Dear Wendy: “My Boyfriend Wants Us To Be Bi-Coastal”

I have been with my boyfriend for five years and we get along fairly well and are happy together. We live together in LA. He moved here from the east coast about four years ago for our relationship, which he reminds of every time we argue (regardless of what we’re arguing about). He’s been telling me for four years that he really wants to go back east and wants me to go with him — even just temporarily. I have very close family here and recently finished graduate school and started my career and would have to pass an exam to be able to practice my work on his coast. He, however, can work from anywhere. I’ve told him I’d go out east with him temporarily — a few months — but that I don’t want to live there permanently. He now says he wants me to commit to living the summers there … and it’s the only way he can move forward with us (I’m in no rush to move forward, but definitely want a future with him). It’s ludicrous to live on two coasts and would be a major sacrifice in terms of my career. I want him to be happy, but I just know I won’t be happy living there permanently and I don’t think living there part-time is realistic. — West Coast or Bust

Relationships are about compromise, but it doesn’t seem like you’re interested in making any yourself. It’s really kind of been all about you and what you want, hasn’t it? Your family, your home, your career. What about your boyfriend and what he wants? Doesn’t he count at all? He’s been telling you for four years that he wants to live out east and you’ve been shutting him down with a list of excuses. Now you’re saying a move to the other coast would be a blow to your career. But you’ve just started your career! It’s not like you’ve spent years building contacts and attracting clients you’ll lose if you move. So, you’ll need to take an exam to practice your work elsewhere. Well, take the exam! Show your boyfriend you’re at least that committed to your relationship and his happiness. If you honestly want a future with this man, go out east and see how you like it. Maybe you’ll be surprised and find yourself happier there than you imagined. Maybe you’ll discover that it doesn’t matter where you live as long as you’re with the person you love.

But if you can’t bear the thought of leaving your home, even if it means keeping your relationship, perhaps this isn’t the right man for you. One of the hallmarks of a healthy relationship and a good match is a willingness to make sacrifices for the person you love. Your boyfriend was willing to make a big one for you by moving. Are you willing to return the favor? I get that it’s a huge favor to give. We’re not talking about watching someone’s kids for the afternoon or giving a friend’s resume the once-over. A move would be a life-changing event, and it may just be that you aren’t invested in this person you “get along with fairly well” to take that step. And you know what? That’s OK. But be honest about that — with yourself and your boyfriend. He deserves that much.

I recently got a text from a girl saying she just wanted to be friends and it wasn’t working out and she didn’t want to waste my time. I appreciated that, but then she sent another text saying she doesn’t know what’s wrong with her, because I’m one of the nicest guys she’s ever met. What’s the deal with that? This seems to happen often. — The Nice Guy

You don’t say how old you are, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you’re still in your teens or early 20s. Girls at that age tend to have the bad habit of chasing guys who aren’t terribly nice. They know they’d probably be better off with someone like you (hence the “I don’t know what’s wrong with me” texts you get), but they just can’t stop themselves from going after jerks who treat them like crap. Why? Hell if I know. It probably has something to do with their low self-esteem. They haven’t yet developed an appreciation for their self-worth and, as a consequence, are attracted to jerks who treat them like the crap they believe they are. The good news is that not every girl in that age group is like that, and even most of the ones who are tend to outgrow their bad-boy-loving phase by their late 20s or early 30s. If you can’t wait that long to find a nice girl who appreciates you, start casting a wider net in the dating pool. Pursue girls who are more overlooked by other guys: the studious girls, the quirky/artsy types, the funny/sarcastic chicks, the girls who are a few pounds heavier than your typical cheerleader. Because while you’ve been getting dissed by the girls who “just want to be friends,” these young ladies have been waiting for a nice guy just like you to come along and show them a little attention. And if you play your cards right, you might end up with a cooler girlfriend than any of those other ladies would have been.

*Do you have a relationship/dating question I can help with? Send me your letters at {encode=”[email protected]” title=”[email protected]”}.