Relocating can be difficult. It means moving away from friends and family and adjusting to a new lifestyle. But when you move for love, you face a whole new set of challenges, including finding gainful employment and new support resources. That’s probably why 43 percent of people who’ve relocated for a partner said they wouldn’t do it again.
But when it comes to moving for love, the reality is there’s no right or wrong answer. Whether you should take the plunge will depend entirely on you, your partner and your relationship. Remember, honest communication will go a long way in making the right choice — before you make a decision, consider asking yourself a few important questions.
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1. What Will Finances Look Like?
Finances are a common topic in arguments, even for couples who aren’t planning to relocate. In fact, problems related to money are consistently ranked as one of the top reasons couples fight. This issue typically comes up because people don’t sit down to communicate their needs and expectations. Responsible money management isn’t typically the first thing that comes to mind when you’re falling madly in love.
But if you’re considering a move for your partner, keep in mind it will have an impact on your bottom dollar. You’ll most likely have to find a new job when you move, meaning no money coming in and having to rely on any savings. In the meantime, will your partner be willing to pay all the bills? Once you find a job, how will finances be split? Will you each pay 50/50 towards bills, or will you pay a percentage based on income?
2. What Are the Living Arrangements?
If you and your partner already live together, you’re probably planning to do so in your new place. But before you assume anything, it’s best to sit down with your partner and have a lengthy chat. How will rent and mortgage payments be divided up? What about any necessary or wanted utilities, such as heat, electricity and internet?
And if you don’t currently live with your partner, you have even more questions to ask. Will you be moving in together once you move? What if you still wish to live apart? Will you have to find a roommate in your new city to afford rent? These are all things that need to be discussed at length so you each have a clear understanding of what to expect. It also means you can plan ahead to make any necessary financial arrangements.
3. Can You Find a New Job?
The quicker you can find a job in your new location, the sooner you can rebuild your financial resources. But keep in mind not all locations are ideal for certain professions. You’ll need to carefully consider how much time and effort you’ve invested in your career and how a move will have an impact. Moving for love can create extra challenges if you have to put all of your other goals on hold.
Does your chosen industry exist in the new area? How difficult will it be to find a new position? According to experts, the average length of the job-search process — in any industry — takes more than six weeks. Will that time set you back in earning valuable promotions? Are you willing to make compromises when it comes to your career? Would you be willing to switch professions? These are questions only you can answer, so consider them carefully before making any big decision.
4. Will You Adjust to the New Area?
Everybody needs some type of support system. When you move to a new location, how do you plan to adapt for success? Will that even be a possibility? Do some research on the area before you go. What types of groups, clubs or activities are available that interest you? Are there any volunteer organizations where you can meet new people?
You should also consider the type of area you’re moving to. Each town, city and state has its own unique personality, and it may not always line up with your own. For example, if you hate the cold and your partner is moving to Alaska, maybe it’s not in the cards. If you wait to consider the little details until after you move, it can be easy to feel resentful of your partner and get stuck in a bad situation.
5. Do You Have an Exit Strategy?
Not all relocations are successful. Sit down with your partner before you make a decision to talk about what you’ll do in the case of failure. Failure could mean all sorts of things, from your partner hating their new job to you feeling isolated and alone. Think about worst case scenarios ahead of time so you can have an action plan in place.
After you talk to your partner, you should also have an honest chat with yourself. What will you do in the event you want to leave but your partner is unwilling? What if a scenario comes up and your partner refuses to stick to the agreed upon plan? How much money would it take to get you and your belongings back to your hometown?
Moving for Love: A Practical Guide
Deciding if you should relocate with your partner can be a tough decision. Even if you’re madly in love, moving can be hard, especially if it means leaving your family, friends and job behind. Before you make any big decisions, be sure to talk to your partner and raise any genuine concerns. By doing the hard work ahead of time, you can ensure you’re making an informed decision.
But even though it’s important to be practical, there’s no need to approach to choice with doom and gloom. If you’re confident about your opportunities in the new location and excited about a new journey with your partner, then moving for love can be a beautiful thing. Ultimately, it’s up to you — and your loved one — to take the next steps that work best for you and your relationship.