Ask Mr. Manners

Moving for love

I was recently walking to lunch with my partner, and our conversation turned to “the most stressful” things a person can go through. In our discussion we talked about moving, traveling, starting a new job, and marriage — but, a quick Google search told us that marriage was not as stressful as divorce. As we debated if Google was indeed an authority on this matter, we pondered the topic and wouldn’t you know there was a time when together we moved, traveled, and started a new job all within the same month.

When wondering why we experienced so many stressful things at once, the answer was simple. Love.

The move, sparing all the details, happened because I had been offered an amazing job in a new state and the start date was right after a vacation we had previously scheduled. Like many before us, we had arrived at a big crossroads moment that is almost always overwhelming and stressful. We could see our futures together, but how could we know the relationship would survive the upheaval? We started with giving ourselves a chance to sort through whatever pitfalls we could imagine. But after a while, we had to go with a gut decision and trust that whatever challenges came our way would be manageable — not easy, but manageable.

Outside of our situation, it would be good to be concerned about possible resentment generated by one partner requiring another to move. If you are going to take such a leap, you’ll have to decide quickly if the move is difficult for you,  so you won’t actively fuel your resentment. That doesn’t mean you won’t give yourself permission to feel sad or grieve leaving your home — just that you won’t indulge an instinct to construct a narrative whereby you are the victim of your partner’s selfish endeavor.

When you move for love, the two of you form a family. Deciding to move must be a collective effort and decision. If the migration ends up being a bust (for whatever reason), the two of you must figure out where to go from there. It’s tempting to lean into big changes like this with trepidation and pessimism, but there’s also a chance that the move could create a whole new chapter that is fruitful and exciting. Only together can you know if you want to leap and see what happens.

So, there you have it. Unlike so many things in life, there is not a directly black or white answer, but rather a gray area in which we get to decide our fate. Moving isn’t easy, and love isn’t easy, but when has anything easy been worth it?

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