Jack and Jill
March 22, 2007 6:08 PM   Subscribe

Yet another RelationshipFilter: This is the story of Jack and Jill...

Sorry for this long-winded question/plea for advice…I have tried to make the following description as neutral as possible.

Jack and Jill have been dating since their senior year of high school. Through random happenings both Jack and Jill ended up at the same university and spent 4 years together. While the relationship in college was by no means spectacular things worked out. Jack was an ass but managed to clean up his act by the end. Jill was unsure of the relationship but kept with it.

After graduating college Jack was offered a position at a prestigious university over-seas for a master’s program. Jack accepted. Jill was understandably unhappy about this decision and wanted to end the relationship, which happened to some degree. Jack left the country but the two kept in touch visiting each other every few months. Jack finished his program and moved back the US to be with Jill. In that time, Jill entered a master’s program of her own.

Since returning to the US things between Jack and Jill have been amazing. Better than they have ever been.

Jack has been home since last October but has had little luck finding a job in his field where both Jack and Jill live. Jack has exploited every option possible to find a job within his field at home for the last 6 months. In October, before realizing he wanted to stay home with Jill, Jack sent several resumes/cover letters to companies across the country. Now 6 months later, with little luck at home, Jack has quite randomly been offered a job in his field - across the country.

Jack and Jill are again at crossroads.

Jill refuses to stay with Jack if he leaves again. Jill thinks this is a selfish move. Jack feels that he has no other options in regards to finding employment within the field of his choosing. In Jack’s eyes this is a temporary situation until he can get the necessary experience to find the right job for him at home. In Jill's eyes this move shows a lack of dedication to the relationship and her emotions. Jack wants to make things work offering to fly home as often as possible and flying Jill to him whenever possible. Jill sees this as a deal breaker; Jack thinks this is a small bump in the road that shouldn't effect the end outcome of the relationship. Jill was hurt by the first move and is afraid of being hurt due to being in different cities.

Jill cannot move with Jack as she is 1 year into a 2 year program and has expressed little interest in living in the city Jack has been offered a job.

FWIW:
– Jack and Jill have touched (not gone in depth) on the subject of marriage – things looked good until now.
- Both Jack and Jill are close in age - mid-twenties.

Should Jack and Jill try to make things work? Is Jack being selfish for not staying home? Is Jill being unreasonable in not agreeing that this is merely a temporary situation in the big scheme of things?

AskMeFi – help, please!
posted by ASM to Human Relations (74 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Jill refuses to stay with Jack if he leaves again.

Well, there you have it; ball's in Jack's court, and kudos to Jill for not playing games. Better to lay it out like that than to be passive-aggressive and miserable across the country...

And I completely side with Jill. It sounds like her and Jack have a good thing; six months is not that long a time, and, in the big scheme of things, how important is a job?
posted by kmennie at 6:25 PM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm glad Jill was honest, but it's also clear she's not willing to compromise. If she's unwilling to deal with you being on the other side of the country for a while and you really want this job (more than you want to be her?) then you two should seperate ways now.
posted by liquorice at 6:27 PM on March 22, 2007


Oops, I just assumed you were Jack from the way it was written. Apologies.
posted by liquorice at 6:28 PM on March 22, 2007


It sounds like Jack and Jill need a break from each other. Jack should take the job and move away, as it sounds like he wants to. Jill should chill out and see what happens. Both should try to broaden their social circles while apart. If it was meant to be, it will be. Holding onto the relationship with tightly clenched fists won't make it happen.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:33 PM on March 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


Jack should either stay where Jill is until she completes her program or Jack should get a job in a city where Jill would want to live and set up shop there.

That is, if Jack gives a damn about what Jill wants. If he doesn't he should start a new life on the other side of the country.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 6:34 PM on March 22, 2007


Jill wanted to end the relationship last time too. Jill needs to suck it up and realize that adults can have long-distance relationships for a while, especially if there are endpoints, and needs to stop being so damn selfish.
Or Jack needs to dump her.

Frankly, since an ultimatum has been given which will inevitably leave one partner resentful or the other partner feeling mortally wounded, it sounds like, no matter what, everything is downhill from here for Jack and Jill.
posted by klangklangston at 6:34 PM on March 22, 2007


If Jack made an honest attempt to find work in his field, then I don't think he's wrong in taking a job elsewhere.
I've had friends who stayed together while in school in other parts of the country. YMMV.

It doesn't sound like Jill is completely sold on Jack in the first place and his leaving is a good excuse to end a relationship she cannot end on her own.

Jack should leave. The world is a big place and it's far better to regret things you have done, rather than things you have not.
posted by black8 at 6:39 PM on March 22, 2007


Two good friends of mine who were together for several years prior to both graduating with degrees in chemical engineering and taking jobs across the country from each other faced a similar situation. The woman was so unhappy without her partner that she quit her high paying job and moved across the country to be with him. She's bartending and working a crap lab job for the forseeable future, but she's very happy. This couple, like Jack and Jill, endured an ambiguous period during the undergrad years while one of them studied abroad. Another pair of dating friends who I expected to stay together broke up two weeks after starting grad schools several hundred miles apart. They chose distant schools to pursue different research interests, and ended up splitting. No idea if they will ever get back together. It can go either way, and no amount of writing could possibly convey the subtleties of a relationship well enough for anyone on metafilter to make a truly informed decision.

For what it's worth, I take Jack's side; I wouldn't put up with my partner coloring my choice as "selfish" - Jack deserves to pursue his interests, just as Jill is pursuing hers. My experience with my professor parents' friends and the professors/grad students I've gotten to know in my time at college is that a fairly common situation in academia is for an academic couple to maintain a long distance relationship until they can finagle their way into the same university or locale. Really, Jill should be able to handle some separation, especially since as a grad student she should be buried in work 95% of the time anyways. Maybe Jack's absence will improve her studies somewhat, and he's promised to visit...
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 6:40 PM on March 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


I agree with liquorice. If Jill isn't willing to compromise then there's no way this is going to work.

Personally I'm on Jack's side, mainly because I can relate to him. My boyfriend and I have a semi long-distance thing (we're from two different countries, live on campus for uni, separate for the holidays) and there's a likelihood that I'll be flying off again - exchange, job, whatever. He fully supports me and doesn't want to hold me back. It's hard as hell when we're apart, and it does hurt, but we do all we can - communicate everyday, do things for each other, that sort of thing. He understands that I do what I do to improve myself (which then helps improve our relationship), and he doesn't want me to resent him because I quit my dreams for him. The same applies the other way; if he find something he likes to do, but that takes him away from me physically, I'd rather he do it and be happy then stay with me but only make both of us unhappy because he's resenting the lost opportunity.

