It isn't over, but it is.
August 22, 2010 6:58 PM   Subscribe

I'm ending an awesome relationship because I'm moving to a different city for a much better job. How to make the best of our last few weeks together, and what's the "healthiest" level of contact to maintain?

I've been seeing my SO for about six months now, and we live together (more for convenience than as part of a transitioning-towards-marriage big step type thing). I'm moving away to a new city in a few weeks to start a new job, and doing the long distance thing is unappealing to both of us, even though it's a good relationship and we get along swimmingly. I've never been in this position before and am a little at a loss about the "conventional wisdom" of ending a relationship in this context. Do you have any suggestions for how to make the most of our remaining time together? Have you ever been in a similar situation and had a good experience, or have regrets about what you should have done?

Part two of the question is about after I have moved: I have always had messy breakups in the past and followed the standard advice of completely cutting off contact, which works pretty well (as well as that kind of thing can go, I guess). In this case I'm not sure what to do. My SO and I are involved in an activity/community that spans both our cities, so even after I've moved we're likely to see each other a few times per year, move in social circles with mutual acquaintances, etc. On one hand I think that because there is no animosity between us we should be able to maintain contact and chat online as friends, just like I will with the other friends I am leaving behind in my current city. On the other hand, just thinking about him moving on and dating someone else hurts, and I wonder if I'll be setting myself up for heartache by maintaining a friendship.

Sorry to the hive for the emotionally immature question. I feel like this was my first sane, adult relationship (particularly in terms of the fact that it's ending without a lot of shouting, swearing, or sobbing) and I don't know how these things work!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best relationship of my life ended last December because the other party moved from the Deep South to the Frozen North because of his work.

As for before you move - just keep doing whatever it is that makes your relationship awesome. Don't dwell on the fact that you're moving and the relationship is ending - that'll make you both sad before you have to be.

I can't really give you advice for after you move because my ex and I decided to remain friends but move on. The distance is too great for us to try to remain romantic partners and meet after he moved. All I can advise is to do what you think is best and go from there.

Good luck.
posted by patheral at 7:17 PM on August 22, 2010

Wouldn't the SO be the best person to discuss these issues with? Especially since you say you have an awesome, adult relationship with this person.

It's interesting that we are always looking at the outside for rules and things to do- how is this *normally* done? How do *most* people feel about that? Why do two people, who have a great relationship, not make their own rules for a change and set an example for others to follow?

You and/or your SO may also feel differently about each other once you have left. So anything you decide now may change in the future and may or may not be mutual. Just something to keep in mind.

Congratulations for the new job!
posted by xm at 7:32 PM on August 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think it is one of the great benefits of maturity that people who were once lovers are still friends. Maybe that is because one learns not to get involved with people one doesn't really like. Consider it the beginning of a lovely friendship and make it a goal not to damage it with jealousy.
posted by Anitanola at 7:32 PM on August 22, 2010

It is completely possible to still be friends afterward. You just go off and make your own life wherever you are and do things however you'd like to in the new place, and talk with your ex online occasionally but not all the time and see them when you come into town etc etc.

But that depends a lot on the temperament of you and your soon-to-be-ex. If you can do it, you can, if you can't, you can't. But it's really not that hard.
posted by that girl at 8:23 PM on August 22, 2010

2nding Anitanoia thoughts. The first year is not easy. Swallow that lump in your throat the first time he/she tells you that he/she is seeing someone else. After that it gets easier, and you've got a friend who knows you in a way anyone else cannot.
posted by allelopath at 8:39 PM on August 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

In a similarish situation, I found this thread comforting and helpful, particularly anitanita's comment.
posted by the cat's pyjamas at 4:07 AM on August 23, 2010

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