You can’t choose whom you’re attracted to, but you can choose whom to have a relationship with. One of the benefits of dating is to find out whether or not you’re compatible with the person you’re dating; however, no one is compatible in every respect, and there will be points of disagreement between every couple. The trick is to settle the disagreements without requiring too much sacrifice from both parties. Compromise becomes the name of the game. Both sides will have to give at least a little to reach a consensus. The dispute can be something trivial, or something major – like where you will live as a couple. Settling on where to live – country vs. city – can be quite contentious; in fact, it can become a deal breaker.
The male in the relationship was brought up in the country, and wants to move back to his roots. He likes the idea of no light pollution blotting out the stars. Also he and doesn’t mind driving ten or fifteen miles to get to the grocery store or a gas station. He wants a lot of land, where he can have horses, cows and chickens, and grow his own food without chemical pesticides or fertilizers. He wants a dog or three, and room for them to run. He likes rambling farmhouses, and wants a place for his kids to play outside safely. He wants to live without covenants and neighbors who will try to tell him how he can manage his own property.
The distaff side of this pair is city-bred. She thinks groceries come from a store, and that living without street lights is regressing back to the Neanderthal stage. She wants to live within walking distance of the grocery store, the dry cleaner, the restaurants and the shops. She’s perfectly happy in a two-bedroom apartment, with a small balcony and a window box for flowers. She’s a cat person. And while she has nothing against dogs, she’s never been around them and doesn’t understand the need for room. Living in an apartment, she’s never had to deal with covenants or neighborhood associations, and doesn’t understand why they’re a problem.
Here are ways on how to resolve this issues.
Take your partner to your family home
Before the relationship gets too serious, the fellow needs to take his inamorata home to his family’s house in the country. Let her acclimatize to the atmosphere, and knock her socks off with a walk after dark underneath a star-filled sky. Give her a glimpse of “The Simple Life,” only without Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie. Introduce her to your Dad’s dogs, and your Mom’s cats – show her they can live together in a relatively peaceful home.
The fellow also needs to acknowledge the benefits of city living; the easy access to stores, banks, restaurants, ATMs, medical care, and the cultural things – museums, live music, the symphony, the theater – not as readily available in country living.
Compromise between true country living and true city living
The best solution seems to be a compromise between true country living and true city living – namely, a suburb with large lots, lots of trees, and a house somewhere between the farmhouse in Lassie and the mansion in the Beverly Hillbillies – one big enough to house a growing family without requiring formal attire at dinner every night. One with a good commute to work, easy access to doctors and hospitals, and not so far from the restaurants that dining out once in a while is not a possibility. One without covenants and a neighborhood association.
Living in the suburbs is not living in the country, but it’s a compromise he can live with. By the same token, it’s not living in the city either, but it’s a compromise she can live with as well, as the benefits she gets from city living are still within easy reach, and she can get a taste of what living in the country would be like – landscaping her own yard, growing a vegetable garden, neighbors close enough to be friends with, but no pesky covenants to worry about. Having a dog, along with her cat. Once she gets used to this lifestyle, she’ll lose the desire to move back into a crowded apartment, with traffic and noise pollution. She’ll enjoy being able to see some stars at night, and who knows? She may get comfortable enough to move with her fellow out to the country after all.