Dear Captain Awkward,
I’m 24 and preparing to finally move out of my parents’ house for good (I know – a successful adult, I’m not). Unfortunately I don’t have a job right now; I’ve got some money saved up from when I did have one, but not enough to be able to rent an apartment all by myself for very long. Fortunately, I have two lovely friends who have offered to let me move in with them. Which is, actually, where the problem comes in. I like Friend A a lot, and moving in with her would in many ways be the sensible decision. But I have a long-standing crush on Friend B which I have recently learned is reciprocated, which makes moving in with her simultaneously tempting and potentially a Really Bad Idea.
To elaborate further on the situation:
A lives on the other side of the country from my current residence. Such a big move might be complicated and expensive, but her city is one I’ve always wanted to live in, and it also has lots of job opportunities in my field. A doesn’t actually need a flatmate in order to afford the rent (although I’m sure having someone to split the payment with wouldn’t hurt). I’ve known her since high school, so the chances of nasty surprises, big fallings-out, or other drastic changes in our relationship are low. B, meanwhile, lives closer to my current residence – not very close, but at a distance where it’s still reasonable to drive there rather than flying. The city she lives in is a bit smaller and has fewer relevant job options (although it should be noted that both cities have more than the place I live currently). B does need someone to share the rent with (she had another flatmate, but said flatmate is moving out soon), which leads me to feel that moving in with A would be letting B down a bit, though I’m sure she’d understand.
But enough of these dry technical details, and on to the juicy part with all the messy confusing “feelings” stuff. I don’t really know how to quantify or qualify my feelings where B is concerned without sounding like an idiot teenager, or maybe just an idiot, but I have had a crush on her for years now and am… amazed, I think is the best word, and very happy that she feels similarly. (Usually, it seems, I fall for people who aren’t interested in me, and then I date people I really would rather be friends with just because they are interested in me. So this “mutual attraction” thing is kind of new and exciting.)
However, I’m well aware that an attempt to change the nature of our relationship might end up exploding horribly, or at least sort of awkwardly fizzling out, and if that happens, living with her is probably not going to be very comfortable. On the other hand, if I move in with A – a six-hour flight from where B lives – B and I are probably not going to see each other in person anytime soon. And we’ve both proven to be pretty terrible at long-distance relationships in the past, so that option’s not looking good. And I really would miss her… not that we see each other all that frequently as it is, but still.
I know moving in with A is probably a better career move and a more stable living situation, but I can’t help feeling that if I do, I’ll be missing a chance that I’d really regret not taking. Although I have a sinking feeling that I already know the answer, do you have any words of sage advice that might make this decision easier?
– Head vs. Heart (and/or Other Organs)
Dear Head, Heart, and Other Organs:
I don’t know where you should live.
I think you should let go of the shame of living with your parents while you save up money for your next step in life. Stop apologizing for it.
A sounds like the logical, safe, stable choice, but it’s not going to work if you don’t really LIVE there because you’re spending all your time skyping with B. and spending all your money on plane tickets. B sounds like the romantic, exciting choice – but love could fall apart and leave you up shit creek and wishing you had some stability.
So yeah, I don’t know where you should move to.
But I do know that this is not an OMG IRREVOCABLE CHOICE. You could move to one place, decide you don’t like it, and then move to the other (or a Comedy Third City).
Also, I think you should probably drive out to where Person B lives right now, this weekend, today, and
screw her brains out figure out if this crush you have going on is actually a thing, and you should NOT live with her until you do that. Do not move in with her under this pretense that you are friends. Just act on the crush already. Start dating now while you are still within driving distance and keep saving up your money for the eventual big move. Start applying for jobs in both cities and see where you get a bite. It’s easier to be in B’s city in person to interview for things if you do get called, you can use her address as yours on your resume, etc., but if you move there make it because you are moving in with your girlfriend.
But man, I don’t know how to help you. Pick a place and move there, and then dig in – invest in your new life where you live and let the other option go. You’re going to be fine either way.