I've been in a very casual long distance relationship for only a month, but this person and I really hit things off. I've been in a dry spell for years and suddenly this amazing gal arrives out of the blue. And even better, she says she's going to move here from Chicago next month! While I'm really excited at the prospect of having this person closer to me (so we can have real sex instead of embarrassing phone flirtations), I'm also terrified of having someone move to San Francisco for me. (She made it clear she would be moving here for me, not for a job or some other external deal). This is such an expensive city, and it's not really the kind of place here you can just "land" and figure things out, you know? So I worry that if things don't work out she'll be stranded here and resentful of me. On the flip side, I'm obviously stoked to be able to get to know her better and see if I can break my dry spell with someone who believes in commitment. I know we can only figure out if this will work over time, but is there any advice you have about making a LDR to no-distance thing work, especially when one person moves for the other? – Stoked but Scared
Congrats on hitting the honey jackpot, SBS!
I have a crazy question for you, though: in what world does a woman move out of state for a “very casual” relationship? Lemme tell you that she does not think of your relationship as ‘a little’ – let alone ‘very’ – casual. She’s leaving her friends, job, and whatever else she has going on in Chicago to see where things go with you, and darling, that shit ain’t casual by any definition of the term. So before we can get to your question I must beg you to rethink what you’re doing with this lady. She’s jumping in headfirst and it seems to me that she’s either falling in love with you, straight-up crazy, or a wildly impulsive person. I hope that’s your type! In any case you should be prepared to set some real-life boundaries with her before she gets here, and throughout the course of your love story, too.
If you don’t want her to move in with you (please, Lord, tell me you’re not moving her in after a month just ‘cause you need to get laid!), you have to tell her that before she gets here. Let her know how long you’re willing to have her stay with you; and SBS you need to be hella firm about this point.
I trust that you’ve warned her about the insane cost of living in the Bay. If you don’t want her to move in with you (please, Lord, tell me you’re not moving her in after a month just ‘cause you need to get laid!), you have to tell her that before she gets here. Let her know how long you’re willing to have her stay with you; and SBS you need to be hella firm about this point. Let her know that even if everything is perfect between the two of you you’re going to need her to get her own place. Be perfectly clear that the housing market is awful and unless she is independently wealthy or makes lots of money, she’ll have a hard time affording it here. By talking to her about your worries honestly before she gets here you’re setting a good precedent of honesty and trust. If she doesn’t handle real talk well, you need to know that in advance (so you can run far, far away). If, on the other hand, she’s able to talk about the tough bits with you, you’ll start to build a foundation of excellent communication for when scary stuff comes up (which it will). You’ve only known her for a month, so I advise caution over romantic blind faith.
Your friendships, hobbies, and alone time are key pieces of being a healthy adult. So talk to your sweetie about your need to maintain space in your life, even if she doesn’t have too much going on here yet. If you don’t feel like you owe her your time and aren’t obliged to become her full time tour guide, then your relationship can have a pretty normal trajectory once she gets here. Make sure she knows what she’s in for, and that’ll help you know what you’re in for, friend. Good luck!
The Mission’s resident advisor gets booked months in advance by San Franciscans seeking help with all kinds of relationship issues. So we asked Jessica if she’d come on board to do a weekly advice column, Truth Talk, for The Bold Italic. If you have a burning question for Truth Talk with Jessica Lanyadoo, you can post your question anonymously here or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and check back on Wednesdays to see if she has an answer for you.
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