My parents lived through this too. Literally just after the wedding, my dad flew to Turkey to do his 2-years Masters. There was also some civil unrest in Bangladesh (where my parents are from) so visits weren't possible. No phone, no Internet, just aerogrammes once in a while. This happened again when my parents moved to Malaysia and once in a while my dad would be in Malaysia while my mum was still in Bangladesh. Again, hard as hell. But they manage, and they're still together 30/40 years on.

Why does Jill have a problem with Jack being away, even if only temporarily? How is Jack being away hurting Jill? Why will Jill not compromise? The only way there will be a solution is if Jack and Jill can figure out what it is about Jack being away that hurts Jill.
posted by divabat at 6:41 PM on March 22, 2007


Jill is being somewhat selfish as well. Does she have any solutions for Jack being unable to find a job, aside from "don't go?" Does she expect him to wait around in her town, unemployed, career stagnating? If she knows herself well enough to let him know she can't have a long distance relationship, that's fine. But he should probably take the job. It's one thing to say "this will be hard on me, but I'm willing to try for your sake", and quite another to say "it's over if you leave".
posted by oneirodynia at 6:43 PM on March 22, 2007


If she says it's a deal breaker for her, then it's a deal breaker for her. Wanting it otherwise, or applying "logic" (But honey, it's only for nine months, we did it before...) won't change how she feels. Jack has a pretty simple choice: job or Jill; at the moment it appears he can't have both. (But who knows -- maybe he moves and Jill realizes that she kind of likes him even though he keeps moving away, or maybe the company turns out to have a telecommuting or local subsidiary option. But maybe not, also.)

In the past, I was someone who always chose the leaving option. That got me some pretty cool experiences, but I lost a number of pretty cool relationships by doing so, and paid some real costs for it. I mean, if I could go back in time, I'd still make the choices I did, because I like how things have turned out, but I'd do so knowing how much I was giving up, and with some pretty serious mixed feelings. And had things not worked out well, I would now be living with tremendous guilt and regret -- that's a real risk to take, not be considered lightly.

I'd really question the logic of "if I just have more experience, then I could find a job near Jill." Sure, maybe that's possible... but what if it doesn't turn out to be true? Then you are a year later, far apart, and Jill is feeling lied to (But you promised you would be back by now...)
posted by Forktine at 6:43 PM on March 22, 2007


sounds like Jill still isn't over the fact that Jack went overseas and that she feels that Jack isn't showing her the attention/making her feel special that he should be doing.

So it sounds like Jill is being kinda passive agressive in this situation and needs to come to terms with the fact that Jack actually likes his career and that Jill does too.

It sounds like both Jack and Jill need to realize that they both don't feel like compromising, that they really don't value the relationship (or each other) as much as they probably should, and that they both need to grow up a little and come to terms to the fact that they're both pretty selfish. And since you're both still young, some people still think that it's allowed.

Relationships are risk - you risk being together, not being together, etc. Living in this limbo world doesn't make anyone happy. It's time to make a decision about what really is important to you - the relationship or yourself. If it's yourself, break it off, drop contact with each other, and once Jill is done with her masters, maybe...MAYBE...get back into contact with each other.

But if you actually give a rat's ass about the relationship, both need to suck it up and make a compromise or just throw this relationship into the well and drown it once and for all.
posted by Stynxno at 6:43 PM on March 22, 2007


Long distance relationships suck. But they are can be done. ..especially when funds allow for Jack and Jill to visit one another with some regularity. Certainly, life would be easier if they were in the same city. But distance provides the opportunity for thoughtful conversation as well as time for each party to think and reflect. It's a hard lesson, but at your young age, it's time you learned, "you don't always get what you want...."
posted by peace_love_hope at 6:46 PM on March 22, 2007


It sounds like Jill doesn't have much perspective, as though she's living on a for-the-moment attitude rather than for-always. If marriage has been touched on, isn't the assumption going into marriage that it's "till death do we part"? 'Till death is an awful lot longer than six months or a year or even two years.

Yes, distance sucks. Trust me, I know - I've been living with 7500 miles of distance for a year now, and will continue for another year before it's over. But it's worth it to me. I would -never-, for any selfish reason, ask my beloved to quit school for me or not to take a job that he wanted and would be a great asset to him. This is why I tolerate the distance. Better things will come from spending a year apart now and him gaining a degree than for us to be together RIGHT NOW and deal with the challenges of finding decently-paid jobs forever.

Either Jill doesn't understand this concept, or she's not in it for the long-term, and only wants immediate gratification which can only be provided by Jack's being there. I can only hope it's the former, as the latter indicates it's time to move on.
posted by po at 6:46 PM on March 22, 2007


Not useful to morally judge ("selfish," etc) either Jack or Jill. Useful things to consider:

* Is Jack willing to lose Jill to take this job?
* Is Jack willing to give up this job to stay with Jill?
* How does Jack feel about being presented with this decision?
* If Jack gave up this job to stay with Jill, how would he feel about it?
* Does Jill know the answers to these questions above?
* If Jack honors his true feelings about all this and about his relationship with Jill, what does he want to do?
posted by salvia at 6:46 PM on March 22, 2007


What's a year? It's selfish (or fearful) for Jill to think that a year of commuting across the country is selfish on Jack's part. He's getting a job, for godsakes -- Plenty of lesser guys would gladly stick around and sponge off of her while she's at grad school.

FWIW, my SO (now spouse) and I did this for a total of 3 years, shuttling across the country and "sacrificing" (i.e., giving up jobs/semesters) for each other. It was a pain in the ass, but made for a stronger relationship.

Jill's disdain for the city of Jack's choosing also seems immature to me. Sorry to beat up on her, but just working with the facts. (Would be interesting to hear her side of the story. Any way to get her in the thread?)
posted by turducken at 6:47 PM on March 22, 2007


Should Jack and Jill try to make things work? Is Jack being selfish for not staying home? Is Jill being unreasonable in not agreeing that this is merely a temporary situation in the big scheme of things?


Jack is saying "I want to take this job somewhere else. I know you don't want that, but to make this choice less awful, I offer to fly to you often, and fly you to be with me often."

Jill is saying "I want you to stay with me where you can't find work. I know you don't want that, but to make this choice less awful, I offer to..."

