10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Moving To A New City With A Boyfriend

Moving to a new city together is a major step in a couple’s relationship. Whether you decide to live together in the same apartment or house or keep your separate spaces, moving to a brand new location is risky and exhilarating all at the same time. Having done it, here’s what I wish I’d known before taking the plunge.

  1. My thoughts, feelings, and goals matter too.  I took a job and moved to the same city with a boyfriend after college so that we could be together. I had an option to move elsewhere and take a different job but I took the one that would allow us to maintain a regular relationship. When I look back, I realize that I prioritized my relationship over achieving my goals. Fortunately, the job opportunity was still great enough that I didn’t miss out career-wise. However, I focused so much on saving my relationship with the move that I didn’t think about what was best for me individually.
  2. It’s important to know where your relationship stands before you move together. This isn’t something you should just do on a whim or when the mood strikes. Even if you feel good about the status of your relationship, make a point to sit down with your partner and explore why you’re moving to the same place. I made the mistake of assuming that it would all work out after only having one very cursory conversation about the future with my then boyfriend. In hindsight, a more candid conversation about where our relationship was heading could have helped me set more realistic expectations. Maybe I wouldn’t have felt so hurt when we broke up.
  3. You can’t get ahead of yourself. I jumped into domestic goddess wife mode when we moved together. We didn’t live together initially, but I made sure that he had a key to my apartment, that he had food and meals stocked at my place, and that he felt like my place was his home too. In hindsight, I probably came on way too strong. He just wanted a girlfriend, not a wife. I wish I took it all a bit slower and let us figure out what living in a new city actually meant for us.
  4. It’s important to make your own new friends independent of your partner. It’s totally natural to cling to your significant other and rely on him to help you find new friends when you move to a place that neither of you knows well. But I wish I had taken the time to detach from my boyfriend and find new friends. We made a lot of new friends together and when we broke up, it was super awkward because our new friends sort of had to choose between us. The new network that I built splintered apart and I had to start from scratch. It was very lonely. I wish I had branched out and met my own people so that when things ended, I didn’t feel so alone.
  5. There’s more to the city than your partner. In a similar vein, make sure you have your own secret hiding spots! If you break up with your boyfriend, you’ll appreciate having a safe haven where you can go that your ex has no idea exists. If you stay together, you’ll like having a place to escape and call your own. It’s a win-win situation. Plus, you get to know the nooks and crannies if your new city, which is always amazing.
  6. Moving to a new city together always exposes your weaknesses as a couple. I really thought that moving to a new city with my ex would magically and instantly deepen our relationship. Instead, every single weakness in our relationship was exposed and all of the things I hoped would take care of themselves as we embarked on this new phase of life together were unearthed in the nastiest way possible.
  7. People change when they’re in new environments. My boyfriend changed a lot when we moved from college to a new city together. He went from being the nerdy, kind of studious guy that I loved to this guy who wanted to party, drink and hang out all hours of the night. I suspect that he saw moving to this new city was an opportunity to reinvent himself. Whereas I just wanted him to be the same guy. I wish I had prepared myself for his change.
  8. If you move in together, have a backup plan for yourself if you break up. Unless you’re engaged or married, make sure that you have a backup plan if you break up. Where are you going to move if you guys live together? Who is going to move out and who is going to stay in your apartment? Or let’s say you don’t live together but you still have a lot of unraveling to do. Are you going to still talk? Do you rely on him for anything meaningful (like transportation)? I know from experience that these matters feel much bigger when you’re breaking up with someone after moving to a place neither of you knows well or has roots. I wish I’d thought these things through.
  9. You have to keep an open mind. Moving to a new city with a boyfriend didn’t exactly work out for me. When we broke up, I felt super silly for moving there with him. I felt in some ways like my life was over, but it wasn’t! I wish I’d kept an open mind about everything because eventually things did get better and I found my own way in the city without him.
  10. Trust your gut if it’s not working. I knew that things weren’t working for my relationship by the six month but I held on and held on because I didn’t want to be wrong about the decision I made. Deep down, however, I knew that our relationship was not going to survive but since I made the move all about our relationship it was hard for me to see past it and look at all of the opportunity ahead of me. I know I should have ended our relationship soon after we moved rather than dragging it out. It would have saved me a lot of pain!
Marie is an ambitious millennial woman, leading a corporate life by day and doing her best to live, laugh and love.