I'm smitten! When do I tell my date that I'm planning to move?
October 27, 2016 5:25 AM   Subscribe

Recently met this guy & we've really connected. But I'm applying to a programme abroad next month and it will take me to another country for at least 8/9 months starting next September.

Met via online dating, the main parts of his profile that stood out for me was the fact he grew up on a farm (I'm a city girl with a strong yearning to end up in the countryside!) has spent an extended time travelling abroad (being really handsome also helped!).

First date was meant to be a quick drink/face to face meet that turned into 4 hours & only ended because he was going to miss his train (also worth noting that he travelled to where I live & often guys in the past have wanted me to go there...). The second date was meant to be a walk around a museum that turned into coffee in another part of town afterwards, followed by dinner later on (all his suggestions), 6 hrs.

He is so kind, attentive, engaging, he asks really interesting questions about me and leaves me in no doubt about what a great time he has and that he wants to meet again. After so many rejections over the past 2/3 years I'm sort of amazed by good he is to me (so far, I am taking it slow and seeing how things unfold).

On our last date, he talked about how his married friend and his wife bought a camper van & went travelling for a year - he sounded really excited about this as a concept but on the same date he also said he's now looking for a more permanent job in this city because he's been travelling around a lot.

Meanwhile I am sick of this city and ready to leave, hence my application. I have been intensively learning the language of the country I'll move to & every time I see photos of my friends who are already living there, I feel a deep, deep yearning to be there (I lived there once before). I have worked out that doing this job will help me to develop my career & allow me to further myself creatively, both of which as very important to me.

I mentioned that I was going to WOOF at an organic farm in Europe soon where I could learn more about that type of life and teach English at the small school & he said 'that sounds really interesting' as he also has a lot of farming experience and he teaches young farmers also. Our third date is next week and I feel I have to tell him my plans so that I'm not leading him on (although I did mention it in my online profile. Is it too soon or do I tell him on our next date?
posted by Ariel432 to Human Relations (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You've already told him you have this future plan. You still have a semi vague future plan. You could discuss it more fully at appropriate times, like if you talk about becoming exclusive or if you get accepted into this program. If it comes up, tell him you're applying to go in September. This is nearly a year away and loads of things can happen for both of you in that time. You may not work out as a couple. Other things in your life at home a become more important. You may reconnect after you return. You're over thinking this.
posted by Kalmya at 5:57 AM on October 27, 2016 [8 favorites]

You're jumping ahead a lot in both the life plans (have you been accepted to this program yet?) and with the relationship. Two great dates is nice, but it's just two dates. Are you going on dates with other people? I'd encourage you to try that. And I wouldn't bring up that you might move in a year again. If I were on a third date and someone brought that up and tried to discuss not leading me on I'd be confused and honestly a bit worried and may not have another date with them - it's way too soon to talk about the future when you're not yet been exclusive and you don't actually have solid future plans.
posted by sockermom at 6:31 AM on October 27, 2016 [3 favorites]

Two good first dates and you'll be around for another year?

Honestly, I don't mean to be a debbie downer and I truly hope things turn out great for you, whatever happens, but it is really hard to predict what will become of two dates, no matter how great they were. And so much can happen in a year. I don't think you need to do anything besides enjoy yourself and see how things go. Good luck!
posted by bearette at 6:49 AM on October 27, 2016 [10 favorites]

Fyi I'm going to start travelling around in 6 months, although more permanently in about a year.
posted by Ariel432 at 7:29 AM on October 27, 2016

Are you planning on returning in 9 months or are you hoping to relocate permanently? After dating my SO for three months, we stayed in touch over two months when she moved across the globe. (She had come up to help me when my father died, so there was some immediate connection there, but the big thing was that I knew she'd be back.) About a year later, she took off again for a year and recently got back (this time for at least 3 years). So it is doable, although difficult. In my opinion, keep going out but let him know in a date or two what your future holds. If you're planning on coming back only for a little while before taking off again, that could make things a bit more difficult. If you're going to come back for a while after the trip, things may be easier. I ended a promising relationship over the fact that there was going to be an indeterminate and possibly permanent distance between us. Knowing that there is only a fixed time until the other person is back helps a great deal.

