Dear Wendy: “Should My Boyfriend And I Move To A Third World Country Together?”
I’m 21 and have been offered the opportunity to work in a rural area of a third world country. I will be doing something not very glamorous — necessary work for the project, but not the most exciting thing ever. I am very ambivalent as to whether I should accept it — I don’t speak the language, have no particular ties to this country, and am unsure if I would enjoy this opportunity. However, it would be a different experience and very unique. I would appreciate your level-headed thinking on this matter. In addition, I have a boyfriend of over two years. We have a great relationship and love each other deeply. He has offered to move to this country with me. He has few things tying him to our current location and has also expressed that he would be willing to follow me to other areas of the continental U.S., etc. My question is: is this a good idea? My heart says yes. It would ease my mind greatly if we didn’t have to worry about the long-distance relationship factor. I’ve mentioned potential obstacles, but he brushes it off as, basically, it doesn’t matter; he wants to be with me. What do you think? If I take this opportunity, I would want him to come, but I’m worried about what might happen. What if he hates it? What if he can’t find a job? I’m not even sure if I’ll be able to see him all that often. Please help! — First World Dilemma
I can’t really advise whether or not to take the opportunity to work in the third world country. You know more about your motivations and concerns, and you should weigh them and consider the pros and cons of going. If it would be only for a few months, I’d think the decision would be a no-brainer — when else in your life will you have such few responsibilities that will allow you to take off so easily and experience a new culture? If it’s for a longer period of time, you’ll have to consider what you might be giving up or missing out on by being away from him, in addition to what you’ll gain and learn by going.
In regards to having your boyfriend come along, I would definitely think long and hard about this and consider factors like, how long you plan to live there, what job opportunities might exist for him, what job opportunities might he be missing out on by moving, what is an exit plan if he doesn’t like it there or your relationship reaches a breaking point, how he’ll be able to get a visa to allow him to live and work there. One thing I would probably do is go there first and get settled before sending for him. Give yourself 1-3 months to test things out. Maybe YOU will hate it and decide you need to come back. Regardless, you’ll get some valuable perspective that will help you figure out whether having your boyfriend there with you would be wise. If you both can afford it, a visit from him in those first couple of months would be best, too, so he can see for himself what he’d be getting into.
I moved from California to Seattle, WA a little more then four years ago. I have a group of friends from back home whom I visit and keep in touch with. The past few months have been dull and I feel like not a lot is going on, but work has been really busy so I have not been texting/emailing as much. Most of my friends understand except one. We had a strange text conversation in which she told me she has a bump on her head and it might be cancer though it probably isn’t. She always thinks something is wrong, so I told her to check it out just to be safe, since my mother and father both died of cancer and my sister is battling it right now so I don’t think you can be to careful. Then she says, “I wish it was cancer, since life goes downhill anyway,” which I thought to be a cruel thing to say to me considering my family history. She then tells me that she can’t talk to me anymore since we never talk even though we talked a few days ago and she visited last month. So I asked her if I could call her because it was hard to say everything over text and I wanted us to be okay and she said, no, I couldn’t call and that we are no longer friends. So I said, “Okay, this is your choice, but if you change your mind ever I will be here.” I love her and have been through so much with her. And even though we weren’t talking every day anymore, we were still talking a few times a week, so I’m confused by her reaction. Should I try to talk to her more or just let her come to me? Should I just let it go? — Confused Friend
She sounds like a self-absorbed, disrespectful drama queen, but if you’re intent on remaining friends with her, I’d call her or send her an email explaining that you’re sad she’s decided to end the friendship, but that you still very much care for her and want her in your life and when she’s ready to be friends again, you’ll be there for her. Other than that, though, I’d leave it alone. People like her are looking for a reaction and if you don’t give her much of one, she’ll come sniffing around when she needs attention again.
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