Dear Em & Lo: Should I Date Him If He's About to Relocate?

moving_truckphoto by bimurch

Dear Em & Lo,

I met a boy a few weeks ago and things have been fantastic. We had been talking occasionally in a coffee shop as friends, and one day we decided to be really spontaneous and take a road trip. We ended up discovering a lot of chemistry that night. The next day, I left for Florida for a week. We talked a lot that week, and have been seeing each other a lot since I got back. It’s like something out of a movie, too good to be true. And it is. Here’s the catch: He is currently applying for jobs that will result in him leaving the city. I am okay with knowing he might leave, and want to enjoy being with him while he’s here. He says he is concerned that he won’t feel right getting into anything very serious while knowing that he is doing all he can to leave the city.

Basically, he doesn’t want to go backwards, but he doesn’t want to move forward at all either. I am afraid that I won’t be able to freeze in time, and that I will start to get upset when things aren’t moving forward. I don’t know whether I should cut my losses now, say it was a great few weeks and leave it at that, or if I should stick around knowing it’s not going anywhere.

I like how things are for us now, and I didn’t expect marriage or babies anytime in the future (I’m still in college and planning on grad school), something just feels weird to me about limiting it, saying this is how much I’ll care about you and no more. But I also don’t want to give him up. Help!

— Stuck in Love Limbo

Dear S.I.L.L.,

Normally, we’d say go for it! You’re young, you’re having fun, neither of you is interested in marriage or babies, so enjoy it while it lasts. Even if he wasn’t moving, odds are you’d eventually break up anyway (after all, you’re still in college, you’ve got a lot of living to do before settling down), so at least this way, with him moving away, you’ve got a less painful, built-in end to things.


Because you sound like you’d really like things to get a little serious and he sounds like he really doesn‘t want things to get even just a little more serious (he’s said so much, in fact — and he may not even move!), we’d say cut your losses now. Otherwise, you’re going to have to have a Big Relationship Talk — and frankly, yours isn’t mature or stable enough to handle that right now. A few weeks into a relationship, your conversation is supposed to be in the cutesy, fun, getting to know each other stage: “Oh, you own “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”? That’s totally my favorite movie too!” Swoon. Trying to force the “I’m falling for you / But I’m leaving town” topic will just weigh things down until all your dates feel stodgy and serious and no fun.

The only way a little duckling of a relationship like yours could survive a long distance thing (assuming he does move, which again, he may not, which means he may only be using that as an excuse not to get serious with you…) would be if you two were older and ready for something more long-term. Then, perhaps, you could be thinking that mere zipcodes shouldn’t keep you apart. In that case, it might be worth hanging in there to see if you were right about the hunch, to see if this relationship could be worth pursuing out of state.

But clearly neither one of you is feeling that. So, in summary, there’s nothing fun or serious to be gained from this mini relationship. Run, Forrest, run!

The fun police,

Em & Lo

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One Comment

  1. I totally agree! I’ve been in this situation, not once, but TWICE. The first time, I knew all along that he was going to move in a few months, but started sleeping with him anyway. Big mistake. We were in relationship limbo for several months and I was miserable, but unable to stop seeing him. I would’ve been much better to end it way earlier.
    The second time, I thought I was ok with “nothing serious” and just having fun while we were able to. Again, big mistake. I fell for him and the breakup was sooo painful, especially since I couldn’t even be mad at him.
    So don’t do it! I completely agree with E&L on this one!!

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