Ask Charlotte: Marriage and Long Distance

“Charlotte, How do you know when you are ready to marry your boyfriend? Will there be a “feeling”? Or will you just know that its time because you have been dating your boyfriend for so long? My boyfriend and I have been together for over 3 years and we have dated long-distance the entire time (except for summer breaks when we are both home from school). How do I know if I want to marry him just to end the long distance, or because I really am ready? Thanks for the advice! Sincerely, Sick Of Long Distance”

Dear Sick of Long Distance,

I completely understand how you feel. Long distance relationships are hard going and put a lot of pressure on both of you, especially if you only get to see each other a few times a year. Before considering marriage though, you have to ask yourself who is going to make the move, and how is seeing each other everyday going to impact on your relationship?

To end the long-distance, one or both of you is going to have to move. Either you move to him, he moves to you, or you meet somewhere in the middle. Think about this step carefully – it’s not as simple as moving just down the road. If you’re moving to a completely different area, then you have to think about your friendships and career. Are you willing to give up your entire life for this man? Because essentially, if you move that is what you will be doing.

When it comes to marriage, you have to remember that organising a wedding can be extremely stressful. If you’ve just moved, or are thinking about moving, do you want to add that stress into your life? I don’t think you should get married just because you have been together for such a long time. You should get married because you are deeply in love and want to spend the rest of your life with this man. Marriage shouldn’t be taken lightly, it is a commitment that you will be making for the next thirty, forty, fifty, or even sixty years. That is how you should be heading into marriage – and not with the (unfortunately all too common) thought of “oh well, if it doesn’t work, I can get a divorce”.

All of that aside, you say you are both still at school. In my honest opinion, I would wait to make any major decisions until you have both finished school. Wait until you have graduated, and then TALK. Communication is key to any relationship, and neither moving in together or getting married is a one-sided decision. Before taking the leap to completely change your life as it is, talk to him and ask him how he feels. Does he want to get married? Would he be willing to move to you? Can he support you, if you move to him? Could you support him, if he moved to you? Remember that in this economic climate, finding a job is not as easy as it used to be, and you have to feed yourselves.

If would be better in the long run to have this talk now. If it turns out that you both want different things, then you have found out before leaving your life behind and ending up alone and in a strange town. If, however, you are meant to be together, then you will find a way to make it work.

Good luck,

Charlotte

To ask Charlotte a question on love, life, and romance (or writing!) visit her website: www.charlottehowardauthor.co.uk 

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