Sam Mednick is a professional life and executive coach based in Barcelona (www.blueprintcoaching.ca). A Canadian native, she’s been living in the city for eight years working with companies as well as individuals focusing on transitions, communication, leadership training, time management and productivity, as well as emotional intelligence development. For more coaching tips, tune into her Podcast.
SAM SAYS: BE TRUE TO YOURSELF
I love this city, but I’m getting antsy. I feel like I need to shake things up a bit and perhaps relocate for a few months—just to switch up the energy. This would have been fairly simple when I was a bachelor, as I have a job that allows me to work from anywhere and I love adventure. Now, however, I’m in a relationship of three years so there’s another person to think about. I’ve asked my girlfriend to come with me, but she has a job and a life here and doesn’t feel restless like I do. I don’t want to lose her by moving, yet, at the same time, I don’t want to stay and feel this continuous itch. How can I satisfy my need for change without losing my partner?
Thanks in advance!
You’ve hit on a question that seems to increasingly surface as we get older. The issue of being true to ourselves and meeting our own needs at the potential expense of rocking the boat with those we care about.
A few years ago I found myself in a similar position—feeling antsy and wanting a change, yet not being on the same page as my partner. It was a challenging time in our relationship and there were points when both of us didn’t think we’d make it. We came out of it, however, and looking back I realised a few things that would have helped (and ultimately did) make the process easier.
The first thing, and it appears that you’ve already done this, is to acknowledge where ‘you’re at’. Saying the words out loud that you want a change and have itchy feet makes this transition real, to you and to everyone else involved. Often when we feel that something’s not quite right, we push it to the back of our minds or bury it deep within. This only causes resistance, which usually manifests itself into a feeling of increased anxiety. More often than not, this bubbles up and emerges at a later date.
The second thing, and perhaps the most important, is to be as open and transparent about the process with your partner as you can. The more you let her in, discuss how you potentially see this working and brainstorm ideas with her (how long you’d go for, where you’d go, how you’d do long distance, etc.), the more she’ll feel a part of it. Don’t just tell her what your plans are or what you’re feeling—ask her opinion and how she feels about it. She might not love the prospect of you leaving for a few months, but at least you have given her the opportunity to voice her thoughts. This will make her feel heard, it’ll make her feel like you genuinely care (and aren’t trying to run away), and it’ll open up the conversation and allow you both to start searching for possible solutions.
Ultimately, there is no formula to ensure that if you leave your relationship will stay intact. There’s no guarantee, so you have to ask yourself: Is relocating worth the gamble?
I’ve always believed that if we, as individuals, are not able to be the best versions of ourselves, then we can’t be our best for those around us.
And so, if you feel that the only way to be the ‘best you’ is to have a change, meaning leaving Barcelona, then face that difficult discussion with your girlfriend. It’s not an easy conversation and it’s not an easy hurdle in any relationship—yet the more transparent, honest and willing to make it work you both are, the greater chance you’ll have of coming out (in one piece) on the other side.
To share your thoughts on this column or ask Sam a question email email@example.com, or write to Metropolitan at firstname.lastname@example.org.