Esprix & Dr. Boyfriend

It seems I have a situation.

Normally I would not share such detailed personal information on this board, as I’ve seen first-hand what happens when you open Pandora’s Box. Still, I’ve been mulling this over in my head for quite some time, and I need some further input that I can’t get anywhere else right now.

In the fall of 1998 two very old and dear friends of mine, almost on a whim, invited me to come live with them in San Diego (I live in Philadelphia, for those who don’t know). Feeling a distinct need for a change of venue, I decided to take them up on it, and so for two months I lived in California. I had just found out that the True Love of My Life had moved on to a new relationship, I was without a permanent job situation (I was, and still am, temping), and in general I was feeling a great wanderlust and looking for a new direction, so this was a refreshing change of pace.

San Diego, of course, is a wonderful town - very friendly folk, not too big of a city, and my housemates and I turned out to be far, far more compatible than we’d ever imagined. In fact, we got along so well, that they have actively been campaigning me to move in - the room is still mine any time I want it, virtually rent-free (they want the company, but they don’t really need the money). Plus, they live extraordinarily close to UCSD, where I’ve thought about temping to get an “in” to get back to school (once I figure out what it is I want to go back to school for). So I’ve always had the option of moving there any time I liked, really. Still, I had always intended it to be temporary, a sort of “trial run” to see what it was like (after all, I’ve never lived more than 20 miles from home, and at the moment I’m still living with my folks - leaving behind 30 years, my family and my friends is not something I’d do on a whim), so I returned home after 2 months (a month longer than I’d originally intended).

While there I fully realized that my True Love was, indeed, my True Love, and I began a long process of accepting that, talking to him about it, and realizing that he wasn’t going to marry me like I’d hoped. At the same time, I met Dr. Boyfriend, and we started dating. (This was just under a year and a half ago.)

Meanwhile, I’ve been marking time here at home - decent job, but just temping, more than ready to move out on my own (Mom and Dad are driving me insane at the moment), and having a stable, decent relationship for a change. But marking time, it seems, is not enough for me. Frankly, I’m looking for purpose, and have been for quite some time. What job do I want? What do I want to contribute to the world? What do I want to leave behind? (Am I have my midlife crisis early? ;)) I came just shy of completing my music education degree, and since then have been working at jobs, but I’ve been trying to figure out what career would give me the most fulfillment (this may include going back to school). One of the first steps was my new year’s resolution for 2000 - move out into my own place before the end of the year.

When I started dating Dr. Boyfriend, he was a fourth year medical student, so when he graduated this past May he had to interview for his residency program and rank them accordingly. His first two choices were in Philadelphia, and his next two were in NYC. When Match Day came, he was thrilled that he got his number one choice.

I, however, discovered that I wasn’t as happy. After pondering it for a while, I realized that I’d wanted him to end up in NY, because, you see, then it would be easier for me to do what I really wanted to do - move to San Diego.

At that point I realized he was the only thing holding me to the east coast - I can temp anywhere, and I love my family and friends but have learned that I can live farther away from them. I thought about this while he was away for six weeks in Atlanta and decided that, yes, although I want both a relationship with him and to move, I need to move more, because I need to do it for me. I’ve said to friends before that moving somewhere solely to be with someone is a bad idea, so equally staying somewhere solely to be with someone is also bad, particularly when I know this is what I want to do.

Now that he’s started his residency, he is absolutely tied to Philadelphia for the next three years, so, I can’t have both (and no, a long-distance relationship wouldn’t work for either of us). And, in a way, I don’t want both - if I move to San Diego, new face in a new town, I’m not so certain I want to be in a relationship. I’ve always enjoyed being single, and especially since this is the longest relationship I’ve ever been in, the idea of being single again is kind of exciting. Still, he means an awful lot to me, and if I were to stay in Philadelphia, I know that he and I would continue dating.

Oddly, Dr. Boyfriend and I have never had a “relationship discussion” during our time together, and we’ve both remarked that we ought to get around to doing so. Well, it looks like the first one we’re going to have will be our last, as I’m gearing up to tell him shortly.

Right after match he went to Atlanta, then came home and had just a few short weeks to move across town, then came graduation, and then immediately after that came the start of his residency. Really I’d made up my mind way back when he was in Atlanta, but the timing has never been right to tell him. (Since I knew this vacation was coming up in August, I decided that my move would take place immediately afterwards, and no later than the end of the year.) Now, however, there are no more excuses - I need to tell him before I leave for my vacation in August so that he has time when I’m gone to think about things. This gives me about 3 weeks.

