also: there's nothing wrong with not wanting to actually live together and still being sad about the move out. just because you're sad it doesn't mean you want the reality of moving in together.
posted by nadawi at 1:28 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Because you love him and being with him is better than being with friends. That's okay, you know. He'll probably miss you too.
posted by anniecat at 1:30 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

Maybe it's not the leaving his place, but the transition to the new place. Plus post-holiday letdown. New situations always bum me out. Starting a new job is one, moving is another. Wish I could find these things exciting adventures, but alas, that is not my way. You'll get into your groove. Don't be too hard on yourself.
posted by Knowyournuts at 1:31 PM on January 13, 2010

I don't know enough about you, your boyfriend, or your relationship to offer much advice, but why not take this opportunity to discuss moving in together. Like, for realz.
posted by InsanePenguin at 1:32 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I agree with what Jaltcoh says but also moving and starting a new job are both very high on the "most stressfull things you can possibly do" list. You just moved 3 weeks ago and now you're moving again and going into another unknown situation, no wonder you feel bummed.
posted by BoscosMom at 1:33 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

And I wouldn't immediately psychologize your feelings and downplay them. You're not codependent for being in love. This is codependence and pathologizing your feelings is what I would worry about if I were you.
posted by anniecat at 1:34 PM on January 13, 2010

You were playing house, and playing house is fun. You're moving out at the point when it's still fun.

Having fun playing house is different from living together, though, and you know that.

If you both want a couple of anecdotes -- I made the mistake of letting my long-distance boyfriend move in with me from a different city, and it was a DISASTER, because adjusting to full-time living together is a mindfuck. And he was going through the culture shock of being in a different city on top of it, so it was double the mindfuck. The year we spent living together was absolutely horrible, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone on the planet. It's very wise to both get used to you being in the same city before you move in together full-on.

A good anecdote to reinforce this -- a good friend of mine was seeing his girlfriend long-distance for a couple years, and then she moved in with him for a couple weeks while she looked for her own place here in the city. They also felt a little bummed when she moved back out again, but they hung in there, and after a few months -- when they both felt ready -- they moved back in together again, and they couldn't be happier.

That's the key, I think -- reminding yourself that moving from one city to another and moving from separate apartments to the same apartment are both separate issues. It's way smarter for you to finish the "moving to a different city" issue and let that dust settle before you can start tackling the "moving into the same apartment together" issue. It's much, much more secure if you both tackle one issue at a time.

But there is nothing wrong with feeling sad about things right now -- you had fun playing house, and playing house can be all fun. Just keep in mind that playing house isn't the same as living together.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:40 PM on January 13, 2010 [6 favorites]

I agree with everyone who says you're bummed about the honeymoon phase fun being cut short. It doesn't help that you're going from a situation where you're comfy and with your honey and you know everything is good to an unknown- you said you don't know the roommate very well, and its a new place. New situations always freak me out. I think the combination of those is what's causing your moping. Just acknowledge it, and ask your bf to be extra nice to you while you're transitioning. Also try doing something super relaxing once you're alone in the new place to make it feel more like home; bubble bath, yoga, whatever.
posted by bluloo at 1:53 PM on January 13, 2010

To help transition, I stayed with him for a little over three weeks as I moved everything up and settled in the job. This overlapped the holidays, which we also spent together

You really liked spending a lot of time with him at home and you loved the holidays with him. Following your plan now feels like crap, because you don't get to feel that way every time. Feel it, let it go. That's the way to get through emotional issues.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:57 PM on January 13, 2010

I'd just like to add that I'd hesitate to label what you're feeling as "irrational." Irrational would be: "Boy, it'll be great spending less time with you; I'm sure glad that's over with!"
posted by drlith at 2:57 PM on January 13, 2010

An objective viewpoint: trust your intuition.

If you get along well together, maybe you both should find a bigger space together. I know, this seems like a fair bit of expense and fuss after already moving, but it might be an option to consider in the intermediate future, That is, if your boyfriend shows any enthusiasm. Suggest it. Gently. No rush.
posted by ovvl at 4:48 PM on January 13, 2010

Thank you all so much for your suggestions and advice. Your words have been great to hear; and have afforded me a little space to look at everything and take a deep breath. I appreciate all of your comments so very much!
posted by thatbrunette at 5:04 PM on January 13, 2010

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