Some things to consider if you guys do decide to go through with it: What will the time difference be? Will you be able to communicate regularly and are you ready to sacrifice part of your time and your schedule to make sure you do? (I gave up a lot of Friday or Saturday nights to the 13 hour time difference.) Will you or he be able to travel to see the other person at least once? Is he planning on staying in the city you're in permanently?

I don't know how old you are, which probably factors into this a bit. Being in my mid-thirties made things easier to go with someone I knew I was highly compatible with even if there was going to be a long separation. In my 20s, it might have been more difficult.
posted by Hactar at 7:39 AM on October 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was dating casually when I met my (now) husband about 6 months before leaving to finish my phd across the country. I didn't think we'd be serious so I didn't mention I was leaving until about a month before-- I mean, it wasn't a secret but I also wasn't ready to have a serious conversation about it and us until then. After the 5 months of having fun dating and being exclusive, we were at the place to talk about if we want to try long distance etc and I brought up that I was leaving.

So I'd suggest to keep dating and enjoying yourself without worrying about what's happening in the future. Give it a few months at least.
posted by inevitability at 8:09 AM on October 27, 2016 [5 favorites]

This is something you talk about once you're exclusive. That said, it seems like you are already organically bringing up talk of travel, living abroad, and uprooting your current life. Which is definitely the right tack, since it's sort of awkward to be like "OK, Boyfriend, now that we are a couple, it's time you know that I'm actively working on moving away from this city."

I spent about a year getting all my ducks in a row to leave New York, and I was pretty open with people I dated about my plans. That said, my stuff didn't depend on being accepted to a specific program, and I didn't meet anyone I really clicked with during that time anyway. I'm not sure how I would have handled it if I'd ended up with a serious partner but knew that within the next year I'd be leaving the city permanently.
posted by Sara C. at 9:13 AM on October 27, 2016

I'm gonna go against the grain here and advise you to tell him sooner rather than later. I would be upset if I became close to someone, went on many dates with them, became exclusive, and only then learned that they have no future in my chosen town.

Now, I don't think you have to do it right this minute -- maybe date 4 or 5 -- and I do think it should be a neutral statement of your plans without any musing about either of you getting attached, etc. Just lay out the facts casually and let him do with it what he will. Maybe he'll be cool with it, maybe it will be a dealbreaker -- either way, it's kinder to fill him in soonish.
posted by delight at 9:51 AM on October 27, 2016 [6 favorites]

Just talk about your plans because you're excited about them and it's something to talk about, not because it's something he needs to know in case you become long term. Then you don't have to worry about timing, freaking him out, etc. I can't imagine having such cool plans and not talking about them.
posted by Capri at 9:54 AM on October 27, 2016 [4 favorites]

Are you certain to be accepted for this program? If not, you're trying to see too far into the future. Tell him when you've put your final application in; if you've already done that, and he's got all the knowledge he needs for the time being.

I agree with those who say it's too soon to be talking to him about what might be going on between the two of you 11 months from now.
posted by wryly at 11:14 AM on October 27, 2016

The future is murky. Don't make this a big thing when both your relationship and your moving plans are still so tenuous. I mean yeah, if you're determined to leave in six months or so then you probably shouldn't be looking to start a major relationship, but you've only been on two dates with this guy. You can totally just keep it pretty casual for a while, and wait until things look like they're going to get serious before you have a sit-down talk about how you're planning to leave town and you're not interested in committing for that reason.

Basically, it's not really fair to start a serious relationship with someone if you're looking to move away from them in the near future—but you haven't gotten to that point yet. I'd let things develop organically for a while. Don't hide your travel plans, but don't kill this before it even really gets started.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 9:39 AM on October 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

You don't need to make this a big thing, but I'm with capri - it would be weird to NOT mention it. Talk about your plans. Your plans for you, not your plans for this potential relationship. See what happens! I'm assuming you're not considering changing your plans based on a couple of good dates? Be honest. No good long term relationship starts with lies.
posted by finding.perdita at 10:31 PM on October 28, 2016

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