This article by Marion Fernandez-Cueto originally appeared in the summer 2010 issue of Tobias magazine. It is reprinted with permission.
Are you considering moving to pursue a relationship? Heed these tips before you take a leap for love.
1. Pray for guidance
St. Rafael, who guided Tobias on his difficult journey to his wife Sarah, has always been the go-to patron saint of Catholics singles. But he’s not the only one! Don’t forget St. Benedict Joseph Labre, patron saint of single men, or St. Agatha, patron saint of single women. St. Valentine and the lesser-known St. Dwynwyn have also long been venerated as patron saints of lovers. Ask them to help you discern or fulfill a vocation to marriage, and remember these words from Psalm 37:4-5: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desire of your heart. Commit your ways to the Lord, trust in him, and he will act.”
2. Do a reality check
Moving for someone involves a significant emotional and financial commitment. Before you uproot for the love of your life, make sure you’ve spent a significant amount of time in each other’s company first, and that both of you are enthusiastic about taking the relationship to the next level. Confiding in a trusted friend, family member or spiritual director can help clarify your decision and ensure you’ve thought it through.
3. Line up the logistics
You’ll need a job, apartment, and transportation in your new town, but you may also have to adjust to a new standard of living. If you’re moving from an urban setting to a rural one, or vice versa, will you be content in your new town long-term? If you’re used to a mountain vista in Colorado, will New York City feel claustrophobic? Will the downtown bakery in Fargo be able to stand in for your favorite L.A. nightclub? Consider cost-of-living and climate changes as well: If you’re moving south, you may need air-conditioning in your car and apartment year-round. If you’re moving north, shoveling sidewalks and scraping the windshield might be common winter chores.
4. Set up a support system
The first few months after a move can be exciting – and isolating. You’ve left behind family, friends, colleagues and local activities, and your boyfriend/girlfriend simply can’t replace them all. Setting up a social network in your new town can help ease the transition, take unfair pressure off your relationship, and create a safety net in case in case you and your sweetie part ways. Some ideas: Ask around for a church with a vibrant young adult group; read library and coffee shop bulletins to find local bands, book clubs, or volunteer activities; grab lunch with new coworkers; or throw a housewarming party and invite everyone you’ve met after a month.