Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Question: I ended an engagement about five months ago and very quickly met "Chad." I'm in my late 20s and he's in his mid-30s. We started the dating process slowly, and it's been amazing. No buts. He's a unicorn among donkeys.
Chad has recently been offered a six-month seasonal job in one of the most beautiful places in the country, and I'm going with him. I've never had an adventure like this, plus it'll be a great way to slow down and rest (I have a chronic illness). I'm planning to find some part-time gig, and otherwise enjoy myself as much as possible.
The problem is that my sisters, whom I'm very close with, are having trouble seeing this as anything but an exceedingly risky move. They really like Chad, but all they see is their sister moving across the country "for a guy." (I'm not moving for him; I'm moving with him.) I'm prepared for worst-case scenarios, but hopeful for best-case, and I'd really love to be able to share my excitement with them about this. Big Sister can't even talk to me about it without tears.
It kills me that every person in my life is beyond excited for me except the two I care about most. What can I do?
Answer: You can go. You can live your life.
If the six-month junket is great, they'll see that and (I hope) not freak out next time you wander off the path they envision for you. If it's not great, and you manage not to be undone by it, they'll see that and (I hope) not freak out next time you wander off the path they envision for you.
The question really is, what else can you do?
I can see clearly why they're concerned - the broken engagement + the rush to Chad + chronic illness + impending isolation from your support network all = caution flags. However, being a little less enmeshed with the sisters might be good for you all.
To that end, their distress doesn't "kill" you. I know it's hyperbole, but give that hyperbole a harder look. As long as you have calculated and prepared for the risks, you have done what is necessary. Having approval is optional, even from your beloved sisters.
Comment: Whenever my kids wanted to do something I considered risky, I would ask them what the backup plan was. It always led to a discussion, and to this day, they will often say "and the backup plan is . . .." Seems to me the absolute worst that could happen here is a breakup, and sister ends up at LAX with no money. Tell crying sister it would be wonderful if she would be there for you if such a thing should happen - and then take off with Chad.
Reply: No, the worst thing that could happen is that Chad is a psychopath. But if we all planned according to that standard for worstness, we would all live alone and telecommute and never leave the house except to retrieve the packages of food delivered by drones to our otherwise unused porches.
So, that disclaimer aside, good strategy. Thanks.
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