Q: Hi Meredith & LL readers!
I read this column every day, thanks for giving me a great work break.
Remember a while back when readers were clamoring for 'happy' letters? Hopefully they still want one ... I am 29, and have been in a stable, warm, normal relationship with a wonderful guy for about a year. We met at a wedding a few years ago, gradually became friends but dated other people, and just started dating last summer. Things are great -- we get along really well, are totally honest with each other, and have great chemistry. So why, you may ask, am I writing?
It took us so long to start dating because when we met, I lived in Boston and he lived about a thousand miles away, which is how it has always been. He is moving to Boston in a couple of weeks to move in with me. This was his idea -- I was thinking about it and trying to figure out how to ask him, when he suggested it himself. He does not know anyone here, has no job contacts here, has never lived this far away from his friends and family, and has made it clear that he is moving because he wants to be with me.
So this is why I am asking for advice. I have sort of lived with two guys before (one was just for a summer, which we knew going into it, and the other was a guy who spent every night at my house but maintained his own place), and things did not go well. I definitely feel like things are different this time because I am a little older and hopefully wiser, and we are a better match, but it still makes me nervous. I really love him to pieces, and I want this to work. Do you and the readers have any advice for me about how to live together successfully, and how to make the transition from long-distance to same-apt romance?
-- C, Boston
C, Congrats. Sounds like you're in loooove.
Now for some advice.
Please, please manage your expectations. No matter how much you guys love each other, there’s going to be an uncomfortable transition phase. It’s not just that you’ve been long distance and that you’ll suddenly be cohabitating. It’s really that he’s not from here. He’ll be learning about Boston as he learns about you. Getting to know Boston isn’t so easy. In fact, it can be terrifying.
Both of you should go into this expecting frustration. He should expect that he’ll get lost on 93. He should expect to feel out of place and confused. You should expect to feel a little guilty when you see him struggling. It's going to be a little awkward for a while.
That’s what happens with a move-in like this. It’s unavoidable. But if you both know what’s coming, you’ll be ready to manage it. Stay strong and do your best to be supportive. Give him space to make this town his own. Keep a sense of humor. And remind him daily why he made this choice -- so the two of you can make a go of it.
Good luck. And we're here if you need us, of course.
Readers? What can C do to make this transition work? Should they be living together right off the bat? What should she expect when he gets here? Advice? Stories from your past? Share here. Submit a letter to the right.
Speaking of Love
"Love drains from you, takes with it much of your blood sugar and water weight. You are like a house slowly losing its electricity, the fans slowing, the lights dimming and flickering; the clocks stop and go and stop."
Lorrie Moore, "Self-Help"