Here's the Thing: Move Bich!!!

(I mean "bich" in a nice, empowering way, not like you know the bad way!!!!)

A MASSIVE SWEETIE:

I’ve been dating an incredible guy for a little over a year—we have the exact same sense of humor, he’s compassionate, thoughtful, kind, uses twitter the perfect amount, etc. Our relationship has not always been perfect, but we have an incredible connection and it’s difficult for me to imagine someone better suited for me at this point in my life. I feel like the best version of myself around him.

The issue is that, because he took some time off from school to deal with his mental health (which i supported 100%), I graduated this May, while he still has a year left of college. When I was applying to jobs, we talked about how neither of us thought we wanted to do long distance, which was sad but understandable to me. By chance, despite applying to a variety of places in a variety of cities, the best offer I got was from a company in the same city as our college (where he will also be next year), so I accepted it. I have thought a lot since graduation about what I want in a career, though, and am nearly positive that the best jobs for me are in Washington DC, a considerable (but manageable) distance from our current city. I am feeling an increasing longing to pack up and move there— I know the professional opportunities are more in line with what I want and will allow me to grow in a way that my current job won’t. But, I know that doing that will likely also be the end of my relationship. My boyfriend has expressed an eventual willingness to move to DC, but is also still in school and unsure where his best career opportunities will be in a year. 

I just don’t know if it’s worth it for me to stay in this dead end job for a year so I can have more time with him before I inevitably have to move, or if I should just rip the bandaid off now? The fact that he says he could see himself in DC in a few years makes it even more complicated. Should I be applying to jobs?

SOPHIA:

Yes.

Yes, you should be applying for jobs that you want in a city that you want to live in. It takes A LONG TIME to get jobs, even in industries that have a lot of openings. If DC is a “manageable” distance away, I assume (could be very wrong) that you’d be able to go down there to interview if need be. Start the process now. Maybe a dream job makes an offer right away, maybe it takes a few months. Maybe it takes a year.

The question you have for me boils down to, “Should I not do something I really really want to do because it might stop me from doing something that in the past I really really wanted?” And the answer is no. For at least a few years after college, when presented with the opportunity to quit things that aren’t working, quit them for the love of god.

This doesn’t mean that you guys are never going to be together ever again necessarily. Maybe jobs are great for him in DC! Maybe you’re there and established and living that Devil Wears Prada-opening montage life and he sees this on Instagram and misses you and comes to visit and you guys decide he should move there. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter, frankly, because even if he doesn’t ever come to DC. If he never moves there, never visits, you will have a full and exciting life (filled with romance and boning at some points). You will have plenty to do in an exciting city with a job that’s getting you closer to your dream job.

One more year with this guy isn’t going to sate your desire to be with him. It’s more likely that it’s going to become a year of molasses-slow misery as you both eye the deadline for you shaking the dust of this crummy little town off your feet and head to Washington to mash-up two wonderful Jimmy Stewart films. Also, waiting another year doesn’t guarantee that y’all will get to be together; he could get a job in Paducah, Kentucky and then where would you be? (Still trying to move DC, but now with a year more of love and history with this dude).

Sit him down and let him know that you’re going to start looking for jobs in DC. Talk to him about what would make this easiest on him (and you). Does that mean ending things right away even if you don’t have a job yet in DC because he’s done? Does he want to know the details of what you’re applying for/getting or is it too painful? And then keep the conversation going as you move. Does it mean visiting each other occasionally or no talking? Remember that everyone is allowed to— and almost certainly will— change their mind about what works. After a few months of living apart you two will start to settle into your new lives. This resettling will be painful as hell, of course. But humans are made to do it; our brains are quite literally wired to not be extra sad—or happy, unfortunately—for too long.