Author Topic: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart  (Read 5600 times)

Trip

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Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« on: December 04, 2013, 11:13:25 AM »
So fellow mustachians.  What would you do in this case?

I currently work in Chicago and my fiance goes to school in DeKalb.  I am currently living in a western suburb with my parents where I am only 4.5 miles from a metra station.  However, my parents and I have decided that I will be looking to move out by next August.

Here's the thing.  My fiance wants me to move with her around school.  I know that she can't afford to move far from school, but that would make my commute about 4.5 hours round trip ( ~80 minutes driving or 21 miles to the nearest Metra, ~3 hours on the train, ~20 minutes walking).  She likely will be in DeKalb until around May 2016 (December 2015 at the earliest)

Pros:
1.  I get to be with my fiance constantly
2.  Rent will only run me about $350 with utilities
3.  Neither of us have to drive very far to see the other

Cons:
1.  The commute blows and it's expensive...I've been doing a trial run of it for the past few days

So the options that I see are as follows:
1.  Move in with her
2.  Don't move in with her, but move closer to the metra station
3.  Continue trying to find a job that is closer to her that will still pay off my insane amount of student loans and re-evaluate

Please let me know if you see another way out and tell me what you would do in the situation.  If you need any additional information, please let me know.

justchristine

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 11:20:57 AM »
I used to live in the DeKalb/Sycamore area and had to make the commute into the city for training a few times.  That is an AWFUL commute and that's when it isn't snowing or foggy.  I would vote moving close to a Metra station in the outer burbs.  That's an easy every day commute to work and not too far to visit her on the weekends.

MissStache

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2013, 11:25:53 AM »
but that would make my commute about 4.5 hours round trip ( ~80 minutes

Ugh. RUN AWAY. 

Don't tie yourself to that commute.  That is totally unreasonable and will make you miserable.  Move to cheap place with an easy commute and look for work closer to her if you feel like you have to get down there ASAP.

Eric

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2013, 12:21:12 PM »
Pros:
1.  I get to be with my fiance constantly

Not with that commute you wont.  You'll spend most of your waking non-work hours going to or from work.  You'll get to see her on the weekends only for the most part.  You can do that same thing without a soul sucking commute.

Trip

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2013, 12:40:45 PM »
I used to live in the DeKalb/Sycamore area and had to make the commute into the city for training a few times.  That is an AWFUL commute and that's when it isn't snowing or foggy.  I would vote moving close to a Metra station in the outer burbs.  That's an easy every day commute to work and not too far to visit her on the weekends.

Thank you for the advice.  Would you mind giving me what you would consider the most optimal examples in your opinion?  Here's what I've been thinking in terms of suburbs.

1.  Elburn or LaFox - nice, but I imagine it will be difficult to find roommates and I'm interested in keeping my rent as low as I can while still feeling safe
2.  Elgin - Near Big Timber might be okay.  I could probably find roommates to keep housing low.  I don't think I would want to live near National Street or Elgin since the neighborhoods aren't as nice.

Ugh. RUN AWAY. 

Don't tie yourself to that commute.  That is totally unreasonable and will make you miserable.  Move to cheap place with an easy commute and look for work closer to her if you feel like you have to get down there ASAP.

I definitely thought you meant run away from my fiance for a second ha.  I am leaning this direction for sure...it's just going to be hard to sell my fiance on it without her feeling hurt to an extent.

Not with that commute you wont.  You'll spend most of your waking non-work hours going to or from work.  You'll get to see her on the weekends only for the most part.  You can do that same thing without a soul sucking commute.

I guess that I probably should have reworded that to "I get to spend every night in the same bed with her".  That being said, I still appreciate the wordage you used in the last 2 sentences.  That certainly puts things into a light I hadn't exactly considered before and may be the key selling point my fiance would understand.

Numbers Man

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2013, 01:28:30 PM »
Is Big Timber still the end of the railroad line? That's a long train ride. But the Elgin area is cheap as far as apartments go. At least you won't have any problems finding a seat in the morning. A 6:51 am train gets you to Chicago by 8am.

