Q: My partner was offered a job in a new city but I don’t want to move. Do I really have to choose between the man I love and the home I love?

I cannot tell from your post which cities we are comparing, whether there are children and schools to consider, what the economies of travel are nor the distances, should you choose to be a commuting couple. So it is difficult to answer. But let’s assume that the choice is simple and involves nothing more than the face of your question: go with your partner to a strange city, or stay within your comfort zone.

My dear, my answer is this: IF there is true love, respect, companionship, commitment, and courage in your relationship, choose the man, not the place. I am guided by the principle that we choose people over places and things. It helps if you look at this opportunity, not as a sacrifice of your comfort in the familiar, but as an adventure in the new. If you do not have particular courage for adventure, fear not—moving to a strange new city, developing new friends, finding new outlets for your creativity may be just the thing to help you develop your courage!

On the other hand, if your relationship is not USDA, certified, premium-deluxe, then don’t go. Release this man to find something/someone else—both of you will be better off. Similarly, if your personal fear of the strange and new is too overwhelming for you to imagine yourself happy and thriving, then stay where you are comfortable. For you do no one any good going where you cannot/will not be happy, in a state of lamentation for what once was and no longer is, always looking back—is it any wonder Lot’s wife turned to salt? It is better for you to set your partner (and yourself) free if you lack the confidence in yourself or your relationship to do well.

Advice is easy, and the doing of things is hard. If you were a heroine in a story, what would you want her to do? Perhaps that ideal answer is the one you can apply to your own (real) story.

~ Judith Anne McCarthy, author of The Marrying Kind

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