We all know the story: girl meets boy… girl and boy fall in love… girl moves for boy…. wait what?
On the way to work this morning my favorite radio talk show brought up the topic of women who move to be with their boyfriends/fiancé/etc. Being one of these women myself, this discussion yanked me out of my usual morning commute zombie-like existence and caught my full attention. One of the hosts had just announced that she would be leaving in 3 weeks to follow her boyfriend to Virginia, and she was hardly getting a positive reaction.
The station opened up its text and phone lines and apparently when a woman announces she’s moving for a man, she must either have some crazy reason for doing so, or is just plain stupid according to listeners. About 50% of the listeners figured she must be pregnant because nobody would move for love alone, right? The other 50% seemed insistent on telling the host she should “really think this out before making a decision, it’s a big step,” as if she hadn’t thought it out whatsoever before making the announcement. Moving for love just didn’t seem to be enough for anyone, there had to be some other explanation. Honestly, the whole thing had me pretty frustrated. Mostly because I had been there before and had to deal with similar reactions from people when I announced I was moving to Florida to be with John.
Before moving, John and I had been in a long distance relationship for a year. When the time came, we had multiple discussions about the possibility of one of us moving and finally one day it hit me: I was ready to move. I realized that even if I moved to Florida and things didn’t work out, at least I would have had the experience and wouldn’t still be sitting in my apartment in Pittsburgh wondering “what if I had moved? Would things be different? Would they be better?” I couldn’t wait to share the news and while my announcement was greeted mostly with warm congratulations, some people just couldn’t grasp why I was willing to uproot my life and risk everything for a relationship.
Reflecting on my own experience while listening to the show, I found myself wondering why people questioned my decision. Is moving for love “enough”, or is there some unspoken requirement that makes moving for a relationship acceptable to all of ones peers? For me, the answer is yes, love is enough, and anyone who knows John and I was ecstatic that we were taking the next step in our relationship. For anyone who didn’t agree with my decision, I chalked it up to people either thinking I was the needy type willing to follow a man anywhere, or disappointment that I would give up anything for a man. After working as a gender for our independence and equality, perhaps some women couldn’t comprehend why I was so willing to give up my own hard earned independence so easily for a man. But at the end of the day, I didn’t end up losing anything. I acquired a new career, kept my independence, and gained an even stronger relationship with the man I love, all because love was reason enough for me to make the move.
Photo source here.