To what? To nothing. I say break it off, and for good this time, because you two seem to have a fundamental disagreement about whether LDRs can provide you with everything you need from a relationship. If Jill needs to be living in the same city as the person whom she is involved with, then she should find someone like that, who is going to be living in her city.

I side with Jack. I am a dude, if that makes a difference on how you view my take on things.
posted by 23skidoo at 6:47 PM on March 22, 2007


These questions are always some sort of rorschach. This is my take

1. I don't believe Jack has "tried everything to find a job" My guess is that this is a story written by Jack. I used to date a guy like Jack who claimed also that he has tried everything. Please note the past tense. This, I'm sure, also affects my read on this story.
2. The key to me is the timeframe. Jill can't move with Jack now, if Jack takes this job, but it doesn't sound like she wants to move later either. So... Jack is considering taking a job where Jill doesn't want to live. Not doesn't want to live NOW, but doesn't want to live, period. This is a problem. Is it on the table that they can BOTH MOVE once Jill is done with school?
3. Job options: can Jack and Jill scrimp and save and live together cheaply while Jill finishes school? Is Jill willing to support Jack if Jack doesn't move? Is Jack eligible for any sort of social safety net support or maybe not-quite-in-his-field jobs while he waits for Jill to graduate?
4. If marriage is seriously on the table, Jack should consider proposing to Jill and seeing if this has an affect on her perception of his commitment. Then he should be ready to decide these sorts of things as a team.

At the end of the day, you either believe that Jack has No Other Options, or you don't. If it's true that Jack has no other options, then he's an idiot to not take the job. I believe, possibly like Jill, that there are always other options and either you prioritize the relationship and make that work first, or you prioritize your work life. You would not be the first male/female couple who fell out in these same directions over how to choose among these things.
posted by jessamyn at 6:48 PM on March 22, 2007


Corollary note: Yes, I do realize some people just cannot handle distance. This isn't a matter of a flaw in the person, or a lack of self control - but they, by virtue of how they're put together, must have the immediate gratification of a partner's presence in order to maintain the relationship. I shouldn't so broadly judge people as "not being in it for the long term" simply by their inability to cope with distance.

Most of what I said still applies, though.
posted by po at 6:49 PM on March 22, 2007


Maybe try this:
Write a list of all possible scenarios...Jack moves and they do long-distance relationship for a year and decide to see what happens/how they feel when Jill is done with school, Jack moves and they split up, Jack stays and gets a Jill Job (it's really called that I swear!) until Jill graduates and he keeps looking for work in the meantime, and any other options you can think of.

Spend at least two days "trying on" each idea. Pick a scenario and pretend that's gonna be the plan. Sit with each idea, discuss it, feel it. After the week or so, when all options are tried, see what fits best.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:10 PM on March 22, 2007


Jack and Jill are fundamentally incompatible. I do not say this flippantly.

This is as clear of a sign as any couple could hope to ever receive of that.

I hope Jack and Jill appreciate the precious gift that they have been given, finding this out before saying "I do".

I'm also of the opinion that once any ultimatum comes about in a relationship, that relationship is in fact over. But that's a discussion for a different day.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:11 PM on March 22, 2007


It seems that everyone has assumed that I am Jack - this is true. I did my best posing both my and Jill's views, hopefully without bias.

It'd be interesting to get Jill's in on this thread and her take.

She does read AskMeFi somewhat regularly, part of me hopes she comes across this thread, part of me hopes she never sees it.
posted by ASM at 7:17 PM on March 22, 2007


ASM, if it's possible she's going to come across this thread on her own, you need to show it to her now. This is not the sort of thing to spring on a person.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:20 PM on March 22, 2007 [4 favorites]


I side with Jack.

I think Jill is (understandably) scared: this is the second verse, same as the first, and who's to say Jack will come home a second time? When he left the first time, she was heartbroken, felt abandoned... and likely, grew a hell of a lot in the process. Yet, it's probably hard to value the growth right now, when faced with the fear of a heartbreak sequel, maybe this time with an unhappy ending.

I believe that a big part of the reason that Jack and Jill had the "best it's ever been" scenario since October is this: high school sweethearts who go on to date all through college do not get the same personal growth experiences as other young 20-somethings. I know this because I am married to one.

Mr. Pineapple and his ex never got the time to go and explore and test themselves as adults and individuals. The bulk of their emotional and mental adult development was spent in the comfort zone of a best friend / constant cheerleader / safe place. They married right after college graduation, and (wait for it) eventually divorced, both resenting the wings they never grew on their own, for lack of ever having actually left the nest.

I'm not saying that this is exactly Jack and Jill's situation. But I am saying that Jack has been with Jill since high school, and it's silly for her to say that he's not committed to the relationship.

I believe Jack that he has tried his hardest to find work -- I think that what he considers "his hardest" is true for him, and anyway protocol says we take him at his word. Further, I know that if I got a prestigious position with an international master's program, I would be pretty picky when I came home about what jobs I'd take.

Jack should leave. He can hold fast to his promise, and let Jill see that he means what he said. If she really truly wants to end it (which, I suspect she really doesn't, she's just bluffing out of fear), she will and they'll both go on.

But Jack won't be happy if he sticks around in an inferior job, and he'll eventually begin to resent Jill for "manipulating" him into staying. That's no way to live.

On preview, I see that ASM = Jack but now I can't be arsed to change the pronouns so, there you go.
posted by pineapple at 7:30 PM on March 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


It seems that everyone has assumed that I am Jack - this is true. I did my best posing both my and Jill's views, hopefully without bias.

It'd be interesting to get Jill's in on this thread and her take.

She does read AskMeFi somewhat regularly, part of me hopes she comes across this thread, part of me hopes she never sees it.


whooooooooooooa. what the hell. wow. what a passive aggressive weak willed thing to do. jeez. i change my advice - dump her. go live your life away from her. maybe man up a little, get your ass treated poorly for a few times, and then THEN maybe you'll learn what's important to you in this life.
posted by Stynxno at 7:45 PM on March 22, 2007


I have two questions I want to ask before I toss in my two cents.

1. Does Jill agree with the assessment that things have been "amazing?"

2. Were this relationship to continue on, what is the expected outcome?

I think this relationship is in its death throes. Jack and Jill had a good run, but it's really over. Both are still young and the mid-late 20s are a time of amazing personal growth, particularly if you spent your late teens and early twenties in a committed relationshp. I ended one such relationship at 27 and had a lot of catching up to do.

