Pretend for a moment you are on your deathbed. You left this man and followed another path and never met another man you wanted and never had kids.
Do you feel you may have made a terrible mistake?
My no-doubt unpopular opinion is that YOU CANNOT BE A GREAT MOTHER (AND WIFE) AT THE SAME TIME YOU ARE BEING GREAT AT YOUR CAREER. You can be "good enough", sure...I was raised by a "good-enough"doctor mom and I always knew her identity as a doctor trumped her pride at being an excellent parent.
If being a mom is important to you and you are 33, it would be unfair to tell you to leave a man you love (if you don't love him, run) and postpone your family, for a temporary position.
Do you LOVE HIM and want his babies? I am not hearing that your man is giving you an ultimatum; I am hearing a man who wants you to decide what your priorities are.
gcv wrote: Pretend for a moment you are on your deathbed. You left this man and followed another path and never met another man you wanted and never had kids.
Do you feel you may have made a terrible mistake?
ANY half-way decent human being NEVER has to worry about a situation like this. EVER!
Why? Because I don't think this is in ANY way is the way God operates. There is no ONE true love for anyone unless you CHOOSE to limit yourself in that way.
And men, NEVER, EVER have such thoughts or say such things, especially not a male Doctor! He's thinking he has his pick of women, but guess what? SO DOES SHE!!!
I agree with most of the comments above. If this guy is giving you an ultimatum (and is ONLY a BOYFRIEND)...he'll only cause interference and heartache for you later on.
You need a supportive life partner. 6 months (in a 4 year relationship) is no reason for him to end it if he feels strongly that he wants to be your husband. He's not serious...and sooner you realize this, the less drama you'll allow into your life.
Your parents probably realize this about the guy...and are trying to "protect" you (as parents do).
Butter, you have to do what your heart says. It sounds like you are torn about this but try to think clearly about your own goals and priorities. I wouldn't stand for a man "promising" to marry me if I did something he wanted but I do understand needing/wanting to make compromises for the love of your life. Best of luck making the decision that is best for you!
Why is your boyfriend's support contingent on where you live? Why are there conditions?
From the way you describe it - you deserve better. My husband would move to a garbage pail with me next to Oscar the Grouch's trash can if that is where I felt I needed to be. And likewise, if my husband said - I have this dream opportunity I want to pursue in this dumpster down the street - I'd say - let's go down the street. You deserve someone like that.
I'd choose the option that is best for your career and what your heart tells you is best for you. And truly your parents will support you wherever, right? Family should back your goals and dreams and be your cheerleaders.
Your boyfriend "promising" to marry you sounds very manipulative to me.
Four years ago, I faced a similar decision. I was nearing the end of my residency and was starting to interview for fellowship. I had the option of staying at the same institution or seeking out programs at other institutions which may have been better suited to me. If I stayed, then I would likely get engaged to my then-boyfriend (who was in fellowship training of his own). If I left, we would still date long-distance, but engagement/marriage would be on hold, depending on how things turned out after my fellowship and his own training.
I don't know the details of your situation, or if it is anything like mine. I decided to stay - the program at my institution probably was not the best fit for me, but we got engaged, and then married in my last year of residency. I will say, though, he never gave me an ultimatum, and we both viewed the dilemma the same way - we both felt it was a realistic assessment of the situation. I think that we both knew we wanted to get married eventually, but we also knew that long-distance relationships don't always last. Basically, we were thinking on the same wavelength, and I never felt pressured to stay. I ended up staying, not only because I wanted to marry him, but I also didn't want to delay marriage, and therefore starting a family, any more than I had to (I was 28 at the time). And yes, we are happily married, and our third anniversary is coming up soon.
The other piece I will add is this - although my fellowship probably wasn't the best fit, it still offered very good academic potential. As for Stanford vs Penn State, only you know what you need for your research and career advancement, and if they are roughly equivalent (prestige notwithstanding), then maybe you should consider your choice based on your relationship. As in, do you really want to marry him? Do you think he really wants to marry you? It's also interesting to note your parents' opinions on the two choices. Why would they not support your choice to go to Penn State and then marry your boyfriend? Are they worried that you will sacrifice professionally and the marriage might not happen?
If he's giving you an ultimatum, or you feel pressured to make a decision, I would be very careful. He may not have your best interests at heart. But again, you know him much better than any of us ever will, and it can be hard to truly assess and advise this type of situation on the internet.