Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Dear Wendy’s Best Advice for Deciding Whether to Move for a Long-Distance Relationship

My boyfriend and I have been long-distance dating for 10 months and everything is great between us. We see each other almost every month and we’ve been talking about my moving in with him in on the west coast, which I want to do so much. The thing is he hasn’t met my family, which I wanted him to do before I moved, but things have changed and he is planning to get a place so that I can move in with him first and then he will save so we can come back to my home to meet my family.

M family doesn’t like this idea and wants me to keep dating him long-distance for longer and/or for him to move here to our state, but that means I won’t be able to see him for months so thathe can save to move here and it’s hard being away from each other. We want to be with each other and see where this can go. It may seem fast to my family, but it doesn’t to me and my boyfriend.

I feel incredibly safe with him and more myself than with anyone else. My dad hates the fact that my boyfriend is 34 and I’m 26. My brother and sis-in-law are very religious and make me feel like everything I’m doing with my boyfriend is wrong, and they don’t want to meet him.

I’m so torn because I want to go live my life and make my decisions and be with whom I want to be without making my family upset or causing them to look down on me. I feel like they will eventually get over it, but I don’t know how long it will take.

Am I really making a bad choice to go live with him and get to see how we will actually be with each other when we make it official living together? Please share some advice on this or direct me to a post that is similar. I would greatly appreciate it. — Ready to Move?

At 26, it’s past time for you to be making life decisions based on what YOU want, what makes YOU happy, and what best supports YOUR goals and dreams and ambitions. Sure, it’s nice to have your family’s blessing and support, but this isn’t their life and they don’t get to call the shots. THAT SAID, it’s very important to have your eyes wide open, and to have a plan, when moving across the country and in with someone you only know through monthly visits over the past ten months. Lucky for you, I’ve written lots of advice on the subject, informed in part by my own move across the country to be with my long-distance boyfriend (who has now been my husband for over ten years). Here is my most helpful advice in thinking about making such a move and in navigating the transition:

8 Things You Need to Do Before You Move For Love (pay particular attention to points 5-8)

“In a Long-Distance Relationship, Who Should Be The One to Move?”

10 Signs You’re Ready to Move for Love

8 Tips For Transitioning out of a Long-Distance Relationship

“How Can We Make HIS Bachelor Pad OUR Apartment?”

Poll: “Did Your Long-Distance Relationship Survive When the Separation Ended?”

If anyone else has suggestions, tips, and advice for deciding how and whether to move for a long-distance relationship, weigh in below!

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.

20 comments… add one
  • avatar

    anonymousse October 1, 2019, 8:24 am

    I have so many questions.
    How did you meet?
    Does he come to visit you, or are you the only one traveling?
    For how many days at a time?
    Have you met his friends or family?
    Can you save money for him to come visit you and meet your family between now and when he gets a place for you both?

    Clearly, you care about your family and what they think. Why do you think they already do not like him? It seems strange to me that he won’t come meet them one time before you move, because that’s what you’d like him to do. I don’t think that necessarily needs to happen for couples, but it’s important to you.

    Moving far away, with or without a job, right into a place with him is risky. At the end of the day, you need to weigh these decisions, their risks, their rewards and make the best choice for yourself.

    A backup plan is a great idea. Make sure you have a solid plan b in place.

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    • avatar

      anonymousse October 1, 2019, 9:11 am

      It might be a good idea to get your own place, or live with roommates if you do move to where he lives. Then you can date and still have a place of your own if you need it. You could probably find a short term (6 month) lease or look for a sublet situation. This might not seem ideal, like what is the point of moving all that way to live in a different house, but things could go wrong if you just immediately move in together. When I moved for love, I did have my own place first. The last few months of my year long lease, I moved in with my bf (now husband) and I had a friend move in and pay the rent.

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      • avatar

        golfer.gal October 1, 2019, 10:30 am

        I think this is great advice. Going from seeing each other once a month to living together is a huge transition. The reality is you’ve only spent real, quality time with this person on a handful of occasions. Having a job lined up and subletting or renting a place nearby for 6 months will go a long way in allaying your family’s understandable fears, as well as give you the opportunity to see each other and date like normal people before moving in. 6 months living apart may seem like a lot but it’s a drop in the bucket, especially when you can see someone every day.

        Also, if you’re seeing each other every month but he’s never come to your place that means you are going a long distance to see him every time. Does he help with the cost of that? What do you know about his financial situation? If he would have to save for months and months to take a flight/drive you’ve been taking every month that may be a red flag about his financial security. Money certainly isn’t everything, but it seems like you’ve really been the one propping this relationship up with your visits and you’ve been bearing the financial burden alone. It’s really important that you feel equal and valued. Before you move in together you need to talk about things like splitting bills, saving for the future, and splitting chores equitably. Does he put in a lot of effort in other ways to make you feel valued, or does he expect you to do that just like you do all the traveling and visiting? I think moving in together at this point is too soon, and living locally while continuing to date will give you some answers.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark October 1, 2019, 9:58 am

    Ten months? Yeah. You are a fool. Meaning — Yep. Your family actually has a point.