But that's not why I feel like this is it. After this long, Jack and Jill should be talking about the future on some level, even if there's a 5 or 10 year plan and the lack of that troubles me. Additionally, Jill appears to be unsure that this is really it.

There's a lot out there in the world, and I think that some detail is missing here about the dynamic of the relationship and why Jill feels this way, perhaps the romance has merely run its course. But maybe it's just time to end it. Each party has a desire incompatible with the other party's. If you can figure out how to compromise now, this doesn't bode well for the future.
posted by wildeepdotorg at 7:48 PM on March 22, 2007


Jack and Jill should break up.

No matter what happens, someone is gonna be resentful.

(but before breaking up, one session with an impartial couples counselor might be useful. Oh how I envy that counselor. Only not.)
posted by konolia at 7:52 PM on March 22, 2007


whooooooooooooa. what the hell. wow. what a passive aggressive weak willed thing to do. jeez. i change my advice - dump her. go live your life away from her. maybe man up a little, get your ass treated poorly for a few times, and then THEN maybe you'll learn what's important to you in this life.

This isn't meant to be passive aggressive. In fact, I wouldn't use passive aggressive to describe myself. With a million things running through my head I was hoping to take in outside opinions to possibly help put things in perspective.
posted by ASM at 7:55 PM on March 22, 2007


The choices are separation for a year or a bad job for a year? And there's a debate? I say wait for her, and make a good, mutually agreeable plan on what to do when she's got her degree. Your sacrifice will be rewarded if the relationship is a good one.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:23 PM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


There's more information needed here. How specialized is this career field? Six months seems like a short job search for a recent graduate. Would you be willing to take a job outside your field or vaguely related to your field for the next year? Are your finances in order? Would you be able to afford to live in your current city while spending more time looking for work? Do you have compatible career tracks which would eventually enable you to work in the same town? If Jill cannot ever see herself living in the city of your job offer, will you be willing to move to a mutual location at the end of one year?

It sounds like she's made her position pretty clear. So it's more about the choices and resources available to you.
posted by acoutu at 8:29 PM on March 22, 2007


I feel for Jill, here. She can't go anywhere (whether she wants to or not is completely immaterial- she *can't* at the moment.) And you keep going far, far away.

In her place, I'd definitely read more into that than a mere keen interest in study and career- isn't it funny how all your best opportunities take place thousands of miles away from her?

It would be a dealbreaker for me, but I think if you're honest with yourself, it's your dealbreaker, too. She doesn't want to move, you do. You're both picking education/career over the other, and that's probably for a reason.

There's a such thing as right person-wrong time-wrong place, and just because she's the right person doesn't mean you should end up together.
posted by headspace at 8:32 PM on March 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


It sounds like it will be a long distance relationship for a year. That's doable. You'll come across more serious obstacles in any serious relationship. Just plan on seeing each other every couple of months, call often, etc. Also, put a time limit on it. He can search for a new position immediately.
posted by walla at 8:42 PM on March 22, 2007


ASM: I also agree that if she is a MeFite denizen, the least you could have done is made it an anonymous posting. IT REALLY does come across as a shitty thing to do.

As I said before, you and Jill are fundamentally incompatible.

You're trying to decide whether to move for this job now or later. She's telling you your choice is to move there never, or never-ever.

You guys are reading from two different scripts.

Cut your losses.

There's a such thing as right person-wrong time-wrong place, and just because she's the right person doesn't mean you should end up together.
posted by headspace at 8:32 PM PST on March 22


I've wondered over your last line for most of my life, and I've not yet come to a conclusion about it.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:51 PM on March 22, 2007


If Jack and Jill were really meant to be, this probably wouldn't be an issue.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 8:52 PM on March 22, 2007


It isn't unreasonable for him to want to follow his career, but it does unquestionably mean that he is putting his career ahead of the relationship. It isn't unreasonable for her to balk at a second protracted long-distance phase - particularly after only 6 months of being together after the first (contentious) separation. Worse, this one is open-ended and likely to be protracted.

I'm slightly less on his side because it has not yet been an extraordinarily protracted job hunt and it does not sound like a "dream" job, just the first one that has come up. But it comes down, as others have said to this: she's drawn her line and he needs to decide what's more important to him. Jack does have other options: he can keep looking. If he's putting forth the idea that he simply can't find work in his field where they live now, how can he suggest confidence that he will find work there later simply because he has experience? There's obviously no guarantee.
posted by nanojath at 9:01 PM on March 22, 2007


It's up to you. Is the job more important than the relationship? I understand that she can't leave, and doesn't particulary want to live where you are going.

My suggestion is to move along. There are plenty fish in the sea, and I'm sure moving across the country unencumbured would be a phenomenal experience.
posted by PFL at 9:16 PM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


What this basically boils down to is Jack doesn't think Jill is worth spending a year or so working a non-career-advancing job. This does not bode well.
posted by phrontist at 9:23 PM on March 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


On Preview: What PFL said.
posted by phrontist at 9:24 PM on March 22, 2007


"Jack thinks this is a small bump in the road that shouldn't effect the end outcome of the relationship. Jill was hurt by the first move and is afraid of being hurt due to being in different cities."

I think this is the most important part. Think about this part more and talk about it with jill. It's completely reasonable to think that something that was hurtful before is going to be hurtful again, and to try to avoid that. that's why it's kind of a shame that everyone is ganging up on her especially if she winds up reading this.
posted by amethysts at 9:26 PM on March 22, 2007


Take the job, Jack. Wives come and go, but a resume, now that's head stone fodder.
posted by paulsc at 9:30 PM on March 22, 2007 [5 favorites]


The following questions have been posed:
FWIW - I have discussed all these things at one point or another with Jill.

ASM: I also agree that if she is a MeFite denizen, the least you could have done is made it an anonymous posting. IT REALLY does come across as a shitty thing to do.

I tried posting anonymously but the AskMeFi Gods did not deem this worthy.

1. Does Jill agree with the assessment that things have been "amazing?"

Yes. We have had many, many conversations in regards to this.

2. Were this relationship to continue on, what is the expected outcome?

We have talked about this to some degree and we both agree that marriage is a possibility on the horizon.

How specialized is this career field? ... Do you have compatible career tracks which would eventually enable you to work in the same town? If Jill cannot ever see herself living in the city of your job offer, will you be willing to move to a mutual location at the end of one year?

