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Q. My live-in boyfriend of several years has said he won’t move across the country for me if I go to grad school on the West Coast. He was ready to propose, but I’m considering programs at many schools, most of which will force us to leave New England. He doesn’t want to leave his life here, but he does want me to attend grad school wherever is best for me.
We don’t want to break up and are still living together, but we are in this weird limbo. He has said he will do anything to make this relationship work — except move across the country.
I almost moved out, but then all of a sudden he said he’d do anything to make this work (including move). I’m confused about whether I should be living with someone who doesn’t really want to move with me, even though he knows we could end up breaking up.
A. He’ll move to New York? Maine? Maryland? Maybe even Chicago? If there’s a program closer to home that would make it easier for both of you to live happy lives, why wouldn’t you choose it? At this point in your relationship, you should be showing you know when it’s important to compromise.
Long-term partnership (or marriage) isn’t about knowing your partner will drop everything for you, no matter what; it’s about working on a solution that helps you function as a team. Something about your letter makes it sound like this is a test — that if he doesn’t agree to move, he’s not really in it at all.
I’m missing a lot of information about your degree and career; maybe you need a significant other who will pick up and move anywhere. But if not, think about finding a middle ground. That’s the goal.
Love means never having to say “Not Phoenix!” VALENTINO
I’d take Phoenix over Seattle. At least Phoenix isn’t always rainy. PUTSTHEFUNINFUNERAL
You are trying to blame him--but take a look at yourself and your actions and assumptions. If you guys are unable to work through this, you are not ready to get married, believe me. MARYORRHODA
Meredith, my live-in girlfriend of several years wants me to completely disrupt my life and move across the country to the West Coast while she attends grad school. We live in New England; it’s not like there’s a shortage of grad schools here. I was ready to marry this girl, but now I’m thinking she just wants what she wants and couldn’t give a damn about what I think or need. JOERILLA
I have made many sacrifices and compromises for my husband, but I wouldn’t be willing to move away from Boston. Even if he got a dream job. Keep reminding yourself that it’s not a test of his love, it’s a matter of priorities. How much are you willing to compromise--and should you? COSMOGIRL
Tell him Pats night games start at 5:30 out there. JAIL-TIME-4-EVERYONE
Meredith Goldstein is in her eighth year writing Love Letters for the Boston Globe.
boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to email@example.com.