As I enter my mid-20s, I can’t help but notice that
everything is starting to go downhill many of my friends are considering making the move for their partners. When I say “move for their partners” I don’t necessarily mean move in with their partners (although this is also happening around me all.the.time.), but I mean I have a handful of friends who are thinking of moving to new cities, new countries, and even new continents for the ones they love.
Having moved across the country for my ex fresh out of university (note: my ex), I’ve experienced the good, bad, and very bad that comes with making this type of life-changing decision for someone.
So here’s a little playbook of rules for all you 20-something ladies who are thinking of making the move, straight from an ex-girlfriend who made some pretty serious mistakes.
Planning is your best friend
Whether you’re moving 2 hours away or 2 continents away, moving for someone takes a lot of planning. It can be easy to give into your emotions and say “f*ck it I’ll figure it out when I get there.”
But uprooting your entire life and moving to a strange place where you know no one and have no plan on how you’re going to build your own life there (note: your own life i.e. separate from your partner’s life), will end up making you depressed, lonely, and resentful of the decision you made.
Remember: even if your partner has to move right away, this doesn’t mean you have to as well. Take extra time to get your ducks in a row before moving if you need to.
Have a purpose outside your partner
This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give. Your 20s are supposed to be the time when you explore your passions, build your career, and really ~find yourself.~ And as corny as that all sounds, people say it for a reason.
You have to create your own identity outside your relationship, and you can’t do that if you’re just following behind someone who’s building their own dream life.
The most critical part of planning for a move like this is ensuring you have a purpose waiting for you in the new city outside of your partner. This could be things like going to school or starting a job that will help you take the next step in your career. You should always feel like the move is your decision as much as it is your partner’s, and that it is equally beneficial for you as well.
Hope for the best, plan for the worst
It can be a terrifying thing to discuss, but you and your partner must have a plan for if it doesn’t work out.
Will you stay or will you go? How will you divide assets? How will you handle your lease? Who keeps the dog?
Moving in with someone, and especially moving for someone, means the break up is like mini-divorce. It can be messy, expensive, and can bring out terrible sides in each other that you have never seen before. As the one who moved for your partner, chances are you have a lot more to lose if you were to break up, so you have to protect yourself.
This will probably be one of the hardest discussions you’ll have as a couple.
But it’ll be even harder to come home one day to an empty apartment because you didn’t discuss dividing the assets and he secretly stole all the furniture while you were out 🙂 🙂 🙂
I know this is a difficult one for many couples, but you absolutely have to have open and honest communication when discussing the move, leading up to the move, and then throughout the transition.
Share with each other your feelings, fears, apprehensions, excitements, worries, all that good stuff. If your partner doesn’t know how you’re feeling about things, they won’t be able to support you in an appropriate way through the transition.
You never want to feel like moving for your partner was the only way you could make the relationship work, but if you don’t talk about these things they may never know how you feel and what you need. It’s a burden that will lead to resentment and anger.
You should always feel like the move was a compromise you both made.
And please, for the love of God, do not hold this move over your partner’s head. Nothing will ruin a relationship faster than petty “look at everything I’ve done for you” jabs.
I rest my case.