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How important is where you live?

dragon's picture

I used to post under here with a different name, but I deleted my account. It's been awhile. I broke up with my ex about a year ago due to a lot of issues between us. We have since talked about getting back together a few times over the past six months and have talked a lot about things that destroyed our relationship. I have dated other people and had some fun in the meantime, but I always come back to him. He is my best friend and he is home to me. I just can't imagine marrying or growing old with anyone else. I truly can't. It's crazy too because the kid thing was a hard thing to adjust to (I don't have any of my own, and don't really want them), but I started to miss that part of it, too. They feel like my family.

Unfortunately this time around, we keep running into the same road blocks that we did the last time we started discussing all this a few months ago. Since we broke up, I got a new job and moved an hour away to a city that I looove. He loves it too, and has been trying to find a job here, but who knows when and if that will ever happen. He is also hesitant to move an hour away from his kid when right now he lives basically around the corner from BM, which I understand. So the problem is, we lived together previously, and I hate the town he lives in. I much prefer where I live now. I freaking love it actually, and don't want to live anywhere else. It is a MAJOR issue and I'm trying to figure out exactly why. I don't want to be the type of person who gives up a relationship for a city. I can't marry a city, after all.

I'm just having a hard time moving past it. Yes, there is a chance that he could get a job up here and work it all out with BM and choose to move up here. He wants to, he's just nervous and who knows how long that could take. I would possibly have to move back to his town in the meantime, if it didn't happen in the next year or so. But that basically is my fantasy - the person I want, living in the city I want. But I can't go into it thinking that WILL happen because I really don't know, and it probably won't happen in the short term anyway. I don't want to make a decision based on the "worst case scenario" but I want to be realistic also.

I guess why I hate the town he lives in isn't important... I mean it could be a lot worse but it's pretty much all families or super old people, there is no nightlife, there is no city charm like where I live. It's also in the middle of two metropolitan areas so you either have to drive 30 miles in one direction or 60 miles in the other, to where I live. It also means that if we lived together I would be commuting an hour to work every day.

I really love this city. And he says that he knows I would be heartbroken if I packed up and left and moved back in with him down the line. I told him of course I would, but people do that all the time. My friend left DC, which she adored as much as I love this place, to move out West because her husband got transferred out there and she was able to work remotely. Why am I so hung up on this? Is this a sign of selfishness or immaturity or is it just a control thing? Like how do you feel in control of your own life when you are making sacrifices like that and can't even live where you want to live because of a stepkid? I mean I know the man should be worth it, and we had problems before, maybe that's why I'm so hesitant? Or could I really be the type of person who gives up her possible soulmate because she wants to live in a certain place? I mean I live up here now and I have enjoyed it but I've also been sad and would have enjoyed it more with him here. You should be able to be happy anywhere, right? I mean it's not like he lives in the middle of the mountains with not even a grocery store around. It's not like that by a long shot.

I also don't know if I'm overanalyzing and just letting that ruin things. Maybe no matter what is going on in my life I'll be looking at the negative. New job, finally living in the city I love, thinking about my ex. Work things out with the ex, have to make a sacrifice down the line to be with him, and then I'm making myself miserable because I'm not living where I want to live. HELP!

I know the knee jerk reaction here is to say "Don't give up your life for these awful stepkids." I'm just honestly asking - how important is where you live?


dragon's picture

I wouldn't be moving right away. We are taking things slow and I would have to see a lot of changes before that even became an option. Not to mention that at this point in my life and having moved in and moved out of so many relationships I don't want to move in with someone again until there's some type of commitment on the line. We have talked a lot and I've seen and heard a lot of changes but we also haven't spent any time together in a few months and neither one of us wants to start this up again if this issue is going to be a dealbreaker down the line.

He has the kid every weekend.

The thing is, long-term, if he got a job in the city I live in and didn't want to move it would make no damn sense for us to BOTH commute 40-60 miles a day. Financially, that's just stupid. I know he is nervous about possibly moving away from his kid but how can you tell me that an hour isn't that far to commute daily, but it's too far to commute on a weekly basis or if an emergency happened or anything. "Just an hour" should be just an hour in either case.

dragon's picture

See that is my dilemma. I actually AM a homebody. I mean I go out and I love the city atmosphere here but the reality is that I only do that on the weekends, and not even every weekend. I'm at home a LOT. Which makes me wonder if this all just isn't a control issue with me. I mean ultimately if he couldn't find a job in a couple years and I moved back there then I'm the one adjusting my life entirely for him and his kid. That was a huge issue for me last time around.

overworkedmom's picture

Where I live is very important. I had to move around with my exH a lot and hated it. It isn't the reason that we split at all, I would have kept moving, if it weren't for everything else. However, that being said- I refused to date military again because I refuse to move. I love where I grew up. I want my kids to grow up here. We are coastal but have mountains just a few hours away. Major cities are a few hours or less. There is history and museums and art. We are also close to country so there are farmers markets and horse stables and just everything. We also have amusement parks and water parks and beaches.... I just love it here.

I won't move away again.

Drac0's picture

Hello Dragon, and welcome back.

This is a tough question that I can't really provide an answer to except to maybe share a little experience of a childhood friend of mine. He and I both grew up in the neighborhood that I live in. We both love it here. My DW moved in with me about 8 years ago. It took her a while to get accustomed to her new surroundings but she likes it here as well. Same with my SS.

My friend tried to do the same with his new wife. They lasted 9 months. Apparently, his wife couldn't get accustomed to her new neighborhood at all. There was always something that she found "wrong" with our neighborhood. IMHO, not all neighborhoods are perfect but I guess if you are too used to something (or not used to something), it would be difficult to get past it.

