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To want to see a way forwards?

(11 Posts)
lastqueenofscotland Mon 28-Mar-16 21:56:13

I'm terrified of the relationship board so posting in here! i'd like brutal honesty, but not that brutal.
I'm going to have to be a little vague as i'm fairly certain DPs mum posts on here!

I have been with a really lovely man for about 18 months, we met through working in the same industry (me for a big corporate he for his family firm - this is sort of relevant). It is a long distance relationship and would take around 4 hours travelling to see each other.

Basically after 18 months, I sort of feel things should be moving forwards... but they aren't. He has said he wants the whole, married, kids thing so i'm not batting in the dark here and we know one of us would have to move.
However, when it comes to any action on any steps forwards to any sort of future he's just useless.
I'm happy to compromise on location etc, provided it's a compromise on both parts, i.e. he's suggested me moving to where he lives, which is a complete lifestyle change for me, quitting my job finding a new one, I own my own flat (on the Thames and I adore it), I also, while I have no major issues with the area he lives in it's not particularly where i'd want to be.
He works from home so it's easier for him to pick and chose an area of the country, and frequently (up to 4 times a week) travels to London for work. I am happy(ish) to leave London provided he would compromise on location too. His general response to a future together is moving in with him ( he lives in a house share with two mates), and his idea of compromising would be moving out of his house share and getting somewhere in the same town "just for us." When I mention maybe leaving the town he gets a bit defensive of his sports teams/friends, parents 5 miles away etc and has no answer when i mention the running club, family etc i'd also be leaving behind.

He is otherwise a kind thoughtful human, i just have no idea how to proceed here. I am more than happy to move provided we both have some compromise, I don't see why I should have to change my whole lifestyle, quit my job, sell my flat so he can keep his exactly as is, equally I don't think he should have to change everything for me to keep my flat and living near my mother. AIBU to want to move to neutral territory, and indeed AIBU to have a horrible feeling this is going to get stuck in a stalemate forever.

Sorry for the ramble. Please don't be too harsh...

lastqueenofscotland Mon 28-Mar-16 22:24:57

I should have added, sorry the compromise I see is, as I can work in any big city we move to one about 60-75 mins away from where he is currently living, he is still near his friends, could go and visit easily, no impact to his work, I can keep working at the same company.
He feels this is unfair as he likes where he lives now.

TheDuchessOfArbroathsHat Mon 28-Mar-16 22:25:25

Well I don't think you're being at all unreasonable but I do wonder if he's quite ready for the whole 'next step' thing? He sounds a bit as though he enjoys the single life, doing as he pleases, being a lad (loathsome expression though that is!). I always think these things have to work both ways - for such a big move there has to be compromise on both sides and it sounds to me like it's all you. It also doesn't sound as though you're convinced you'd be happy leaving London for a whole different way of living. Have you had an in-depth conversation with him about your concerns?

AgentZigzag Mon 28-Mar-16 22:38:46

I'm not sure I'd risk upping sticks and moving unless I was pretty sure it was a safe bet.

I know you can't be 100% sure with anyone, but basing your whole life around depending on someone (whether it's you who moves or him) who you've 'only' had a long distance relationship with wouldn't be a safe bet IMO.

You both seem so settled and happy where you are, what is it about him that makes you want to break up what you've both got and start afresh?

(I don't know if I'm being a bit over critical, but is there something in you describing him as lovely? Dunno, it seems a bit <blah> and something you'd describe a friend as)

AgentZigzag Mon 28-Mar-16 22:40:24

If you did decide to move to where he is though, could you afford to rent your flat out? Give you a bit of a safety net?

BestZebbie Mon 28-Mar-16 22:48:52

1) he is only bothered about you/having a relationship with you as far as it slots into his current life, because he isn't that into you/ thinks he is more important than you are. The answer to that is LTB (or move to be with him and be second fiddle forever because he won't have changed that view).
2) he has much more constrained horizons than you and actually can't picture what living somewhere other than his hometown with his current friends would be like - it isn't 'real' to him, so he has a mental block on making plans based on it. The answer to that is...I don't know - travel a lot together? Have him stay with you a few nights every week when he is working in London (not cocklodging) so he gets the concept of other places being places you can actually live in?

Frika Mon 28-Mar-16 23:05:56

You sound perfectly reasonable, but honestly, in your circumstances, I wouldn't even consider making any major moves towards a shared life as I think BestZebbie is right - he's either not that interested/prepared for a next step involving actual change or compromise, and/or he's got fairly restricted horizons and can't conceive of a life outside one specific place. In neither case does he sound like much of a catch. Stay put, OP. And in fact, I'd probably just move on, in your shoes. He's not that kind and thoughtful -or in fact an actual adult- if his idea of compromise is moving out of his houseshare while you upend your life.

