Hey there Dude,
(Sorry my email is so damn long)
I wrote to CC earlier this year and got a lovely reply from Tuffy Luv.
I am now writing to you because my current question definitely needs a dude’s advice. How do I convince my man to move in with me when he’s not on tour? Except I’m asking in terms of what can I do to better myself and my life so that my man looks at me and goes, “My girlfriend has something I want that’s missing in my current awesome life, and I want to be with her every second that I’m not on tour.”
First, a bit more background situation. Our long distance relationship has been working out really well. I have no more worries (usually!) about if we’re going to make it or not. My concern now is how we are when we’re together for a long time.
Over summer, we both had time off and I lived with him at his dad’s house. (Sounds weird, I know but his dad was totally fine with it.) It was kind of…not that great. I had been freaking out a good month before hand over lots of nothingness, building things up in my head like I wonder if he still likes me, things seem so different, blah blah blah. I was dealing with a crappy bout of situational depression, school was getting intensely stressful, I wouldn’t leave my house for days, I wouldn’t reach out to my friends, I wasn’t telling my boyfriend anything really, communication wasn’t good, life wasn’t good. I thought once summer began, everything would be magically fixed with me, but that definitely didn’t happen. A large part of the problem was I had no life whatsoever of my own when I was living with my man. I was still depressed, and the fact that our living together situation wasn’t all super happy was making me even more stressed out. If I was away from him even for an hour hanging out with one of my girl friends, I couldn’t really enjoy myself and I just wanted to go back to him, even though we weren’t super happy. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely had good days, and we started communicating a lot more after we both realized something was really wrong, had lots of good long talks and cries, and we made it through summer without breaking up.
After summer, I moved back home and wasn’t able to talk to him for a month because he was country hopping, and it was actually really nice. I became my happy independent self again, we wrote super cheesy cute emails to each other (my parents even went to one of his shows on the other side of the world!), we missed each other, we had our own lives again, he apologized for being a jerk and making me cry, I apologized for smothering him, we were in love again and wanted to be with each other again. We made it over the dreaded relationship rut! He even talked about maybe staying with me when he wasn’t on tour.
Since then, he’s had time off and stayed with my for a couple weeks. And it was a lot of fun. And then I got to go on tour with him for 5 days, and that was a ton of fun, it was so natural.
Ok so back to my question. Sometimes my man is lovey dovey and hypothetically talks about wanting to stay with me, and other times (especially when people ask him when he’s moving in with me) he’s wishy washy and says he doesn’t know, or that he wants to move to another country, or some crap like that. I mean, I get it. He’s never really home, there’s not much where I live for him, but there’s nothing back home for him either because his group of best friends moved over the past month to a place that he has no interest in moving to. Last time he was in the process of moving near a girlfriend, she dumped him. And he HATES thinking about the future. The boy makes NO plans whatsoever. Which drives me nuts because I’m a planner. We’ve been together over two years and I want him to move all of his stuff in with me! I don’t think a simple “Hey boyfriend, why don’t you move the f*ck in with me!” will work (though I haven’t really tried that yet…because what if he says no!). I think it’s gotta be a lifestyle change on my part. I want him to know I’m never going back to the needy, depressed, no life of my own girlfriend phase. NEVER. I refuse. I want to do something that says “my life is the shit so you can either join it during your time off or be lame and move back in with your dad.” Except then I feel like I’m trying to impress him too much every time he visits.
So any ideas? Is this all too much to expect from a man who’s home one week every 2 months? What would make you want to live with a lady you love? Garrrr. I think I dwell on these things too much.
Dear Musician’s Ladyfriend,
So, you want to do something to convince your boyfriend, of two years, that he should move in with you for one week out of every two months. But you’re not trying to impress him or anything.
POP. That’s a foreshadowing of what I’m about to do to your bubble.
There’s nothing one can do to make someone move in with them. Either you agree it’s the best thing to do or it’s not. Kathy Bates couldn’t convince via a sledge hammer during a snowstorm with a crippled James Caan. So, don’t put so much pressure on yourself to facilitate a desired action from him. Ask him if he wants to. Tell him you want to. Make it clear you think this is the next step in your relationship. And then go through all the benefits of it, emotionally, financially, and psychologically. If he says no, well, go out and make a few bad decisions, a few right decisions, and move the f*ck on.
Here’s my question to you: Why do you feel this need so strongly? Is it to prove your relationship is secure and he won’t leave you for the road? Is it because you’re scared its become stagnant and want to reach a new level of intimacy? Is it because you want some help with the rent? Identifying what’s driving this need will go a long ways in determining if it moving in together is the right thing for YOU (eliminate him from the equation for a minute).
There are a lot of reasons to and not to move in together. I moved in with someone because we were together 7 nights a week after a year. It felt like the right time, we saved money, we could afford a bigger place, the location worked out well, and we both agreed it was the next step. We did it together. All I did was ask her what she thought about it. Was she nervous? Yeah. Was I? OH, HELL YEAH! We talked it through, found a compromise, and moved forward together.
But let’s get this straight: it shouldn’t be done out of obligation. Moving in together isn’t something you HAVE to do just to prove you’re in a healthy relationship (I’m speaking now more in general than to your specific situation). It should be done because both partners agree to it for complimentary reasons. Forcing it on someone never goes well. Do people fight the fear when it comes to moving in? Yes. Are their fears justified? Not always. So, you talk them through and come to a compromise. Because that’s how you know your relationship’s on solid ground. The fact that you can get on the same page when you’re both thinking in terms of a different chapter.
One other thing I want to address is what sounds like an unrealistic expectation on your part. You had a relationship rut. You made what you feel are mistakes and you hated the person you felt you were who was making those mistakes. Now you will NEVER become anything like that person again? Not likely. Oh, you may not become that EXACT form of yourself because, hey, you’ve lived and learned. But we’re all going to make mistakes. We will all go through periods of being depressed, overwhelmed, and out of those miserable moods we’ll do things that we’re not proud of. We’ll even probably hurt people we care about. And you know what? That’s okay. That’s part of living through the ups and downs of the game of Life.
Ease up on yourself. The harder you try to hold onto something, or make something happen, the more likely you are to sabotage yourself. Be careful, and mindful, of your motivations and of your expectations, for yourself, him, and your relationship.
All you need to do is ask the question, tell him what you need, why you need it, and then listen. If he says he’s not ready, listen to why he’s not ready. If he says he never wants to, then throw him off that bridge when you get there. Until then you don’t need to do anything except be who you are, the girl he’s been with for over two years, and if that’s not enough for him then he’s not enough for you.
“Because I’m the goddamn Batman Dude!”
[Got a Dude itch you just can’t scratch? Sick of trying to come up with a not-totally-crazy-girl way to bring it up to your guy friends and get their take on things? Totally over over-analyzing the cryptic messages he leave on your Facebook Wall? We got your back, girlfriend. Send your question over to askthedude [at] collegecandy [dot] com. The Dude won’t sugarcoat it, beat around the bush, or any other weird cliche that means lie to you. Like a nice, juicy hot dog, he’ll be 100% real beef, 100% of the time. So bring. it. on.]