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Can’t decide whether to move overseas for partner

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  • #361237
    Peppermint
    Participant

    Hi Tiny Buddha,

    Hope you are well. Long time reader and first time posting a question. I have a bit of a dilemma. I met my partner 3 years ago when I travelled to work in the UK. He’s a really nice guy and we worked in the same company. I didn’t expect to be in a relationship, because I had never been in one before. We get on really well, despite our glaring age difference (almost 30 years difference). I returned to my home country last year because my visa expired. I had in mind to return to the UK via by applying for another visa. However due to a combination of my indecisiveness and Covid-19, I am still in my home country. I am hesitant to go back to the UK for a number of reasons: (1) I am unsure about the job prospects there. I have been unlucky to even find temporary or P/T in my home country. (2) I don’t know if I can commit to a relationship for the long term, due to a fear of loss of identity and independence. (3) I feel like we might drift apart because of our age gap. I am in my late twenties and life has kind of just begun for me and he is somewhat close to retirement age. (4) I don’t know how long I would be in the UK for because I was planning to live the rest of my life back in my home country. (5) My parents are getting old and I feel guilty for leaving them. I am particularly worried about my mother’s health.

    We’ve had discussions about it and part of me thinks well, he’s waited for about a year and I feel obligated to take a gamble and head to the UK. Lately I’ve been feeling rather down due to unemployment for more than 1 year and I’ve applied for so many jobs, tried networking etc. My motivation levels have gone down hill and now, any thought of change terrifies me to the extent that I feel light-headed and I would withdraw. Every time I think about the possibility of moving overseas I just panic.

    I feel like I am going nowhere and in a bit of a limbo. I still want to be with my boyfriend, but I know sometimes in life you have to sacrifice one thing for another. But right now, I really don’t know what to do.

    Thank you for your time.

    Warm regards,

    Peppermint

    #361254
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Peppermint:

    I am glad you posted your dilemma here. I think that moving to the UK is a bad idea for you, at this time, for the following reasons that you indicated:

    1. This is how you feel about moving to the UK: “any thought of change terrifies me to the extent that I feel light- headed and I would withdraw. Every time I think about the possibility of moving overseas I just panic”. You don’t get excited and motivated when you think about moving to the UK, you feel terrified, light headed, withdrawn and panicked.

    2.  You do not have job prospects in the UK.

    3. Your plan was this: “to live the rest of my life back in my home country”, and you didn’t indicate a change of plans.

    4. You feel guilty about leaving your aging parents back in your home country and are worried about your mother’s health.

    5. Your boyfriend in the UK is in his late 50s while you are in your late 20s, a three decade age gap, and you are conflicted about the age gap: “I feel like we might drift apart because of our age gap.. life has kind of just begun for me and he is somewhat close to retirement age”, plus you don’t know if you “can commit to a relationship for the long term, due to a fear of loss of identity and independence”.

    And for the following reasons that come up in my mind:

    6. Your boyfriend might be healthy now, but he will be entering his seventh decade soon and health often deteriorate at that age. Imagine how you may feel taking care of a sick, aging man while your mother (or father) is aging and sick in your home country (?)

    7. A pandemic is not a good time to make life changing decisions. Wait until the pandemic is contained and the economy begins to recover before you decide where in the world you want to live.

    * I am wondering: do you feel guilty regarding your older boyfriend, as in being indebted to him in any way?

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by anita.
    #361424
    Inky
    Participant

    Hi Peppermint,

    I wouldn’t move back, to be honest. I think it’s his turn now.

    In the meantime… He is older and hopefully has some time and money for a vacation. If Covid allows, he can fly and visit YOU. Ten days, two weeks. He can meet some peers, you know, your parents, and they will get along swimmingly, and/or you will be terrified comparing their relative health.

    If he insists you live with him in the UK, cheerfully tell the bloke that you want children and “I will if you can find me a job, honey!”

    I would keep him as an international lover. You don’t want to be a married nursemaid.

    A Younger Bride,

    Inky

    #361466
    Peppermint
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your prompt response and I really appreciate your advice and thoughts. You are right about this is not quite the right time to make a life-changing decisions because we still don’t know how Covid-19 will pan out in the foreseeable future. When he asked me whether I want to do this or not, I often hesitantly say yes. I am worried that if I tell him I want hold off any decision-making we might get into a row. He seems to believe everything will be fine in 6 months but we don’t know when the pandemic will end. He has offered to pay for the cost of the application but I’ve tried to tell him to hold off but he is just so optimistic about the pandemic will be over in 6 months.

