“That summer I sold my house, purged about 70 percent of my possessions and moved my dog and myself to Missouri,” she recalls. “It was a grand gesture to match his proposal to marry me. He promised to do everything he could to get us back to the Pacific Northwest.”
Career vs Love
Emmy-nominated relationship expert Dr. Wendy Walsh, who appeared in a Dr. Phil spin-off called "The Doctors" and is a frequent expert guest on the national morning shows, says jobs are often deciding factor in which person in the relationship moves.
“In today’s culture, you follow the money, whoever’s making the most money,” she explains. While that often means following the person with the higher-paying job, the partner with a more established career may also be employable in more places.
But even if one partner makes enough to support the other completely, Dr. Wendy cautions against making a big move without a job lined up, especially when moving for a relationship.
“There’s no better recipe for disaster than moving into someone’s love nest and being financially dependent on them,” she says.
While both Jennifer and Eric made sure their moves didn’t jeopardize their ability to work, they each skipped some steps Dr. Walsh says are important when considering moving for a relationship. Namely, spending enough meaningful time together to help ensure the relationships longevity.
“They should have been together for at least a year. You don't want to uproot your life for someone you’re in lust with,” Dr. Wendy says. “That lists at least 6 months, and can last longer.”
She recommends long-distance couples contemplating making the big move spend some consecutive time with each other, at least a couple weeks, to get a more realistic sense of what it would be like to live together fulltime.
“If it’s just romantic weekends, that’s not real life,” Dr. Wendy explains.
While Eric took his chances early in his relationship, he also had sufficient job and social connections to minimize the risk.
“Honestly, my only goal was to get there and be together with her. I had no plan for what I was going to do afterward, how long I would stay there, etc.,” Eric recalls. “Luckily, my two friends from Oregon that lived in Boston already were working on me simultaneously, encouraging me to move and that we would get an apartment in the city and how fun it would be.”