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Parallax - Advice

April 9, 2001

Making a Move

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Everyone wants things to work out, but nothing works out if you don't have all the right moves. This week we meet people who are fighting over physical moves and stumped by psychological ones. Can Miss Tennessee possibly find happiness in California? Is Ms. Fit playing sweaty gym games with Mr. Muscle? Can Ms. Purity have a serious relationship without going all the way...or down? Our love experts find the grooves to make their moves.

Cross-country pouts?
Move it, girl!
 Date: 04/09/01

Flex and sex.
Workout moves.
 Date: 04/09/01

Going down and out?
Religious moves.
 Date: 04/09/01

More from last week...

Cross-country pouts?

Dear Conversely,

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I recently became engaged to a guy who I've dated for the past eighteen months. I'm twenty-five and he's twenty-seven: we met while I was in college and he was stationed with the army in my home state of Tennessee. He recently moved back to his home state of California to accept his 'dream job' with the L.A.P.D. and to be close to his family once again (he was gone for seven years). He now refuses to compromise on living somewhere between California and Tennessee (so I could be closer to my family). I was willing to move to California, but the more he refuses to compromise, the more I resent him. It's the fact that he's unwilling to sacrifice for me (when I'm willing to sacrifice for him) that keeps me from making my final decision on getting married. He says he will do whatever it takes to make me happy EXCEPT moving or getting a different cop job. It's all so unfair and his selfishness amazes me. He'd fight to the ends of the earth to keep his dream job, but not his dream girl. Before this whole fiasco I'd never been happier with a man. We were great friends, never fought and always trusted each other. This is making my life miserable, because I love him and it's too hard to just quit. What should I do?

Her view:

Dear Miss Tennessee,

Move to L.A. We all need to make sacrifices. If you move somewhere between California and Tennessee your victory would be pyrrhic - it's ridiculous to split everything just to split it. One of you will have to travel to visit family: for the near term, it shall be you. That's not so terrible. He sounds like a great guy who needs to live in California at this time, so support him on that - not everything in a relationship is split 50/50.

Sometimes you need to follow along for things to work out. I'm not suggesting you mindlessly follow him wherever he goes, but this case is clear. He really loves his job and there will certainly be opportunities for you in California. Try to make it work. I'm sure you want him to be happy in his work - It would be much worse to live with a cranky husband who hates his job and is irritable all the time.

By the way, you're blowing this way out of proportion. This doesn't sound like a guy who wants to take advantage of you. This sounds like a guy who really wants his job and you at the same time. Be supportive to the extent you can - he'd probably do the same for you.

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His view:

Dear Miss Tennessee,

This is complicated, but I agree with his position. It appears that you've reneged on your willingness to move to California and he probably resents this - especially given how important the job is to him. He probably feels you're being difficult on an issue that's not as critical to you as it is to him.

It is also likely that he gives similar weight to 'happiness in his relationship' and 'happiness at work.' Both are huge elements in a person's life, and at some purely logical level it seems like 'giving up the dream job for the dream girl' might not always make sense. Could he find another equally good cop job somewhere else? Probably, but it wouldn't be in L.A., where he's always wanted to be. Would being a cop in Las Vegas or Tucson or Dallas be the same? Definitely not.

Your offer of a geographic mid-point is like saying, 'Let's settle for the worst possible outcome because the one that you really like is not great for me.' For example, if you settle in Texas he'll hate life, and you still won't be close to your family. Come on, there's not a huge difference between a one-hour flight and a three-hour flight…certainly not in the big scheme of things.

You want this to be entirely love-driven and romantic, but in marriage you need to be practical. Make tradeoffs. Perhaps he has turned into a selfish jerk since he moved back to California. You certainly don't want to marry a selfish jerk, but from your description, I'd say the one who's being selfish is you.

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