Dear Miss U,
I met my boyfriend on exchange and we were seeing each other for 2 months. It was nothing serious since we knew we were both leaving the country soon. When we left, after 2 months of not seeing each other, he wanted to visit me and we started an LDR. He never believed that an LDR would work but it was always him visiting me and wanting to take the next step. Everything was perfect, but suddenly he started telling me he is unsure if we were made for each other because he is unsure about his feelings.
Sometimes he loves me but sometimes he doesn’t. At the same time, he doesn’t want to break up because he enjoys being with me, but he feels bad because he doesn’t want me to waste my time if this is just a temporary thing. We talked about our long term goals and next year I would be able and also willing to move to his country but he said he doesn’t want that if he is unsure of his feelings.
He told me he is completely sure that his feelings won’t change and won’t want me to go there in the future either because he doesn’t want me to give up my life for him. I am very confused and don’t know what to do. To me, it wouldn’t mean giving up my life and I told this to him too. I love him and want to give a try. At the same time, if he says he is unsure about his feelings, I don’t know if this is just a temporary thing or he really doesn’t love me? He said he misses me and doesn’t want to be with anyone else because he enjoys being with me, but he wouldn’t move somewhere because of me. What should I think and do?
Patience is a virtue, but patience only goes so far. Sometimes I’m standing there with my kids, dinner is on their little table and I’ve got three different colored forks in my hand; who gets to choose first varies, but there’s at least one day a week a child is incapacitated by indecision. One of the others gets fed up and makes a grab for the green fork, but the chooser screams blue murder, even if green’s not the fork they actually want.
I will first prompt the chooser to make a decision. If they don’t, I’ll make the decision for them, because someone has got to – and that’s the whole of it, right there. Someone has to make a decision.
Your boyfriend can’t sit there looking over the forks forever. Dinner will go cold, and his table-mate (you) will eventually either snatch a fork, or walk your arse to the kitchen to get an entirely different one.
So my advice is to either choose for him, or walk away. Go to dinner with someone who knows what they want, and appreciates what they have when it is right in front of them.
How much does this relationship mean to you? How much does he mean to you? Are you willing to take a gamble, move there, and give him enough time with you for him to eventually decide what he wants? Is there another reason for moving to his country, or would you be only going for him? If you want to go there anyway, there are opportunities for you and you’ll be advancing your life in other areas, then why not go? If you are sure you want to do this, then make the decision. It might be the wrong decision. It might be a huge mistake and a waste of money, but honestly I think that’s way better than wasting your time waiting for him to figure it all out.
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and live the life you dream about.
Dear Miss U,
My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for 6 months now. We met online, and met up in person 4 months ago. He is a hopeless romantic (life = love for him), and spends a lot of money to travel from Washington to Minnesota to see me. His family is not rich, and I feel like he’s spending too much money coming to visit me.
I love seeing him, but I am afraid he is spending too much money on me and traveling (he needs to save for college).
My family is well off financially, but I am 17 so my family is hesitant about me traveling alone. I will be able to visit him come February (when I turn 18).
Do I try and have him save money for college? Or should I assume he has his finances sorted out and it’s none of my business?
Once upon a time I was just a poor high school student, living on social security. I didn’t have parents. I had school and bills, and a tiny little income. This was back during the financial crisis; my country’s government gave out stimulus packages. So I decided to do this once in a lifetime thing and surprise visit Mr. E in his country.
I barely had anything at this time in my life. I was living with a friend in exchange for providing her toddler with childcare, I had no furniture, no car, no savings, but I knew the one thing I wanted was a relationship with him. Experiences and memories and things you can’t put a price on.
So I flew to Canada and surprised him, and everyone thought that was so wonderful and romantic. Everyone, that is, except Mr. E.
He was upset with me for spending the money. This is a boy that lived at home with his parents and had never once gone without a meal. This kid with no holes in his clothes, expensive braces, and an up-to-date computer, who was half way through getting his degree because he was lucky enough to be born into a better socio-economic situation than I was, was upset with me because I chose to spend my money in a way that made me happy and contributed to my future goals.
To say I felt hurt, underappreciated and taken for granted is an understatement. “But I love you!” I said. “I wish you loved me a little less,” was his response.
Obviously, I can’t speak for your boyfriend, but as a person who comes from nothing I want you to know that no one knows quite how to stretch a buck the way poor people do. Poor kids learn how to budget when kids from better families are still asking for toys for Christmas.
Have you spoken to him about what he wants in life? Does he even want to go to college? Maybe he has his sights on an apprenticeship, on joining the family business or even backpacking for a few years, seeing the world and working small jobs as he goes. Maybe he doesn’t know what profession he wants to enter, and is going to work an unskilled-labour job until he figures it out rather than going into debt over a course he’s not sure he needs to take yet.
It’s definitely important to learn to talk to each other about money now, and make sure you’re both on the same page about how money should be managed – seeming one day if you stay together you will have joint finances – but it’s also crucial for you to understand that at this point in time his money isn’t any of your business (particularly if it’s actually his parent’s money!) and for you to show gratitude for what he contributes to the relationship.
Just because you can’t travel till you’re 18 doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be financially involved in these visits either.
Talk to him about everything, but do so kindly and respectfully, without the assumption that you both want the same things out of life. I know you’re asking out of concern for him because you want what is best for him both now and in the future, but make sure he knows that too.
Oh and Eva? Life does = love. There’s nothing more important than the people (and animals) we love, certainly not money. Yes, money and education are important, they keep us fed and bring us opportunities. It’s hard to be happy when you’re struggling financially. But money, opportunities, and experiences aren’t much good if you don’t have someone you love to share them with.