When your significant other gets a job out of state, it can be a difficult situation. You may be faced with whether to move with him/her, try to make a long-distance relationship work, or break up. What you decide to do really depends on your personal situation, your commitment, and how it will affect your long-term career goals.
It also depends what stage of life you're in. When you first graduate from college, you may decide to move together to a city and look for jobs close to each other. On the other hand, some college relationships end because people are not able to find jobs close to each other and the long distance thing is difficult to maintain. If you are older and more established in your career, moving may be even more difficult for you.
If your significant other has a great job opportunity in another state and you are considering moving with them, it is important to have an open discussion about what each of you wants and expects if you are both behind moving to the new location. And remember, you don't have to decide right away. You can try a long-distance relationship for a short time.
How Serious Is Your Relationship?
First, you need to consider your relationship and your long-term goals. If you are married you may answer differently than if you have only been in the relationship for a short time. But if you are in a long-term, committed relationship, you may answer the questions the same way you would if you were married.
If you are willing to quit your current job and move, is your partner willing to support you while you look for work? Keep in mind that it can take quite a bit of time in today's job market to find a good job. And if you are in a serious relationship but aren't married, is marriage something both of you are considering? These are all important points to consider before making a move.
Whose Career Is the Most Important?
Next, you need to determine if one career is more important than the other. Some couples plan on having one spouse stay home with any children they may have.
While this can be a tough decision to make, many couples choose this based on the income of each spouse. If you are the spouse that will stay home with the children, giving up your current position so your spouse will better be able to support the family makes sense. But if you are the spouse that will support the family and you are the higher earner, then it does not make sense for you to give up your job to move.
Will You Be Able to Find a Job in the New City?
It's also important to consider the area where you are moving. Most bigger cities' job markets are easier to break into, and there are usually more open jobs, as opposed to a smaller city or town. You may be able to find a new job relatively quickly and one that is comparable to your current position. You may even be able to transfer within your company.
But if the job market is depressed in the area, it may not be a good idea to quit your steady job before you have lined up a new one. You could even expand your search out and split the commute with your spouse.
Does Location Matter to Either Career?
The other thing to consider is the career field of either partner. For example, a nurse or doctor may be able to find work easily, but a computer programmer may need to live in a certain area of the country to make a good living.
The other consideration is that some jobs lend themselves to telecommuting or working out of a home base with travel. If your job is this way, then you may be able to move while keeping your current position. Some employers even offer a job relocation service for spouses or partners where they help you find resources and positions within the community.
Take Time to Discuss All Options
This can be a touchy subject and you should take the discussions seriously and ultimately make the right decision for you and your relationship. Sometimes that may mean ending your relationship or trying out a long-distance relationship for a short period of time.
While personal relationships are important, the career decisions you make now can affect you in the long-term. The decision you make will likely not be an easy one, whether you choose to move with your partner or stay behind.
And if you find yourself in the situation of potentially moving for a significant other, you should begin the discussion about what will happen when he or she moves. This will prepare you both for the possibilities of looking for new work or moving across the country.
Updated by Rachel Morgan Cautero.