No matter how much groundwork you've laid for your life thus far, it's pretty much no surprise that falling in love can really derail your plans. If you're someone who is asking yourself, "Should I move for love?" then chances are you are smack-dab in the middle of a long-distance relationship and thinking about the daunting road ahead. As someone who (despite my utter disdain for change) took the plunge and moved across the world to be with my bae, I can honestly say that you probably don't have an easy road ahead. Now, that's not to say that moving for love is an inherently bad idea or in anyway "destined to fail" — but it is a risk. And the key to success is making sure the risk you're taking is a calculated one.
Lori Salkin, senior matchmaker and dating coach at SawYouAtSinai.com, tells Elite Daily that one of the biggest things that sets long-distance relationships apart from relationships that unfold in the same city is that "there is a lot more weight put on the relationship right away because of the difference in the commitment needed to develop and sustain the relationship as opposed to a local one."
Depending on how long you've been doing long-distance, the fact that a serious relationship has been able to flourish to the point that you are considering a move is already a huge accomplishment. But, before going all in, there are definitely some questions you should ask yourself.
1. Is This Someone I Could Realistically See Myself Ending Up With?
Believe me when I say that the planning, coordination, and sacrifice that it's going to take to set the stage for a successful transition is no joke — not to mention it's probably going to be six months to a year before you feel fully settled in your new home. While galavanting off spur-of-the-moment is the stuff love stories are made of, make sure it's for someone who's proven they are capable of being a good partner in the long-run before putting yourself through it.
2. Are We Both In A Good Financial Situation?
Just think about how costly it can be to move across town, let alone across the country — or even the world. Making sure you have enough saved to afford the move and to hold you over for the first few months if you don't have a job lined up is a must. And don't be afraid to ask difficult questions. If you don't end up finding a job for six months, could they cover the rent? If so, for how long? What about groceries? And would any money be left over for the occasional date night? Having these conversations and putting a budget together will avoid unnecessary conflict later down the line. Plus, it will give you a realistic picture of what kind of lifestyle you'll be living.
3. If Things Don't Work Out, What's My Back-Up Plan?
Before I moved to Berlin, I was terrified. So terrified, I spent weeks with my finger hovered over the "send" button of a message telling bae that I was sorry, but I wasn't coming. The only thing that eased my worries was putting together a well thought-out plan for how I would get my old life back, should things go south. Instead of completely moving, I renewed my lease and sublet my room with all of my furniture still in it in three-month intervals, so that no matter what, I wouldn't feel trapped. I also set aside enough money for a return ticket with my parents so I wasn't tempted to spend it. It might sound neurotic, but I am a firm believer in having a plan B.
4. Are We Equally Invested In The Relationship?
This one might seem like a no brainer, but it's not a bad idea to take some time to think about why exactly you are the one moving instead of them. If you can't come up with concrete reasons why you're the one relocating, then this might be a red flag. In my case, I had been toying with the idea of taking a step back from New York before we met. I desperately wanted to travel, and Berlin was a much cheaper city where I could easily support myself without having to work a ton of different jobs. So for me, while leaving NY was definitely a sacrifice, moving to Europe allowed me to do things I had wanted to do that didn't purely revolve around being with my partner.
5. Do They Live In A City Where I Would Actually Enjoy Living?
While it may not be your idea of paradise if you're prone to seasonal depression, moving to London where it's cold or grey 99 percent of the time is going to present an obstacle that will affect your quality of life. If the city they are currently located in is far from where you see yourself for an extended period of time, then that is something you need to make clear before you move. Putting together a rough sketch of how you'd like to see the next three years playing out (perhaps living with them for a year, then starting over somewhere new or moving back to your city together) might sound daunting, but if it becomes apparent that you have very different visions of the future, then this is definitely something to tackle pre-move.
It's worth saying that following your heart in the end is probably the best way to go. Although I wasn't sure that I actually wanted to move when the time came, I knew that for me, the lingering "what ifs" would be too much to bear. I would've rather come running home knowing that I tried and it didn't work. One year later I can say with certainty that I made the right decision for me. Finding a happy medium between listening to your heart and thinking things through on a technical level can make the decision to move for love feel a little less like jumping into the abyss.
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