Stay or Go? A Tale of Two Cities, One Dream Job and a Relationship

Q. Currently I’m 22 and in a good relationship with my boyfriend who I have been living with for a year. I got offered a dream job in a city about 1 hour plane ride away, but my boyfriend can’t leave our current city because of his job. Should I take the job and do long distance?

A. My first instinct here is go! An hour is a short commute and a dream job is a long time coming for many people. You’re close enough to visit easily if you need to or if you just feel an urge to be spontaneous. Dreams are hard to kill so I’m sure you would prevail if you put your mind to it…but if he’s supportive of your dreams this could be a growing experience for both of you (and if he’s not supportive you need to think about that). Set up some expectations and review them every 6 months. You may find your dream job isn’t all that…or the opposite. You can adjust the picture as you go.

Today’s 40-somethings offer some  experience perspective and things to think about to help you make up your mind. Here’s what they have to say:

“TAKE THE JOB!!! If it’s love you will find a way to make it work. If you stay and take a lesser job you will resent him for it. If it doesn’t work out you will be forever angry with yourself. At 22 you don’t realize that great job opportunities don’t come along all the time. A great job can change the way you feel about yourself and even your perspective on life (and your boyfriend). If it’s meant to be love will find a way.” – 40-something, NYC


“If your relationship is great but you have no future plans, take the job and if love is meant to be, it will prevail.  One interesting question to consider:  why are you willing to forgo your dream job for him and he is unable to quit his job for you? However if you (meaning both of you!) are planning to get married, than one of you need to bend here and let the job go for a shot at love.  Normally, whoever is making the most money.” – 40-something, Brooklyn


“I’ve had various periods of ‘commuting’ over a long relationship.  What I learned is that as long as the parameters are clear (how often you’ll see each other, what the longer term plan is, any and all rules of engagement about seeing others, etc.) then it can all work out.  What doesn’t work is an indefinite period of being far away: drift is inevitable.

Talk through and come to arrangements and make sure to review them to make sure it’s all working for both of you.  What you can find is a refreshing sense of independence and the ability to try out new interests, and then share them with the other person when you see each other.

One final recommendation, if possible: share the ‘work’ (travel) between places if you can: if one person is left doing all of it will be both expensive and irritating over time.”  – 40-something, London


“My husband and I spent 4 years apart in our twenties and I think it gave me a sense of identity that is crucial to the success of our relationship.  It also made our time together more special and fun.  You bring your experiences back into the relationship.  I suspect that had we been right in each other’s face all the time we wouldn’t have had the freedom to become our own person. I think for a relationship to work you need to cultivate independent lives and outside interests. This could be a blessing in disguise.” – 40-something, Los Angeles



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