Then Jack Happened

417

Dear Jack:
Two years ago I moved across the country with my ex/current girlfriend.  It was her idea but I was excited about it and we made it happen. I got a job I really like while she had a hard time finding consistent work that she was satisfied with that she wanted to keep.  We had never lived together and we had a bunch of stress related to that, money and home life, but we really got a long great in many ways. She didn’t particularly like the city either and I felt she didn’t give it her all to make it work. We began to fight more and more, the financial stress was a lot on me, and eventually she moved back home while I stayed back. We were more or less broken up.  We stayed in contact and, of course, began to hook up when I’d visit which led to her coming out to see me every few months and we began to vacation together and I think we really missed each other. Recently she asked me what was happening in our relationship and if I was going to move back. I don’t want to. She might be willing to move to a balmier environment but I’ve really established myself where I’m at and like it very much. Honestly, I have been very happy with where we are at with everything. I’d be open to her moving back here, but I don’t want to move back to my old hometown. How can I get her to get more on board with helping out financially and understanding that I don’t want to go anywhere, but I still want to be with her, or at least maintain the status quo?
Answer:
The most interesting thing about your question is that nothing appears to be different for either one of you except you are no longer in close proximity. Things fell apart after you transitioned from the honeymoon phase to the ‘next step’ with the accompanying differences. Now you are back in a kind of honeymoon limbo and things are nice again when you are together because you spend your time vacationing and sexing sans the day-to-day responsibilities that cracked you before. None of that is a surprise but if you want to make things more serious there must be changes that neither of you seem interesting in making. You are willing to be with her if ABC, she isn’t willing to be with you unless XYZ.  That’s a lot of conditions on a relationship that doesn’t appear incredibly serious.
That’s not to say things aren’t salvageable—but there must be sacrifices and communication.  You have to discuss things that you never discussed before.  Groceries! Gas bills! Toilet paper!  How do you get her to understand that you don’t want to relocate for the relationship? Tell her.  How do you get her to help out financially? Figure out what you think is a fair sharing of expenses and talk to her about it. See what is agreeable and what is not.  If she doesn’t agree with what you require from the relationship, then you have to decide whether to move on.  If you don’t agree with what she needs, then she has to make the same decision. You know the problems, so make some changes or this thing is going to crash and burn.
I’m afraid maintaining the status quo is not going to be an option much longer unless you want to start lying and stringing her along. Her questioning of the status quo is a pretty strong indicator that your arrangement is temporary. This is where you are at: fish or cut bait.
Delray/Boca I’ll give it all up for you if you promise to keep having problems in your life and sharing them with me at thenjackhappened@gmail.com