19 May Dating and Relationship Advice
Dear Rabbi and Shira, I am really close to getting engaged to a wonderful guy. We have hit a point of contention. We don’t know where to live. I come from a relatively large, diverse community, and my family lives there as well. I also have a well paying job there. My boyfriend would like to stay in his small town where he’s from for another year to two years at his current job. Every time he brings up the discussion, I get very stressed out, I can’t come back to this job once I leave it.
-Don’t want to be homeless
Dear “don’t want to be homeless,”
We’re so sorry this is taking up your time. First some self care is in order. Sit down, breathe deeply and slowly. We know it sounds overwhelming, but avoiding the discussion doesn’t make it go away. His willingness to discuss is definitely a great beginning. When a person sees adversity and runs the other way or denies the situation on the ground, they are growing anxiety and seeding conflict in the relationship. The problem becomes larger, and the tension surrounding it increases. This tension can then overpower any positive emotions relating to the relationship. Take a collaborative attitude to the challenge. Lean in and use it as an opportunity to build the relationship. Both of you have careers, and you are sharing this relationship together. Couples who are willing to be creative in the face of adversity, will be able to find solutions to problems. The career counselors refer to people like this as “acrobats.” Some points to ponder in your discussion, to think “acrobatically.” Is commuting possible to your job or to his? How about Telecommuting? Can you spend a night a week there? Could you and your employer be creative for the year? Is it possible that they have a branch office somewhere near his community? Why does he want to live there for only a year? Is it so he can transition? Is he trying to sell you on small town life? How set on his job and small town life is he? Good Luck
Rabbi Reuven and Shira Boshnack