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  • avatar

    csp October 1, 2019, 9:59 am

    LW – I agree with Wendy that you are old enough to live your life. But really take these questions seriously. The biggest is that if you care about your family, why won’t he meet them? That would be a non negotiable for me. It isn’t about my parents telling me what to do, but it is about my significant other making my life and the people important to me a priority. That is such a basic ask.

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    • bittergaymark

      Bittergaymark October 1, 2019, 10:03 am

      Yep. He is trying to isolate her from her family. Both physically. And emotionally.

      Huge, HUGE red flag.

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      • avatar

        Anonymous October 1, 2019, 11:57 am

        Haha omg no he is not. I live with my parents and he has his own place so of course he has to save more money than I do to pay his rent and a plane ticket. He has already come to see me. We’ve decided after his lease we are moving closer to my family.

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      • CurlyQue

        CurlyQue October 1, 2019, 3:09 pm

        This is a reply to the LW’s update. You state “we’ve decided after his lease we are moving closer to my family.”

        I don’t understand. He’s starting a new lease which you’re going to move out for, and then after that lease you both are going to move closer to your family. Why? Why doesn’t he just move closer right now so you only move once instead of twice? At first you state you want him to just meet your family (which if he’s already been out to see you and you LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS did this not already happen?) now the point is you want to live near them?

        What do you both do for work that you can both just up and move to different parts of the country? Do you even work?

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      • avatar

        anonymousse October 1, 2019, 3:53 pm

        I hope you mean that when his current lease is up, he’s going to move closer to where you live. A plane ticket to visit you and meet your family is not much money, especially when he’s 34.

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      • avatar

        Kate October 1, 2019, 4:06 pm

        Wait, he has come to see you, and you live with your parents, but he didn’t meet them?

        Are you sure you two are financially ready to move in together? You’re living at home, and it seems like a plane ticket is a major expense he has to save up for.

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  • avatar

    ron October 1, 2019, 10:54 am

    He’s 34 years old! If he can’t afford a trip across the country to meet her family, then something is wrong with his finances, which makes moving across country to move in with him risky. At age 26, she should not be the one who has to save up $ to pay for him to travel cross country to meet her parents. This seems an excuse anyway — there is a reason he doesn’t want to meet her family.

    She says they see each other ‘most’ months, so somebody has made at least 6 cross country trips for these visits and he can’t make one to meet her family. There is something VERY wrong here.

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    • bittergaymark

      Bittergaymark October 1, 2019, 11:00 am

      Yep. NEWSFLASH: It’s not THAT expensive to fly anywhere these days…

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      • avatar

        Kate October 1, 2019, 11:47 am

        I live in Boston, and I get like $400 or less tickets to L.A. or San Diego. Or Florida.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark October 1, 2019, 7:29 pm

        I recently flew LAX to Fargo, North Dakota roundtrip with very little advanced planning for $270.

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      • avatar

        TheHizzy October 3, 2019, 8:49 am

        I want to live in a world here $400 for a plane ticket is considered cheap.

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    • avatar

      anonymousse October 1, 2019, 12:19 pm

      Yeah, good point about airfare not being expensive at all.

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  • avatar

    Reggie Lurker October 2, 2019, 12:04 am

    Girl, this is absolutely not what you want to hear – and considering how loved up you are, I highly doubt you’re going to listen, but someone needs to say it to you if they haven’t already – there is absolutely a very high chance that this man is either married, otherwise committed or has several women just like you around the country. Did y’all meet online or through some of app or social media platform? The odds of him being married, committed or a general philandering douche have just quadrupled.

    He’s holding you at arms length for a reason and your family are right to be concerned.

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    • avatar

      Kate October 2, 2019, 7:10 am

      I don’t know if it’s that extreme (though my aunt had a boyfriend for years who it turned out had multiple other girlfriends), but something is off here, and it sounds like a really bad plan to move out of her parents house and all the way across the country to move in with a guy she’s dated LD for less than a year, hasn’t spent a ton of time with, and hasn’t met her family. AND at 34 has to “save up” for a trip to visit or to move to a new apartment.

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      • avatar

        Anonymous October 2, 2019, 6:45 pm

        Something’s definitely not right.
        I’d wager married over the girlfriend-in-every-port scenario, but people do strange things.
        Anonymousse’s suggestion above of getting your own place if you insist on going through with the move is golden.

        I really, really want to know how they met. I have nothing against apps or social media as a meeting tool. There’s a difference between meeting someone organically and it continuing long distance – say at a friend’s wedding or something – and someone sliding into your DM’s from 3000 miles away. I could almost guarantee though if they’d met through a friend, this would have been mentioned as justification for it being the most perfect of relationships in the letter.

        Something else I learned the hard way throughout my life, Letter Writer: the more you have to justify a relationship, the less right it is for you.

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  • avatar

    CET October 2, 2019, 7:17 am

    You both need to travel to have him meet your family. Plan a weekend visiting your parents together. Visit them more than once even…go for the holidays as well if they are up for company. Sure, move in with him and try it out. Stop worrying so much what other people think…you are an adult and can make your own decisions. If your relationship doesn’t work out you will figure things out. You’re not a kid. I lived with my husband for 7 years before we got married…we were both in grad school and working hard. His mom, a church minister, was not 100% pleased with this but she was always nice to me. We didn’t let that worry us bc we felt strong in our relationship.

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