You and your partner want the same thing in your relationship—one of you moves to live with the other, and you can both begin your life together as an in-person couple. But what happens when neither wants to move in your long distance relationship?
It’s easy to assume that the other person will simply move to you and make your life happy and complete.
But don’t forget: your SO also has their own life. They have their own social circles, their family, their job, and everything else that makes up their day to day.
So what do you do when neither of you want to move? In this post, let’s go through some issues that you’ll both need to discuss. With any luck, deciding who moves will be that little bit easier.
Ask The Million Dollar Question: Why?
Yes, it’s obvious, but you’ll both have to ask each other (and yourselves) why you aren’t willing to move.
Naturally, most people don’t want to willingly give up their established life and move to a place that’s completely new and foreign. It’s scary and stressful to have to start over.
But there may be more to it than at first glance.
If you both take the time to reflect, you may find the real reasons why you may be unwilling to move…even though, in reality, it’s entirely possible.
For instance, you might argue that there are certain things that can’t be found in your SO’s home. Things like culture, lifestyle, or employment opportunities.
But is that really true? Do your research to make sure that that’s really the case…and not just an excuse for something else.
Ultimately, both of you (not just the one moving) will need to make some compromises.
Look At The Situation Logically
Take an objective look at where you’re both at now.
If you’re both going to be living together, you want to make sure that you’re both in a place that offers the best chance of success.
So, even though you both might be super attached to your current lifestyle, it may make more sense financially and professionally to live in one place over another.
While discussing the situation, consider these questions:
- Who has the better job, or the most promising job prospects?
- If someone plans to go back to school, which place has the better education programs?
- If someone needs certification to work in a field, will their current credentials be recognized in their new home?
- Which area is safer to live in?
- Is the cost of living in one city better than the other?
- Are there any language barriers that need to be overcome? Any cultural barriers?
- Will everyone’s social and professional needs be met? Will it be easy to make friends and find work?
- How much will it cost for one person to pick up everything and move? Will they need to factor in big purchases, like a new car?
- Does someone already have a place to live, or will you both need to start from scratch?
Some of these may be difficult to answer, but they can really help determine where you’re both going to live.
For more information on things to consider, you can find it in my other post: Who Should Move in a Long Distance Relationship?
Consider Your Emotional Needs
Sometimes your decision is more than just looking at the numbers.
While it may make more financial sense to move to and live in a particular location, it may be more emotionally beneficial to live somewhere else.
Chasing income and desperately trying to keep costs down can be no substitute for a place that complements your emotional needs and your mental health.
For instance, if you’ve grown up and always lived in a smaller town or rural area, making a jump to a major metropolitan location for a long distance relationship can be an emotional challenge.
Be sure to discuss any concerns you have with your partner about potential moving locations.
Identify Your Familial & Social Responsibilities
Sometimes you might be responsible for other people in your life.
You could be in a situation where you want to move, but you have people who depend on you at home.
Perhaps you have children that need to stay in a particular school, or they need to stay close to their other parent.
Your own parents may be aged and need care because no one else can do it.
Your social responsibilities could also fall outside of your familial circle—you may have people who depend on you, and you can’t find anyone else to support them in your place.
If this applies to you or your SO, you’ll need to decide where a compromise might be made—or which part of your life ultimately takes priority.
Should Both Of You Find A New Home?
If neither of your homes are suitable for each other, what if both of you move to a new location?
If you both find a third place that ticks most of your boxes, it could be a viable option.
This option can cause some added stress, however.
You’ll both be responsible for packing up your lives and moving to a new place that may be unfamiliar to both of you. You’ll both need to build new social circles and a new life.
The positive side? You’ll be doing it as a couple, and you’ll both be able to truly start a new life from scratch.
You’ve both managed to survive a long distance relationship—there’s a good chance it can also endure a new location!
Waiting Is An Option, Too
If there is no viable solution right now, then it’s okay to wait.
For instance, if one of you is still in school and can’t move right now, it makes sense for them to finish their education first.
Alternatively, you both may be still attached to where you’re living now, and moving may seem like a hasty—or painful—decision.
Over time, that can change—especially if your connection and your love deepens. Eventually you may find yourself willing to make a life change to be with the one you truly love.
The main thing to keep in mind is that your long distance relationship must eventually end—one way or another.
If All Else Fails…
If nothing changes after countless discussions, offers of compromise, and waiting months to years, then you may need to face the harsh reality of the situation and accept that you may never be together.
Sustaining a long distance relationship indefinitely is, in my opinion, not viable. Relationships need physical touch that just can’t be replicated using technology.
However, if an indefinite long distance relationship truly works for you and your partner, then do what’s best and what feels right for the two of you.
If you and your SO can’t do this, then you should consider ending the relationship and moving on.
There is no shame in doing so—it takes maturity and courage to realize that a relationship can’t work, and it gives you both the opportunity and the freedom to pursue relationships that enrich your lives.