The career field is fairly specialized - biotech. And yes, I am willing to move to a mutual location when she is done with her master's program. I have made this clear to her.

I'm slightly less on his side because it has not yet been an extraordinarily protracted job hunt and it does not sound like a "dream" job, just the first one that has come up.

While this is not a dream job it is certainly the type of job that would allow me to move on to my dream job.
posted by ASM at 10:39 PM on March 22, 2007


End it.
posted by tehgubner at 10:48 PM on March 22, 2007


Reading your SO's (slanted) take on your relationship on askmefi is extremely hurtful; it happened to me and was not good for our relationship. You have held up a narrow part of her personality for strangers to call her selfish. Please let her know about this thread so she doesn't stumble across it. Really, please do. And for what it's worth, I'm with the "prioritise relationships over work" crowd. But I'm a bit of a outta-sight, outta-mind romantic partner.
posted by saucysault at 11:34 PM on March 22, 2007


What's the point of grad school if you then decide to drop the career to avoid a temporary LDR? I don't think Jill is taking life seriously. I wonder if she takes the possiblity of her relocating to this new place into serious consideration, or is simply giving in to petty aprehension, out of some need to prove that she means something to Jack.

It's clear that Jill is behaving imature. The question is why. Is it out of her emotional need for closeness (while she studies), or is it, as I suggested above, the need to prove something?

I don't think Jack is being selfish, I'd say he's being responsible. I do question what happens when Jill finishes school. If the new location is in fact a downer, what then? Jack probably needs to stay in his new job for at least 2 years. What does Jill do for that 2nd year?

Jill, honey, you let him go once, he came back. You want a man, you got one, but only if you can let him go again. You've gone this far, what's up with throwing that all away over a temporary relocation? Buck up kid, the good ones tend to be tricky. The easy ones are seldom worth it.
posted by Goofyy at 11:41 PM on March 22, 2007


Having been in a poition similar to Jack, job-wise, I just want o gainsay jessamyn's story with my own. Right after graduatiing from grad school, my wife and moved to an area where, un beknownst to me, the market was oversturated with people in my field. After two years, and 1000 resumes, I got a job at Border's.
my wife was supportive, but I could tell that she was frustrated, and eventually we moved.

Everything is connected -- have you considered that is Jack were to stay, to save the relationship, and take whatever job comes along, that it too would negatively affect the relationship? If Jack "settles" for a job just to please Jill, it could generate resentment on Jack's part, or worse, Jack could get a job he hates, which could, in the long run, lead to frustration or even depression (I've seen this happen).

And, of course, being lucky enough to have a supportive spouse in spite of my bad luck with jobs-getting, I have to ask if Jill values Jack's career passion -- I would think that if Jill loved Jack, then his career goals would be important enough to her to put up with 9 months of separation.
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:10 AM on March 23, 2007


Jack should point Jill to this thread. It could make good talking points.

It should be pointed out that Jack and Jill are both young and BOTH are being immature about this. Love trumps a job Jack. Love trumps distance Jill, especially when it's for a short time.

My advice: Jack should stick it out with Jill until she finishes and they should find some mutual place to move. That is, if he can do willingly do, without feeling resentful, without seeing it as a set back or lost opportunity. This is a key point Jack. If he can see view this as an opportunity to get closer with his future wife, while really preparing himself for his career, then yeah, this could work. 'Cause Jack should know that this is about the last time you left also and Jill is seeing this a possible pattern. Jack should make an effort to show she's #1 on the list of priorities. Jobs come, jobs go Jack. There's only one Jill.


But the real question Jack and Jill should be asking is "What if this situation happens again? What are we going to do? 'Cause I suspect this won't be the last time this happens.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:26 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm with brandon_blatcher on all points.

Jack needs to suck it up and get a job outside his chosen profession for the next year until jill is done with her program. At that point, they can move together to a location with opportunities for both of them. It is called supporting one's partner, Jack should learn how to do this.

If jack continues to show jill that the relationship ranks way lower than his individual desires in his priority order, jill should take a good, hard look at the relationship and realize that a life with jack would be full of a series of hard decisions requiring her to sacrifice to cater to jack's needs/wants.

... I just read some posts I missed upthread. Dude, "jack," you couldn't even pony up $5 to ask the question, adding in a few details to obscure your identity, to protect your girlfriend from happening upon a post from her boyfriend, asking a random community of strangers to weigh in on the outcome of their relationship (based on a one-sided story)? Or, I don't know, find a community she doesn't read? Wow, that was very inconsiderate, insensitive and shows an incredible lack of regard for anything other than your immediate needs.

"Jill," if you are reading this, please keep in mind that relationships with selfish people are seldom partnerships and they are always painful.
posted by necessitas at 5:41 AM on March 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


Ok, since no one else has: Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack wanted to come down but Jill did not. Jill let Jack know that if he did go down they would fetch water together no more. Why does Jill feel this way? Who knows why? Jill knows why - hopefully. We only know Jacks side of the story, and after hearing his side you can't help but feel that Jill is being unreasonable, that she is either very selfish or very insecure, and that she needs to grow up.

The problem here is, and I've found this out the hard way from my own postings, is that even though Jack is really trying his best to be fair and unbiased it is impossible for him to be so. We can all make comments about what Jack has told us, but without hearing Jill's side of the story it's impossible to give Jack any real meaningful advice. Visiting a therapist together would be much more beneficial than any advice Jack is going to see here. Unless of course Jack is just looking for validation, albeit very hollow validation, of how unreasonable Jill is.

My advice to you Jack is: Show Jill your post before she "stumbles upon it" and gets the wonderful surprise of seeing how much of an ass everyone thinks she is. Then let her know how unfair it was of you to post it without showing it to her first and getting her input. And then if you're still trying to make the relationship work, repost it with sections written by both of you so we can give you some better advice.
posted by tr45vbyt at 6:53 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Jack needs to suck it up and get a job outside his chosen profession for the next year until jill is done with her program.

A couple of people have offered advice in this vein, and I think it's really short-sighted. Taking 6 months to find a job in his field while temping or working at Borders is one thing. Spending 18 months working a regular job not related to his field and not actively looking for work in his field would be the kiss of death in many fields. He'd now have a whole new crop of graduates in his field to compete with. Ones who haven't spent the last year figuring out what people mean when they say 'You know that book? With the blue cover? About that woman?'

