Dear Miss U,
My partner lives in the Caribbean, and I live in Canada. Recently, we have been considering where we will settle together. I always assumed that they were coming to Canada to live with me, as they had expressed displeasure with living where they are currently, but recently, they have asked me if I would live over there.
I have concerns about living over there, but I love my partner and do not want to give up on our relationship over location. Any ideas on a compromise?
The thing about moving internationally is that you can’t know if you will love it, hate it or cope with it until you’ve done it. I would recommend taking the opportunity to live at least a year in each country, being together, working, making friends, dealing with every-day stress as a couple and then having a talk about where you were happiest and what opportunities are best for your family.
For me, I was really excited about living in abroad with Mr.E, but it turned out to be a horrible experience, then when his turn came to move to me he swore up and down he would never settle in my country, but he loves our life here. He has a great job, he’s made new friends and plays games online with his childhood friends back home. To top it off we have an amazing holiday every year, visiting all his people and having a month-long party. We could never have guessed it would have turned out like this from visits!
If neither of you are happy in each other’s countries, then you can talk about making a new home together somewhere entirely different, or if your careers allow it, you can choose not to settle at all.
Give it a fair go so you can look back and know you tried your best if it doesn’t work out.
Dear Miss U,
My boyfriend and I have been together for around six months now, and things have gone great. He lives in Alaska, and on a recent trip there I met his dad and him for the first time (in person). We are very serious about each other, have said I love you and have discussed a future together, but here’s where my problem comes in: neither of us wants to move to the other city. I’m open to the change of moving there but express concerns when it comes to staying in that city since it’s the only one he’s ever lived in. He also has a lot of bad situations there that I’d prefer he’d get away from, but he’s so scared of change he won’t even consider it. I don’t want to feel like I’m pressuring him, but he won’t even think about moving here or even meeting halfway. I love him too much to let him go, but I don’t know what to do.
Optimistic in Omaha
It’s straight up not cool for him to expect you to move to him simply because he’s too afraid to compromise. That’s awful and sets a terrible precedent for the rest of your relationship.
Moving is hard. And expensive. It’s not the kind of thing that succeeds well if you do it under duress, as that just breeds resentment.
All that said, your relationship is very new. There is the chance that being without you will become more frightening than moving out of his comfort zone.
Keep talking to him about it, read the answer I gave the letter above, and show him that you will always be there to support and encourage him.
The great thing about moving away is if you hate it you can always move home again.