Can I ask who travels to see who as things are, OP? Who makes the running to keep the relationship going?

lastqueenofscotland Mon 28-Mar-16 23:42:08

Frika this is a funny one - he comes down waaaay more often but he'll only come down if he needs to for work and then may stay a day either side. If you want a work free weekend is have to go up.

I think he struggles to see a world beyond his hometown- he left school and started working for dad, all his family are within a ten min radius, and most families in the area have the same set up, moving away is very unusual and he's not one to rock the boat.
It's a tricky one, he is amazing at being supportive of my work/hobbies (has come with me when I've run marathons abroad - often to places where there is pish all else on but a run), is witty, intelligent and my family love him but can be a big kid (his parents do a lot for him and his also adult siblings) and the strings have never been properly cut, whereas I'm probably a bit different in that I had one parent who died when I was young and the other was a workaholic so I could cook/clean/laundry/iron/make beds etc pretty proficiently by about 10 and when I graduated moved half way round the world for work for a few years, and have worked in all sorts of odd corners of the UK since (enough to have experimented to realise I detest small town living, can do rural can do big cities, the sort of medium sized town he lives in, not for me) so I'm pretty independent and not averse to leaving/moving! But also maybe lack an understanding of why someone wouldn't just want to get away.

Sorry for the late night ramblings!

Frika Tue 29-Mar-16 09:40:05

Then you honestly don't sound compatible, OP. He only travels to see you if there's a work 'reason', rather than a desire to see you. Unless you want to move to slot into his life as it is- his hometown, his family, his exact, unchanging local set up - which you are (rightly) clear wouldn't suit you, there isn't a future for his relationship, howeve nice he is.

I'm a rolling stone who's lived in a variety of countries outside my own since I was 20, but I do know people who are as uncompromisingly local as your DP. One former friend is so utterly bound up with a place and her family that she got a job in her own old school, married a guy from the same street in their small town, bought her childhood home when her parents downsized to further along the road, only sees people she's known since early childhood, sees all siblings and parents at least daily, and has absolutely no curiosity about the world at large. At her wedding, DH and I were almost the only 'outsiders'. She is very happy, but I couldn't live like that, or with someone whose world was like that. And to her, my life is rootless and foreign.

centigrade451 Tue 29-Mar-16 11:50:02

He probably has some 'perfect life' idea in his head involving you moving to where he lives because he is happy there and having you there makes it perfect. This is of course naive and a bit immature on his part. You have to spell it out to him clearly how you feel that you moving there feels like a 100% compromise on your part and none on his. He honestly just doesn't see it that way.

I personally don't understand why it must be a mutual compromise'. Why should you not make the compromise? It sounds like pride and stubbornness on your part.

If he loves you truly, he will move to Timbuktu to be with you and you would do the same. This doesn't sound like you are at that stage in your relationship.

On a practical level - you are independent and can probably survive anywhere and he is not. He likely needs to be in the familiar and close to family. Therefore it makes better sense for you to move to be with him as it would likely be too unsettling and miserable for him. Love can overcome these differences.

If I were you and if I truly loved him, I would move to be with him and just accept that if I marry him, I marry his family too. Him being bound to his home town/family is part of who is and if you don't love that and want to be part of that - then think hard if there is a future for both of you. You will never get him to change.

Frika Tue 29-Mar-16 12:04:04

I personally don't understand why it must be a mutual compromise'. Why should you not make the compromise? It sounds like pride and stubbornness on your part.

Are you very young, Centigrade? That is nonsense, and dangerous nonsense, too. Why on earth should the OP dismantle her entire life to be with someone who is not prepared to make anything but the most cursory alterations in his own, very 'set in his ways' life for her? Who seems unable to grasp that his preferred situation of her moving from London into his smalltown lads' houseshare is (a) hardly that inviting an opportunity and (b) involves her giving up all the things she values in her life which he is absolutely firm he cannot live without?

Whether or not she loves him is almost beside the point - such a complete inequality of effort at the very outset is hardly a good basis for a marriage, even if the OP were less understandably unenthusiastic about embracing a highly familial, smalltown life she knows in advance would not suit her, with a man who seems literally unable to function outside of very restricted, familiar parameters?

OP, not to be brutal, but this does honestly sound like a no-hoper. He's irremediably 'local' in his outlook in terms of work, friendships etc (and also does sound quite juvenile), you are more flexible, independent and metropolitan. Unless you are prepared to 'marry' his hometown, his family, his family firm, his friends, his sports teams, his housemates, and to be happy to have your boundaries, and those of your children, set by this tiny horizon for the rest of your life, then this isn't going to work. If that prospect fills you with despair, move on, however much it hurts now.

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