At a bar last week, a colleague asked me about my moving to New York story. She seemed particularly interested in the fact that I had left a committed and exclusive relationship in the South to move to the city on my own. The conversation I had with her has played over in my mind a few times since that night and has reaffirmed that this move was the right thing for me.
Though we were shouting back and forth across our small corner of the table, our conversation was likely inaudible beyond a three-foot radius due to the constant drone of bar talk and music. I explained to her that - throughout the year prior to my big move - Terrence and I had several serious conversations about our separate ambitions, and we had agreed to a number of things. He would help me move to the city, and we would continue a long-distance monogamous relationship for as long as we could. Above all things, we wanted to give each other time to follow our goals freely.
Terrence and I agreed that as long as were upfront and honest about everything, a friendship would always be salvageable. If he decided that he wanted to see other people, I might be devastated at first and might not be able to speak to him for a long time, but as long as he was upfront with me, we could eventually be friends again. However, if either of us were to cheat rather than ending the relationship first, we both knew that friendship would never be an option. We had been friends first, but that foundation would be lost by any wrongdoing.
My colleague would ask a question regarding our relationship and how things were working out for me in New York City, and following each answer, she nodded her head intently and asked another. Finally, over the babbling rumble of bar-goers, she shouted to me, "You know, Katie. I was in a similar situation once, where I had a choice between following a personal goal or following a boyfriend. I chose the boyfriend ... That is such an amazing and remarkably mature decision that you two made. I often wonder where I'd be now if I had chosen me."
I don't know what the future has in store for me and Terrence, but I do know that we'll never regret letting each other spread our wings and fly.