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Relocating For Love: How/When is this Decision Made?
Do I relocate when my boyfriend moves if he has not asked me to marry him yet? We have been in a long distance relationship for over a year and feel very committed to each other. We will both be graduating from college next year, and he is already planning to move to Florida for graduate school. I'm open to moving before I seek my first professional job, and had actually planned to do so even before we met. I'm just concerned it won't look right if we are not engaged, or that I'd be foolish to make this move without formalizing a long-term commitment. --Baby Steps
This question seems to come up more and more as singles increasingly meet people over the Internet and form long-distance relationships.
There is no "one answer" as each situation is different and should be evaluated according to what is in the best interests of the two individuals involved--both as a couple and as separate people with differing needs and concerns.
The following factors should be weighed and discussed before a decision can be made:
* The overall strength and health of your relationship as it exists now
readiness (on part of both people) to move the relationship to a more intimate level
* Having an understanding of what your goals (as individuals and as a couple) are for the future
* getting a handle on how money will be handled if you are living together and sharing expenses
There might be other factors that you (or he) have thought about. So add these to the list.
After you have carefully examined these issues, you should both know what the right decision for this relationship is.
Remember also that whatever decision you make, it should be based solely on what the two of you believe is right. If you make decisions based on what others may think or how it will appear to others, you will be at risk of living with choices that don't serve your best interests.
(from August 2003)
Want to read other columns on this subject?
This is the first "Relationship Challenges" column.
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
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