It’s common to move for a new job, for a change of scenery or to be near family. But many people move for a different reason: love.
Almost half of millennials who moved recently, 46 percent, relocated to be with a romantic partner or to find love, according to a 2016 study by moving company Mayflower.
Here are three stories of people who packed up their lives to to follow their sweethearts, along with their advice for others considering relocating for love:
Couple: Katie Powell Bell, and Her Husband, Taylor
How they met: He had been friends with her younger brother for years. They met when she was recovering from wisdom tooth surgery on her parents’ couch, woozy from pain killers. She remembers seeing a “cute guy” walk in and trying to fix her hair. He later told her she asked him if he liked HGTV’s “House Hunters.”
The move: She lived in Nashville, TN, when they started dating, and he took a job as a preacher at a little church in the tiny town of Benton, KY. To Katie, the town seemed like “the middle of nowhere.” The couple got engaged, then married. After the wedding, they rented a huge U-Haul and moved Katie from the Nashville apartment she shared with a roommate to Taylor’s rental house in Kentucky.
Advice: Lean on your love. “Remember it’s not easy,” Katie said. “Communication is key. Don’t hold in your feelings. You’ve got to be all in together.”
Couple: Justine Wright and Her Boyfriend, Fred
How they met: Living in her chilly hometown of Cleveland, OH, Justine dreamed of palm trees. When she flew to California to visit a childhood friend, the two women went out to dinner with her friend’s boyfriend. As they chatted about politics, her friend’s boyfriend said, “There’s someone you have to talk to.” He called a friend of his, handed Justine the phone, and the two talked for hours. When they met, they immediately kissed. “It was like something out of a storybook,” she said.
The move: After their first date, which lasted 28 hours, he invited her to move in with him. She went back to Ohio, got rid of almost all the stuff she had accumulated over 25 years, and packed everything else into six boxes. He flew out, she picked him up at the airport, and they drove to California. Almost three years later, they’re still together.
Advice: Make sure you’re ready for a big change, Justine recommends. For her, the move worked because she wanted to start over in a new place anyway and was willing to adapt to cultural differences.
Couple: Kristina Welch and Her Fiancé, Brett
How they met: Kristina grew up in Florida and met Brett at a party while attending the University of South Florida. They dated for a few months, but broke up because she wanted to get more serious while he wanted to keep the relationship casual.
The move: After the breakup, Kristina moved to Los Angeles, where she loved her new life, first in downtown L.A. and then in West Hollywood. “Whether I was going to dinner, to get groceries, hiking or to the to gym, I could just walk,” she said. She kept in touch with Brett and, at one point, they tried a long-distance relationship, then decided it wouldn’t work. Both dated others. Finally they reconnected, he visited her, and they decided she would move back to Florida. She got rid of large items like her bed, packed up the rest and drove cross country. He got a job with an accounting firm in Raleigh, NC, they moved there together and they plan to get married this spring.
Advice: Some people will say you’re “crazy,” but the naysayers might be wrong, she said. “Follow your heart and take a chance.”