I was attending NYU in New York when I met Dave on Facebook. We started chatting regularly and two years later, despite the fact that he lived in Wisconsin, we entered a long-distance relationship. While I never thought anything serious would come of it, we eventually decided to move in together and I packed my things and moved halfway across the country—despite the fact that we’ve never actually met in person. Here’s why I don’t regret it.
I knew I wasn’t getting catfished. I trusted Dave but took commonsense measures to ensure he was who he claimed to be and conducted the usual social media, Google, and background searches. Nothing he hadn’t told me about popped up in my findings. Additionally, the opportunity to get to know his family and friends stood out to me as a sign of authenticity. He also shared enough personal information for me to feel confident that there he wasn’t an imposter.
Life in NYC wasn’t working out. I miss Brooklyn dearly and was bittersweet about leaving, but the decision to move wasn’t a difficult one. Although my relationship with Dave was certainly a factor in my destination of choice, I had my own reasons for moving. Unable to keep up with NYC’s ever-increasing cost-of-living, I’d descended into what felt like a bottomless vortex of financial despair in the months leading up to my move. The bottom line is that I had to go somewhere. I thought to myself ‘why not try out Wisconsin?’
My lifestyle preferences had changed. When I first moved to Brooklyn from my small upstate New York hometown, I would’ve tolerated nearly anything for the sake of making life in the Big Apple work. Three roommates crammed into a shoebox? No problem. Heat “included” in the rent, but barely works? No problem. Twin mattress on the floor? No problem! But it gets old.After affording my own apartment for nearly three years, I hit hard times financially. A few months before moving to Wisconsin, I got a roommate. But unlike before, I was unable to tolerate the lack of privacy. Moreover, I was tired of having nothing to show for an income that was enough to avoid struggle in most other regions. Put simply, the strategies and sacrifices that would’ve enabled me to remain in NYC weren’t worth the diminished quality-of-life.
It wasn’t “just for a guy.” If I had a dollar for each time I received criticism to this effect, my plane ticket out of New York would’ve paid for itself. People seem to think that I impulsively packed my bags and ran to Dave without thinking things through. Some even got the impression that I wasn’t an active participant in our jointly-made decision about my move – as if I were too naive and inexperienced at life to have made a rational choice. I moved to be near someone I love and want a future with. I wanted this. Nobody forced me to do it. How is this ‘just for a guy’ and not for myself, as well?
I wasn’t tied down. Nothing was anchoring me to New York City – my family doesn’t live there, I don’t have children, and I work from home. Aside from the costs associated with getting myself and my things from point A to point B, I didn’t incur any serious losses by relocating. After all, my rent was going to be cheaper and my pay would stay the same – ‘what’s to lose?’ I figured.
I don’t base my decisions on fear. Was it scary to move from a huge city that I’d grown to know and love to a small suburban area that I’d never been to, knew nobody in, and wasn’t sure if I’d like? Hell yeah, it was scary! But I wasn’t going to let the fear consume me. People move long distances, into unknown territory, and start new lives daily. ‘Why not me?’ I thought.
I saw moving as an opportunity to start over. I saw Wisconsin, a place I’d never been to, as a blank slate – an open door, a fresh opportunity to transform my life into what I want it to be. After being unsatisfied with the way my life was going for a number of years, I realized a geographical change couldn’t hurt. Having my lover by my side is a major bonus.
I’m ready to settle down. In the past few years, the idea of settling down with someone has become increasingly appealing. I began to envision having a partner to go to bed with and share every aspect of my life with and became averse to casual dating in any context – friends-with-benefits, flings, one-night-stands – all of it. When Dave and I established a strong enough bond to seriously entertain a future together, I felt like I’d found the type of partner I was looking for – someone I can build an amazing life with.
Circumstances prevented him from being able to move. Dave and I were open with one another about our pasts. He’s currently paying his dues for some past mistakes. Around the same time our online friendship took a romantic turn, he was sentenced to jail time for a first-time non-violent offense. He’s currently on probation and must remain in Wisconsin for the duration of it. While Dave was open to the idea of continuing a long-distance relationship, we both knew deep down that it wasn’t realistic to carry it on much longer.When my decision came down to either having our relationship be finite or preserving it by being closer to each other, it was a no-brainer for me. I knew going into the relationship that Dave’s situation was complicated, so it didn’t come as a surprise that moving to be near him became part of the equation.
I love him. Dave is my soulmate. I would regret not giving this relationship a shot and I was more than happy to move for the sake of doing so. My feelings for Dave are strong enough for me to envision the possibility of a long-term future together – including, perhaps, marriage and starting a family together. That may not be enough for some people to relocate, but it was enough for me.
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