DEAR AMY: I am a woman in my 20s. My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year.
My family is not particularly fond of my boyfriend because of his particular sense of humor, as well as things they think they have noticed that make it seem I am giving more in the relationship than he is (which, in my opinion, is not true).
He has recently accepted a job outside of the state (about six hours away) and has asked me to move with him after the lease on my apartment expires.
Practically everything I have (job, friends, family) is right here. If I choose to leave, I would have to create a new life for myself. While the change seems exciting, I am not entirely sure the move is a particularly smart one to make, because my boyfriend and I have not discussed future plans in depth (such as if we want to get married). We would both rather just take life day by day.
My boyfriend wants me to follow him, and my family will support me no matter what choice I make. Right now, my heart is saying, “Yes,” and my head is saying, “Ummm ... I have no idea!” I don’t want to stay here if my boyfriend is “the one.” What would you do in this situation? — Stay or Go?
DEAR STAY: When I was in your situation, I moved. But my head and heart were aligned, and the move was a great one.
So far, you dismiss your family’s objections to this relationship, but then your actions prove that their reservations might be warranted. They are worried that you are giving more than he is? Here you are, doing exactly that.
He is choosing to move away. If he genuinely wants you to relocate, then he should make this move enticing by demonstrating that this could be a great move for you — not by merely inviting you to follow him.
There are no guarantees in life. Taking great leaps into the unknown can yield wonderful adventures. But if your boyfriend is “the one,” you will know it, regardless of whether you relocate to be with him. Stay put for now, and let him figure out how to make this change compelling.
DEAR AMY: My daughter is married to a wonderful man with a large and loving family. Lately our daughter has become distraught by the personal details of her in-laws’ marriage that are being shared with her and the rest of the adult children. These details are about their “fights” or arguments, usually relating to how the mother-in-law feels she is ignored or mistreated by her husband.
The conversations are initiated by her husband’s mother — sometimes when other family members or her father-in-law is present. He usually ignores it or leaves the room.
The bottom line is that my daughter and her husband feel it is inappropriate. It puts them in the middle. The mother has accused them of taking sides with the dad when they refuse to comment or get involved. They have explained in a loving way that they feel very uncomfortable about this, but she cries.
They have asked me how to respond and lessen the drama. Can you help? — Mom
DEAR MOM: If these two have communicated with clarity and the mother presses on with vigor, then the next thing they should try is to be tolerant.
It sounds as if this mother-in-law is being ignored (and possibly mistreated). In which case, the response should be, “I’m so sorry. What do you want to do?” Their instincts are right that they should not be placed in the middle of this marriage, but listening respectfully and expressing concern may help dial down the drama.
DEAR AMY: “Peeved Brother-in-Law” wrote to you about his wife’s brother, who stood and talked when he came to their house, rather than sitting down during his visits.
You assumed he had not been invited to sit, but both my husband and son have, and they literally cannot sit and talk at the same time. They must stand and sometimes pace. — Used to It
DEAR USED: Yours is a plausible explanation. Thank you.