Being as we’ve been serious-but-not-serious, that is to say, we’ve been dating, but have never made any kind of explicit commitment to each other (in the beginning of our relationship I did see other people, but he’s not built as socially as I am, but later it’s been just him; we didn’t consider ourselves “serious” or “boyfriends” until this past Christmas), what I’d like is to continue to see him until I leave (which, at this point, will probably be in October, right around my birthday). I don’t know if he’ll agree with this or not, and I have to be prepared that he might not want to see me again (well, at least romantically). I have hardly ever had problems remaining friends with the people I’ve dated, and I have every confidence that Dr. Boyfriend and I will be friends for the rest of our lives, as we really do care for each other deeply, so I know that no matter what his reaction will be, we will always be a part of each other’s lives. What I really hate is the probability that I’m going to hurt him with this news, especially as I’m sure he doesn’t see this coming. (I have discussed my “life issues” and the fact that I desperately want to move with him quite a few times, and he’s always known that the San Diego offer was outstanding, but up until now I always downplayed it because I didn’t know how seriously I was going to take the offer, nor how serious he and I would end up becoming romantically.)


Needless to say I’m not looking forward to this conversation. I think, though, I know how to talk to him (and he really is easy to talk to). I know that if he understands this is really what I need to do with my life, he’ll be able to deal with it. It’s just that getting there is going to be, well, not fun.

OK, comforting hugs and wise words of compassion are appreciated. I’m not really looking for “advice” per se as I already pretty much know how I’m going to handle it - I just wanted to vent, as I haven’t told my folks or any of my friends here yet (I wanted Dr. Boyfriend to be the first here to know, but I did already talk to my future housemates to let them know I’d decided - they are, of course, thrilled to death). And if you want to flame me, I will ignore you. :smiley:


Esprix, I have the feeling that you already know what you are going to do - and that is move to San Diego. So I have no advice on what you should do, just want to wish you luck on getting through this rough time. Many good thoughts on working through a difficult situation.

Ah, sweetie, way to do the right thing for your soul. {{{Esprix}}} You’ll be so happy in San Diego, I just know it. Good luck with “the talk.”

Life decisions. Sounds like you’ve thought this through quite thoroughly, so there’s little left to do but offer you support!

I hope that it offers you mostly positive “opportunities for growth”. I think your decision to be true to what you know you want is wise, and ultimately will be for the best. I wish you the best with the “situation”; Dr. B sounds like a mature, capable guy.

A smooch for luck!

Why, you egotistical son of a bitch! How dare you do what’s right for you? You should be ashamed to call yourself a Catholic!

Oh. Wait.
Esprix: I occasionally rail against the “just do what you want to do” culture; but my railings are really against the “just do what you want to do, regardless of how it affects anyone else.”

If you don’t feel like you and Dr. Boyfriend are moving towards life-partner status, then don’t hold back 9/10ths of your life in the hope that there’s a chance that the other 1/10th (finding a spouse) works out. In the end, doings so would only hurt Dr. B all the more.

Best of luck to you in the discussion tonight; best of luck in your Westward Voyage.

And Goddammit, don’t you dare move West until you’ve come down to DC once and I’ve gotten to meet you in person. And if you’re not willing to do it for me, at least do it for yourself, 'cause Falcon will probably kick your ass if you don’t come down to at least meet her.

Hugs Esprix. Anytime rough decisions are made that require you to hurt another for the greater good it sucks.

You are making the right choice. You are doing what is best for you.

I do hope that it turns out well, that he takes it well. Good friends are so much better than mean exs.

Hugs again.


Good luck!


I know it will be difficult, but it sounds like you really are doing the right thing by moving. Good luck, and here’s hoping it all goes smoothly! :slight_smile:


lip quivering


No! You have to come north and see ME first!
completely serious expression I’m not joking, Esprix.

I’m sorry, that was selfish of me.

I hope your discussion with Dr. B and your plans for the move go as you would have them go. I remember having The Discussion with my Torontois boyfriend. It completely bummed me out, so I know how difficult it is.

Good luck Esprix. I know you’ll be able to do it. A little pain is worth it for what you’ll get out of life.

Also, you’ll be closer to me. :wink wink: I’ll be happy to show you around if you know what I mean. :slight_smile:

Well Esprix, it seems like this isn’t the best time to “meet” you, I’ve never posted to anything of yours before. I feel for you. These kind of decisions are always difficult. I think the important thing to remember is the difference between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now. Almost good enough isn’t. Sorry Sweetie, I wish I had just the right thing to say, or for YOU to say.

Well, good luck Esprix with the big talk! From what you said, I know the Dr.Boyfriend will understand.

