Me and my boyfriend are planning on moving to a new city next summer. We’ve been best friends for over a year before we started dating. The only problem is he wants to date other people when we move. We’ve never exchanged “I love yous” or whatnot, but he has talked about one day opening a bar together when we get settled. Should I go ahead and tell him to hit the bricks now so I can be less attached to him when both of us move, or try and stick it out to see if he changes his mind? These mixed signals are rather confusing. We’ve even talked about moving in together sometimes, and he spends every night at my place. What am I supposed to do?!
— Not Feeling the Love
Dear Not Feeling the Love,
Relocating with noncommittal lovers seems to be the hot trend with you kids these days. I only make big moves alone or with lesbians — that way I know which baggage is mine and who is going to drive the U-Haul.
Sometimes we perceive our lives as being really complicated and then work to make them that complicated when there isn’t that much going on. You say you haven’t exchanged “I love you’s”; do you love him? Is he more than just a good friend with whom you exchange bodily fluids? I am not trying to diminish the relationship, but I want you to consider what it means to you as well as to him. You just told me he wants to date other people and you are ready to tell him to take a hike.
If you are moving to another city with him because you both want to get the fuck out of Dodge and have a dream of opening a bar together in a sparkling new Metropolis, that is great. But if you are moving to another city to be with him, then you should be clear about that with him. It sounds like a horrific idea to move somewhere to be with a guy knowing that the first thing he is going to do when he gets there is look for other girls. Why doesn’t he want to try dating other people now? Are you sure there isn’t a 7-11 tattooed on your ass? The idea of moving to another city is very exciting, and it will be filled with new and exotic people and, honestly, a lot of the same old bullshit, but the horizon is what he is chasing. The question is whether it’s just the idea of freedom and the call of the wild or if he knows he wants someone else and you have a convenient bedpost for his hat in the meantime.
In the “Divorce Song,” Liz Phair tells us that “It’s harder to be friends than lovers, and you should never try to mix the two. Because if you do and you’re still unhappy, then you know that the problem is you.” You need to ask yourself why you are dating him, why you are moving, what you want to do when you get there, where you want to be in five years, and if you are happy. Don’t worry, you won’t know the answer to these questions, but it’s time to start doing the research. Start with “Are you happy?” It’s the hardest, but it will help you figure out the answers to the others.
It’s OK if you guys totally fuck this up and make a mess of the next year or two. Just remember these two important rules: Don’t get pregnant, and don’t kill anyone. That would only further complicate needlessly overcomplicated situations like yours.
Risks, mistakes, lessons learned, and the best decisions of your life all pretty much look the same when you are making them.
Much love and luck,
Your Uncle Mat
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