Relationship priorities, was I wrong?


A while ago I interpreted an event in my life in a certain way, and am wondering if you think I was right or wrong, and what you would have thought if you were in my place.

Essentially I was engaged to a man, we made a very serious commitment to each other and it was certain that we would marry. We were of college age and were applying to colleges at the time. We both got accepted into colleges, he into an “ivy league” type of school that is private, expensive, and renowned for being good. I am a Canadian citizen and could not go to that school (no needs based aid to non-US residents, and I am not rich), but I got into one of the best colleges in Canada (some say it’s the best research university here, it has an engineering program that is 1st in Canada, and is by no means a bad school).

He had the option of going to school with me, and if he had applied he would very likely have been accepted and we could have spent college years together. But in part because of his parents’ desires and I think his own desires he chose to go to a school hundreds of miles away. I think his main reason was that the school he went to would allow him to get better jobs because it is a very well respected school in the US, and I think he perceived that he would get a better education there.

At the time I didn’t think that the education he would get there would be all that much different, and I also didn’t think that his ability to get a good job would be impaired by going to school with me. (And I still don’t think that; the top engineering program here seems to be more difficult and diverse than the one he is in. And there are opportunities for students in terms of being hired by companies or doing research.) But I didn’t want to be the person who put a rift between him and his parents, and who he later resented for making him go to an “inferior” school. At the same time I kept wishing that his priorities had been different, and felt very hurt by the choice he made. I thought that if it had been me, I would have made the opposite choice.

Right now I don’t know if my reaction was right or wrong. If you had been in my place, how would you have felt? What would you have done if you were in his place?


I voted that I would have been very hurt and that, if I were him, I would have chosen the “better” school.

I have grown and changed so much in my twenties. I don’t even recognize that girl I was back then.

I would have been very hurt if I was in your situation and I would have whined and cried and begged for my bf to go to school with me. But that would have been wrong of me.

Now I see things differently. We cannot control another person, and if we manipulate them into doing what we want then the relationship is doomed.

If I were in the same situation now, I would support my boyfriends choice and do everything I could to be a good girlfriend. If it seemed that my boyfriend didn’t take my feelings into consideration then I would think that he may not be the guy for me.

Love really is about giving. I used to think it was all about what I could get. I used to be so concerned over how much he loved me, how much he showed it, how he showed it, was it enough? etc etc.

Now (I am married to an amazing guy) I wake up every morning thinking “how can I be the best wife possible today?”. It takes the focus off of what I get (or don’t get) and puts it where it belongs…on what I am giving.

I hope that helps you.

a fellow Candian,



Another thing…

if I were in the opposite situation I would have chosen to go to school with my boyfriend.

But what I would do does not mean that is what someone else should do. But if I wanted my future husband to be the kind of guy who would follow me anywhere then that is the kind of guy I would go out and find and let the current boyfriend find a girl who will accept him exactly how he is.



I suppose I would have been somewhat hurt but not entirely. I would have also chosen to go to the better school. I think he did the right thing. I have seen several friends of mine go to a school because their boyfriend/girlfriend went there. They didn’t stay together long and they ended up regretting their decision.

Perhaps it is best.


He made the correct decision and you were right to be very hurt. Are you still together (although miles apart ? :frowning: ) If it’s meant to be… it will be.


I just want to say that in most occupations not having an Ivy League diploma doesn’t mean unemployment or lower salary. As a matter of fact, many companies have policies in place about how much each job gets.

Moreover, progress in one’s career has to do with one’s professionalism and competence, which has little to do with the “ivy-leagueness” of the college. After all, it’s the students who give a colleg a good name, not the other way around.



I was on the opposite end of a similar situation.
My fiance and I were just about to the point of being engaged (I knew when he was going to propose, but he didn’t know that) when I accepted a job elsewhere.
He was actually very supportive, but there wasn’t a local alternative the surfaced before I had to make the decision.
It has been and still is hard to be away, but both of us trust that God has put this distance between us Himself, and we’ll be better off for it. I miss him all the time!
Remembering that God is in control of each and every opportunity we do or don’t take advantage of is really helpful to me when I worry about having made poor decisions. It is in the past, and God’s plan for you only lies ahead.


I just wanted to make the suggestion that if he wants to go to the college in Canada because it is a better school, he should simply transfer and do it. As for his parents, he should sit down with them and explain that having a better education is more important these days than having gone to an ivy league school. They are still thinking 20th century while he is trying to live and think 21st. Labels aren’t as important as they once were. Harvard or Yale or whatever aren’t necessarily the best schools for every type of study. He’s an adult now and so are you, so just do what you think best in your situation and let the chips fall where they may.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit