Believe it or not, there’s a name for people who relocate on behalf of a significant other: “trailing partners.” Ok, that sounds a bit harsh, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re second fiddle. In fact, this unique moving situation can be mutually beneficial. It’s all about viewing it not just as an opportunity for your partner, but for you as well.
You’re in a relationship because you care – and care deeply – about someone besides yourself (that’s a big plus right there). What’s most important right now is a bit of planning, a lot of soul searching and a willingness to stay open-minded and make some very important decisions together.
Here are a few tips and tricks for helping you and your loved one navigate this new chapter in your lives:
Do the Due Diligence
Before a final decision is made, you should have already investigated – and determined – what life might look like after you move. This is where the two of you might want to make a list of all the pros and cons.
- If it’s because of your partner’s promotion or a new job with a heftier salary, make sure you’ve investigated the cost of living in your new city. What looks like a big pay increase on paper could be a step down if you’re relocating from a relatively inexpensive area to someplace like the San Francisco Bay Area. Also, does your partner’s new job offer strong prospects for a steady move up their career ladder?
- If it’s because your partner will be caring for a parent or other loved one, the two of you need to decide whether it makes more sense to move them vs. the two of you (and potentially your immediate family). Conversely, would you be leaving family who may need your support now or down the road?
- How will the move affect any children still living at home? For example, are the schools good, is the area safe? In general, a long-distance move is probably less of an adjustment for a grade schooler than it is for a teen entering their senior year of high school.
- Will the current trend toward hybrid and remote work provide new opportunities you can leverage to your advantage?
- As the trailing partner, will you be able to find a good job in the new location – and a rewarding social life? Some bigger companies offer placement assistance for an employee’s significant other. Check into it.
- What is there to do – and see – there? Does the new location offer comparable sports, entertainment and cultural options?
Make Your Voice – and Needs – Heard
As the trailing partner, it’s natural to feel a loss of control – and even a little resentment – but keep the bigger picture in mind. Once the decision’s been made, actively participate in the process. A good partnership needs to flex well beyond 50/50 and with a major change like this, there’s not always going to be a one-size-fits-all solution. Open the door for honest discussions and be prepared for some give and take.
Schedule a Visit
Let’s assume you both did an online “deep dive” as part of the due diligence process. Now it’s time to plan a visit to your new city and get a sense of what it would be like to live there. Both partners will feel a lot more excited about the move if you spend time together exploring the new neighborhood. Consider what’s important to you and other family members and don’t rely totally on online reviews and others’ opinions. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to feel at home in your new neighborhood.
Keep Your Options Open
Before committing to buying a home and settling down, it might be a wise move to rent a place for a year or two. Then if the situation changes or the new job doesn’t work out, you’ll still have your old home to fall back on. Could your partner’s new situation lend itself to a remote or hybrid work set-up? Perhaps a remote work situation combined with a temporary period of living in both places (with regular visits) could ease the transition into your new life together.
Wherever You Go, Be There for Each Other
Whether they’re starting a new job, getting a big promotion or taking care of a close family member, always keep in mind that your partner’s going through a significant change in their life too! Look for ways to be supportive and understanding. And reach out to them for the same!
Whether you’re in a new city right now or considering finding a new home, we’re here to not just move you, but help you feel at home along the way.