For example, my neighborhood is at sea level. So if you dig down into the earth six inches, you hit clay. So gardening is pretty much out of the question unless you are willing to spend lots of $$$ on it. It's not really worth it, IMO. Well my friend's wife is quite the gardening enthusiast so she was disheartened to have to give it up.

There were other things too. I won't list them all here, but she just couldn't get past them. It started to affect their relationship so my friend decided to put his newly bought home back on the market and move to another neighborhood that his wife liked. He hated to do it, but he wanted to make his wife happy. I haven't spoken to him in a while, but last I spoke to him, he had adjusted nicely to his new environment (and picked up his wife's love of gardening).

I suppose, in a round-about-way, I am saying that when you are willing to get into a relationship with someone, you have to be willing to give up certain things that make you happy, in order to make your partner happy. Those sacrifices shouldn't make you miserable, but if you are like my friend, seeing your partner happy will make you happy in the long run.

I too like the city night life (love it in fact), but I am not in my 20's anymore. At most, my DW and I will paint the town red once every couple of months just to shake up our sedentary lifestyle. Wining, dining and dancing into the wee hours of the morning. Smile

SheScreamsinSil's picture

Been there, doing that. How old is the child (children)?

In my case, I sold my home (5 mile, 10 minute commute to work) and moved to his place. His child will be finished h.s. in 2.5 years, at which point we plan to have finished the house and be ready for him to sell it. (He has 50/50, so his moving wasn't an option.) I now have at least an hour commute each way. I hate it. I resent the loss of time. I resent the money I spend on gas, and on polluting the environment. BUT...I'm dealing because I know there's a time limit to this.

Recently, it came out that we can't pack up and move too far away after the 2.5 yrears if child ends up at community college because child would still be staying with us a significant part of the time. Plus it wouldn't be fair for him to have to drive excessively far for work. (Ummm...HELLO, it's fine for ME to commute and lose all this time...but not fine for dad or child...ummmm OK?) Whatever. I've decided that I'm willing to compromise and rent in a middle location for the possible two years of community college. It should cut my commute in half, and only increase his by a bit. And still be decently close to BM and a good community college.

I think I've decided that where I go in 2.5 years also hinges on whether or not we are married. I put up with this crap because I've finally met the right man. If we're not married by then, then there's a bigger problem. I'm in no rush to get married...I think there still needs to be time to let the divorce settle. But bottom line, that's my prize for putting up with this crap, and that's my mentally imposed deadline.

Sorry, I didn't mean to vent my situation on your blog! I just wanted to express that I'm kind of IN that situation right now, and that I can cope because of the time limit. Good luck!

secondplace's picture

I'm pretty sure I remember your old User Name, and I know there were a lot of issues with him always putting his child first. He has him every weekend, and because of your schedules, that was the only time you really got to spend much time with him. As I recall, he wasn't willing to ever give up time with his son in order to spend "alone" time with you. Is this still going to be the case? Because even though you miss being a "family", you will start to resent both him and his son again. Not a question of if, but when.

Please put a lot more thought into this before making a decision you will regret.

Location isn't the only thing you need to be thinking of here.

dragon's picture

"As I recall, he wasn't willing to ever give up time with his son in order to spend "alone" time with you. Is this still going to be the case?"

He seems to have learned his lesson with that. I know he was dating while we were apart and it seemed like he was out a lot. I would not be moving in with him anytime soon. My current lease has another six months and I would renew after that for at least a year, so plenty of time to see if things have really changed.

I realized tonight that I'm freaking out because I'm doing the same damn thing I always do where I jump in a relationship and stress out about what I have to do to make it work. I left because of a lot of his issues so I just need to take a step back and breathe and keep reminding myself that he has a lot to prove before any of this is even going to be an issue.

dragon's picture

Totally. There are a lot of things that I would have to see change. And hopefully by the time I feel secure that any changes aren't fleeting, he will have found a job. He's said that if he finds a job up here, he wouldn't continue living in Skid-town and commute. Which is kinda annoying because he expects me to if he can't find a job. But we will see. I'm not giving up that easy. There is NO job market in Skidtown, everybody commutes elsewhere. He actually commutes 30-40 minutes in the opposite direction from me. The city I live in is an actual city, much bigger with lots of jobs. So here's hoping.

Cocoa's picture

well, if some of the problems you had previously entailed you giving up too much for him and his kids, it sounds like the same ol' crap. i'd start looking at exactly HOW things have changed. has it REALLY changed enough to re-kindle this? I tell ya, a man that can't live without you would move mountains to make you happy, but he's "scared"? sounds like you'll be starting off on the wrong foot from the get go.

Pilgrim Soul's picture

Yours is s good problem to have! Two roads diverged in yellow woods...

I left Western Europe 20 years ago this fall and moved to the States
to be with the guy i loved truly, deeply, madly.

We were together for 10 years, had 2 kids, and then broke up (i initiated it).

Today I regret leaving Europe behind - truly, deeply, profoundly. My life and my kids' lives are here now.
I am happily remarried and yet... I could have been very happy in Europe .. but here is no going back.

Is there Plan B in your scenario?

You have to be VERY sure that the guy you are moving for is THE GUY you want to be with for a long, long time.
Which is hard to know if you are young ( i was 26). If he feels like family, like home - then go for it. If he wants a certain lifestyle that you will be miserable living - time to pause and reflect.

Good luck! You could probably be ok in both scenarios, just in different ways.

Oh and watch Sex and the City season 6, one of the later episodes where Carrie and Miranda talk and fight about Carrie moving to Paris for her lover - Baryshnikov! Who turns out not to be worth it.

kathc's picture

You weren't happy. You left. You found a happy place. Why would you leave and go back to the unhappy one?