Dear Amy: My girlfriend and I are in our early 20s and pursuing our educations. We’ve dated for over two years.

I was recently offered a job halfway across the country in one of my dream cities. The company is holding this offer for me until I graduate in two years.

My girlfriend has flipped-flopped on whether she wants to move with me. I do not want her to come if she truly does not want to because she will resent me, and that is not fair to either of us.

Should I break this off now to ease the pain and explore my options, or should I prolong breaking up until I leave?

 

Amy says: You seem to be asking about the proper timing to break up with your girlfriend. If you don’t want to be with her, break up with her. Otherwise, I suggest you leave the timing up to her.

The college years represent periods of transition — away from home, into relationships, into jobs and out into the world. It is tempting to try to delay these transitions or to accelerate them by trying to make all of your decisions at once. You have two years to figure this out.

The most challenging thing to do is to lean into the uncertainty. You should not pre-emptively make your girlfriend’s choices by breaking up with her. The choice should be hers — and hers alone.

What she shouldn’t do is try to manipulate you into reversing your plans. If she chooses to move, she will be responsible for her happiness. If she resents you for a choice she is making, then she is not quite ready for adulthood.

Wedding doesn’t interest aunt

Dear Amy: I received a save-the-date card for a nephew’s wedding. My nephew lives 3,000 miles away, and I have never had a relationship with him.

I tried to have a relationship early on, but he was always obnoxious and I gave up. My relationship with his mother (my sister) is strained. I don’t want to go, and I don’t want to send a present to someone who has never been nice to me. Should I reply now that I cannot come and save them the expense of sending me an official wedding invitation, or should I wait for the invitation and then respond?

Do I need to send a gift? I know that normally one doesn’t need to if not attending, but he is my nephew.

 

Amy says: You don’t disclose the timing of your encounters, but if you essentially gave up on your nephew when he was an obnoxious 8-year-old, then you just haven’t tried hard enough.

If you don’t intend to attend, you should send a polite response now: “Thank you for sending the save the date. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend. I hope you have a wonderful wedding day, and I wish you both all the very best. Love, Auntie.” Why express this using such polite and warm language? Because you will feel better if you do.

And, yes, because this is your nephew, it would be kind of you to send a gift.

 

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