Jill is not just asking Jack to give up a single job, she may well be asking him to give up his whole career.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:43 AM on March 23, 2007


To add to that, I don't think Jill necessarily sees it that way, and I don't think she's a bad person for it. I also don't know if Jack has really expended every effort to find a job in his field somewhere where Jill could also find a job in her field and be happy to work.

From my perspective, the ideal scenario would seem like one where Jack spends the year working in unfortunate location, and then leverages that year of experience to get a job in a better location, while Jill concentrates on finishing her program. But I'm not Jill, and I don't know how much that first separation bothered her (maybe she'd spend the whole year pining and flunk out of her program?) and I don't know Jack's field and whether a year of experience would be enough to get him a better job in a better location.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:47 AM on March 23, 2007


Jack needs to suck it up and get a job outside his chosen profession for the next year until jill is done with her program. At that point, they can move together to a location with opportunities for both of them.
Who says this this is even on the table? Why do we get to assume that they want to move together to yet another location? That's a lot of projection, there. Jack said he wants to take the int'l offer as a temporary alternative, until he can come back home (a second time) and be with Jill.

Even though Jack clearly has professional opportunities internationally, there's a whole lot of coming home to Jill going on here, and the Jack-detractors don't seem to be acknowledging that.
It is called supporting one's partner, Jack should learn how to do this.
I second jacquilynne's take; this is short-sighted. They are in their mid-20's and are not in serious marriage talks.

I just don't see how staying with someone for five years, and then going away to international graduate school and coming back home to her, and being more than willing and eager to support an LDR if he goes again, makes Jack unsupportive.

Jack would be "unsupportive" of Jill if he were asking her to leave the country with him and abandon her own program. He would be "unsupportive" of Jill if he weren't offering to maintain what will no doubt be a difficult LDR.
posted by pineapple at 8:43 AM on March 23, 2007


Who says this this is even on the table? Why do we get to assume that they want to move together to yet another location?

"jack" says this in a comment a handful of replies up.
posted by necessitas at 9:00 AM on March 23, 2007


"after hearing his side you can't help but feel that Jill is being unreasonable, that she is either very selfish or very insecure, and that she needs to grow up"

I don't think that's true, because I certainly don't feel that way. I think there are basically two camps here: Relationship over Job, and Job over Relationship. Job is really a metaphor though - There are all kinds of things in life that will divide you if you let them.

Making the Relationship the Most Important Thing allows it to keep going. For Jill: This may mean dropping her program in order to be with Jack (if being with Jack is the most important thing, then it's more important than her program.) For Jack: This may mean dropping his job in order to be with her (if being with Jill is the most important thing, then it's more important than a particular job).

Sacrificing for your partner is something that forges strong bonds that keep people together. The tricky part: Both people have to be willing to do it. In this situation, if both people said to each other: "I'm willing to do whatever it takes to stay with you," then that opens the door to finding mutually agreeable compromises. The "take it or leave it" attitude is what drives people apart.

Good luck.
posted by eleyna at 9:13 AM on March 23, 2007


"I think there are basically two camps here: Relationship over Job, and Job over Relationship. Job is really a metaphor though - There are all kinds of things in life that will divide you if you let them."

Except that some of us, or at least me, don't see it as Job over Relationship. I see it as Freedom over Manipulation.

Lemme explain a little about where I'm coming from— I'm dating a fantastic girl who's left twice, once for Boston (and mostly just to see if she could do it), and once for LA (because it was the best/only job). It sucked, it still sucks, but we're a Relationship over Job couple in that our relationship has endured even while these jobs take us apart. So, I'd be the Jill that's understanding about Jack's future and about our prospects together.
Further, I would never say that my girlfriend had to choose between me or the job. Why? Because I believe that she's important enough to me to work things out. Jill is the one placing the job over the relationship, and that's childish and selfish, and by issuing an ultimatum she's already killed the relationship. All that's missing is the tidy eulogy that she wants by making Jack stay. She's already said that she doesn't believe in this relationship enough to work for it over a fairly short amount of time. She's already decided that the job is more important than the relationship, despite the desperate desparaging of some of the commenters here who are trying to childishly turn this into an all or nothing deal.
posted by klangklangston at 10:18 AM on March 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


It sounds like you two want incompatible things. Jack wants a job far away and a long distance relationship with Jill, and Jill wants a relationship with Jack living nearby. Neither of you is right and neither of you is wrong. It's just that the things you want are mutually exclusive.

There are therefore three options. 1) Jill changes her mind about her willingness to have a long distance relations. 2) Jack changes his mind about the far away job. 3) If neither 1 nor 2 happens, Jack and Jill break up. Allowing 3 to happen doesn't mean that either of you have done anything wrong, it just means that your life plans remained incompatible.

I think that the less time you spend blaming one another, the more likely you are to come up with a non-3 plan that feels right to both of you.
posted by decathecting at 11:05 AM on March 23, 2007


I can't believe all the righteous indignation being spewed at Jill for not wanting a LDR. She doesn't want one. That does not make her immature or manipulative. Immature is not knowing what it is you want in a relationship, being unable to express what you want, passive-aggressively punishing someone for doing something you don't like. Manipulative is stringing someone along to get something of value out of them with no intention of giving anything back, going behind their back to influence their actions. She is being totally up-front, which in my opinion should be commended. How many people have wasted months in a dying relationship because one or both parties could not decide on their priorities?

It sounds to me like, despite wanting to break up when you went overseas last time, you didn't quite break up, and she got a taste for the LDR experience and decided she didn't like it. No one here seems to have a clear idea of why she is putting her foot down on this one, including you, Jack. How can you possibly hope to come to a resolution on this issue if you don't even understand the motivation behind the ultimatum?

If nothing else I hope you don't use this as fodder for "I'm-right-you're-wrong." Relationships (especially those without kids or property) should be about maximizing the happiness of the participants, and those participants have every right to decide at any time that cost of continuing the relationship is greater than the cost for giving it up. Emotions do not have to be logical.
posted by ch1x0r at 4:40 PM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've been trying to work this out in my head a little more, and why the situation bothers me so much.

Here's the thing I think I failed to express before: Jack and Jill can only make choices for themselves. Jill can't choose to have Jack stay. Only Jack can choose to stay for himself. Jill can certainly choose to move with Jack, if the separation is going to be a problem for her. Saying: "I can't handle an LDR," isn't manipulative. What's manipulative is saying: "You have to stay here or the relationship is over." If Jill is the one who can't handle distance, then the responsibility for closing the distance gap rests on her.

"So, I'd be the Jill that's understanding about Jack's future and about our prospects together."

