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Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Dear Sugar
I am 23 and just graduated from college. I have always wanted to move to Los Angles and leave my small hometown in the Midwest and I feel like now the time. The only reason why now is not the perfect time is because of my boyfriend.

We have been dating on and off since high school and have been on again for the past three years. We have talked about our future and we always have said we will be together. However, now that the future is here, I don't know what to do. I love my boyfriend and can't imagine being with anyone else.

He has told me he would move to California with me, but I am not sure I want to begin a new experience as a couple. If we were to move together I would be just one step away from marriage and while I don't want to loose him, I don't want to loose myself either.

I have been with my boyfriend for the past six years and I feel like now is the time to find out more about myself in the real world. If my boyfriend knew I was feeling this way he would be devastated. is better to compromise myself for love, or compromise love for myself? Spread My Wings Winnie

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Spread My Wings Winnie
This is a very important issue that I think many people struggle with. Graduating from college and embarking on your life as an independent woman is a very exciting time. Discovering who you are without the constraints of school is often times very trying but very rewarding at the same time.

Taking a chance before you have commitments to a job, a husband, children, etc... is the best time to explore your interests and soul search. Is your boyfriend aware of your plans to move west? It sounds as though moving to Los Angeles has always been a dream of yours. If you feel your boyfriend will hold you back on gaining everything you wanted out of this experience, perhaps it is best you take this journey alone.

Could you stay together long distance initially until you get your bearings and then have your boyfriend make the move? Will he be understanding of your desire to discover yourself as an independent? Taking care of yourself is very important now and I you should have to compromise this dream for him unless you really think that you would want to marry him.

Reiterate how much you love and care about your boyfriend, but how imperative it is for you to take this next step in life on your own, for the first time. You are very brave to turn down the security of a familiar face and not use your boyfriend as a crutch. Trust yourself and enjoy all that independence has to offer you. If your relationship is meant to be, everything will work out. Good luck to you.

Join The Conversation
vbpce vbpce 10 years
gl is right. you haven't made your plans with him in them. life is too short. if you don't do it now you'll regret it so much later! (speaking from experience, by the way) it's not easy but good luck.
tina_marie tina_marie 10 years
If you think you aren't sure that you want to begin your new experience as a couple, then you don't. That may be devastating to you as well since you have spent six years with him, but it may be best for both of you. As hard as it is now to see, you will eventually get over him and he over you. Then when you finally do meet your "one" then hindsight will be perfectly clear :) GL
peppermintpoot peppermintpoot 10 years
My boyfriend and I were together for 4 years and I decided to up and leave Orange County for a less "fast paced" town 2 states to the north. It was the hardest thing I've done, but it was best for our relationship....ultimately, we took a year long break, but thats what we BOTH needed to look into ourselves and realize we dont want to be with anyone else. Conclusion: co-habitation coming February 2007 I agree with E Dubs, the support system is key. Good luck, and know everything will fall into place. just always keep a positive outlook and an open mind.
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
Totally agree with everything Dear said. Good luck!
E-Dubs E-Dubs 10 years
You said that if your boyfriend knew you felt that way he'd be devastated...maybe that's a sign that you two are on completely different pages and you might want to think about ending it for now. If you really want to make the move, make it. Don't stay and feel resentful towards him for keeping you from going. Also, if you really don't want him to go with you maybe you shouldn't stay with him even if you don't make the move. I don't think it's fair to him for you to act committed to him when you don't seem to be. That being said, do you know other people in LA that could help you through the transition? You might want to make sure you have a support system in place incase he doesn't take the move well and also so that you won't feel scared and turn to him or ask him to go out there until you’re sure that’s what you want. Good luck!
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