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Parallax - Advice

March 15, 2004

Texas hospitality?

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question! A year ago I moved to L.A. to become an actor. I am making some slight progress but not much. I get the odd temp job, but mostly I wait tables. On the social front, it's a great change from my home in Texas. I've met tons of women and gone out with a few. Now my girlfriend from back home wants to come out and live with me because this is what we talked about before I moved here. I'm just not super-sure this is what I still want. I think the best thing would be to delay it a few months—six or so—and then make a decision. I still love her and care for her, and we talk almost every day. I don't know exactly why I want to wait, but I don't want to just say a definite 'no' at this time. Sometimes I think I'm just being selfish. Should I delay? If so, what do I tell her? Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Undecided,

Sounds like you would prefer to explore options while keeping your back home love on hold as long as you can.

Well, simply do just that. Tell your girlfriend that you would like some time to settle in, say a few months, and do the exploring you need. At that time you'll have to pull the trigger and decide. You cannot keep her on hold forever.

As to the reason for the hold, there are many lies you can make up. I'm certain I don't need to tell you what to say. Honesty works as well. Simply tell her you are not certain where you stand and need some time to settle in. A few months of settling in will probably make sense. She may say, 'No way,' and walk, but we all take chances.

You would not be happy if she showed up tomorrow at your apartment door.

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His view:

Dear Undecided,

Yes, you should delay. And here's how you tell her.

You pick up the phone, you dial her number, and you tell her that you aren't ready for her to make the big move. You tell her you aren't even sure the big move is such a hot idea.

She asks why. She asks if you've met someone else. Maybe she gets upset. Maybe she cries. You tell her you've met a lot of people, but no one special. You tell her your life is unsettled. You tell her you are being honest, that is why you want to wait.

You spend another ten or twenty or fifty minutes trying to reason with her...however long it takes. You hold your ground. You don't back down. You're a man. You can live with your decisions. This is one of them.

She'll thank you for it one day, no matter how things turn out.

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