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Thread: She won't commit to move, I'm losing my patience

  1. #1
    crouton41

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    Unhappy She won't commit to move, I'm losing my patience

    This is my first time posting on here. Forgive me if this is a little long, but I really need advice and want to give as much context as I think is needed.

    I've been with my girlfriend for three years. The first two years we lived in the same city, and lived together for the second of those years. Last summer, I made plans to go to grad school in another part of the country. We had talked about it through the spring and she had told me she was going to come with me. (Had I known she wouldn't, I would not have gone.) However, that commitment started to fade quickly. She started to waver over the summer, and things got a little testy. She started having fits and began coming up with reasons why she "couldn't" move. It became clear to me that she was not prepared to move with me, but I had already committed to my program and couldn't back out. We decided we would do it long distance. Though I had my doubts, we actually managed to make it work with only the occasional flare up.

    This spring, we talked things over, and I decided I was going to transfer to a school somewhere closer to her. She has a job that she can do from anywhere, but there are only a few cities she is willing to live in. We talked about options that would work for both of us, and I recently submitted applications to one school in her city, and some in the other places she was willing to go. I made sure this time to get a promise form her that she was comfortable with these options. I haven't heard back from any school yet, but already I'm starting to get the same vibes from her as last time, and it's scaring me. She's starting to freak out about things that I just don't think are big deals at all, including (and I'm not joking) that she would have to find a new dentist. She says she can't handle the stress from thinking about a move four hours up the interstate. She still insists she's willing to go to one of the places we discussed, but I'm hardly feeling certain about things.

    I love her to death, and we're great together 99% of the time, but I'm beyond frustrated at this point. I've bent over backwards to accommodate her. I'm willing to upend my education and move accross the country for her, spending more money in the process and living far away from my family. I agreed to only apply to schools in three cities she said she was willing to go, yet she can't even seem to handle the prospect of moving a train stop away, despite telling me unambiguously that she would. It's seeming like she's not willing to make any change in her life for the sake of our relationship, no matter how much I try to meet her on her end. I though we were a serious couple, and we've talked about marriage and kids, but this whole thing is making me lose confidence that she's willing to commit. I don't want to break up, but I don't know what to do. Help!
    Last edited by crouton41; 06-20-2011 at 06:05 PM.

  2. #2
    penelope13
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    well, if it is not a question about love, it may 'simply' be a question of her being afraid/phobic about moving. Since you are the one who wanted to move for school and went through with it, for you moving is not a big deal. However for some people it's a huge deal. I am not saying that she is right/wrong to feel like this, just that you have to consider that for her (although she loves you) moving will be impossible.

    Yes, it may have been unfair of her to make promises that she can't deliver on, but sometimes people have 100% the intention to commit to it, but when it is actually about to happen they start to realize their fears/phobias.

    The only thing you can do is to try to get her to communicate with you openly why she is afraid, what about moving scares her (fears and emotions are often not rational!). Is there any way you could do something to alleviate her stress levels? Would she be willing to talk to someone about these fears? If she comes to the conclusion that she cannot move (which she should be honest about to herself and you) then you have to make the decision if you are willing to move back to where she is and not be resentful for this.

    If she can't/won't move and you don't see yourself moving back to where she is - you have to accept that the relationship will not work out unless you want to remain in long distance for ever.

    Unfortunately love is sometimes not enough to make a relationship work. Nobody is right or wrong in these situations, you simply have to accept that it cannot be worked out.

    I'm also in a long distance relationship. I would have never entered it if we both weren't sure that we are willing to move to be with the other (even though we haven't decided yet who is moving where to). We were sure that we would be able to do so, because we both have moved around a lot already before being in a relationship, so we know what moving/uprooting entails. But some people simply can't do it. Not even for the love of their life simply because it's against the core of their nature.

  3. #3
    WockaWocka
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    She already reneged on her commitment to move with you once and now she's showing signs that she's going to do it again. Changing schools is a huge hassle in terms of transferring credits, repeating coursework, etc. If the main upside of the school transfer is being able to live near her then I'd encourage you to tread carefully.

  4. #4
    crouton41

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    Thank you both. I can't be sure if it's a fear of moving (which may or may not be manageable) or a more general fear of change. I'm increasingly worried it's the latter. She has a bit of a pattern of getting stuck in a comfort zone, whatever the context might be, and then being very resistant to straying from it. I guess I'm looking at this longterm and wondering if she's not willing to move five hours away – despite being able to keep her job and saying for the record she was willing to – what else won't she be able to handle?

    This is really hard for me. I honestly saw myself being with her forever and still want that to happen, but now I'm just in a stupor. It's really bothering me.

  5. #5
    penelope13
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    If she is averse to change then you have a much bigger problem at hand. Change is a part of life. It's unavoidable.

    You really need to talk to her openly about this. Not in an accusatory way, but in order to find out how to find a solution in order to move forward

  6. #6
    crouton41

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    I've tried talking about it, but she's resistant to that too. She just clams up once the conversation gets uncomfortable and then we don't talk for days. It came up on a gchat conversation last night and I tried to broach it in a calm, rational manner, thinking that format might be more comfortable for her, but she just got defensive. She called me later to apologize, but I'm still irked. I've tried everything to work within her comfort zone and I'm really running out of patience here, but I don't want to give this up.

    Sorry for the complaining. I'm just really up a wall right now.

  7. #7
    penelope13
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    take her out for a nice dinner, or cook - something to show her that you are coming from a positive point of view, not from a menacing one. Tell her that you understand that she may be afraid, however you both need to make a few decisions in regards to you moving and were to. You need her honest input, so that you both can ensure that you are making the right choice for you as a couple.

    If she still clamps up, I'd let her know that you are disappointed since you were excited about moving forward in your relationship with her, but it takes 2 to make a team. When she is ready to talk about this like an adult you will be happy to do so, but otherwise you are assuming that she is not the person you imagined her to be, i.e. someone with whom you could calmly discuss upcoming situations no matter what they might be

  8. #8
    prettynthecity
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    Quote Originally Posted by crouton41 [Register to see the link]
    Last summer, I made plans to go to grad school in another part of the country. We had talked about it through the spring and she had told me she was going to come with me. (Had I known she wouldn't, I would not have gone.)
    This is where I think your mistake lies. You shouldn't plan your life around someone who is averse to change/won't compromise and move to a city you *both* like so that you can go to a (presumably) better school there. You simply cannot do it. Your life should have been moving full steam ahead the second time around she reneged on you, I think.

  9. #9
    tattoobunnie
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    I'm with prettynthecity...there are some people who never live or move away from their own hometown. And you can't live your life according to them. Unless your married, you both don't have any obligations towards eachother, and she knows that if she left her life just for you, you could leave her at the drop of a hat. And, you did. You applied to a school distant from your home. And now you are planning to move to another area. And I want I mean here is, love is not enough. You need to have common goals, common lifestyle, even to where you want to live. Right now, she's telling you what you want to hear, so she doesn't lose you.

    Honestly, I'd stay firm. Don't take it out on her. She didn't ask you to move before, or choose a school by her standards. You did that. Let her know that if she doesn't progress to both of you in the same area, that you need to part ways. And let them do their part. You also need to find out what is holding her back, other than finding a new dentist. Is it losing friends, family, knowing where things are? You'd be surprised at how some will treasure comfort and security over a relationship that doesn't have a stable location.

    Think of this way, after you finish grad school, where will the both of you live then? Do you have an answer for her? Have you asked about where she wants to be, versus going by the locations of your schools? Are you able to stay long distance until you are finished?

    Ultimately, you may not be right for each other.

  10. #10
    banal
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    Good post bunnie.

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