How to Maintain a Strong Relationship During a Move
In my humble opinion, moving is one of the most stressful jobs an adult can go through.
And I know a thing or two about it. In the past sixteen years since I graduated from university, I have moved to New York City (twice), London, Stockholm, and now two different cities in Germany. Before meeting my German husband, I had always moved on my own, which brought with it various challenges (e.g., trying to get your friends to help carry a box in the middle of a snowstorm in Sweden).
However, it wasn’t until 2019 that I really moved in with someone, aka my current husband. Although we met in 2018 and began living together almost immediately in a very small town outside Hannover, Germany, we both soon discussed that we would eventually like to live in a larger city – Hamburg to be exact.
Due to my husband working in law enforcement and having to file his transfer request before making any kind of move, we were finally given the green light to go in the summer of 2019. I am happy to leave my country life and join civilization but I also know this big moment will come for my husband, who has lived in this quiet small town and apartment for more than ten years .
We humans are creatures of comfort and my husband was (and is) no exception. Then I learned that we’d cut our jobs for us, in terms of making things easier. Now with the beauty of hindsight, I hope to be able to impart some wisdom on how we successfully made a successful move as a couple — even if there are times when It doesn’t feel like it.
Divide and conquer
My husband has many skills but knowing how to find an apartment is not one of them.
This is where my skill set comes in handy — I love research and planning. Just ask my friends who travel with me — I’m a pro at arranging a solid itinerary packed with must-see cultures, classy restaurants, and exciting bars.
When we learned my husband’s official start date, which was October 2019, we worked more or less back from there. After asking around my network in Germany, I found two top apartment rental websites up and running. I quickly Googled suggested neighborhoods in Hamburg, the average monthly rent for two people, and of course, I kept in mind what we could afford ourselves.
After narrowing all of this down, I started making an Excel list of some possible apartments and move-in dates that would fit our schedule. This was a team effort, no doubt. When I created the initial apartment listing, it was my husband who made the calls to establish the vision. (He’s a native German speaker in this relationship.) This dynamic worked for us — we both felt we played an active role in our apartment search. ourselves, which in fact, we did.
The same can be said for other aspects of mobility. Hate the packing box but your partner loves it? Let them do it. Realizing your strengths and weaknesses as an individual makes things relatively simple when it comes to dividing and conquering your combo list of moving tasks as a couple.
Be kind when declaring
I hate clutter. Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t mind that.
Let’s just say when it comes to organization, he and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum. His organizing idea is to put everything and anything in a drawer or closet, out of sight. My idea of organization? Open the aforementioned drawers and closets, only to find the bare minimum of items, all neatly organized and in their rightful place.
Needless to say, these stark differences naturally appear when you’re on the go, especially when the clock is ticking to move. In the beginning, I had to really make up my mind not to throw away everything he had and just start over. In the end, I learned to respect his sentimental nature and not weaken his tendency to hold on to things that he’s had since he was a teenager. That removable photo box? It’s loads of old records? He can keep them.
Key point? Be kind to each other when you’re getting rid of things. If your partner explains something important to them, do your best to understand and appreciate their feelings (even if you secretly want to throw everything in the trash).
Yes, this meant we had to seriously stock up on his stuff (to be fair, I only had two suitcases of valuable stuff, since I moved in with him from the US and into the apartment). his full amenities). But we did it together. I learned early on not to push too hard if we’ve gone through a substantial amount of his stuff and save the rest for another day instead. With me always calling pictures about what to “keep” or “throw,” I realize how exhausting this can be for someone who wants nothing more than to just throw everyone in a suitcase. boxes and bring them to our new home.
Key point? Be kind to each other when you’re getting rid of things. If your partner explains something important to them, do your best to understand and appreciate their feelings (even if you secretly want to throw everything in the trash). Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
Think together, be open
Moving house is a whole lot of work, not to mention a lot of emotions. Sadness, excitement, anxiety – as you can call it, moving to a new environment can make anyone feel uncomfortable.
This is definitely the case for me and my husband. Although I knew he was just as excited as I was to move to Hamburg, the city he dreamed of living, there was also a lot of trepidation. He had become so used to the good life in the country (ahem, paying very little rent) that I noticed how when he moved he was suddenly very financially conscious of living in a new country. bigger city.
Fair enough. But for me, having lived in extremely expensive cities like New York City, London, and Stockholm, I also feel like we’ve hit the jackpot. We’ve got our beautiful apartment and can still afford to live the way we want with double our income.
Here’s my take — it’s important to be open with your partner about how you’re feeling before, during, and after moving. If you, or them, feel strangely nostalgic or admit to regretting the move, try not to take it personally. The key here is to lend an ear and establish a sense of closeness. You have made this decision together so any lingering doubts should be shared together.
It’s important to be open with your partner about how you’re feeling before, during, and after moving house. . . . You have made this decision together so any lingering doubts should be shared together.
If it looks like my husband and I have it all figured out for our next move, let me assure you we don’t.
One thing that I do know is that we would never even consider hiring a moving company. In our case, he insisted on doing it himself, by borrowing a delivery van from a friend, so we ended up taking three trips to Hamburg to pick up our stuff. Fun times, really. While I greatly admire my husband’s frugality, letting a moving company handle our belongings will save us a lot of unnecessary arguments and stress.
Since this was our first time moving as a couple, and we got married a year later, I’d say we navigated things pretty well and are happy to call Hamburg our home. .
An American-born and mixed-breed, now living in Germany, Erin is a freelance writer with over 10 years of writing experience from her time in Stockholm, Sweden and New York City. A self-proclaimed storyteller with a serious case of wandering, she has a penchant for all things fashion, film, food and travel.