DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend and I have been together going on two years, and I feel like I want to marry her. I think I could spend the rest of my life with her. I have already asked her father.
Recently she told me she wants to move closer to her family. They live in the middle of nowhere, and the only city close to them has extremely poor job prospects for both of us. As of right now they're a four-hour drive away from us, which I think is a reasonable distance. We moved here only six months ago, and now she's clamoring to get back closer to home.
To complicate things, I prefer an urban living environment, and that seems not to be an option. My girlfriend says she would be open to moving in the future, but if I'm being honest, that seems unlikely. What can I say to her? -- WILLING TO COMPROMISE
DEAR WILLING: I agree that once you and your girlfriend/fiancee move closer to her family, the chances of her agreeing to move farther from them is unlikely. If you have a child, she will want him or her to know the grandparents, and possibly have help with baby-sitting, etc. Your reason for not wanting to move to the "middle of nowhere" because of the economic sacrifice involved makes sense.
You need to think very carefully about what marriage to her will mean before taking the next step. And above all, have some serious conversations with her about your feelings. A compromise might be to move nearer to her family, but still in an area where you can both find adequate employment.