    I just don’t have the courage to tell him that right now it’s not the time to think about any sort of applications. I have told him it’s not even the right time to make applications for visas to another country because it just seems impractical now. I have previously raised the concerns that I have (the ones listed above) but he has, often been, an optimistic person.

    He says he understands the difficulties I will face but he said if I choose to go back, I will have to bite the bullet. I know sometimes we have a few adventures in our life and need to take the plunge, and make difficult decisions. But I’ve always been a person who checks the depth of the swimming pool before diving in.

    But yes, in some ways, I feel like I am indebted to him because when I was in the UK, working in a really tough and stressful job, he was really supportive and always protected me. He has treated me really well and we do get on well. We have a lot of happy memories but I know I need to make a decision.

    Thank you for your time,

    Warm regards

    Peppermint

    #361468
    Peppermint
    Participant

    Hi Inky,

    Thank you for your response and for your advice. I do try to be open-minded about taking new turns in life etc., but you are right about job security. Moving overseas is difficult, even after Covid-19 because job prospects will be difficult everywhere. I suddenly had a thought if I move there, after lockdown, and find myself with no job for say, 6 months or a year, I won’t have any financial security. I have tried to explain to him the difficulties I will face and the difficulties and delays in making, if I decide to, any visa applications because a lot of things are suspended for a indefinite period of time. But he is expecting me to start an application soon. Every time I think about it, it makes me nervous.

    Thank you for your time,

    Best,

    Peppermint

     

    #361478
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Peppermint:

    You are welcome. I agree with you: no one knows if the pandemic will be over in six months. No one knows if an effective vaccine will be developed or not. We really don’t know.

    “I am worried that if I tell him I want to hold off any decision-making we might get into a row”-

    – I am surprised you mention a possible row because you wrote that the two of you got along so well: “he was really supportive and always protected me. He has treated me really well and we do get on well”. If there was never a row between you and him, why is it that you are afraid that there might be a row if you tell him to hold off any decision making?

    Another item, the indebtedness you feel to him, it is something to look at and resolve. If you want to look at it, list what you believe your debts are. Do you owe him for time he spent with you, for money spent on you (how much money, and was there any agreement about returning that money?), did he suggest to you in one way or another that you owe him something, and if so, what did he suggest that you owe him?

    One more thing: does he tend to tell you how things are and what you should do, silencing your doubts and concerns with his overly confident, overly optimistic assertions, sort of.. sending you the message that your thoughts are not valid, that your feelings are not to be considered because he knows what you should be doing?

    anita

    #361514
    Peppermint
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your post. We generally get on fine, in terms of talking about different topics but it’s just whenever we talk about my moving overseas to be with him it sometimes ends in a row and him sometimes hanging up on me. I know he has a stressful job and works about 10-12 hours for 5-6 days per week. I try to be supportive and have told him before don’t hang up on me because it’s rude.

    The indebtedness is not monetary. He doesn’t expect me to pay back all the money he had spent on me. There never has been any agreement about returning that money. The indebtedness is kind of more from the emotional support he had given me during my stressful time in the UK. And that he had been very kind to me.

    He said he does acknowledge my doubts, but at the same time he said I need to take the plunge if I intended on moving back to the UK. But you have identified my feelings very accurately; I do feel like the overly optimistic assertions make me feel that my thoughts are not valid and that I need to be “positive” all the time. I do try to be positive but I am also can’t ignore the fact that it is a rather difficult time to plan anything or do anything. A lot of our lives and plans have remained inert due to the pandemic. And as Inky pointed out in the above post, it might be difficult to land on my feet (job-wise). I try to think that if I were to choose to move overseas, I should at least “do it for myself” so I get more fulfilment out of it.

    Thank you for your time,

    Warm regards,

    Peppermint

     

    #361555
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Peppermint:

    You are welcome. Good to read that you have no financial debts to him.

    “He has treated me really well… sometimes hanging up on me”- well, like you stated yourself, it is rude to hang up the phone on you. So he has treated you really well and really rudely.

    “sometimes hanging up on me. I know he has a stressful job and works about 10-12 hours for 5-6 days per week”- if he is rude because he works so many hours, can you then expect him to treat you well only when he works fewer hours and when he is not otherwise distressed? (It is possible for a person to be kind/not rude when calm and when overworked and otherwise distressed).

    In my recent post to you I asked you: “does he tend to tell you how things are and what you should do, silencing your doubts and concerns with his overly confident, overly optimistic assertions, sort of.. sending you the message that your thoughts are not valid, that your feelings are not to be considered..?”, and you answered: “you have identified my feelings very accurately, I do feel like the overly optimistic assertions make me feel that my thoughts are not valid and that I need to be ‘positive’ all the time”-

    – First, when he engages in a row with you and hangs up the phone on you, he is not making “overly optimistic assertions”; he is making pessimistic, aggressive assertions.

    Second, when he, an allegedly “overly optimistic” person, forces his said optimism on you, it leads me to expect a pessimistic future for yourself if you were to live with him. The issue I see is not one of optimism, but of him forcing his position on you. Whatever his position may be (optimistic, pessimistic or realistic), he shouldn’t be forcing it on you.

    anita

    #361627
    Peppermint
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your post. Sometimes when he is stressed he does get a little short-tempered. I try to understand what he goes through at work but I don’t think he should be rude though. He’s expecting me to make a visa application this week. I just don’t have a way of telling him that everything has been put on hold – including visa centres here. I think the biggest problem is if he would listen at all, and understand.

    Today he asked me if I want to still go through with moving abroad, I just kind of said yes mechanically. I know I shouldn’t allow someone to push me, but there’s just no way he will listen when I tell him it’s pointless trying to submit visa applications because travelling overseas is banned here. This “overly optimistic” approach is…well…kind of beginning to annoy me and when I talk to him about the realistic state of play, it’s almost like talking to a brick wall. He also says “I understand but…”.

    I just don’t know how to get through to someone who says they are listening but aren’t really registering.

    Apologies for the rant. I really appreciate you listening to my problems. I guess I’m just a bit tired.

    Thank you for your time,

    Warm regards

    Peppermint

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Peppermint.
    #361657
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Peppermint:

    “It’s almost like talking to a brick wall.. I just don’t know how to get through to…”- well, how can you get through a brick wall = a person who has no interest in what you want and whose only interest is in what he wants?

    You tell him what you think and he says that he understands, but he doesn’t understand, he just says the words. He doesn’t understand not because he lacks the intelligence required to understand, but because he lacks the interest to understand you.

    Seems to me that you are like a child who is trying to get a parent to understand you, so to get the parent’s permission to do what you think is the right thing for you to do. It is as if this older man, in your mind, is an authority figure. As if you are afraid of him somewhat and that fear (fear of disappointing him/ fear of his short temper) is tiring you (“I’m just a bit tired”).

    Am I correct?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by anita.
    #361733
    Peppermint
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your post. He says there’s a better opportunity for me in the UK (job-wise). In an ideal world, I would have thought he would prioritise what’s best for me, but can’t also help feeling he could be placing his interests first instead. I’m not afraid of him in a sense that he might dump me if things don’t go as he plans, but kind of more like I don’t want a row.

    Thinking back, whenever I tell him the certain challenges I will face if I go back to the UK, he keeps saying he understands but then says to me “you just need to bite the bullet”, then he talks about tough decisions we all have to make in life etc.  He is expecting me to submit a visa application this week but at the moment, the place I’m living in is in a lockdown and many places are shut. Is it a bad sign that I am nervous about telling him that there are more delays re stuff like visa applications, flights etc.? I guess in other words, things he probably doesn’t want to hear?

    Thank you for your time,

    Warm regards,

    Peppermint

    #361741
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Peppermint:

    You are welcome. “I don’t want a row… He is expecting me to submit a visa application this week but at the moment, the place I’m living in is in lockdown and many places are shut. Is it a bad sign that I am nervous about telling him that there are more delays re stuff like visa applications, flights etc.? I guess in other words, things he probably doesnt want to hear?”-

    – it is a bad sign to be living under the threat of a row. A life lived in fear of a row is a bad kind of life, no matter where you live it.

    He told you: “you just need to bite the bullet”. Will he bite the bullet if you told him that you need to have no communication with him for two months, until Sept 15 (or longer)?

    anita

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