When you’re in a relationship, it’s ideal for you and your partner to live in the same city, or at least the same region. Couples tend to avoid long distance relationships like the plague. But if you’re unhappy with where you are right now (both location-wise and life-wise), you should consider making a move.
Here are five questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you should stay or go:
1. How important is your career?
Do you know exactly what you want to do with your life, or are you still open for adjustments? No matter how you answered, take a look at your current location and evaluate the level of career opportunities there. Low job prospects can be one of the biggest problems with planting yourself in one spot. Reflect on your career goals. Is your current location helping or hurting?
2. Do you like where you live?
This is a pretty simple question. If your significant other wasn’t in that city, would you still want to be there? Do you feel at home, or would you rather be somewhere else? You don’t necessarily have to be living in your dream location, but you should at least be enjoying yourself wherever you are.
3. Is there an expiration date?
Let’s say your answer to #1 or #2 isn’t looking so great. Do you and your boyfriend have a set time you plan on staying in that location, or is it all up in the air? It’s easier to decide what you should do if your current spot has an expiration date. If your significant other is going to school, has an internship, is working a temp job or just has a time in mind of when he wants to move on, think about how close you are to that end-date. Would being in a long-distance relationship for that amount of time be doable?
4. Is your dream job out there?
When you’re looking for jobs, you might stumble upon a job that sounds amazing and then pass on it because you’re in California and the job is in Illinois. If this is the case, you should may want to talk to your significant other about moving and at least apply to these “dream-job” positions. You can think more about the logistics of it all if you’re offered a job. But if the job outlook is grim everywhere, then maybe staying in one spot isn’t so bad. As long as you’re happy, of course.
5. What would your alternate life be like?
Before doing anything too drastic, take the time to imagine yourself living somewhere else. Do you have enough money to live on your own? Would you get a roommate? What type of person are you–would you make friends easily? Are you OK with being alone? These questions aren’t meant to deter you from making a move. Even if your alternate life scares the hell out of you, you shouldn’t pass up on taking a risk if it will make you happier in the long-run. The purpose of these steps are to imagine everything realistically so that you are prepared for change if it comes to that.
So, what’s your take? Are you happy where you are? (Remember, a part of letting the small stuff goes
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You know that voice inside your head that is constantly telling you about the qualities you lack or accomplishments you’ll never achieve? Well someone needs to tell that girl to zip it!
We are all our own biggest critics. We know what kind of person we want to be and are quick to tell ourselves when we aren’t reaching our own high standards. These self-critiques become intensified when we begin looking at what other people have and compare it to what we seem to be lacking.
Lena Dunham writes and stars in a hit TV show? I’m still working for minimum wage. My college roommate just got engaged? I’m extremely single. My best friend quit her job and made plans to work abroad for a year? I wish I were that ballsy.
These comparisons are followed by that not-so-friendly voice in your head telling you exactly why you’ll never have what all of your Facebook and Instagram friends have.
But what ever happened to positive reinforcement?
This whole “I’m not smart enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not confident enough” thing isn’t cutting it. Every negative thought you have is just digging you into a deeper hole. You are becoming more depressed and less likely to go after what you really want in life.
So if being negative makes you sad and more negative, then logically, being positive will make you happy and more positive, right? Right! People perceive you as you perceive yourself. If you think you are a great person, you will exude greatness, and everyone around you will also think you’re great. Start telling yourself that you are good enough. Work on changing your negative outlook into a positive one.
You’d be surprised at how big of a difference a change in mentality can make. Are you familiar with Jane Elliott’s brown eyes vs blue eyes experiment? Basically an elementary school teacher told her class one day that all of the blue-eyed children were better and brighter than the brown-eyed children. The next day the experiment was reversed and Jane told her class that everyone with brown eyes was better.
Long story short, the kids who were told their own eye color was superior performed better academically and were overall happier. This experiment was done to show effects of discrimination, but I think the lesson can be applied to everyone: if you’re told you’re a certain person, that’s the person you will become.
So tell that negative Nancy inside you’re head to save her breath. Instead, remind yourself of how awesome and kick-ass you are on a daily basis. The results will be spectacular, just like you.
*So here’s what we want you to do: comment below, promising yourself that from this moment on the negative voice in your head will get kicked to the curb!
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I’m going to go ahead and assume that you are familiar with Jim and Pam from The Office. But, just in case you’re not here’s the SparksNotes edition: Jim and Pam met and fell in love while they both had pretty lame and unfulfilling careers. They got married, had a few kids, pulled pranks on coworkers(cue group AW) .
