our everyday life

How to Deal With Relocating for Love

by Alana Vye

Perhaps you met on vacation or over the Internet. Either way, you hardly get to see your sweetheart and you're fed up. According to the Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships, couples in a long distance relationship expect to be separated for 14 months on average before moving closer together. If you're ready to take the plunge and relocate to be with your partner, it's likely that emotions are high. Still, keeping a clear head will help you deal with the many pragmatic issues you'll face when moving your life. Plan ahead and be practical; you'll keep unnecessary stress out of your relationship, which will do wonders to help your twosome flourish.

Tackle Career and Moving Concerns

Relocating for love requires careful career decisions.

You're not only moving yourself, you're moving your career. Finding a new job can be stressful, but it will also help ground you in your new home and take the pressure off your evolving relationship. It's best to locate a new position before you move, especially since many companies offer relocation services that can assist with truck rentals, temporary housing, storage, selling your old home, and even costs for house hunting trips. If this isn't an option, look into whether your moving expenses are tax-deductible. IRS Tax Topic 455 offers this information. If you haven't found a job yet, research the companies and economy in your new area. This will help you create better individualized cover letters and resumes. Search online job boards such as Going Global. Don't be afraid to reach out to people you admire in your chosen industry and ask for information interviews -- you'll be surprised how willing many people are to give their time. If you're moving to another country, be sure to check whether you'll face any certification or work restrictions and if you can find employment in your native language. If you don't work, search for volunteer opportunities that are satisfying and that will introduce you to new people.

Seek Out Your Own Home

Ease into this new relationship phase with your own space.

It may seem counter-intuitive to find a separate living space; after all, you're moving all this way to be together. However, going directly from a long distance relationship to constant togetherness can be jarring. Give your relationship time to breathe by setting up your own space. This way you can work on building a positive dynamic together without the conflict that cohabitation guarantees. It'll also give you time to figure out what living together would mean for your relationship and to bypass any financial entanglements, which are likely to add stress to your connection. Finally, by acquiring your own abode, you'll have time to identify any conflicts or personal issues that need to be sorted out before you cohabit. Don't be afraid to seek out a therapist, either solo or as a couple, to iron out any issues that might hurt your relationship. As for practical concerns, websites such as Craigslist and Airbnb offer both domestic and international listings in English that will make your housing search a snap.

Build a New Social Network

Establish a social group and your relationship will benefit.

Establishing your own new group of friends will help you feel more comfortable and happy, which will benefit your relationship. Ask your friends to introduce you to people they know in your new area. Sign up for online social networks such as Couchsurfing and MeetUp, which feature plenty of outings and activities in countries all over the world. Seek out activities that make you happy, such as taking a dance or art class, joining a running group or book club, hosting a dinner party, or taking a city tour. Your new job might even offer activities or groups that will help you meet like-minded people. The sooner you integrate into a new social group, the more likely your relocation for love is going to work in your favor.

Keep Communication Flowing With Your Partner

Allow for regular check-ins and healthy idealization.

The communication that was so important in keeping your long distance relationship healthy is just as important now that you and your sweetheart are in the same zip code. Secure attachment, which involves idealization, trust and honest disclosure, is the hallmark of successful long distance and regular relationships alike. Frustration, misunderstandings and disappointment will be inevitable results of increased proximity and adjusting to living in a new place. Maintain a positive attitude toward your partner and minimize vocalizing self-doubt, as this can make it harder for your partner to see you in a similarly rosy manner. That said, allow for regular check-ins to talk about how you're adjusting and what you need from one other. But don't carve out time only for deep conversations; it's just as important to gossip and share observations from your daily routine. This will help bring your formerly separate worlds even closer together.

About the Author

Alana Vye is a Canadian writer living abroad. She had a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Toronto and has worked in online marketing and publicity. She's also an avid traveler who has visited Asia, Europe and Central America.

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