Obviously the distance isn't a dealbreaker for you, because you're dealing with it - but for some people it is. So how do those people negotiate that when one person wants to go away?

Ultimately, the only two absolute choices Jill has (presuming she is of the dealbreaker persuasion) are: Move with Jack, or stay and not have a relationship. Now, hopefully two people in a relationship would care enough about each other to try to explore options that would help them both be happy, and Jack wouldn't be unwilling to talk to her about compromises.
posted by eleyna at 12:20 PM on March 24, 2007


maybe jill is reconsidering if she wants to be in a relationship with someone who is always making decisions and not taking her into consideration? maybe jill is thinking that if jack is going to capitalize on a great experiance across the country, then she should capitialize on a great experiance of her own, end the relationship and meet new people, date new people. maybe jill is thinking that this is entirely too much for someone who is 23 and works 60 hours a week.

maybe jack doesn't get another chance with this relationship

if its not clear, I am jill.

so now MY question is, what would you do?
- your boyfriend has a pretty lame track record in terms of boyfriend-ness, but has been great the past year
- you work full time and are in a competetive grad program
- your contacts and networks are in this city
- you've been with jack for a long time and have great chemisty with him. when things are good, they're great. when things are bad, its awful.
- you have doubts about whether or not jack is worth all this
posted by enaira at 3:51 PM on March 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


and jack, did you really think i wasn't going to see this? please, i saw it the day you posted....i know you so well
posted by enaira at 3:55 PM on March 24, 2007


enaira, first, thanks for coming in and posting. I think most of us commenting here have felt that we are missing key elements of the story.

With what you've laid out, I definitely would recommend that you two agree to go your separate ways.

These things in particular from your comment jump out at me:

"...if jack is going to capitalize on a great experiance across the country, then she should capitialize on a great experiance of her own, end the relationship and meet new people, date new people."

Absolutely. Because if not now, when? If any fiber of your being is wondering whether this is the time for you to sow some oats, then do it.

"you have doubts about whether or not jack is worth all this"

Again: if not now, when? If you have doubts about whether Jack is worth it, I can't see a better opportunity than this one to find out for sure. He wants to leave again, and you would have a golden chance to explore and meet new people and actually date and be single, which from what we've heard, you haven't really done since high school.

Being single can be a lot of fun, if you appreciate it for what it is. You should give it a try.

If he comes back, he comes back. You two can then assess things, see how you feel, see whether there's something worth picking back up for the long haul -- and with the benefit of even more life experience and self-awareness under your respective belts.

If he doesn't, he doesn't, and everyone goes on... and you'll be vindicated in having chosen not to sit on ice for him.
posted by pineapple at 5:07 PM on March 24, 2007


Uh, yeah, not to add to the misery of other people, but you sound like you should probably break up.
Or reconcile fast in a big way.

(Up until my current relationship, referenced above, every single girl I dated ended the relationship by leaving the country.
A compromise can be— Keep in contact, leave things on a good note, but realize that if either one of you wants to "end" the relationship, all you have to do is tell the other person. No sleeping with other folks until you decide to "end" it first. If it works out, it works out. If it doesn't, and you realize once they're gone that you'd really rather be with someone else, someone local to you, let 'em know and everyone can remain amicable.)
posted by klangklangston at 5:19 PM on March 24, 2007


You know, if the situation was reversed, I bet most of the folks here would be insisting that Jill go for the job and that Jack would need to just deal. (Just an observation.)

Anyway, I do think that these two need to go their separate ways. I don't think either one is evil, I don't think Jack should give up his career opportunity-no one in their right mind would ask Jill to give up HER program-in fact I am totally amazed Jill wouldn't keep the relationship and use the time Jack is away to totally concentrate on her program. If she thinks for whatever reason Jack wouldn't be coming back, then the relationship wouldn't last even if he stayed.

Dang, I'm glad to be an old married lady.
posted by konolia at 5:22 PM on March 24, 2007


enaira, thanks for posting. Your perspective makes me say that you two should split up. I think your concerns that you never come first are valid and that you're not being selfish at all. In fact, you're being very up front about your needs in this relationship.

And you're just 23. It's a big, wide world out there. Go find out what's in it.
posted by wildeepdotorg at 5:42 PM on March 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Criminy, ASM, for five bucks, at least create a new account that your girlfriend doesn't know about.

The Rashomon scenario has been fascinating, but at the end of the day we have the following mathematical reality that both sides agree upon:

* Jack doesn't like Jill enough to take the hit to his career that waiting around for a year would be.
* Jill doesn't like Jack enough to wait six-to-twelve months and see if the two can find a job in the same city.

It seems to me that Jack is being more "reasonable": a dead spot on a resume hurts him for the rest of his life, while Jill is simply being asked to make some compromises for a few months and at most misses out on a few months of fun at the age of 23 if Jack lets her down down the line.

But that's irrelevant: Jill changing her mind doesn't seem to be an option here, so Jack has his answer: they're not compatible. Whether that's because Jill is being unreasonably unyielding or because Jack hasn't proven himself worthy of a long-distance relationship doesn't change that answer, just whether the result is good news for Jack in the long run.
posted by commander_cool at 9:07 PM on March 24, 2007


(I do feel for ASM's awkwardness, though: I have a girlfriend, an ex-girlfriend, and a freaking ex-wife on MeFi, and it weirds me out when two or more of them are in the same thread. Suffice it to say that I wouldn't ask for relationship advice here without clearing it first, though fortunately I haven't had so much as remote occasion to seek the counsel of the DTMFA crowd.)
posted by commander_cool at 9:12 PM on March 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I really appreciate everyone's input - its almost refreshing to hear insight from a completely unbiased third party.

But what if I (jill) think that maybe I might want a long term relationship with Jack? The question is, at what point do you stop compromising in a relationship? Is this a big compromise? What would YOU do in my position?

And I'm not sure why everyone is assuming his position is six months to a year...its not a temporary one at all. Jack says that he wants to make it a temporary position but would be there atleast one year.

Thank you again for your thoughts and advice.
posted by enaira at 12:33 AM on March 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey Jill. Sorry about your daft boyfriend. It's okay, I know firsthand a lot of people like that, who just struggle with thinking as a team member. Oy, my friend's fiance bailed on our group bachelor/bachelorette ski trip over not wanting to take unpaid time off...