Catbert

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2013, 01:35:30 PM »
If your fiancée will really have her feeling hurt if you don't move in with her, then why don't you suggest that she move in with you and do the 68 mile commute herself.  I'm sorta kidding, but really it's not reasonable to expect someone to do a 4.5 hour commute every day.  If she honestly expects it then you may need to examine whether she is really a reasonable person that you want to spend the rest of your life with.

I vote for renting somewhere near the metra line.  Not familiar with Chicago area so not sure exactly where that is.

rockstache

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2013, 02:11:39 PM »
I agree with everything that has already been said, but I also just want to point out that if you do the long commute, there is a good chance that you will be tired all the time and end up fighting with your fiancee and resenting her for "forcing" you to commute that far. That would be far worse than not getting to spend the night in the same bed I think. A commute that size could actually cause problems between you.

Trip

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2013, 02:52:50 PM »
Is Big Timber still the end of the railroad line? That's a long train ride. But the Elgin area is cheap as far as apartments go. At least you won't have any problems finding a seat in the morning. A 6:51 am train gets you to Chicago by 8am.

Big Timber is still the end of the line.  I think that this is most likely where I will be starting my search based on attempting to balance the various aspects

If your fiancée will really have her feeling hurt if you don't move in with her, then why don't you suggest that she move in with you and do the 68 mile commute herself.  I'm sorta kidding, but really it's not reasonable to expect someone to do a 4.5 hour commute every day.  If she honestly expects it then you may need to examine whether she is really a reasonable person that you want to spend the rest of your life with.

I vote for renting somewhere near the metra line.  Not familiar with Chicago area so not sure exactly where that is.

I think that she'll understand.  Feelings being hurt may not be the best way to phrase it.  More like she'll be very disappointed and it won't be a happy conversation to have with her.  All that said, I think that she'll understand and it'll suck not living together, but it will be better for us in the long run.

I agree with everything that has already been said, but I also just want to point out that if you do the long commute, there is a good chance that you will be tired all the time and end up fighting with your fiancee and resenting her for "forcing" you to commute that far. That would be far worse than not getting to spend the night in the same bed I think. A commute that size could actually cause problems between you.

Thank you for your advice.  I will keep this all in mind when discussing with her over the next week or so.

Thank you everyone for your help.  I appreciate all of the thoughts and advice.  I will be talking to my fiance about living apart until either she finishes her degree or I find a comparable job in a closer location.

CommonCents

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2013, 02:56:11 PM »
Another option is for you and your FI to look for a place halfway between.  Not ideal either in terms of commuting costs, but you asked for other options!

simonsez

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2013, 03:02:12 PM »
What is the most important variable in this equation?  I don't mean in necessarily in terms of dollars and cents but all things considered, including ease of replacement.

1. Your relationship itself?
2. School in Dekalb?
3. Job in Chicago?
4. Frequency of visits?  Do you have to do this everyday or just on weekends or some other frequency that is not everyday?

Whichever 1 or 2 (or 3, but if you knew 3/4 were non-starters, you likely wouldn't have this thread) of the 4 you deem as a non-starter, it becomes obvious one or more of the remaining need to be dealt with.

I did long distance (and a lot more distance than Chicago to Dekalb!) for 3 years with my current wife.  The closest year of it was when I lived in Champaign and she lived in Charleston, IL.  We were not engaged but were content with spending nearly every weekend together.  When we lived farther apart, we simply didn't see other as often.  It has worked out thus far, 6+ years of dating and then 15 months of marriage and counting.  At certain times when we were dating, we acknowledged that our individual educations were most important and so we were okay with less frequent visits to make it work.  It sucked not being together as often as we wished but it made the most sense for the long-term.  Long distance is not for everyone but do you should do whatever is optimal for both of your situations.

Good luck!

aglassman

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2013, 03:28:02 PM »
That kind of commute will definitely put a strain on a relationship.  I drive 45 min each way at the moment, and a bad commute does effect my mood, especially after 8-9 hours of working.  I can't imagine 4.5 hours a day. 

