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Context

I've been in a relationship for the last two years, we are in our late 20's and during the last year we have had some talks about future, we have different views for the next five years, she would like to start living together in the next two years or so, getting married and start thinking in kids (right now we are not living together and I haven't agreed to this), but I am more the type of person who always tries to improve, I spend a lot of time studying, trying to keep up to date my skills and to be honest I'm not thinking about marriage or kids right now, what I want is to get a better quality of life, and I think my best shot is getting a job offer in a 1st world class country.

I think communication is the key for a relationship to success and I've let her know that she can tell me anything that is bothering her and we can figure out a solution, I'm always relax and I try to avoid conflict whenever is possible.

Now, about her, she is not really the same type of person as me, she likes to spend her time doing other things such as watching series, taking language classes, sometimes she goes to the gym and sharing time with her family (partying, drinking.. etc), but that is pretty much what she does.She is not that interested on studies and knowledge.

She also tends to get angry before start talking about things she doesn't like or simply she doesn't mention them until she is too angry and the discussion already started.

We work at the same place and there was one occasion that I had an offer from a different company in the same country/city and when I let her know about it, her replay was like "mmm... ok", after some days of me talking about it she confessed me that she wouldn't like me to leave the company, what I was expecting was some kind of congratulation, but her attitude was a little bit selfish, I ended up declining this offer for different reasons, so this gives me an idea of what I can expect when I let her know about the new job hunting.

In our last talk I told her about the possibility of me moving to another country in the next years and she told me about kids and marriage, we had a little discussion but at the end she agreed to continue the relationship with the possibility of me leaving the country, I can't blame her or complaint about what she is thinking, I understand that everybody has their own goals, but what I'm pretty sure is that she wasn't very happy with that possibility.

I can't take her with me, moving to a different country implies language barriers, money and you can't take simply someone with you unless you are married.

Question

I think I'm ready to start applying for these jobs, and I wouldn't like to hide this from her, I think honesty is the best thing to do here, my goal is to avoid conflict and let her know that I'm going to start searching for job... so how can I do this?.
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    Just to be clear, do you imagine pursuing the relationship while abroad? – Arthur Hv Sep 4 at 19:14
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    "Taking language classes" sounds the opposite of "being not interested in studies and knowledge". – guest Sep 5 at 11:54
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    Also, what I find worrisome is thw way you talk about yourself and her. It gives me the impression to believe that you are somewhat superiour. Note that she also wants to have a better quality of life - in her case, that seems to be having kids, a fulfilling relationships and time for hobbies. This is not somehow inferior to your wishes. – guest Sep 5 at 11:57
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First, a small frame challenge. You can move together even if you're not married. Just as you can get a job in that other country, so can she. It could be a fun adventure together in which you both work on the project of finding the appropriate pair of jobs, and a place to live. Of course, this would also move you quite a long way along the living together / getting married / settling down arrow that you don't want to move along. But it is possible.

In fact, I would suggest that you need to decide among one of three possible things to tell your partner:

  • I want us to move to [country] and get jobs there. A whole new adventure!
  • I want to move to [country] and though we'll be apart for a while, once I [some milestone] I can come back and marry you, then you can move to that country with me. It will be a great life there if you can wait a little while.
  • I want to move to [country] so I'm sorry, I think we should break up

The exact wording is up to you, but you need to decide if you want to move with her, have her wait for you, or leave her behind. In your question, you're just talking about how you want to move to another country, but you don't seem to have given any thought to what she will do when you go. If you two are a couple, then what she will do has to be part of the plan. Or if you're not a couple, then you're not.

Once you know which of those three you're going for, I think you'll find it a lot easier to have a conversation with her about it.

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  • "Once you know which of those three you're going for..." or then the OP could ask a less general question – Allerleirauh Sep 13 at 20:33
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In non-violent communication theory, as well as my own experience, a healthy relationship in essence is only possible if both partners are involved in satisfying their own needs at the same time they are involved in satisfying the needs of the other person.

When you set yourself goal to go abroad you only care about your own part of the equation. But how is your partner supposed to get her needs satisfied? Conflict is unavoidable if you neither compromise nor ask for breaking up (and sometimes it is also difficult in that second scenario).

There are countless options to offer a perspective to your partner, to add to Kate's answer list, you could also consider hunting for remote work. I also have a hard time believing materialistic concerns could be more important than living a fulfilling relationship. Which is why it seems as presented the reason you're considering this important could actually be to escape your relationship.

If that is truly your goal, I would think a more conflict-averse and honest method would be a simple acknowledgement that you would like to break up because you don't feel ready for it, have other priorities, perhaps even feel that you are a wrong fit, or any other reason that would reflect how you feel without being accusing.

If that is not your goal, then it sounds important to take into account your partner when considering a place to live, and try to land on a compromise of some kind. You both have a say in how to shape the next five years, and you can't impose yours without expecting to spark strong opposition.

If you are willing to have this discussion, and willing to compromise, present your needs in the most essential way, what you are currently considering for both of you, and ask for input and suggestions. In the wide range of options, try to reach something that sounds best for satisfying both of your essential needs. Note that this best solution could be not to go, or not now, or to break up.

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