Any words of wisdom--Moving long distance to be with SO
I apologize for the book you're about to read but I'm just looking for any advice on making this transition a little easier. A little back story-
He is in the military, Navy, and currently in flight school. I'll be graduating from college in December (yay!), and have a horse and a dog that will be moving with me. We've been together for over a year and a half, long distance the entire time. The closest we've been was a six and a half hour drive and he's currently over thirteen hours away. We've been pretty lucky in that we've been able to see each other at least once a month, and he spent a month living with me and my family (broke college student still living at home) while on leave last summer. I feel like I know him really well, and consider him to be my best friend.
I've told him that I don't want to get engaged/married until we've spent more time close to one another because, although the month together went very well, I want to see how things go when we have to deal with the day-to-day commitments and activities. It's typically a like a mini-vacation for both of us when we're together, so I'm sure the stress of work, bills, and other things will make a difference. I don't forsee this causing either one of us to change our minds, but ya never know!
He should be starting the next phase of flight school in January, which is when I plan to move in with him.I'm starting to stress about not only what it's going to cost to move that far away, but finding a job and a suitable barn. We also just had our first living arrangement disagreement- the dog sleeping in the bed. I understand his arguements and have agreed that the dog should have his own bed in the living room. I know that every relationship is a give and take and am willing to comprimise on issues like this, because the dog will adjust just fine!
I'm also worried how the moves during flight school will look on my resume. I'll have to have a job with decent pay to support the horse and student loan payments on top of normal living expenses-no, selling the horse is not an option to save money, I've tried going horseless but spent the same amount in therapy bills- and am afraid that only staying with a company for 6 months to a year will start to look bad over time.
I guess what I need is advice from anyone who has made this type of change, military or otherwise; even if it's just words of encouragement or your own success story. Anything to help ease my mind a bit that it's okay that I'm taking this huge step! I know that living with him will be an adjustment, but it's one I'm looking forward to!
I quit my job and moved 2000 miles to move in with my SO, who is now my DH. Try and line up work now. Make sure he is ok floating you for awhile if things get sticky. Have an emergency plan for when Dobbin or Fido rack up a huge vet bill you can't deal with. I worked on DH's dairy for a wage, which I used for groceries, but he paid all the big bills. W ealso knew that since we were going to get married and I was a SAHM and there were no racetracks nearby, me working for the kind of money I was used to wasn't an option. As soon as you get there, get involved in as much local stuff as possible to meet people. Assuming you won't yet qualify for the spouse's club, as you aren't married. Are you moving to P'cola by any chance?
Rustbreeches- he's in Pensacola now and hopes to get Whiting for primary, so hopefully that's where we'll be.
I do plan on lining up work before I go down. Unfortunately, right now he's not sure if he'll get to stay in FL or have to move to TX for his next phase, so I'm not sure where I should start applying. He said he should know within the next few weeks so I'll be able to start the job hunt then.
As far as the military benefits go, I won't need insurance coverage (able to stay on parents until I'm 26) and can wait for the other perks. I do not want to rush into marriage just to receive his benefits.
I'm not sure what skills you have, or what you need to earn, but you could try working for a staffing company. You can oftentimes get 6-month contracts, and if the staffing company is a national company you can stay with the company and switch contracts if you move to another state. There are staffing companies that specialize in specific professions too.
Don't do it until you are at least engaged, if not married. I have moved a few times with my husband (military) and it has been hard to find a job, in spite of fantastic experience and references, because hiring managers still fear I am either a job-hopper or that we will have to move again. I've set myself up doing freelance work, but it is a lot of effort to make sure the pipeline of clients stays full.
You'll figure out the day-to-day stuff. It's the honeymoon phase when you finally get to be in the same place at the same time, so you will probably overlook or compromise easily on the housekeeping/chores/bills/etc. In my experience, those things aren't instant deal breakers, but add up over time. I would definitely have an open conversation about finances, though, along with setting expectations for what a military life is like. Pilots work long, long hours, go away on training frequently, and deploy on a regular basis. It is really hard to be in a military town if you are not married- you have no access to the family/spouse support network, which can be a real life line during stressful times.
I hope you stay in P'cola. I love it there. Summered there every year as a child and then started going at spring break time. I think there was another thread in off course about a woman who was moving there with her husband's transfer. Maybe they are doing away with the stables at Whiting? I can't remember now,but try searching it
Definitely lay out finanical stuff first. Especially if he will be paying for a lot of stuff.
My SO (that I live with) pays the mortgage and all of the bills as well as buys all of our groceries etc because I just graduated college and make next to nothing.
Before I moved in with him, I told him that I wouldnt be able to pay for much of anything and that my horses pretty much take up any extra money I have.
He understood, and I am now paying him a flat fee at the beginning of every month. It increases as my pay increases, but still barely makes a dent in all of the bills. (I pay not even 25% of our mortgage/bills).
Its a touchy subject but do have that conversation.
I also like to ask about any weird things about living with a person. For instance, I like the toilet paper put on the roll a certain way. I also dont like any globs of toothpaste in the sink. Knowing little things like that can prevent stupid little fights.
Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)
I'm going to have to make that decision within a year. I don't think if I were you that I would do it without being married first (even if I did/didn't have a job lined up).
The military is different and a lot of your resources (and health care) options would be on base. Need a military ID card for that stuff.