Honestly, you should just get a new job near her school.  The reduced cost of rent, and commute should cover your student loans.  Also, with the extra time, you can cook more food at home, as with a commute meals are rushed.  Also, happiness level (both of you) will be much higher this way.  Focus on what will make for the happiest situation, not the most money.  In the long run, that is what matters!

Melody

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2013, 04:13:03 PM »
Can your fiance move in with you and continue her studies on-line?
Can you get a decent job in her town? Don't sacrifice your career development to move to her town, but if you can have a good job in her town do it!
Can she move universities without loosing credits?

I live 300kms apart from my boyfriend, but we still manage to spend nearly every weekend together. It's not that bad... My commute is 15 minutes by bus or half an hour by foot :) I'd rather drive 3 hours to see him and 3 hours back for a total of 6 hours every second week, than have even a one hour commute each day!

justchristine

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2013, 05:40:00 PM »
I used to live in the DeKalb/Sycamore area and had to make the commute into the city for training a few times.  That is an AWFUL commute and that's when it isn't snowing or foggy.  I would vote moving close to a Metra station in the outer burbs.  That's an easy every day commute to work and not too far to visit her on the weekends.

Thank you for the advice.  Would you mind giving me what you would consider the most optimal examples in your opinion?  Here's what I've been thinking in terms of suburbs.

1.  Elburn or LaFox - nice, but I imagine it will be difficult to find roommates and I'm interested in keeping my rent as low as I can while still feeling safe
2.  Elgin - Near Big Timber might be okay.  I could probably find roommates to keep housing low.  I don't think I would want to live near National Street or Elgin since the neighborhoods aren't as


It's been almost a decade since I've lived there so I have no idea what areas would be nice anymore.  If you two are heart set on living together, would it be possible for you to live in the closer to the city and her do more of the commute?  Could she structure her class schedule to have classes only on MWF or TR so it's not an everyday commute?

Dee18

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2013, 06:20:32 PM »
Stay in your separate cities, get all of your work and chores done during the week and encourage her to get all her studying done, then have wonderful week-ends.  That would be a lot more fun than wasting all those hours of your precious life commuting.

Trip

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2013, 11:01:23 AM »
All,

Thank you for your recommendations.  I apologize to those that I did not get a chance to respond to individually, but I appreciate the thoughts and advice.

My fiance and I spoke last night and we both agreed that it would be best for us to just live apart, get all chores and errands done during the week, then see each other on weekends.  It will suck, but after taking into account the strain on the relationship, my career development, her inability to structure her schedule in a way that allows her to only go to campus mwf, and the monetary advantages, we have agreed this will probably be best.

Thank you everyone again.  Just another reason I'm happy to have found this blog.  Great advice from smart people.

Regards,
TripWest

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2013, 07:28:41 AM »
Pros:
1.  I get to be with my fiance constantly
2.  Rent will only run me about $350 with utilities
3.  Neither of us have to drive very far to see the other

Cons:
1.  The commute blows and it's expensive...I've been doing a trial run of it for the past few days


I would add to the Cons list:

2. I get to be with my fiance constantly.

;-)  Only half-joking, actually.  Not sure for how long you've been doing the long-distance relationship thing, but if it's been a while, and you're going from LD relationship to full-time, fully present relationship, well, that could be a shock to the system.  Just sayin'.

4.5 hours/day of commuting to and from work is FUCKING INSANE!  Seriously, how could you even consider this?  The detriment to your health and well-being from such a daily commute cannot be overstated.  You really can't consider this an "option" if you are thinking reasonably.

aglassman

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Re: Fiance's School and My Job Currently 68 Miles apart
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2013, 09:49:51 AM »

Thank you everyone again.  Just another reason I'm happy to have found this blog.  Great advice from smart people.


Way to go for figuring out a good solution that works for both of you.  You are one step ahead of many other couples out there now!