On Monday, my boyfriend moved away.
He had been on the job hunt for just a few weeks when he announced one day that he had done a Skype interview for his dream job earlier that week, and was offered the position.
Obviously, I was incredibly happy for him and excited to hear all about the job. However, I was also a little confused as to why I was only hearing about this dream job now. We talked about the position and he filled me in on all the details, and then he dropped the bomb on me.
The job is in Ottawa, Ontario.
We live in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
To give you some perspective, we are both originally from Ontario (I’m from a suburb of Toronto and he’s from Ottawa), and we ended up coming out to Halifax for university to get that east coast experience. We met drunkenly at a bar one afternoon 3 years ago (yes, day-drinking is a Saturday staple out here), and have been together ever since. After I finished school, I had a job offer back home in Toronto, and one in Halifax. While taking the job in Toronto would mean I would be closer to my family and many of my friends, my boyfriend wasn’t going to be done school in Halifax for another 5 months.
I decided to take the job in Halifax.
While staying in Halifax definitely turned out to be the right decision in the end, I was still incredibly hurt when I found out that my boyfriend had been applying for jobs in Ottawa.
He knew I had stayed in Halifax for him. He knew we had agreed to stay in Halifax together until at least the end of the summer. He knew I had a lease until the end of the summer. And most importantly, he knew that I didn’t want to move to Ottawa.
But he applied anyway.
It felt like a betrayal, and I didn’t feel happy for him anymore. I couldn’t understand why he would do this without talking to me about it first. I had no say in what he did and there was no room for compromise.
Either I move to Ottawa, or we break up.
Those were my two options.
Yes, looking back, my feelings were selfish. Of course I should have been happy for him. He scored his dream job, and I knew this opportunity would have never presented itself in Halifax. But what he did was selfish too. I trusted him to take our relationship and my feelings into consideration, just as I had done when I accepted a job in Halifax over Toronto, and I was grieving the trust that I felt he broke.
Despite my feelings, I knew I had a big life-altering decision to make. I needed to stay committed to figuring it out without allowing my emotions to get the best of me. And after 3 painful weeks, many angry fights, numerous tearful calls to my mom, and 723947019881237 glasses of wine, I have come to my decision.
I’ve decided to move to Ottawa.
Why I Chose to Move for my Boyfriend
1. It’s not a Sacrifice
Something my mom said to me on one of our many phone calls in the past few weeks (like 8 times a day, literally), was that I need to stop looking at moving to Ottawa as a sacrifice.
Right now I don’t know what I want to do with my life. In fact, I currently attend career counselling even though I’ve graduated and am actively working in a professional job, because that is how lost I am.
So what would I be sacrificing if I move to Ottawa? I don’t have a clear vision of the direction I want for my own career yet, so I have no alternative that I would be leaving behind if I moved.
Ottawa is also the capital of Canada (not Toronto- shocking!). My boyfriend isn’t asking me to move to another continent, or some tiny town in the middle of no where. He’s asking me to move to a major city that has a much better economy than Halifax. Any field that I do decide I want to explore, I can definitely find more opportunity in Ottawa than in Halifax.
Not to mention that Ottawa is much closer to my home than Halifax. I will be able to see my friends and family so much more. And if it doesn’t work out, it’s just a car ride home.
2. It’s a Compromise
Although I really had no opportunity to suggest a compromise before he accepted the position, I’ve realized that if I want my relationship to work, I will have to compromise on this decision.
Essentially, I had to think about my own needs in this situation, and what I would need from him to make the move work. For example, I told him I needed to live in a 2-bedroom.
At first he was reluctant because of price, until I explained that having a 2-bedroom meant that my family and friends could come visit me whenever they wanted, free of charge. Since my boyfriend is from Ottawa, I know we will see his family and his friends all the time, and I know that we will lose our own little world that we created together in Halifax. I will have to become part of his life, instead of us making our own life in a foreign city. As someone who talks to their mom every day (like 8 times a day, literally), my friends and family are important to me, and I don’t want to feel like I am closer to his than I am my own.
3. I’m Doing it in my Own Time
As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, my boyfriend moved on Monday. But I didn’t. And I have absolutely no idea when I will.
Although I know that someday I will move to Ottawa, I’m not ready to do that until it’s my decision, and until I have something to look forward to there. Right now, I have a job, a lease, and a life in Halifax, and leaving all that behind to be a barista at Starbucks will only make me resent my boyfriend even more.
Because the last thing that I ever want to do at the age of 23 is follow a boy to another city, and end up losing myself along the way.