I'm a little older and have more career experience under my belt and am pretty confident in finding a job wherever I go, but I still wouldn't do it without a wedding ring for the reasons mentioned.
That's a good point from a totally practical standpoint. None of the military benefits work for you-and you need them to survive on what he is making and you are likely to make around just about any base-because they know you might be leaving and are not long term. Forget the critters, what if YOU get sick? And shopping for groceries and other basics on base makes up for alot. Some of the bases still have a saddle club where you can board a horse below market rates-with an ID.
Not to be a wet blanket but what if he gets posted to Japan or Korea or Germany? Going to stay in P'cola with what will likely be a near minimum wage job (it's not a great area for higher wages) or follow him selling the horse and leaving the dog? Arranging your own travel, and paying for it????
Think you need to sit down and think about this more. You are giving up an awful lot for nothing here and putting yourself in a lower income/few or no benefits situation. I wouldn't do it unless I could get those spouse benefits.
You also might want to look into the military lifestyle for lower ranking junior officers and enlisted subject to assignments all over the world. And they can't say no.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
If he is in flight school, then you are eventually headed to be an officer's wife.... and that is a job unto itself.
There are expectations of your behavior, your time and your (for lack of a better word) cheerleader behavior.
He will be deployed (Navy) even if its not in a combat zone. The ships go to sea.
You not only will have your job (usually low end unless you are in one of the more and more unobtainable types of professions that moves easily from place to place without losing tenure/status) but the job of taking care of the entire household. Not just physically, but mentally, financially, etc while you are busy wondering if he is ok.
Military life is a HUGE stressor.
And from my own experience, officers are taught/trained to be in charge. They want everything run ship shape while they are gone then expect to take over and be kowtow-ed to when they return.
There is not much compromise, not much discussion. Its their way, because they bring home the $$ (nevermind you moved the household 17 times while he was always in exotic locales during the moves....)
Each time you move you lose not only your job tenure but also your friends/support groups.
None of this even starts to touch on the animals and all the issues of pet ownerships during moves domestic and overseas.
Can you tell I would never choose to be a military dependent again?? LOL
OP being cautious is a good thing but there are pros and cons. If you move without marriage you lose out on the benefits (health, base, paid for move) but if you marry first then its harder to "undo". Good luck whichever way you decide!
On a final note, since I just turned 50 I get to do the "I'm older than you" advice section:
You are both young. You've never had to deal with day to day DATING to say nothing of legal living together/marriage. You haven't lived on your own from the sound of it.
How about graduating and spending some time living on your own?
Wow, she is moving to Fl or TX, not outer Mongolia. If it is awful, she can undo it. You are young, have fun. See if it works for you. You don't have to shop on base. The only thing I ever noticed a huge deal on was diapers, anyway. you can shop at the local freaking Walmart if you want. Your parent's insurance might not cover you if you aren't a full time student. Double check that. Move in, see what happens. If it works, get used to moving. Alot. If not, so what
As far as the insurance, i'm still on my parents insurance (im 24y/o) and I dont need to be a full time student (or a student at all) to stay on theirs until I turn 26. (Which is convenient since i'm at a job where my benefits havent kicked in yet).
Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)
RB-the health insurance to age 26 is for people who don't qualify for other insurance, and you don't have to be a full-time student any longer. And that is the extent of what I know about health reform (woman at the next desk was doing research to get her useless kid back on our health insurance).
OP-you will have to live off base, and since he is unmarried won't get additional housing allowance for dependents. And you might find out if he'll even be allowed to live off base during his next training phase. And you didn't say what kind of dog you have. My understanding is that the Military housing people for all services have now standardized the list of banned breeds for all installations (you can google it to see the list), and housing on post might not be an option then either.
And a military career these days isn't a sure thing either. There are huge cutbacks coming, and all services will be affected.
Thank you all for your replies! I'll try to answer some of the questions.
I am trying to be very smart about all of this. I do not come from a military family and am learning as I go. He has been very up-front about all of the issues military lifestyle brings. I'm a very independent person so I should be able to handle the deployments, etc...as long as I can stay busy. I'm not going into this thinking it will be an easy life; I realize that it's going to be very hard, both financially and emotionally.
I have lived away from home, for the first two years of college. I decided to move back in with my parents when I bought my horse to save money. Thankfully I won't be moving out of my parents house and directly in with my boyfriend having not experienced living alone.
He's 110% supportive of the horse. To the point of offering to take over his expenses if I can't afford it at any point. He knows that selling isn't an option...I've made that clear from the beginning. I will also make every effort for him not to pay for the horse, as I never want it to become an issue. I also know that if he's stationed overseas something would have to give. I'd definitely look into leasing him out for that period of time.
The dog is a chiweenie (dachshund x Chihuahua)-so hopefully he won't be too hard to move and shouldn't be on any type of list, although you never know!
We've discussed finances to a point, but I agree that we need to have a much more in-depth conversation very soon. I'll be spending a week with him over Thanksgiving and think that will be the perfect opportunity.
I'm still worried about finding work. I have worked in the accounting division of an asphalt company for four years while going to college full time, so hopefully that work experience and job references will help.
and rustbreeches- I also love the Pensacola area! I'm really hoping he get's to stay for a little while at least!
Last edited by BetterInTime; Oct. 31, 2011 at 02:46 PM.
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