Before you move across the world for your partner, be sure to ask yourself a few questions.
Michelle did it for Barack. Brad does it at least twice a year for Angelina. And thousands of non-famous people do it everyday for the people they love. We're talking about relocating, and in these economically volatile times, a lot of people are doing it for the sake of work or a lower cost of living. But before you pick up, say goodbye to everyone you know, and move across the world in the name of love, be sure to ask yourself and him (or her) some very important questions.
1. How long will this relocation last? There's a big difference between living in Florence for three months (romantic!) and moving to Sheboygan Falls indefinitely (quite possibly a tad less romantic). Consider what kind of trip this will be and be honest about yourself about what you and your relationship can handle. Scenarios with a light at the end of the tunnel often go more smoothly than those that go on forever, but every situation is, of course, different.
2. What will I do while we're there? Just because your partner has an exciting, high-paying job lined up in this new, far-away place doesn't mean that you're going to feel automatically fulfilled. You will still be your own person with your own desires and needs. Think of what you can get out of the time away, what dreams you'd like to fulfill while you're there, and (maybe) how you'd just like to waste some time.
3. What kind of support system will I/we have? Hillary Clinton once said that it takes a village to raise a child. But many social scientists believe it takes a village to raise a couple as well. Who will your village be while you're away? Will you talk with your family back home every week? Try to track down old acquaintances in your new town in advance? Do your best to create a home base of friends at a house of worship, coffee shop, or club near your new home? Or rely on regular visits from friends and family?
4. Do we have an exit strategy? Not all relocations work. What if yours doesn't? What if your partner hates his/her new job? What if, after nine months, you still have no friends? What if you realize that your relationship is being strained by your sense of complete isolation in Antarctica? Think about the worst case scenarios and how you will deal with them should they arise.
5. Is relocating worth it? It might be the case that the two of you are better off trying to do a long-distance relationship for a year rather than having one of you uproot. It might be the case that your relationship is better off ending now, period. Look closely at your relationship, at you, and at your partner. In the end, it might just be the case that relocating isn't the right thing for you.