Take the Job, Leave the Girl?
Q: I've been considering proposing to my girlfriend of four years and have even been ring shopping. I found out at work that there is a strong possibility that I may be transferred to another state. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with a significant salary increase. I know that she is very happy being close to her family and that a long-distance move would not be an option. I feel heartbroken about the circumstances. It feels so unfair that I have to choose and I'm stressed that I'll feel deep regrets regardless of my decision. How do I resolve this? — Matthew, 35
Dr. Susan: It's time for you to learn that nothing is ever fair. But having to choose between two good alternatives isn't all that horrendous. Perhaps this move isn't actually a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity after all. Is the work everything you've ever dreamed of, or is it just a big salary increase? Is it enough of an increase to pay for your girlfriend/would-be-wife's frequent trips to see her family? Sure, making choices is always a bit stressful. After all, it's taken you four years to even consider proposing. I see that you're probably one of those people who second-guess themselves and regret the path not taken, no matter what they choose. So talk it over with her. Personally, I prefer the idea of sticking close to home, especially if you're thinking about maybe having kids. Think it through carefully so that, whatever you choose, you won't focus on looking back.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.