How much is too much?

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WaitingLady Posts : 25 Registered: 4/8/09
How much is too much?
Posted: Feb 3, 2010 9:01 PM

I am sorry all my posts have questions for subject lines... :(

So, I need some opinions, personal experiences, advice.... Anything to give me a little perspective.

I am a highly motivated person, I am a planner, I need to know what I am doing and where I am going, and if I don't know, it is so easy to be frustrated, which I don't deal with too well. Which is why there is a (potential) problem, or a concern at any rate.
When I graduated from college I decided to stay in the same city, because my SO was there, despite the total lack of job potential for me. We had only known each other for a few months when I realized that it was a decision that I needed to make, and I needed to make it fast. It was a big, difficult decision to make, and at the time, I struggled with this question:

How much is too much to give for a relationship whose outcome is not guaranteed?

As luck would have it, I found a (shitty dead-end) job, and have been renting a small studio apartment. I have insurance through my work, but I don't make enough to pay for my car, so my parents are helping me financially there. But otherwise, I am a (mostly) financially independent woman. Though I have hated being in limbo, this past year out of school has made me solidify my resolve to go to graduate school, and to realize that having a masters degree is the only path for me to achieve real independence.

Now the curve ball. Mr.SO hates his job, but this is a small city so finding a new one here in his field is not really likely. He also lives at his parents house. He hasn't had any of his things since his divorce. BUUUT, the company he works for is offering a big cash incentive for people to go to a new office in a different state that they are opening. For a year. So again, I am faced with the question, how much is too much?

Some things that would happen, for further frame of refference: It's only for a year, but that would mean I would have to give up my car because of the stipulations of my lease. So I'd be carless and jobless in a city where we know nobody. I might be able to find another (shitty dead-end) job, but I'd have to wait for insurance benefits, which I would lose if I left my current job. I would lose residence for tuition here, so I wouldn't be able to go to grad-school as an in-state student (HUGE financial difference) right away after coming back. I'd also have to leave all of my things behind here too. We would be living together, which would be an upgrade so to speak, but that's a whole nother realm of confusing--- what would that make me, the live-in girlfriend? He'd have to be my sugar daddy until I found a job... And I'm not really comfortable with that. He would get the nice bonus, and chances are he would be getting more higher-level experience, but again the post is for a year, not a long-term transfer.
If this was a 4-year thing, then the situation would be different. I could make things happen in 4 years-- I could go to grad school, I could work towards my goals as well. But 1 year is like putting everything else on hold and then having to start over from -1. If we were married the situation would be different--- if we were engaged, even, the situation would be different.

I want to get married eventually, and I think we are both sure we are headed that way. But, you know, things could change.
Obviously I don't want to go if it's just a year, and I don't want to get married just because it would "simplify" things.
But if he decided that it was something he had to do, my "I dont want to go" would be a lot less firm, a lot more difficult to stick to. So again, the question comes up. How much is too much to give, when your relationship isn't set in stone?

Edited by: WaitingLady on Feb 3, 2010 9:01 PM to add a tag,


AmyJustin2010 Posts : 201 Registered: 1/18/10
Re: How much is too much?
Posted: Feb 3, 2010 9:37 PM Go to message in response to: WaitingLady

Honestly I think it depends on the relationship. Have you guys seriously talked marriage? Do you know a proposal is in the near future? If you know for 100% sure that a proposal is in the works soon, it is a different situation than if you had never talked about it. Either way, I think your educational goals are something you shouldn't sacrifice for a relationship. I think altering the means of achieving the goals is one thing (applying to a different college, going to college all online, etc) but completely giving up on them or putting them on hold isn't something worth sacrificing. I also think that breaking your lease, going insurance-less, and having no car is something I wouldn't want to do.

Here's what I would do: continue your relationship as a long-distance relationship. A year really isn't that long at all. It might seem like a lot to think about now, but it will go faster than you think. It will be hard, but it really seems it is the best thing for him to go and the best thing for you to stay put.



Amy & Justin--Buffalo Sabres Fanatics :) 


ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: How much is too much?
Posted: Feb 5, 2010 9:30 AM Go to message in response to: WaitingLady

You need to take care of YOU and start your career. You can always move to a different city later on to be with him. But if there's no career prospects for you in the new city and you would be moving there simply because of him, I think it's the worst decision you could possibly make. And yes, it is WAY too much, especially in the stage of the relationship that you say you're at.

