Ask Alanis: should I follow my boyfriend to the big city?

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If you are only acquiescing to his desire to move, this is a recipe for resentment

I lately graduated and have been with my boyfriend for three years. Hes naturally intelligent and popular; Im quiet and hardworking. Now he wants to move to a new, big city, where we will find jobs( hopefully) that they are able to pay enough to cover our bills. I was offered a undertaking in our local township that Im not too excited about, but I at least know I will have enough to make ends meet. Though the idea of moving and having a new life sounds like a dream, at the end of the day thats all it is. Should I follow my heart and move to the big city with him? Or do I stay where I know I have a task waiting for me, yet maybe ruin my relationship ?

It sounds as if you and your boyfriend complement one another temperamentally( as my husband and I do ), which can make for a lifestyle that is both grounded and delightfully risk-taking. The challenge can be when his desire for exhilaration and novelty runs into your practical and pragmatic approach to life.

Have you shared your mistrusts with him? Something that has worked for my husband and me in the past is for each of us to take the floor for a few minutes and hold nothing back in the sharing of our vision for the future. Only after you have gone with gusto into why your approach feels like a good one, and feel as though you have been truly heard, can you begin to sit in your partners shoes.

If you are only acquiescing to his longings, this is a recipe for rancour. But having a sense of what you need to make a big move will help: highly sensitive people often need to pause to check before they leap, if they leap at all. Those of us who are more novelty-seeking value spontaneity. Both approaches yield wonderful things, and both of your temperaments need to be taken into consideration before you induce big changes.

Might there be a way to attain the move less risky for you? Perhaps giving it six months in the new city, or telling the new task that you might not have an answer for a few months? Either way, I would recommend a heart-to-heart conversation to establish whether there is an air of we wont stop until we both win( which makes a relationship work) or less of partnership agreements mindset( Sorry babe, I am going with or without you ). Only a big dose of self-knowledge will yield the answer you are both looking for.

Alanis Morissettes podcast is available at iTunes and at Send your dilemma about love, family or life in general to Alanis Morissette at ask.alanis @theguardian. com

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