Relocating for Love

Since Valentine's Day is coming up (even though we don't celebrate) I thought this was an appropriate post...

Yes, objects are as close as they appear.

A
year ago, this was the view from the front door of my SF bachelorette
pad.  It was 3 blocks from restaurants, boutiques, and bars, and a
block from the water.  Although the parking was a nightmare, overall it
was the best city living I could ask for.  Great food, cool culture, and romantic adventures were all at my fingertips.

One thing made it difficult, though-- the lack of my boyfriend. 
Now, I definitely would consider myself highly independent, and not a
clingy type at all.  But it got to the point where, on weeknights, I
would come home late from work and just kill time watching TV or
reading until our nightly phone call.  Although 20 minutes long, that
phone call was my favorite part of the day, and I couldn't unwind
properly until I'd heard about his day and shared my stories with him.

Weekends were an emotional rollercoaster.  I loved the fact that we
were together first thing in the morning, and last thing at night, but
separating at the end of our precious two days together was so hard.  I
kept telling myself that it was easier to have 2 apartments, it made
more sense with our job locations, and there was really no rush to move
in together.  While we started to talk about moving to a new apartment
between our jobs, and even buying a house, circumstances intervened to
make it most convenient and economical for me to move in with him.

Leaving
my bachelorette pad behind was not that difficult, as I'd thoroughly
enjoyed my time there and was ready to move on.  Integrating two lives
into one apartment was surprisingly seamless, and I really couldn't be
happier. But acclimating to our new place was more difficult than I'd
anticipated-- moving an hour away from the city felt like moving to
another world.

I'm lucky to live in a gorgeous, charming, small NorCal town
with a picturesque square, friendly people, and farmer's markets every
Tuesday night, complete with live music.  Tourists flock to it in the
warmer months, newlyweds honeymoon there, and really, it sounds perfect
on paper.

While I appreciate all the great things we have, sometimes I feel a
little bit out of place.  The mid-20s crowd is primarily composed of
people who grew up locally, never left, and started families right out
of high school or shortly thereafter.  The women my age typically have
2 kids by now; if you're not coupled up by 18, it seems you're
considered a failure in the local circles.  On the other hand, the
professional crowd are more late-30s transplants from SF, also with 2
kids.  The women, as far as I can tell, stay home or work from home.  I
do have friends in both aforementioned groups, and they are very nice
people.  But really, there's no comparison with my friends from college
and medical school, who just get me, and are going through the same life milestones.

It feels like there is NOBODY in my situation in town, save for my
boyfriend.  I think we're the only 2-income professional couple with no
kids in about a 15-20 mile radius.    I constantly feel like I have to
censor myself-- usually in talking about work or a vacation we took,
because I don't want to sound like we're bragging-- but watching what I
say isn't very conducive to feeling comfortable.

Sometimes it seems that the space between dating and having kids has
become redefined as purgatory.   I'm actually quite happy with my nice
committed relationship and no kids (for the moment), thank you... and enjoying every last minute of my freedom.

Thank goodness for the awesomeness of my old friends.  While we all
live pretty far apart, we do manage to catch up on a bi-monthly basis
or chat over the phone.  And they totally understand where I'm coming
from when I talk about stress at work, or my need to not be mommy-tracked just yet.

In any case, the point of this post isn't to complain, but rather to
highlight that even in fantastic relationships, compromise and
adaptation are necessary.  Plus, they help you grow more-- after being
a tomboy for so many years, I've started cooking and doing crafts!  If
they knew, my guy friends would think I'd been abducted by aliens, but
really I've just found a man worth learning how to cook for.

After a year, the reduced pace of life is much less noticeable. 
Besides, the relocation got me exactly what I wanted:  more quality
time with the man I love.

What have you had to compromise on or adapt to for your significant
other?  Was it easier or harder than you thought it would be?

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