For Love or Money

You have a life decision to make.  Which is more important, your career or your boyfriend/girlfriend?  Do you choose love or money?  Which is right?  Which is wrong?  It’s not as black and white as that.

As I discussed before, I moved halfway across the country to Colorado with my ex.  We had been dating for about 6 months.  I was young (26) and in love, and knew long distance wasn’t for me.  I had nothing really holding me back, so I moved with him.  Was it a smart move?  While I do get a bit embarrassed about my actions (“I moved 1200 miles away for a boy!”), I also know that my life would not be the same if I hadn’t done it.  It was one of those true catalyst moments, a new beginning, a whole new world.  I don’t regret it.  But I swore I would never do it again.  I leaned on him too much, since he was the only person I knew.  That clingyness, while not the only reason we broke up, was certainly a part of it.  When we broke up, within months of the move, I was alone, in a strange land, and the only person I knew was no longer a person I could lean on.  It was not a pleasant feeling.

While dating The Pilot, he mentioned several times the possibility of him getting a job flying out of Dubai.  He had even asked me if I would go with him.  I thought about it a lot, what would happen if he decided to go through with it.  Would I move with him?  While I was completely enthralled (in that scared kind of way, like being on a big rollercoaster) with the possibility of living there, I knew I wouldn’t do it without a ring on my finger.  Dubai actually forbids couples living together who are not married, so that was a handy excuse when The Pilot and I discussed it.  I wasn’t demanding marriage, the country was, if he wanted me to go with him.

Somehow I’ve ended up in a similar situation.  New Beau spent 6 months in Europe last year for his job, and loved every minute of it.  He had told me there was a possibility of him going to the UK for a similar position, so when I got a text from him the other day wanting to talk about something important, I figured (hoped) that’s what it was (as opposed to a “We need to talk” talk).

Beau did get a job opportunity overseas, potentially leaving by the end of the year.  But it wasn’t to the UK, it was to Finland.  And it wasn’t a six month contract.

It will be for two to three years.

We both realize that this is a terribly long time to be apart.  And the timing is simply awful.  We’ve been seeing each other for three months.  That’s not all that long.  Certainly not long enough for him to be basing a major life decision on me.

Just to be clear – this is a HUGE deal for him, career-wise.  Huge.  I can’t even tell you how astronomically huge it is for him.  This position will basically allow him to write his own ticket for the rest of his career.  It’s a big deal.  I get it.  I understand how much he wants it.

And he’s hesitating.  Because of me.  Not a position I’m comfortable with.

There are other drawbacks he has to consider, of course.  Selling the house, his car.  Essentially giving up his dogs.  The fact that he’ll be living on the arctic circle, with long, cold-ass winters with no sun.  He doesn’t speak the language, and there’s not a whole lot of opportunity to learn.

But the pros outweigh the cons, in my opinion.  He wants it, too, I know he does.  The only reason he’s really considering saying no is me.  He would get past those other things.  I’m what’s holding him back.  And I’m not comfortable in that position.  Mostly because I don’t want him to regret his decision and blame me.

  • Scenario 1:  He takes the job.  We’re three months in now, we would have six more months together, then be apart for 2-3 years.  I don’t know about him, but I would be heartbroken.  Completely.  Like, I’m going to cry just thinking about it.  I will spend the next six months thinking about how much it’s going to hurt when he leaves.  And, let’s be frank – chances are, his leaving will be the end of the relationship.  We are not in our twenties.  I’m 35, he’s 38.  Two (maybe three) years is a long time at this age to be holding onto a relationship in its infancy.
  • Scenario 2:  He takes the job.  We break up now, just so we don’t get further attached.  I feel like this is a complete cop out, but a little hurt now is better than a lot of hurt later.  At least, some would argue that.  And, honestly, knowing how much it will hurt later…yeah, I’m one of those.  It’s cowardly, and I would hate myself for it, but I see the benefits.
  • Scenario 3:  He doesn’t take the job.  We break up in four months, and he spends the rest of his life cursing himself (and me) for not taking this opportunity.
  • Scenario 4:  He doesn’t take the job, and he and I live happily ever after here in the States.

Scenario 3 is the scariest for me.  Not that I foresee us breaking up, not that I want us to break up, just because that’s really the worst case, in my opinion.

As I told him, I can’t make the decision for him.  I’m not going to ask him to stay.  I’m not going to tell him to go.  I want him to stay, because I know his leaving will be the end of us.  I want him to go because I know this is a huge deal for him.  And I can’t say at this point which I want more.  And because of that, I will do what I always do, which is give.  If I had to choose, I would tell him to go.

As a friend mentioned, there is another option:  I move, too.

But I’m still very adamant about my “not without a ring” viewpoint.  Even more so, considering it’s a foreign country.  And, let’s face it, what are the odds of us getting to the marriage point in the next six months?  Not great.  Doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t happen.  Just means it’s not probable.  And none of this means I want to marry him at this point, or that he wants to marry me.  It’s simply too early to be thinking about it.

This is one of his catalyst moments.  Will he choose his career or his love life?

4 responses to “For Love or Money

  1. Hmmm… here’s a thought: what if *you* start looking for job opportunities in Finland?

    Then, if you land something, you can both go over there, and yes, you’re going because he’s going, but you’re going under your own steam, and you’re not solely dependent upon him for your well-being while you’re over there.

    Just a thought. 🙂

    • delightfuleccentric

      Honestly, I don’t think I have enough of a good skill set to get a job there without actually being there. Besides the fact that I can’t speak the language… I have done some quick searching online, and it’s been less than easy to find job openings.

  2. 10 years ago I moved to Europe for my soon to be ex-husband. While many see it as a weak reason to move…I have no regrets. Yes I moved for a man, but I moved because I wanted to, because I chose to; and I built a life here for myself as well.
    So what would I advise you? To take a risk. Stay with him until he leaves. If the two of you are still happily in a relationship at that time…then move with him, for him (and yes-of-course you should try to find a job or something in Finland to satisfy you). And yes I say move without the ring. A ring doesn’t mean anything. Well of-course it does its a commitment, but unfortunately marriages do end sometimes. So just because a man puts a ring on your finger doesn’t mean its end all be all. Him asking you to move out there with him is already commitment enough.
    Whatever your choice is good luck!

    • delightfuleccentric

      Thanks for the comment! I realize that a ring doesn’t necessarily mean long-lasting, and that even with a ring, things could quickly end. But because I would be moving with him, and he will essentially need to support me, at least in the beginning, I feel that the ring (not necessarily a wedding ring) is really necessary. Like I said, I’ve been in the situation before, and the complete dependence on that person without a stronger commitment isn’t what I want.

      Unfortunately, I’m not in a position where I can just up and move for myself. Besides, if I were to do that, it wouldn’t be to Finland! (No offense meant to the Finns out there, because I know it’s a wonderful country, but I would choose to be in a warmer climate!)

      We’ll see what happens. Right now, I’m enjoying every moment I’m with him, and I hope he feels the same. 🙂