Anyway now at least you’re going to be within driving range ;). Oh and you must come up north sometime for a doper bash if you can.

It sounds like the decision is made, so I wish you luck as you make the transition to your new life. Dr. B will see that this will probably be best for you both.
You really ought to come to DC before you head to the Left Coast.

I am going throught hetero version of this very thing.

Esprix, the hardest part is what I called “pulling the trigger.” I tended to think through all the possible outcomes, analyzed the living hell out of the situation, made up my mind to do what I knew deep in my heart was best for me, my wife, my daughter, all concerned, and then…nothing. I couldn’t complete the task at hand and it made me the most miserable person on the earth.

After literally working myself up (down?) into a complete mental and physical collapse (“Mr. T-, are you OK? You don’t look so good. Mr. T-? Mr. T-?” Ahh, a week’s rest in the psych ward)I simply did it. I “pulled the trigger.” And while it has only been a few months, I am becoming a stronger, better person that I’ve ever been in my life.

You can do it. Way the choices. Consider all the information you have. Make your choice (pull the trigger). Live your life.

Best of luck to you, from someone who is doing it. I’ll see you at the end of the journey.

a brief detour

Oh, and how did you get my box?!?!?

If you still have it, give it back now please… I’ve been looking for it :slight_smile:

back to the topic at hand

Seriously, it sounds like you know what you need to do. I hope “the talk” goes well, and that Dr. B understands.

<<sending good thoughts your way>>


Just another thought, particularly since the subject of Pandora’s box came up in my situation as well.

Remember that after Pandora opened the box and all the evil had escaped there was something left - the diamond at the bottom of the box called “hope.”

All will be well.

I don’t know you really, but good luck anyway. HUGS :slight_smile:

You don’t have to worry about opening Pandora’s Box with us. As long as you aren’t trying to change someone in a negative way then you won’t receive the negative comments. :slight_smile:

Let’s see, don’t leave Dr. Boyfriend with a “Dear John Letter” or just leave without telling him anything. That is really painful in a relationship on the receiving end. As long as you are honest and open about your desires then you should have a decent break up.

I have moved a lot. Sometimes the change of venue can be really beneficial and other times it is just more trouble than it is worth. At least you have friends that can help you build a life with them over in California. I hope that you like it.

Hijack Alert! I can’t believe that a year and a half is the longest relationship that you have ever had. My longest was five and a half years with about an extra year of living together but not being lovers. My current boyfriend and I have been to gether just over a year now too. End Hijack.

Good luck and HUGS!

Thanks everyone for your input and support so far. I’m not sure exactly when I’m going to drop the bombshell, but it’s going to be soon.

John, I certainly wouldn’t want to incur the wrath of either you or Falcon or any other DC Dopers (including goboy), but my finances and timeschedule may be limiting. Still, when’s the next gathering? Perhaps I should have one in, say, Baltimore as a little “leaving the east coast” party? :smiley:

matt, seeing you before I go would be wonderful, but, again, I don’t know how feasible it is. Still, I have a few months to go, so you never know…

oldscratch (who I discovered from the People Pages isn’t quite so old), you best be careful what you wish for. :wink: Where do you live? (Same question to you, Doob.)

plnnr, you got part of what my problem is - I really said the words out loud in April, and here we are almost August and I still haven’t told this to him. In all my dating history (and I’ve dated a lot, lemme tell ya), I’ve only been the dumper thrice. Every other time it was either a mutual parting of ways (spoken or unspoken), or, more prevalently, I was the one that got dumped. Not having much experience (and this will be the second time I’ve dumped someone who I really cared for), it’s not easy for me. But, yes, I just need to bite the bullet and tell him. “Honey, I’ve got some good news and some bad news…” {SIGH} (Oh, and I’d forgotten about what was at the bottom of Pandora’s Box - thank you for the reminder!)

Sqrl, being on the receiving end of being dumped, I certainly would never, ever do anything less than be honest to someone’s face. The last time I had to do this I took him out to dinner, sat him down, and explained myself very carefully. He said, “You know, treating with this much respect only makes me want to date you more…” {SIGH} It wasn’t easy. And yes, I’ve been out since January 1987, and Dr. Boyfriend beat out my longtime record of exactly two months. Why? I have no idea. I suppose if I knew the answer I’d be married by now. :slight_smile: It also doesn’t help that I was deeply in love with someone that I knew I couldn’t have during the beginning of our relationship (Dr. Boyfriend knows who he is, but doesn’t know the depths of my feelings for him).

Of course I’ll update everyone once the deed is done. It might be this weekend, as we’re going down to the beach and we’ve got a long drive down and home.