This Relationship Judge entry comes from a close friend of mine who happens to be a guy. We’ve got to help him! “Jeremy” is a kind, smart, hard working, funny and insightful man who also happens to be adorable. Just had to give this background before you hear what he’s going through. And once we help him, we’ve got to check back in periodically with him and make sure he’s doing okay.
The Facts: Straight from Jeremy’s email:
I was in a relationship with the wrong person for many years. When I finally decided to move on from said relationship I was the happiest I had been in my life. She was a wonderful person, just not the one for me. After a “fallow period,” when I wasn’t looking to meet anyone, I met the most stunning woman I had ever met. Smart, funny, gorgeous with the most out-of-this-world personality. She had moved to NYC to pursue higher education and I was working at an investment bank trying to figure out up from down. From the word, “go” we spent every waking hour together. She would come over and study while I watched TV or I would crash in her grad school single bed while she wrote papers all night. The perfect match. I had never felt this way about someone and was head over heels for her.
I proposed to this wonderful person after 3 years of dating and she said yes. Shortly after that I lost my job (found a new one 3 weeks later) and life started to come at us fast. We lost track of being engaged. Fast forward 5 years, we are still engaged. I have begged, pleaded, cried, rinsed and repeated, trying to figure out why she won’t marry me…nothing. To further complicate things, I was recently offered a very good position in NYC. We had been talking about moving out of the city and I told her I wouldn’t take the job if it meant losing her. The response was, “I am leaving…you should stay.”
After 8 years together. 5 years of engagement. The rubber had met the road. She is leaving.
The Question: Jeremy wants to know the following: (1) Was he wrong to pressure her? (2) Should he follow her in the hopes that it’s NYC that’s holding them back and (3) What if being unhappily unmarried is all he wishes for after she leaves?
The Relationship Judge Says: JEREMY! Take that job and run, my friend. Before I can begin to answer your specific questions, let’s start with some basic facts:
First – you are a good looking, employed, smart guy who wants nothing else but to be in a committed relationship with the love of your life, get married and start a family. I bet that if you looked around New York City (or anywhere, really), you’ll find women by the thousands who are looking for someone EXACTLY like you. Women who want exactly the things you are anxious to give – right at this exact moment – not some day down the road.
Second – There is absolutely nothing that your fiance will come to learn about you 6 months, a year or 5 years from now that will suddenly make her realize that she’s finally ready to have a wedding and be married. For whatever reason, she’s having difficulty fully committing yet she is not ready to set you free. Pretty selfish, if you ask me. If she doesn’t see you as a her husband, she has no right to keep you waiting around in the hopes that it will happen.
Third – just an observation, but it does sound like at least part of your relationship has been about you sacrificing for her. Taking a backseat to what she wants. Now I happen to know your fiance and grew to love her like you did because she does have a wonderful personality. She IS a lovely, great person. But even lovely, great people make big mistakes and fall into situations that they can’t even explain. It no longer seems like this person and you are on the same page about what you both currently want. You want to get married. Have kids. Settle down. She seems to want these things, but perhaps not at this time, perhaps not ever or perhaps not with you?? You’ve given this 8 years and you’re no closer to finding out what the story is. This is a MAJOR red flag.
Now, to address your specific questions.
(1) No, you were not wrong to pressure her. It would be one thing if you proposed to her to keep her in NYC. This did not happen. You proposed 5 years ago. You have a right to know what the heck is going on. If she’s not telling you to move with her (in fact, TELLING you to stay in NYC and take the job) – THAT IS YOUR ANSWER. She may not want to say it. She may not even want to admit it. But she knows in her mind that she can’t move forward with you. She may not be strong enough to tell you. She may never be strong enough to tell you. Her willingness to let you go is your clear answer, Jeremy. It sucks. But it’s clear. It’s not really that confusing. You love someone, you don’t move away from them. You’re engaged to someone you love? You marry that person. End of story.
(2) No, you should not follow her. NYC is not your problem. Wherever you go, your problems will come with you. But let’s play devil’s advocate. Let’s say you did move there and gave up the job. What would you do in the new city? Would she be willing to get married then? Or would she come up with more reasons why she’s not ready? Getting married is very easy to do, by the way. You go to the town hall and apply for a marriage license. A wedding can happen later. If she’s not willing to do either (and hasn’t been willing to do so for 5 years), I don’t think that moving to a new city will help.
(3) Once you make the decision to end it, it will never be as bad as you imagine. Yes, you will miss her. Being single after being with the same person for 8 years is a huge change. You will have plenty of moments of self-doubt. You may try to contact her in a time of weakness. She may contact you. The sooner you put this all behind you, the sooner you will be able to heal, move on and find someone who is ready to give you everything you’ve ever wanted. Stay busy. Keep working out. Make tons of plans with lots of different people. It’s summer – the best time to go out and meet new people – use that to your advantage. But whatever you do, be firm about it. You have the ability to end this heartache once and for all and start fresh. It’s scary out there, but what’s the alternative? This could go on for another few years and the torture will continue. Don’t let that happen.
In summary, here’s the judgment: TAKE THAT NYC JOB. LET HER GO. HAVE CONFIDENCE IN WHO YOU ARE AND THAT THERE IS SOMEONE OUT THERE WHO WANTS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT.
Your Turn: Can you please tell Jeremy that he needs to move on? That this relationship is not going to get him anywhere good? That he’s spent enough time being patient and needs to cut his losses and move on?