There are plenty of good reasons to move to the suburbs. You can typically get three to four times as much land (oh, and actual land at that—like with grass and dirt) as you do in the city, for the same price. You might be a big fish in a small pond when it comes to career opportunities in the suburbs. In the city, there is too much competition, but the suburbs might suffer a lack of professionals in your field, giving you an advantage. It’s safer. It’s quieter. It has better school districts. But, what you’ll find pretty rapidly if you and your partner do move to the suburbs is that the city was a large part of your identity. The late nights at all-night taco trucks, the wonderfully quirky events like drag queen strip bingo, the ever-changing museum and art exhibits…the city is a fascinating place! When you live in it, your relationship feels fascinating. When you move to the suburbs…it’s something else. Here is how moving to the suburbs affects your relationship.
You learn which friends you really like
You have to break it to your partner that, while you don’t hate his friend Rob, you don’t like Rob enough to have him sleep in your guest room—which is what he’s asking to do, if he takes the train out to the suburbs to visit you.
And you learn who you won’t travel for
You, likewise, learn that your partner may be fine with your friend Marlene, but he doesn’t like her enough to travel into the city for her baby shower. You have to put in a lot of effort to see your city friends now, and you learn who is worth that effort to you and your partner.
One person may have fewer opportunities
You may have moved out there because one of you got a great job offer, but that could put the other one at a disadvantage. Where there are more jobs for one, there could be almost none for the other.
You have to rebuild your social life
You have to make new friends. That means finding new couples in which, both you and your partner like both of the people. That was hard enough to do the first time around!
No late night entertainment
It’s just you and Netflix. No endearing, independently produced plays or standup comedy shows. You have to try to entertain yourselves without all of the things a city would have to offer.
You could be cranky after your commute
Getting home might involve driving an hour in traffic instead of a relaxed ride on the subway watching a show on your phone. Translation: you and your partner might be in a bad mood by the time you see each other.
You have to learn to eat early
You’ll need to adjust your schedule because everything closes at 9pm. No more drinking wine and having appetizers until you finally know where you want to eat at 10:30 pm.
You’ll feel pressure to have kids
Even if you didn’t move to the suburbs to start a family, the pressure to start one once you get there will be strong. Every activity is geared towards families. There are so many mom and parent groups. It almost seems like you’re not allowed to be there unless you have kids.
You challenge each other not to become boring
You secretly fear that you’re becoming boring, so anytime you catch your partner talking about the new home owner’s association law you want to slap his hand and say, “Shhhh! We aren’t becoming those people!”
You have too much time together
You’ll try and you’ll try to pretend you’re busy and spend time apart from one another, but you’ll find one another, just fiddling your thumbs in various rooms of the house. Who are you kidding? You’re not busy, so just hang out.
But, you learn to become creative
You have to find new ways to have fun, without all of the activities a city has to offer. You might get into some weird hobbies, or get very into board games. You may start hosting poker nights. Or get into a wine club and just plow through the whole monthly supply in one night.
You become DIYers
Plumbers, electricians, locksmiths and other important professionals aren’t around every corner and open late like they are in the city. And, since there is less competition, the prices are worse. That means you and your partner get very into YouTube videos and learning how to fix things yourselves.
Suburb conversations can be grating
Sometimes, you have to stop yourselves and decide that you’ve been talking about how nice your neighbor’s lawn has been looking or how long the construction of the new speed bumps is taking for too long.
Or, conversations can go dull
Overall, you realize how much your conversations used to rely on what you experienced in the city. Whether it was a lunatic on the subway or the celebrity you saw at a coffee shop or your new eccentric spin teacher, you had stories to share.
You abandon your cool idea of yourselves
You have to tuck your egos away. You realize that living in the city was a big part of your identity. You have to admit you’re sort of basic, like everyone, and maybe you’re okay with that.