My boyfriend and I are having difficulty grasping our future. We know we want to spend the rest of our lives together, but at this time we have no idea what is going to happen. We are uncertain of his family’s plans for him, and he may have to move away. I know I want to get my Masters degree right away and then my law degree, but I can’t decide if that is the right decision or if I should move with my boyfriend no matter where he goes. How do we calm ourselves and find peace of mind knowing that the future is so uncertain? How do we put our best foot forward?”
Thank you for submitting this question – so much for us to unpack! Life’s dilemmas rarely come with clear-cut answers, especially when they involve life-changing decisions.
It sounds like you need advice on a couple of topics: the decision to move with your boyfriend and the best way find peace despite an unknown future.
Below, I’ve given you some questions to help you figure out what is best regarding the move with your man. Here is a post where I discuss some ways to cope with the unknown.
Here are five questions to ask yourself to help you decide if moving with your boyfriend is the right choice for you:
1. What do you want?
Take a few minutes, sit down in a quiet place, and really consider this question. If you eliminated all the opinions that you’ve heard outside of your own, what seems the most authentic to you? What makes you feel the most excited and passionate?
2. What “shoulds” are you holding on to?
I often get attached to the “shoulds” in life: I “should” have a successful career, I “should” know what I want to do with the rest of my life, I “should” eat more vegetables (that’s the hardest of them all). What “shoulds” are clouding your ability to see what you truly desire? How would it feel to let go of expectations and pursue what’s most genuine to you?
3. What are your values?
Before making a big decision, I always check-in to see how my options factor into my values. My top values are my relationship with God, my family/friends, my wellbeing/self-care, and then my career. Any potential ventures or life choices that don’t align with those values get eliminated or placed at the bottom of my priorities.
Think about what your values are. Maybe your career comes first. In that case, you may want to consider how moving will affect your ability to go to school and get your degree. Again, I am inviting you to be super-duper honest with yourself here. Really connect with who you are at your core, and forget the options that don’t feel true to you.
4. What are your heart and head saying?
When I’m facing a tough decision, my head and heart send contrasting messages. My head is usually more logical and locked into reality. My heart tends to follow a more emotional and impulsive path. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the romance of a situation and want to pursue my emotions, but reality eventually settles in and I’m forced to confront what my head was telling me all along.
I encourage you to reflect on these questions: what feelings come up when you tap into your heart and your head? Is your heart declaring that you and your boyfriend are destined to be together, so you should drop everything and move with him? Is your head urging you to pump the breaks and stay close to your family? Think about these questions, and see if you can simply observe what each part is telling you.
5. Have you talked about the logistics with your partner?
There have been many situations when I thought my boyfriend and I were on the same page, but I was actually assuming how he felt without formally asking him.
Have you and your boyfriend had a genuine conversation about the reality of you two moving together? Most importantly, has he officially invited you to relocate with him? Is marriage in your future? If so, how will the move affect your plans to get married?
The answers to these questions may seem obvious to you, but every day I am reminded how differently men and women communicate. (According to this book, men’s minds are like waffles and women’s are like spaghetti.) I encourage you to check in with him and make sure you’re on the same page.
You’re in a tight spot, my friend. I know this decision will not be easy even after reflecting on the questions above. My hope, though, is that you now have some clarity to arrive at the choice that best suits you. Take some time to truly reflect and determine what feels most authentic to who you are.
I am rooting for you!
Want to submit a question of your own?