How to choose where to live when you each want different things

Miss Pawco asks:

I wish to seek some relationship advice from you and to gain a third person perspective apart from his or mine or any biased friend. I am a career oriented woman working in a metropolitan city and very much in love with city life. My boyfriend is currently settled in his hometown (small hill station), operating a cafe. He has agreed on a middle ground situation where we would settle in a tier 3 city (1 hour drive from his town) so that I am able to continue my passion of working in the IT industry. This is evidently the only possible solution visible to us but sometimes he nags me for not being able to live a life like his in a small town and for having an inclination towards city life, and for prioritizing my career over him. He says I think superior of myself and can’t adjust to the situation he has to offer. I do want to be with him but not at the cost of giving up my dreams and identity. Please help.

Hi Miss Pawco –

So I should throw in a warning from the beginning.  I’ve never met you and doubt I ever will, but you should still consider me a “biased friend.”  I adore my pack members, and, even when I disagree with you, will always support you as best I can.

Though with this situation, I can’t really side with either you or your boyfriend on what’s right and what’s wrong.  It certainly does sound like he’s mistaken when he says that your love and ambition for your career means that you think you’re superior to him.  But otherwise, you’re both right – he’s found the lifestyle he likes, and you’ve found a career you love.  And you both want to be with each other.  So that’s difficult.  And no one’s fault.

I do worry that he has that old-fashioned mindset that says a woman should put her ambitions second to her man’s, and that therefore you ought to be willing to live wherever he does.  But even if he does, I’m not sure he realizes that’s influencing his thinking.  Certainly other couples would choose to live where one of them would make the most money.  While others would choose the place they think is best for raising children.  Any of these make sense, and none has to be the rule you two choose to follow.

But did you catch the trick I pulled just then.  I talked about how some couples choose one thing, and some another, and then mentioned what “you two choose.”

But right now, you two aren’t choosing.  He’s choosing one thing and you another.  And the two of you are trying to make it work.  He’s so far been willing to compromise with you on where to live, but clearly he’s not liking what he’s agreed to.  So something else has to happen.

Now maybe he’s really just geared to living in a small town, and nothing else is going to feel right to him, and he needs to just do that; and if so, you might feel you just can’t agree to do that with him, and you two need to split up with great respect and love for each other.  Or maybe this current compromise, while not ideal for either of you, is a price worth paying so that you two can stay together.  Or maybe there’s a better choice for the two of you to make.

My one insistence, though, is that you two agree that what you choose is acceptable, at least for a while.  In other words, if he agrees to that Tier 3 City, he needs to really try to make it work, and not complain about it to you.  Or if you move to his town, you agree to try your best to enjoy it.  And biggest of all, both of you need to promise each other to never again make personal judgments about each other part of this discussion!

When my human friend Handsome takes me for a walk, sometimes I want to go chase another dog, or stay and sniff a tree for a long time, while he wants to keep walking as he intended.  We disagree, and will struggle before agreeing to something (perhaps because he jerks my leash and insists!).  But I will never tell him “You just want to keep going because you’re a control freak and hate being away from your desk!”  And he’ll never tell me “You want to sniff this tree because you’re a dumb dog and can’t read a book!”  I mean, neither of us would ever do that!  We respect each other’s wishes and feelings too much!

So I’m all for you and your boyfriend to keep doing what you need to figure out what’s best for you two.  But please, insist that he stop accusing you of thinking you’re superior.  And make sure you don’t make a similar accusation of him.

As I keep saying, you’re both right, and you both deserve complete respect.  If you come from that place, all this difficulty will become much easier and more tolerable.  I promise.

Best of Luck with it!


About the Author

Leave a Reply 0 comments

Leave a Reply: