I’ve solved a lot of touchy issues with the help of advice from your previous columns. However my current conundrum requires some one-on-one attention. I’m 22 years old and gay; I’ve been with my boyfriend for three years and have lived with him for at least two of those three years. It’s a pretty serious relationship and I love him very much. I’m very happy with him and am lucky to have landed him. Now here’s the issue:
Ever since I was like 3 years old I’ve wanted nothing more than to be an actor, and along with that comes wanting to move to an entertainment metropolis like NYC or LA. I’ve decided on LA and want to be there within the next six to 10 months. I’m very serious about this; it is my dream and calling in life. Now I know what the chances of actually making it are, but that’s not the point, the point is that I would be living my dream and at least trying to succeed instead of wondering about what could have been.
He has a child here, goes to school here, and although he likes California and says he would move with me, I’m afraid that when it comes down to it, he might reconsider. He also wants to have a considerable amount of money saved, but I’m at the point of wanting to live my dream and I’ll leave with my last paycheck in my pocket and make it work. I don’t want to break up with him but I also can’t put my dreams on hold or ignore them altogether. I’ve brought up a long-distance relationship, but he doesn’t believe that will work and will not even consider it as an option. How should I handle this? Right now everything is in the works for us to go together but what do I do when the time comes and he decides he can’t leave his life here? Please help me handle this delicate situation.
— Head in the Clouds or Up My Ass, Either Way I’m Screwed!
Dear Head Everywhere But On Your Shoulders,
I believe you aren’t as screwed as you think. In fact it is your thinking that is screwed, not so much you. You need a little more trust and an open mind and you will find that life is not so grim and limited. You are pursuing your dreams after all, now is the time to believe and fire up your imagination.
You can’t make your boyfriend ready to move, but you can worry the two of you into a hell of a hole. Trust that he is being honest and be open to his doubts and hopes about this move. It may be your dream, but it is both of your lives that are changing. Help him prepare and look forward to the move, too. He won’t be the first person to move across country leaving everything he has ever known behind. He wouldn’t be the first person to balk when the moment arrives, either, but that doesn’t mean he will. I do know that if you prepare for him to jump ship at the last minute, you are increasing the likelihood he will. Work toward the goal you desire, not the disaster you fear.
Are you saving money? You mentioned moving with your last paycheck in your pocket. It sounds terribly dedicated and romantic, but now is the time to make compromises and sacrifices. Your boyfriend is willing to pack up and haul to sunny California to be with you. What are you willing to do to move to California with him? It might be time to clip some coupons, stay home on a Friday night and cook dinner and watch a movie, or pick up a few shifts waiting tables on your off days.
Have you looked into acting in San Antonio? You don’t have to wait to move to begin living your dreams. There is some great theater in San Antonio. Check out AtticRep, atticrep.org. Maybe you should pursue a little acting here while making preparations for the move. There are also film and TV opportunities if you look for them. Sure, this isn’t Hollywood, but there is some truth to the saying that the role is only as small as the actor.
Do yourself a favor and don’t sabotage your dreams with your plans.
Much love and a broken leg,
Your Uncle Mat
Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets and art. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, myspace.com/yourunclemat, or check out the Dear Uncle Mat Page on Facebook. Your true identity is safe with him.