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Should you relocate?

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Eve Rasmussen
Should you relocate for love? The sun is shining for you, the birds are singing, there's a spring in your step, and you've suddenly become one of those people who hums. You're in love. Life is good except for one small problem. Your sweetie is hundreds or perhaps thousands of miles away. It's a geographic dilemma. And as exciting as the whirlwind weekends of romance are, the two of you are beginning to think about how nice it would be to share all of the little things that people in the same area code take for granted, like spontaneity and casual time.

Should you relocate for love? Moving means a major upheaval of your life, but the long-distance thing is expensive, frustrating, and ultimately limiting the depth of your relationship. Here are some issues to ponder when you're considering relocating:

What kind of life do you imagine for yourself in the new area?

You may have found Prince or Princess Charming, but how do you feel about the kingdom? Is this some place that you can envision yourself living out the rest of your days? How do you feel about the quality of life? Take into account the weather, cost of living, access to cultural events, proximity to wilderness, etc.

How do you plan to set up a support system in the new place?

Do you have job prospects there? What about friends or family? Moving is emotionally stressful. You will be parting with people, places, and things that are important to you. How comfortable are you with getting to know new people? You and your companion will need to get used to being together, and you will also be dealing with all the emotions of becoming accustomed to a new place. Think about what you need to do to keep from feeling isolated and lost.

Will your lifestyle change completely?

True love is the best thing in the world, but be sure that something appeals to you about moving to your new area beyond one person. Rural life, for example, may be perfect for your mate, but if you're an urbanite, how long will it keep you happy? Are you excited about living there?

Will line dancing in Dallas do it for you when you're used to theatre in New York, or vice versa? Think about how you'll adapt to the local culture and how much of a lifestyle change you're willing to make. If you can't think of a few ways to spend your time, think a little harder about whether this is the right step right now. Also, if, god forbid, you and your partner broke up, would the new area have any redeeming qualities for you?

How much time have you previously spent in your new area?

So, you thought northern Alaska was simply stunning when you visited your love there for a week in the summer, but how are you going to feel about the two hours of daylight in January? It is an issue. Find out as much as you can about this possible new home so you can make an informed decision.

* Will you be accessible to old friends and family?

You must set up a new support system of friends in your new area, but old friends and family can never be replaced. Think about how you'll manage keeping in touch.

Consider the financial burden if you'll be moving far away from most of the people you know and love. This is especially important if you're planning to start a family in this new place. Are you prepared to get Mom's advice over the phone?

How are you going to say goodbye?

For many people, a home town is a big part of your identity. All of the people and activities that make it special to you also make it hard to leave. Relocating means closing a chapter of your life and starting a new one, and your friends and colleagues may not be all that supportive of your decision.

How you will respond to adverse reactions? Make a list for yourself of all the pros and cons about moving. It will help you in explaining how you feel. Your best friends just want you to be happy.

How should you close up your life in the town you're leaving?

Moving is a major life change which gives you the freedom and the opportunity to re-evaluate how your life is structured and what's important to you. Take advantage of this contemplative time.

If you decide that relocating is what you want to do, tie up your loose ends in your old home. Do the things that you always meant to do there and say all of the things that you'd always planned on saying someday. Keep what you value, but get rid of your dead weight and move on.

The magnetic pull between two people who are absolutely right for each other can push many obstacles out of the way. Relocating is a big decision, and it will inevitably be stressful, but sometimes you've just gotta listen to your heart.

Packing up your singlehood and your current way of life is both scary and exciting, but if your partner is patient, understanding, and willing to compromise, you'll have the best companion possible to help you get through it. The two of you can unpack boxes, transfer bills, explore the sights, and hum through it all together. And that's the best very part.

Eve Rasmussen

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