As someone who is about to move for grad school and uproot my boyfriend to his dismay, my advice is stay together. You can do it. All these people saying break up are sensing your attitudes as they are portrayed here, which are peevish, both of you - they're being knee-jerk. But,you know whether you have it or not. Since you're asking too, what to do, you obviously think you have something. Maybe it's a puzzle, but it's for the two of you. I really love that.

So I'll repeat myself, from upthread. He should wait for you. He can even tell that job that he needs to defer acceptance of their offer. He should be looking for jobs starting upon your completion date, as part of a team plan with you. You seem like you're not working together to be together. I really think you'd better start. There is no rush to attain a career, a career is only one path to money and fun, and fun you can find other ways. A career should be no one's sole source of satisfaction. Ergo, the deferment lovin' is so much more fulfilling than a year in the workplace. I would do it if I were him. It's a great chance to try one last professional adventure before settling into that monolithic career, right?

But both of you are going to need to consider what kinds of detours and changes of plan you'd be willing to accept in your careers in order to be together.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:06 AM on March 25, 2007


deferment ^ should be no great source of resentment. A year ^ lovin'

stupid trackpad.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:07 AM on March 25, 2007


Where do you live that it's possible to defer job offers for a year?
posted by jacquilynne at 7:49 AM on March 26, 2007


I had a very long response that DNS issues ate.

After reading enaira, basically, I repeat what I said above. Jack and Jill are fundamentally incompatible. They are reading from two different scripts.

Relationships *ARE* compromise... it is important that you both learn this lesson immediately, today, this instant. As an old-time comedian said, marriage ensures that both people are neither as happy, nor as sad, as they would be alone.

If you both insist on working this out, which I think is ill-advised, there is but one reasonable solution:

Jack should take whatever job he can find until Jill graduates. Then, Jill should be willing to move to whatever city Jack can find gainful employment.

That is fair, or should I say, requires similar sacrifice by each person involved. Then you would have Jill trying to find work in Jack's town.

This will be only the FIRST of many, many life-altering compromises a permanent relationship will require.

When to buy a house, or when to have a child, or whether to allow an elderly parent to move in, or whether to take dream job offer in Nowheresville, or public school vs private school vs homeschool, or whether to buy a dog, or whether to remodel the bathroom, or or or or or or or........

I also think too many people are putting too much emphasis on a small quiet period on his resume. Saying "this will haunt him the rest of his life" is simply absurd and untrue. If this really is a concern, and if your finances will allow, have him take a low-paying or even volunteer job with something like a local charity or Americorps or something, to where he will be doing something and making a difference, and it would look nothing but positive on a resume.

Noone said this would be easy. And it very well may be (and is in fact my opinion) this is simply not workable.

But, even if Jack and Jill turn into Jack and Linda and Jill and Bob, there will inevitably be compromise at every turn, for the rest of their lives. This is sometimes difficult for strong, smart, independent young people to accept.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:35 AM on March 26, 2007


"maybe jill is reconsidering if she wants to be in a relationship with someone who is always making decisions and not taking her into consideration?"

Them's fightin' words. I'm going to assume, since you said things have been great in the past year, that he's not *always* making decisions and not taking you into consideration, but that you feel *this* is a decision he's making that isn't taking you into consideration. And that's true. Sort of.

It seems like, in your mind, this is a "job or me" choice. In his mind, it probably doesn't feel that way. He's probably trying to figure out a way to have both.

If he can't have both, (if you really aren't willing to continue a relationship over the distance), then tell him so, clearly, and then *really* break up this time. Go out and explore the options you want to explore. But don't let him suffer under any false impressions about your relationship status by continuing the connection over the distance. If you break up, break up. If you decide to stay with him even if he goes away, then don't be a martyr or act like he's forcing you to do something you don't want to do, because he isn't. You're the one who gets to choose how you want your life to be.

And if you've been together since your senior year of high school, and you're wondering what else is out there, now (if he goes away), would definitely be the opportune time to explore that. Just make sure you really break up first.
posted by eleyna at 11:48 AM on March 26, 2007


But what if I (jill) think that maybe I might want a long term relationship with Jack? The question is, at what point do you stop compromising in a relationship? Is this a big compromise? What would YOU do in my position?

I had a feeling that this was the case but I didn't want to assume. Now that I know, I think you are doing the right thing holding your ground on this one. If he really isn't showing that he can ever compromise for you, you risk a long life of giving up your goals and desires for him. Frankly, as a woman, you're already at high risk for this due to the society we live in and the complications of having kids and a career. If your career is at all important to you, I'd say keep looking. This guy doesn't sound like a keeper to me.
posted by ch1x0r at 5:51 PM on March 26, 2007


Enaira, it really comes down to how you feel about the person. A few years ago, I dated someone who lived thirty miles away, and I felt that that was a fundamental incompatibility. My current girlfriend's career required her to take a job a thousand miles away in the middle of nowhere for a year, and I was willing to wait for the time when we'd be in the same city.

The difference was that I was (and am) really crazy about my current girlfriend. The first person was a nice person, but I didn't like her enough to want to deal with an hour of traffic each way. But with my current girlfriend, it felt like a bigger sacrifice to not go out with her than to have the inconvenience of a long-distance relationship for nine months, even though it was early in the relationship.

So the answer to your question isn't really available here on AskMeFi, because the critical variables are within yourself: would you rather have the long-distance relationship for a year (and the chance that it doesn't lead to anything in 2008 because you still can't be in the same city) or would you rather see what singledom brings you? \

If the former, you tell your boyfriend: "I'd be happier if you stay, but I like you enough that I don't want to stand in the way of your career and I don't want to lose you, and I want to find and hope we find a way to make it work for both of us and both of our careers down the line. Let's figure out a way to see each other once every two or three weeks." If the latter, you tell your boyfriend, "I'm only 23, and I don't want to be in a long-distance relationship if I can't be sure it's not going to lead to anything, and we're not yet at that stage where I can be sure. So let's break up amicably, and be friends, and see other people, and maybe down the road we'll find we're in the same city and decide we're right for each other." Each is a legitimate answer depending on how you feel, but you're the only person here who knows which one is the one that accurately describes how you feel.

Of course, this assumes that he really can't find a job in your city, but he'll have an easier time of it a year from now.
posted by commander_cool at 3:57 PM on March 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


But what if I (jill) think that maybe I might want a long term relationship with Jack?

think? maybe? You don't sound so sure.

Things are good between you two right now. But what's gonna happen when it's not? Will you guys be feeling regretful?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:34 PM on March 28, 2007


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