Think hard before relocating for a loved one
Published: Thursday, April 8, 2010
Updated: Thursday, April 8, 2010 00:04
MTV's "True Life" is one of those shows that I just have to stop on when I'm channel surfing. The current season has been given us some great topics, like "I'm relocating for love." While watching this particular episode, which showcased young couples, my friends and I debated about what it would take for us to move for a boyfriend. Or if we would do it at all.
Moving across the country to be with a loved one is pretty common today. Celebrities like Victoria Beckham, who moved to an entirely different country to be with her husband, change their residences frequently based on where their significant other has to live. With more and more college students extending relationships past their undergraduate careers, relocating for love has become commonplace as the young lovers return to their different hometowns.
But is this selfless act of love really beneficial to a relationship? The signs all point to no.The biggest issue with leaving your life behind in order to be with someone is the possibility of a breakup. Moving to a new locale where you don't know anyone means being dependent on your partner. If you're not together anymore, you could potentially have no life of your own, no place to live or any of your own friends. A move back to your original home would be inevitable. Then you'd be back to square one, but a little more jaded and a lot more in favor of long-distance relationships.
"My sister moved to Boston for her boyfriend when she graduated from college. Two month later, she was back in Connecticut," said Courtney DeCarlo, an 8th-semester psychology major. "She always warns me to never move away for of someone else."
Changing from the long-distance to live-in relationship is part of the reason many couples break up after their big move. If two people have been living apart from one another for a while, spending every moment together can end in disaster. With no one else to turn to, your significant other becomes the only person you can talk to, spend time with or even really just be around. That kind of time commitment always ends up with someone annoyed and a pretty sizable argument about the way the other chews their food or plays with their hair.
Finding a new job in a new area can be difficult as well. In today's economy, open positions are hard to come by. Relocating without a job lined up can mean sitting around at home for weeks, even months, without any prospects and without anything to do. You've never experienced boredom until you have no friends, no job and only your cat to keep you company during the day.
Moving can put stress on family relationships as well. Not all parents understand a cross-country move for a boyfriend or girlfriend that you've only been dating for a few months, or even years.
"I'm really close with my mom," said Kelsey Barbella, a 4th- semester environmental engineering major. "It's hard for me to be this far from [New Jersey] and her. I can't even imagine what I would do if I moved even further away. Our relationship would be totally different."
If you're moving closer to your significant other's family, in-laws can become more than an unpleasant nuisance in your life. You can be placed under a microscope and be the subject of unwanted scrutiny just because you're close by instead of miles away. While many couples go through this and make it out with their relationship intact, there's no need to voluntarily put yourself in the line of fire if the current distance keeps you safe.
With all the negatives, it's hard to understand exactly why someone would choose to make a big move to be with a loved one. The decision is a very personal one. Sometimes, the phrase "when you know, you know" applies. But before you take the plunge and move to Montgomery, Ala. to be with your girlfriend while she's in law school, make sure you know just how well "you know."