If I were you, I would make my own plans rather than put my future on hold for a boyfriend. This is going to sound incredibly unromantic, but you should NEVER take the future of any relationship for granted, even if you are married. ALWAYS have a plan in the back of your mind of what you would do if the relationship/marriage were to end - because that's always a possibility, no matter how committed you are or how unlikely it seems. I have divorced friends who never thought they'd be in that situation, but there they are. You need to figure out how to support yourself and plan for YOUR future. Later on, once it's clear that your boyfriend will be in it longterm, you can plan for how to compromise and have a future together that works for both of you.

But no, I think that having no career experience of your own and being supported by someone else for the next year is the dumbest decision that you could make right now. Either move to a new city with good career prospects, or move forward with your plans to go to grad school. Don't sit still. How are you going to explain this move and your crappy jobs to a potential future employer? By telling them that you took crappy jobs for the first couple years of your career because you wanted to be near a boyfriend? By telling them that you moved to a city with no career prospects because of a boyfriend? Remember that you'll be competing for these future jobs against people who are highly motivated and DID SOMETHING with the first few years of their career. I understand that entry-level jobs suck, but you owe it to yourself to find the best one you can get, not a dead-end job in a city with no prospects.

I'll share a little about my past history, in case it helps. When DH and I had been dating for about 3 years, he moved from MA to Pittsburgh because he was ready to go back to school and that was the best place for him to finish his degree. The following year, I moved to DC for graduate school. The year after that, DH moved back to MA (instead of to DC) because he had an immediate job opportunity there. Even though I could have moved back to MA as well (since I was writing my dissertation at that point and could do that from anywhere), I stayed in DC because there were better job prospects there. A few years later, we got engaged and DH found a good job in DC as well. At that point, he had some great experience under his belt and was more competitive in the local job market than he would have been a few years earlier. Now we are married and we're both successful professionals. If either of us had followed the other one, one of us would perhaps have a successful career and the other would be struggling and miserable.

My point: You need to do what's best for YOU. You are not married or even engaged to this man. On top of that, you are just starting your career, and it's stupid to put yourself in a place where you won't have many prospects. I'll also say this: Even though we are now married, we would still consider temporarily living separately if one of us had a really good career opportunity elsewhere. I spent two months in Germany last year for work. DH's company is moving to a different city, and if he's offered a good enough incentive to go temporarily to set up the new office and train new people, we would consider it even though I cannot move. Being apart isn't the end of a relationship. Sometimes what's best for the relationship in the long run is for one person to take an opportunity that separates you for a while.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People


MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: How much is too much?
Posted: Feb 5, 2010 10:15 AM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

Sometimes what's best for the relationship in the long run is for one person to take an opportunity that separates you for a while.

Because if/when you come back together, you'll be that much stronger.

Couldn't agree with Artbride more. And, in-state tuition for grad school is a big deal. As someone with a LOT of school debt, I think starting out a (possibly future) marriage in as little debt as possible is a strong move for your relationship overall.


"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson


WaitingLady Posts : 25 Registered: 4/8/09
Re: How much is too much?
Posted: Feb 5, 2010 12:15 PM Go to message in response to: WaitingLady

Thank you ladies!

I definitely was not planning on moving just for a year, so rest easy. :) It might be fun for a week if I did, but it would drive me crazy. As I said, I am a very goal-oriented person, and sitting around twiddling my thumbs for a year is just not something I want to be doing. Now that I have decided where I want to being going in life, I am eager to get started, and being idle is definitely not what I want. It was in fact my current dead-end job in a city with no prospects that sort of helped me decide what career was right for me, despite being a stupid job, as it kind of vaguely ties into what I want to study in grad school, so that decision has come of something. It has been good for me to live alone, to support myself, for the most part, this past year. So deciding to stay here after college only because of my BF has actually yielded a lot of a fruit, and it's a decision I don't regret, and wouldn't even if we were to break up. Moving away for the year only becaue of the BF, however, seems like a terrible plan, agreed.

I guess I was asking more on philosohical grounds, since the question has come up so many times... which you all have provided answers to as well. Never taking your position in a relationship for granted, being able to care for yourself, and do what is best for you... these are important.
It's kind of hard to keep track of what is best for you as an individual when you are so focused on what would make things easiest for you as a couple. Which makes it really hard to be certain that you are doing the right thing when deciding one way or another, especially when you want so badly to make things easy and to make things work.


FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: How much is too much?
Posted: Feb 5, 2010 12:22 PM Go to message in response to: WaitingLady

Only you can decide if you should be in this relationship or not. But I can tell you that in your post I am hearing a lot. I am hearing a young woman who desires independence, freedom, and adventure. Am I hearing right? You must follow your dreams to complete your M.A. and you cannot let anything get in your way. If it is meant for you and your BF to be together, it will be. But sweetie, don't settle. I spent 20 years in a small dead end town and I was miserable. My ex was completely happy there. I begged him to move to a bigger city, where there would be more opportunity, more culture, etc. I moved after my divorce and now I live in a place where I can thrive. And I am! So, please, don't cheat yourself out of a life you really want. I am not telling you to end your relationship, but you must follow your dreams. Good luck sweetie.

