I just got this question in an email:
My friend is trying to persuade his girlfriend of 4 years to come live with him in Baltimore while he goes to graduate school. Her alternative is getting a masters in art in Austin, Texas, necessitating their break-up. How can he change her mind about this? (Or better yet, how can I?)
Hope you can help.
Here’s what I answered him:
A suggestion is for your friend to find out what is really important to her and help her get it. She will adore him. Manipulation is out – being real and contributing to someone’s quality of life is in!
ps. Love is not getting what you want. It is helping someone else get what they want.
What do you think? Let me know below.
p.s. If you would like to engage me as a speaker please click here
I agree wholeheartedly with your advice, that he should think of what she wants and help her get it. I think two people who are close should never manipulate each other to meet desires. I’ve been married for 46 years and my wife and I have always made every effort to meet each others professional and personal needs, even when it wasn’t convenient to do so. Flexibility is the key point here, and a sincere desire to see the other person happy, because if your partner isn’t happy you won’t be either.
Re thinking about her needs and helping her achieve them, Austin may not the best place to study art. Baltimore might even have some great art training. Has he looked into that? And it all depends what stage she’s at in her development as an artist and what kind of mentoring she needs most. In any case, her needs must be accommodated, even if it means being separated for a while. I know several married couples (music teachers) who live in different cities because they have jobs teaching at different universities. They travel frequently to be together.
Other things play into this, too. What kind of basic relationship do they have as things stand? What are their long range plans together?
Very wise words!
I simply agree with these 2 comments being real and contributing to someone’s quality of life is in! and Love is not getting what you want. It is helping someone else get what they want.
I’d like the man better if he’d asked “How can I change my own mind about this?”!
I’m also keenly aware that he seems to be deciding it’s an either/or situation: either his gfriend moves to Baltimore, or the situation “necessitates” a break up. But surely there are other alternatives. Two obvious ones are for him to move to Austin, or for them to enjoy a long distance relationship.
…At risk of sounding cruel: another alternative is for her to find a new boyfriend, one who values her happiness as much as his own.
I forgot to mention – each person needs to follow their dreams and to know their priorities. It’s a great opportunity for each of them, no matter what they choose.
I agree with all of the above answers. Additionally to discussing what’s important to each of them regarding their future careers and present education, they need to discuss the possibility of having a long distance relationship and how that would work for them. They’ll have to look inside themselves to see what their own needs are regarding a relationship, their feelings for each other, understanding each other and figure out the details. If they don’t agree for a long distance relationship, they need to disconnect.
I like this. Short, elegant, and direct. Come to think of it, much like YOU!
I agree with Matt. If he truly loves her he will regard her degree as equally important as his. Discussion of alternatives for both seems a better choice than trying to convince her to give up her dream. Perhaps they can arrange to visit on occasional weekends. Isn’t love about wanting the best for your partner?
You are spot on Shelle,
I was just talking about honesty this morning and how some people can become depressed, sorry, I meant bi-polar, by not being honest with themselves. The guy might be able to manipulate his girlfriend but it will eventually end in pain.
If you love someone set them free!
Tell your emailer to see the movie “Mona Lisa Smile”