Straight From His Mouth: Should a Man Ever Move For Love?

October 29, 2012  |  

For those of us crazy enough to even engage in a long distance relationship, there is one unavoidable question that will come if you stay together long enough: who is going to move? This week I was asked if the man or the woman should move or does it matter? Let’s get the short answer out of the way: Yes, it matters.

In my opinion, neither party should move for anyone they aren’t planning to marry. Honestly, you probably shouldn’t move for anyone that you aren’t already engaged to. That’s right, I’m going old school! You should already have or be planning to put a ring on it before engaging in cross-country cohabitation. Why anyone, male or female, would move across the country to “see where things go” is beyond me. You can see where things go from the comfort of your own home. Ever heard of Skype? Look into it.

Relocating just so you can  go on more frequent dates isn’t a valid reason. If you have doubts about the merits of your relationship, moving across the country won’t provide you with the revelation you seek. The only difference will be now you don’t have to travel as far to realize that the doubts you had at a longer distance exist at a shorter distance too.

Moving isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly by either party. In a perfect world, you could move for love, land seamlessly in a new job, and make all new friends. It’s not like any of us need real-friends beyond the confines of Facebook anyway, right? But, the world isn’t perfect.

Ideally, the person with the best job should stay put regardless of if they are the man or woman in the relationship, especially in this economy. It’s very likely that either party will face long-term unemployment in the name of love. You need to seriously ask yourself if you’re ok with being the sole financial provider in the household for an unknown period of time. Stated another way, you both need to determine if you can handle a woman being the only one making the money while the man sits around (hopefully temporarily) being a house husband – a role both men and women have failed to readily accept.

Despite all the progresses of women in the workplace, not surprisingly, most women still want a man that can provide for them. This usually means financially. As I’m fond of pointing out in various posts, love doesn’t pay the bills. So although it shouldn’t matter who moves, it does. Unless they have a job waiting for them, one person is making a financial sacrifice for the relationship. This is fine and dandy when you’re in the throes of the honeymoon phase. However, I promise you that new live-in boyfriend/girlfriend smell will wear off a lot faster than those bills you’re responsible for each month.

Then there’s the question no one likes to think about: what happens if you break up?

As the sultry R&B artist, Sade, informed many of us in the 80s, “love is stronger than pride,” but is love stronger than work? It’s interesting that when relationships fail, we are often too quick to blame others but when relationships succeed we are quick to take all the credit without proper attribution to our partners. As a fellow writer for SBM recently pointed out, we have been conditioned to make more sacrifices for work, which only last 20 – 30 years of our lives than for love, which has the potential to last 50 – 60 years. When the opportunity for promotion presents itself in the workplace, we throw caution to the wind; when the opportunity for promotion presents itself in love, we snatch caution from the jaws of happiness. This sentiment is true, but can we honestly ignore the fact that relationships sometimes don’t work out? If you believe the divorce rates, there is a 50% chance you’ll end up “unemployed” from your relationship.

I do believe that a man should be open to moving to make a relationship work, but because of the risks such a decision entails, he should do so as much for himself as he is for the relationship. If things don’t work out, which is a very real possibility, then he may have to live with his decision longer than the woman he made the decision for. This sacrifice should be acknowledged, yet moving really guarantees you nothing more than the opportunity to see if the relationship will last.

At the end of the day, it’s your decision to make and if things don’t work out, it’s your decision to live with. I can’t buy into the philosophy that it’s up to women to still bare all of the risks it takes to make a relationship work, as was the status quo recommendation a mere few years back. It should be clear that whichever party relocates is taking the greater risk. Nevertheless, egos aside, most men should be able to admit that in today’s society there is no less risk for a woman to move for a relationship than there is for a man.

Should a woman always be the one expected to move to make a relationship work? Does it matter if the man or the woman moves? Have you ever moved for a relationship and had it not work out?

WisdomIsMisery aka WIM uses his background as an internal auditor to provide objective, yet opinionated, qualitative and quantitative analysis on life, love, and everything in between. As a Scorpio, many women wish death on WIM and some have attempted to hasten its arrival. WIM is not a model, a model citizen, or a role model. See more of WIM on his weekly write-ups for SBM and on Twitter @WisdomIsMisery.

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