Here’s a list of things you need to know before moving in with your boyfriend – starting with a writer’s experience of moving to Germany to marry a man she met several months earlier.
Here on New Beginnings, I like to interview women on how they coped with endings, transitions, and fresh starts. When Sam Laratta commented on How Did You Handle a Stressful New Beginning?, I knew her experience would help you decide what you need to do before moving in with your boyfriend!
Here’s what she said:
“Four years ago, I quit my job, sold my car, and moved to Germany to marry a guy – only to return a year later with my tail between my legs and a divorce on the horizon. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. I rebuilt my life, only better this time. I joined the local gym (even though I suffer from major gym anxiety), enrolled in college to finish a degree I had started 15 years earlier, and (accidentally) started a freelance writing career. And now, at 37, I am in the best shape of my life physically, mentally and spiritually.”
Isn’t that impressive? Below, Sam describes:
- How she met her now ex-husband
- Why she decided to move to Germany to marry him
- What the most difficult part of that transition was
- What she’d do differently if she was to move in with a boyfriend again
She also has advice that you should listen to before moving in with your boyfriend! Every woman’s life is different, but it’s important to learn from other people’s experience and wisdom.
Sam’s Story About Moving in With Her Boyfriend
How they met
This super-cute guy walked into the shop where I was working and asked me to help him pick out a new pair of shoes. He was here on business and was going home to Germany in a few days. I guess I did a good job flirting across the language barrier, because he gave me his card after I rung up his order and told me to keep in touch. I did just that. We emailed every day and quickly began a long distance courtship that included a few trips to see each other in the States and Germany. Six months later, exhausted from the challenges of maintaining a long distance relationship, he suggested I move to Germany and then asked me to marry him.
(Tip from Laurie: before moving in with your boyfriend, remember that the romance and chemistry of long-distance love changes when you’re actually living in the same place! When I dated my husband Bruce, I lived in Calgary and he lived in Edmonton. Those were some very exciting visits ).
Why Sam chose to move to Germany to marry her boyfriend
I remember thinking how cool it would be to live overseas and travel with my soon-to-be husband. My job and personal life left a lot to be desired, so the prospect of a fresh start in a whole different country was intoxicating. I was always a bit of a risk-taker and adventurous anyway, and this was just another wild thing I was doing. At least that’s what I told myself. Three months after we got engaged, I quit my job, sold my furniture and my car, and moved to Germany. We got married exactly one year after we met. Time definitely flew by!
The most difficult part of the transition to Germany
After the honeymoon period, real-life took center stage. We were newlyweds living in his bachelor pad, shopping in his neighborhood, hanging out with his friends, and traveling for his job. The most difficult part of moving to Germany was not having my own life there. I didn’t speak the language, so it was difficult to interact with the locals. We traveled a lot, so it was challenging to fit in a job or even join community clubs. I lost myself within the first month and never got her back.
How Sam’s marriage was affected
Our marriage suffered, and we eventually decided to cut our losses. I returned to Vegas less than a year later with my tail between my legs in addition to a looming divorce.
The most difficult part of that transition was forgiving myself for taking an uncalculated risk. I had to let go of my pride and realize that mistakes are simply lessons waiting to be learned. As soon as I was able to get over the mistake part, I was on my way to rebuilding a beautiful life here.
In retrospect, I wish I chronicled my journey back to life. I struggled and persevered, struggled some more and persevered again, and my journey might offer hope to others who are just beginning theirs. Through it all, the one thing I got right was being open to the possibilities of a new life, of new paths with a new perspective.
Before Moving in With Your Boyfriend
The best advice I can offer is to find your own life after you move in with your boyfriend – whether it’s overseas or on the other side of the city. Make it a point to create a life for yourself as soon as possible, whether it’s a job or joining a community center. The idea is to develop a sense of belonging, to make some friends outside your relationship, and to build your own attachments that make it feel like home.
Nowadays, it’s easy to find these opportunities online. Start your search with websites hosted by locals or expats. For every person making a transition, there is someone on the other end with plenty of advice to offer.
My tips – before moving in with your boyfriend:
- Protect yourself financially – keep your own checking or savings account, credit cards, etc.
- Stay independent – which is what Sam said about finding your own life. Don’t let your boyfriend become your life!
- Stake your claim – there’s some good advice in Psychology Today’s article called Before Moving In With Your Partner, about putting your own personal stamp on your boyfriend’s home if you’re moving into his place.
- Expect the honeymoon stage to end, and “real life” to begin. Before moving in with your boyfriend, do a reality check with married or common-law couples. What are the best and worst parts of living together?
- Start as you mean to go. Do you want to pick up his dry cleaning every day, or cook every meal? If not, speak up early.
Are you thinking about relocating to a different country? Before moving in with your boyfriend, read How to Find a Job Overseas and Work Abroad.