Dear Love Me Guru,

I’m at a crossroads in my relationship, and I don’t know what to do. I’ve been dating “Mark” for nine months, and he just asked me to move with him to Chicago. The scary thing is I’m actually considering it!

I’m hesitant to move because living in Chicago was nowhere in my plans. Moving disrupt my relationships with family and friends, it would mean leaving behind a job that I love, and basically I would be abandoning the life I’ve established for myself here. I know I’d be giving up a lot by moving.

My real worry is Mark. When we first started dating, I was attracted to his independence, and the fact that he didn’t care what anybody else thought about him. I saw confidence and strength in him. It was very attractive. But as time went on, that independence, confidence, and strength has turned to selfishness, arrogance, and an overbearing attitude. He can be a great guy. When it’s convenient for him.

If it’s not convenient for him, he treats me like I’m the problem, or like I’m the one disrupting his life and the things he wants to do. He doesn’t do this all the time, but when he does it, it’s very hurtful and humiliating. He’s also not the most supportive or encouraging. So whenever I have a problem, he puts me down, and points out why I’m the problem and what I need to fix, instead of just hearing what I have to say and validating my feelings.

I’ve stayed with him this long because I still see in Mark attractive qualities that I would want in a partner, and I feel like I can work through the negative crap, and that maybe over time he will get better. At least I hope he would.

So what do you think? Should I stay or should I go?

– Unsure

Dear Unsure,

It’s been said that Hollywood is all hype, New York is all talk, and Chicago is all work. And if you move to Chicago with Mark, I’m afraid that for you it’ll be nothing but work work work work work.

Establishing yourself and creating a new life in a new city can be very challenging. Especially if you have no connection. This type of transition requires a partner who will have your back, and be there to support you through the difficult and challenging moments of a move. More importantly, it requires someone who will work with you to create a happy life in a new place. It doesn’t sound like Mark is that person.

Mark is a man who is selfishness, arrogant, and overbearing, who only does things when it’s convenient for him, who treats you like a problem and an annoyance, who hurts you and humiliates you, who doesn’t support you or encourage you, and who puts you down. Now does that sound like a person who will have your back in a new place? I don’t think so. You move to a new place with a person like that, and you will feel lonely, abandoned, and unhappy.

Plus, that is not the type of relationship you deserve.

What you deserve is a relationship like the one my friend Sara has. Sara recently told me about an experience with her boyfriend that had all of the markers of a loving relationship.

Sara’s Experience

Last week Sara was spending the weekend with her boyfriend James. They went to the gym in the morning, and after the gym they were going to go to the beach. Somewhere between the gym and the beach, Sara ended up losing her keys. Her car key, her house key, her work key, even the key to her mailbox. Sara hadn’t realized how important those keys were to her, until she remembered that on the keychain was a key that her grandfather had given her. That was the most important key of all.

Once Sara realized she lost her keys, she felt anxious. Losing the keys was one thing. But losing her grandfather’s key, that was the thing that really bothered her. Sara truly believes in the principle of “Think, Say, Do”: think your intention, say your intention, do your intention. So Sara immediately started to practice this, and she thought to herself, “We’re going to find the keys.” She told James, “We’re going to find the keys.” And then her and James started doing.

By the time Sara realized she had lost her keys, her and James were at the beach, which was a half hour away from the gym. So they looked around, asked people close to them, and then started retracing their steps. They had quite a bit of area to cover. This whole time, James rose to the occasion.

Instead of getting upset with Sara, James was concerned for her and how she felt about losing her keys. He was positive along with Sara, and reassured her by telling her that he felt positive they would find the keys. At one point, James went searching for the keys while Sara talked with some police officers that happened to pass by them. During the whole search, James wanted nothing more than to find the keys because he knew it would make Sara happy.

What Sara Learned

When Sara shared this experience with me, she told me how wonderful James had been. He had been supportive, and kind, and positive, and calm. He listened to her ideas, and encouraged her to keep looking, and was willing to go the extra mile to find the keys.

Sara realized that James was her partner. He had her back. He built her confidence up. He met a challenge with positivity, and showed it through his actions. He didn’t get angry at her, or put her down for losing the keys. He was concerned for Sara, and her feelings, and her happiness. He did everything he could to make sure Sara felt safe, validated, and understood. He showed his true colors that day.

And they keys? They found the keys.

Choose the Right Partner

So ask yourself Unsure, how would Mark react if you lost your keys? Depending on the answer, you may not want to move to Chicago with him.

If you wonder whether or not you’re with the right person, pay attention to what that person does during adversity or challenge. How a person responds to adversity or challenges is a great indicator of the type of partner they will be to you.

Choose a partner whose natural inclination is to meet adversity or challenges with positivity, encouragement, courage, selflessness, humility, service, love, respect, understanding, patience, kindness, and humor.

Life can go sideways quick. One day, the two of you are cruising along worry free. Then all of a sudden, you find out he has cancer. Or you lose your job. Or there’s a death in the family. In those moments, you want someone who has your back no matter what. Choose someone who’s natural inclination is to draw closer to you, to work with you, and to put you first.

That is the right person for you.


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Dear Love Me Guru is written for the Love Me Run blog. The writer, Limhi Montoya, is the most authentic coach in the world.

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