I did it. It took me a year but I did it - I got a job offer in his city while maintaining my current position in a city 10 hours away from him by car. It was the only thing I put my foot down about in our relationship: I wasn't moving without a job offer.
After endless travel, coffee meetings, cover letters and interviews, I finally received two offers. I never expected he would choose this time to throw in the towel on our 2+ year relationship once I finally accomplished my (our) goal.
Every decision I'd made over the latter half of our relationship had been with him in mind, someone I didn't see every day, or even weekly. Sometimes I only saw him monthly for a few days.
And that's why long distance breakups are uniquely difficult. You've given this person a permanent space in your thoughts even when they're not physically present. Good luck turning that off once it’s over. It takes time.
After the breakup, you begin to feel silly for thinking it ever could have worked. Long distance almost never works - seriously, how many couples do you know who have tried it and failed? But you thought you were the exception. When you tell your friends and family, you imagine them thinking, 'I figured it wouldn't work.'
There are perhaps two silver linings which also serve to make long distance breakups uniquely hard:
First, often the relationship doesn't end for any dramatic reason other than that long distance isn't sustainable permanently and requires one or both parties to make major changes in their lives outside of the relationship. And they may or may not be ready or motivated to make those changes. That feels unfair when there was so much love.
Second, probably neither party will attempt a long distance relationship again, ever. Think of how much love and attraction there must have been to give such a crazy thing a shot in the first place.
As for me, I was willing to make the necessary changes. I was ready to move and start our life together. But the stakes felt too high for him. He balked at me changing my life for the relationship, and wouldn't even admit it until the 11th hour.
Love is a choice. I chose him again and again, and I just wish he would've chosen me when it truly counted.
I did the thing. I found a job, learned to navigate a strange city, had a plan.
I did the thing. He's the one who couldn't.