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Dear Panel,

Two and a half weeks ago, my girlfriend of two years decided to break up with me. We met in law school when I was in my tthird and final year and she was in her first year. We have been long-distance since August of 1998.

We were doing fine with the long-distance thing. We saw one another every two or three weeks. I had been planning on moving to NY (where she lives) for some time. I took the NY bar exam and have been interviewing in NY for the past couple of weeks. I finally received a second interview from a law firm and when I told her, she didn't seem very excited.

She told me that she was feeling "too much pressure to get married" and that she didn't want me moving to New York. [...]

Her parents went through a bitter divorce some five years ago and she has never really dealt with it. She is not close with her siblings and she has what I consider a huge fear of commitment. She said she doesn't know if she wants to get married, which is OK. [...]. I am trying to give her space, but I don't want to give her too much space for fear that things will fade away. What should I do??

Moving to NYC Anyway

Judith Answers:

This sounds heart-wrenching. And actually kind of familiar . . . when I took off accross the country to live with a guy, I also said (to him and myself) that my reasons for moving were many, not just for him. (He also felt it was a horrible idea) And I really did want to move, be in a new place, test my ability to adapt to new surroundings. For me, it turned out great. Now, he has actually forgotten that he discouraged me from moving. I can't gaurantee that things will work out, and you will end up together in the end (by end I mean 75 years from now!) but I can say that it is unlikely if you take her words at face value and just give up you will ever get back together.

You are right, as long as he is not moving for her.

Go ahead, move. New places are great. Tell her you are excited to live in NYC, and you hope the two of you can repair your relationship. She'll either go for it, or not. Either way, you'll have a fantastic adventure, a new job, and will be close to your friends. You might be a lot more miserable in the short run if your relationship doesn't work out, but I doubt you'll ever regret moving. And I have a feeling that if you can show that you have no regrets, a lot of her fears will go away (and you might be writing again in another year asking how to helpher get over her fear of commitment!)

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