I've been dating my boyfriend for a year and a half. We're in a medium-distance relationship, close enough that we see each other almost every weekend, but far enough that casual midweek hangouts are out of the question. I love him with all of my heart, but lately I've been asking myself some pretty serious questions about our future together.
You see, he lives in a part of a state that I grew up in and intended never to move back to. He grew up there, too. Of course, I'm generalizing, but most people there were close-minded and not very concerned with the world outside of their small town. I was much happier when I moved to a big city a few hours away and I met people from different backgrounds who were interested in different things. When we first started dating, we dreamt of moving somewhere new together. He said he wanted to leave his town, but now that we are seriously talking about moving in together, the practicalities of both of us moving and finding new jobs is much harder than the dream. It bothers him that it's out of the question for me to move there when he feels like he would go anywhere for me.
I see his point, but I feel the way I feel. I know I would be unhappy living in a place like that and getting stuck in a place like that has been one of my biggest fears my entire life. It's hard to talk to him about that in a way that doesn't make him feel defensive. It's hard to say, "I want more than that" without coming off as smug or "better than," which isn't how I feel — it's just not what I want. I've been clear about this since we met — I'm not unwilling to move somewhere new, but there are some places that I just would not be happy living in.
I know that relationships are a compromise, and that getting to the same physical place was always going to be hard, but whenever we have these conversations, I walk away feeling so upset and so far away from him. I used to feel like we wanted the same things, but I am starting to doubt that. On one hand, I think he is just scared to let go of everything he's ever known. On the other, I don't want to force someone to do something they don't want to do and end up resenting me for it. I know it's silly to expect that we want exactly the same thing and maybe this makes me a bitch, but I hate that if I were to be OK with moving home, that's what he would want to do. I feel guilty, but I want him to want more of what I want, on his own. I don't want to feel like I'm always the one pushing us forward.
Even talks about a vacation we're planning have me stressed out — he wants to go to a resort and relax, but I want to go to a small beach town somewhere where we can relax, but also have an adventure. We are both compromisers and don't like to fight, but I find myself frustrated that we have to compromise over these things. I love him so much, and the rest of our relationship is great, but these things, stupid as they may seem, make me question if this is the right thing. Am I placing too much pressure on myself and too much value in things like places — or are we just too different?