Francie Elaine, The Bride Whisperer  



NightfallenRain Posts : 120 Registered: 7/23/07
Re: How much is too much?
Posted: Feb 10, 2010 2:31 PM Go to message in response to: WaitingLady

Hey girl =) I have read a couple of your posts and wanted to share a couple of things with you that I hope that help.

I have seen time and time again that whatever we sow, we reap. So, personally, if I wanted positive results from academics, I would not sow a negative seed like not studying, not going to class, etc. I would sow positive things like taking notes and paying attention in class. Positive things produce positive results. So in your question of 'How much is too much?', I don't believe we should do good things just to expect something back all of the time. We should do good things because they are the right things to do; and if something comes back to us, it's the icing on the cake (so to speak). Relationship-wise - I believe that if someone were constantly doing things and making sacrifices while the other person did absolutely nothing, that is not healthy. You and your partner should be on the same page about the direction of the relationship, among other important things.

I have definitely seen in the relationship with my future husband that communication is key, essential, and critical. We never leave an issue untouched and we never depart from each other angry. If something needs to be said, we say it but always with love. It is never perfect, and sometimes we need to really truck through some stuff, but in the end it is worth it. So I would encourage you to really talk to your partner about these things you have mentioned in your posts. Both parties must be willing to compromise but also be willing to sacrifice.

"The woman came from a man's rib.  Not from his feet to be walked on, not from his head to be superior, but from the side to be equal, under the arm to be protected, and next to the heart to be loved."


WaitingLady Posts : 25 Registered: 4/8/09
Re: How much is too much?
Posted: Feb 10, 2010 4:24 PM Go to message in response to: NightfallenRain

Thank you again for your thoughts. :)
I have since had a conversation with the man about what moving would mean to me, and what it would mean to him. I never planned on leaving for a short period of time, because as I have said I am a goal-oriented person and sitting idle would drive me nuts. I have communitcated to him that delaying my career is something that would be hurtful to me in the long run, but working on it now would not only make me happy but be a benefit for the both of us even if it is harder in the short term. He was a very good listener, and agreed that it was not the best move (literally and figuratively) for me, and he doesn't want to hold me back from what I need to do. Apparently there is a position that involves going back and forth for a while, so he might be looking into that.

Francie, I will confess that when he and I first started dating, my biggest concern was that he would never want to leave and explore life in a different place. It is a great town, with a lot to offer, but employment possibilities here are limited. But as I have come to know him, I have discovered that he is really quite open to the idea, as long as everything is in order for that to happen (ie, he has a job lined up, or I do). I am not worried that when the time comes, and I have my masters and can actually get a good job, that we will not be staying here. I will be staying for grad school because by some amazing coincidence, the university here has an amazing course (#2 in the nation!) for what I want to study.

NIghtFallenRain, I thought long and hard about what you said. My philosphy thus far, in regards to sacrifice, is to do nothing that I would regret should the relationship end. It sounds weird when I read that last sentence out loud, but I think that it makes sense. (Kind of? Or does that make it not a sacrifie at all?) I don't want to put myself in a situation that I would look back on and regret, just for the sake of the relationship. But suddenly I found myself in a relationship that I really wanted to see through, that I want to protect and that I want to last, for the first time in my life. My dad, for example, had a job that required that he move to a different country every three years or so. My mom followed him, of course, no questions asked. But there were a lot of things different. They were married for one, and my mother didn't have a career, nor did she really need one. Many other things were different too, of course... So my first instinct is to not want to separate, because that was how I saw their relationship work. I, of course, am in a completley different situation. The man and I are on the same page about a lot of things. We see the relationship going in the same direction. But we aren't married. And I do hope to have a career. So there are a lot of conflicting impulses, and it makes it very hard to decide. In regards to one-sided sacrifice, I completley agree with you. I don't quite know how to explain it, but the opportunity for him to make a big one hasn't really come up, since my situation has been a lot more flexible and a lot less grounded. We have discussed if the shoe was on the other foot, and I'm not particularly worried. Of course a discussion is never the same as actually being there in that situation, but all I can say is we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Being assertive has never really been a problem for me, until I fell in love! The good thing is that the man always knows when there is something on my mind, and he always listens well. As the days have gone by since my original post, I have been more secure in being more assertive about what I want to do, and you ladies, as always, have been an amazing help.


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