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Parallax - Advice

June 10, 2002

Decision Time

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H.L. Mencken wrote, 'For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.' How appropriate and applicable. For we all know that when addressing problems of the heart—no matter what decision is made—there will always someone who disagrees and feels the decision was wrong. This week our three letter-writers are looking for answers. And they came to the right place. Because—cynics be damned—our adept advisors' answers are clear, simple and right...of course!

Hawaiian hostage.
 Date: 06/10/02

Hate the banker?
Time for withdrawal.
 Date: 06/10/02

Double-digit gap.
Bridge it or beat it.
 Date: 06/10/02

More from last week...

Hawaiian hostage

Dear Conversely,

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I am from California and I met my boyfriend while vacationing in Hawaii. For a year, we did the long-distance relationship and I went back and forth between California and Hawaii. The relationship got very serious, and he proposed marriage, but I turned down the proposal because I thought we needed time to get to know each other better. Then he asked me to move to Hawaii until he finishes grad school, saying he would move to California with me when he was done. I accepted, with the understanding that we both wanted the same things—marriage and children. I've been living in Hawaii for over a year and now he is singing a different tune. He says he's not sure he wants to get married or have children. On top of that, he doesn't want to live in California. I feel cheated! I love him, but I'm not sure if I am investing time in the right person.

Her view:

Dear California Girl,

Well frankly, it sounds like you do not want the same things. Additionally, he has rescinded everything he offered. It's not an unusual trick. He said whatever it took to get you in Hawaii. Now that he has you (he might be a little less excited about the relationship than when you were more difficult to acquire) he is letting his 'prized self' come to the fore.

What you have here is called a sunk cost. Certainly, you have invested two years, moved and already love him. But he has changed his mind on major life decisions and has shown himself to be unreliable. If you stay with him, you will never know what is long-term versus ephemeral.

Moreover, it sounds like he needs some time to really sort out what he wants—a little space would be a good idea. I suggest thoughtful consideration on your part. Move, and get on with your own life, before more time passes and he still does not know what he wants. At the very least, some separation will give both of you time to think it over.

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His view:

Dear California Girl,

Don't blame him just because things haven't worked out. If it had been you who were singing the different tune right now, would you admit to cheating him?

Moving to a new location, for the sole purpose of pursuing a relationship, is a risky proposition. Things might have worked out, yes. But unless you've lived a very sheltered life, you know there is always a chance that switching from long-distance to close-up can derail a relationship.

I don't see why you are still unsure as to whether investing more time in this guy is smart. He just told you he doesn't want to marry you or move to California. The fact that he has rescinded his proposal is clear evidence that he had no idea what he was doing back then, and you were smart to decline. How much clearer does this need to be now?

Besides, look at it the positive side—you could have picked a worse place to spend a year.

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You Vote! 75% of Women agree with HER VIEW and 25% with HIS VIEW.

67% of Men agree with HER VIEW and 33% with HIS VIEW.

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