Independence or my boyfriend?

My boyfriend says he can support me financially but I don’t want to quit my job. Help! 

You both need to compromise, says our elder. If he won’t budge, he might not be the one for you.


Dear EWC

Hi. I have been with my boyfriend, E, for two years. I just moved away for grad school. He did not join, so we do long distance. The city where I went is not nice and he doesn’t want to leave his life. I get it. He has visited twice this semester. And now he doesn’t like to come stay in a hotel. I have weird roommates. I’m trying to sublease so we can get a place together but it is not going well. I work in addition to my school. This is a job that requires I work overnights and on school breaks. I managed to get 15 days off for winter break. I get a 12-week summer break, but will have only two to three weeks off from work. He does not support this and wants me to be with him over the long break. His logic is that he has plenty of money to give me, so why won’t I take it? I don’t get paid much currently. My grades are awful, which he attributes to my working as well. 

I enjoy my job, but I don’t want to lose him. I told him that he can afford an apartment here, so why do I have to sublease? I’m trying but it isn’t working. I won’t work every day over the summer, so why can’t he come here? He does not like to be alone in this city for the entire day until I am off at night. I feel like there is nothing I can do. I do not want to quit this job, but I am open to the idea. It is a two-year commitment and I may not meet the GPA requirement anyway. I don’t want to be financially dependent upon him. And I don’t like how he isn’t supporting me. Long distance is hard and I know this. I wouldn’t blame him for breaking up with me because I want to be “independent”. He is a little older than I am and really has enough money to take care of me. But I am unsure if I should let him.


Rose replies

I am glad you reached out to EWC for advice on this issue. My name is Rose, and I hope I can be of help by offering my viewpoint on the situation.

After two years with your boyfriend, you have moved away to attend graduate school, thereby changing your relationship to a long-distance one. You and your boyfriend are now at an impasse. He does not want to move to where you are, and you don’t want to give up your job and your graduate schooling to move back to him. It does not seem to me that either one of you is being unreasonable. But obviously, this situation doesn’t bode well for the continuance of your relationship.

How serious is this relationship? Is he “the one” for you? My instincts say, finish graduate school first, before settling into a relationship. But if you can’t imagine living your life with anyone but him, you will have some compromising to do. So will he, if you’re “the one” for him. There are really only two choices: for both of you to compromise to negotiate this new chapter in your relationship and find a way to make it work, or to break up. 

You say your grades are awful and you may not make the GPA. Your boyfriend thinks your grades are suffering because you are working too much. Is he right? Or is it because you are feeling alone and worried about your relationship? The point of the move was to get your graduate degree; therefore, school and your GPA should be taking priority over your job. If the job is interfering with schoolwork, it would be wise to cut back hours or find another job.

It also sounds like you want to show yourself that you can make it on your own, that you have dreams worth pursuing. Don’t underestimate the importance of this feeling. Your boyfriend is missing this point by saying that he will give you money and take care of you. Your gut is telling you that you need to be independent and have your own source of income. You need to take those gut instincts seriously. If you give up your grad school to come home to him, will you resent him? Will you be disappointed with yourself?

All long-term relationships are built on compromise. If you two go the compromise route, then you may need to consider quitting/modifying the job so that it is easier for you to go visit him. You can also focus better on your studies. He will also need to compromise by visiting you more frequently, possibly renting an apartment as a “home away from home” for him. If you and he both are willing to compromise, that will tell you something about your relationship. If one of both of you is unwilling, that will tell you something too. It’s time to have a serious discussion with him as to where this relationship is going, what kind of future you envision together and whether both of you are going to step up to the plate to make it work. This has to be a two-sided effort. If he is still unwilling to budge, I would advise you to put your schooling first.

I hope this helps you make your decision. Good luck to both of you!

Article #: 492316
Category: Dating/Relationship

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *