Dear Miss Emily:

My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for close to 3 years and it has been the best relationship of my life.  I always felt loved and respected by him and never doubted that we would spend the rest of our lives together.  I can honestly say that for the first time in my life, I cherished this man.  After dating for a year, he asked me to move in with him.  I told him I was uncomfortable about moving in with a man I wasn't engaged to. He said not to worry because we'd be engaged within the year. Well, skip ahead 3 years and I've finished my graduate degree and, as I told him would happen on our very first date, I'm leaving the state for a job 583 miles away. Of course, I asked him to come and hoped that we could make 'things' official. One week before we were to go house hunting, he confided in me that while he loves me and knows he wants to be with me long-term, he can't move.  He doesn't know what it is, and he says he's fully committed, but there's something holding him back. With some additional probing, he told me that none of this has anything to do with me -- he had an ex-girlfriend he moved for and she ended up cheating on him (I have been completely faithful) and that he has to work through this issue.  I told him I would give him time to think things through and, in the meantime, I am staying temporarily with my parents and looking for a house on my own.  After our first week apart, he called me to talk. I asked him how things were going and whether he had given any additional thought to moving with me. He told me that he was too busy with work to think about it and hoped he would be able to figure it out by February 2010. Well, that burned me up inside. I think he's already given me the answer and it is time for me to suck it up and move on before I spend the next 3 years waiting for him to decide whether I'm worth being with.  Am I being too hasty or am I the biggest idiot of 2009? 

---------------------------Miss Emily's advice-----------------------

By no means do I think you are an idiot. But you do have a problem!  It's stunning that he did not alert you, earlier, about his trepidation to moving. I'm a little mistrusting of the ex-girlfriend reasoning, and the "cheating" tag. It's a weak line of defense. You've been with him three years, and it's insulting to suggest you are in the same category as the cheating ex. There are three ways of looking at this from my point of view: He's a huge procrastinator; he thought you'd change your mind about leaving; or if you did leave, he was not going to follow you. But you have a job that you wanted from the get-go and, he is, apparently, quite happy where he is living, now, with his friends, and his job. This kind of thing rears its ugly head for women when they dare think the man they love, and who loves them, will pull up stakes and move 583 miles away for her job. I can't tell you to dump him, although I have told people to do that. But I tend to agree with you. You are probably going to have to suck it up and move on.  It does not seem likely he will move to your new home, and this job is something that you have worked toward for a long time. To sacrifice that for a man who told you he would get "the ring" after a year (and did not), and led you to believe he would go house hunting with you (and did not), to me, would cause tremendous resentment on your part. Let me know what happens.