Then, Jim decided to reach for the stars and start his own company in a city a few hours away. Ruh-roh.
But, in recent episodes, J & P’s relationship hasn’t been all pranks and cute, witty jokes. They have been arguing over very real issues; situations anyone can relate to.
Let me break it down. Jim thinks he’s making a sacrifice by commuting to work and Pam thinks she’s making a sacrifice by taking on the brunt of the child rearing,while rarely seeing her husband. Jim’s trying to make a new life, while Pam was content with how things were before. They’re on different pages.
Having individual wants doesn’t have to be a problem in a relationship, but it can easily becomes one when one person is doing something meaningful and fulfilling, while the other person is just hanging out and being a cheerleader when in reality they want to be doing something amazing too.
So what is my advice for a situation like this? Don’t be afraid to be selfish.
Relationships are all about give-and-take, but if you’re doing all of the giving and none of the taking, it might be time for a little reflection. Don’t continue giving and letting resentment build until your explosion takes everyone down. Talk to your significant other, make your feelings heard, and discuss the options.
Think of the little things you can do to even out the relationship. To some it might mean spending less time watching Breaking Bad together so you have more time to devote to writing, training for a race or doing whatever you need to do to feel happy and whole. To others it might mean moving to a different city for a dream job and trying out a long distance relationship.
Being selfish in a relationship every now and then, especially at this time in our lives, isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually really healthy. After all, if you’re unhappy, you’re just going to wind up dragging everyone around you into a pit of doom and despair. And that can’t be good for anyone.
Do you ever feel unbalanced in your relationship? What helps you even out?
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Moving in with a significant other at any stage in your life can be a challenge. You’ll discover new habits and find yourself arguing over domestic issues such as who does the dishes more often. But moving in together directly out of college, when finances aren’t exactly plentiful, takes things up a notch.
I discovered this first hand when I moved in with my boyfriend a few months after graduating. He had gotten into graduate school at a university in Colorado, and I decided to move with him and find a job there. Everything was going fine until a few months went by and I was still unemployed.
Things got rough for a while. He was stressed because half of his money was going toward me. I was stressed because I couldn’t find work. We were both trapped in our own little stress bubbles, and it took us a while to see where the other person was coming from.
If you’re finding yourself in a similar situation, here are a few things you can do to keep your relationship healthy:
Be transparent about your job search
Word on the street is that when you’re pregnant, you’re not supposed to announce it until a few months in so you know it’s a for sure thing. It’s tempting to do that when you’re looking for a job, too. Maybe you applied for eight jobs last week, but you don’t want to tell anyone until you are contacted for an interview. That’s understandable, but you should at least tell the person you’re living with, especially if that person is paying the bills. By telling your significant other about your days spent networking, tweaking your resume and writing cover letters, he’ll be able to appreciate the effort your making.
Help with what you can
You may be in a tight spot financially, but this doesn’t mean you can’t pay your significant other back in other ways. Get your head out of the gutter; I’m talking about helping out more around the house. I know this sounds like you’d be taking the DeLorean back to the 1950s, but try to calm your inner feminist for a moment. If the situation were reversed, wouldn’t you expect your man to do the same thing? It’s a simple way to show that you appreciate what he’s doing.
Get to the bottom of bickering
It’s normal to fight. But if bickering has become your new means of communication, it might be time to figure out what’s really going on. Instead of sitting silently, fermenting in your own bitter stew, start a discussion. Ask if he’s really mad because you put his coat in the closet or if there’s a bigger issue at stake. Keep pushing until the heart of the problem is revealed.
Say thank you
Remembering to say thank you is hard when you’re thrown into a situation you don’t want to be in. You don’t want your significant other to pay your half of the rent. You don’t want to be the person who applies for hundreds of jobs and doesn’t get a single offer. You’d much rather be a proud independent woman jamming out to Beyonce. A simple “thank you” every now and then can go a long way.
Remember that he loves you
Being unemployed makes you feel like a shitty person, to put it bluntly. It might even get to the point where you take offense to nearly every comment made. The question, “What did you do today?” will eventually be answered with tears and shouting.
Stop yourself right there and remember that your significant other loves you; if he didn’t, you’d have been kicked out of the apartment by now. He’s investing in you because he knows that you are an amazing person and believes that you will accomplish big things one day. Remind yourself of this and stay positive. It will help with both your relationship and your job search.
Have you been in a similar position? Or maybe you’re the sugar mamma for a guy who doesn’t have it together yet. What do you think the most difficult part of this situation is?
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