My girlfriend and I have been together for a little over a year. We both moved in together after college this past summer and things have been going really well. We both found jobs and things were moving forward. However, her job ended up not working out so she quit recently. She’s been fairly miserable since, searching for jobs in her field, trying to find things to do at home while I’m at work five days a week.
I feel her pain — searching for jobs these days is really difficult. And she just received word of an opportunity in a town two hours from here, a very, very small town in the heart of Texas. She’s eager to take it, which is understandable. I’m just not sure how I feel. I have a nice job that pays well, but it is just an entry level desk job that I could probably find anywhere. Her job would be harder to come by. Plus, my family and friends are all here, and I guess I just feel sad leaving them. And being gay in a small town also sounds kinda scary.
But, I love my girlfriend and want what’s best for her. Do you think I should bite the bullet and move with her? I really don’t have much holding me back besides a job I can find anywhere. And a fear of local hicks staring me down, but I can deal. A little help in the right direction would be much appreciated. — Dilemma in Dallas
Anna says: That’s a tough call, Dilemma. You have to weigh the pros and cons of giving up everything (your job, family/friends, comfort, stability, etc.) for your girlfriend. The Big Ask is this: Would the state of your current life pale in comparison to the life you’d have without your girlfriend in the picture? Some things to keep in mind:
The economy is in the crapper, as you are well aware. Even though you say your job is a dime a dozen, you also have to make sure that there are opportunities for you in this new place as well. It could be that your girlfriend will be employed but now you are the one who’s home all week, frustrated and looking for jobs that are hard to come by. You don’t want to resent your partner if you end up shucking Awesome Blossoms at the local Chili’s because it’s all you could find, while she has her dream job.
If finances are a concern for you, then that is definitely something to keep in mind. You might even consider staying put for a little while and keeping your old job until you can secure another one in the new city. But that’s the fiscal worrywart in me. Maybe that doesn’t matter much to you, or your girlfriend will be making enough to help shoulder some of the burden while you’re unemployed.
Also, if for some unforeseen reason you break up, would you be okay on your own in the new city? I realize that you’re only two hours away from your current town, which isn’t a great distance by any means, but it’s still a factor, especially since small towns can be less welcoming to queers. (Not saying they all are, by any means, and I’ve been gay bashed in plenty of big cities, too.)
Take this to heart though: nothing is permanent, meaning you’re not necessarily going to be stuck in Hicksville forever if you do decide to move for her. It seems to me that, on the scale of terrifying life decisions one could make, this is a relatively mild one. Yes, the relationships with your family and friends will change, but a few hours distance is hardly enough to irreparably damage those ties. Unless they aren’t on Facebook. Then kiss them goodbye forever.
In the end, you have to go with your gut instinct. If your relationship is solid and you want it to endure, then some sacrifices will always need to be made to make it last. Just make sure that you weigh all your options and that you are considering your own potential happiness as well as hers.
Readers, have you ever moved cities for a girlfriend? Any words of wisdom for Dilemma in Dallas?
Hailing from the rough-and-tumble deserts of southern Arizona, where one doesn’t have to bother with such trivialities as “coats” or “daylight savings time,” Anna Pulley is a professional tweeter/blogger for Mother Jones and a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Find her at annapulley.com and on Twitter @annapulley.