Moving across the world (or even across town) to be with the love of your life sounds super romantic, no? But like a lot of fairytale moves, we don't always talk a lot about what happens after the big romantic "come with me" gesture. For almost half of women who've moved for love, it's not so great, according to a new survey.
Homes.com surveyed 5,000 people to find out how many had moved for their relationship—and what happened after. It turns out, moving to be with your significant other is more common than you might think. Nearly one in five respondents reported relationship relocation and a third of those had done it more than once. Women reported being slightly more likely to move than men.
But for almost half — 43 percent — the move wasn't worth it and they wouldn't do it over. Twenty-three percent split after the move, 18 percent said relocating failed to save their rocky relationship, 17 percent disliked their new location, and 11 percent even fell in love with someone else.
Before you freak about an impending move, it's not always bad, says renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel, New York Times bestselling author of The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. Ultimately, it's about where your values lie.
"The only thing that would make me move is love," Perel says. "In my life, I wouldn't think that a job is enough of a reason to move anywhere – relationships are what determines where I am."
In other words, no shame if you do want to move for love—whether it works out or not.
Here, 15 women share what happened after the move that was supposed to lead to their happily ever after:
1. I LOVED MY NEW HOME, BUT NOT HIM
"I moved across the country for a relationship. We talked a lot before, during, and after to make sure my move was as much about the new location as it was about him. Which was good, because we split amicably a couple years later. But I'm still head-over-heels in love with the Pacific Northwest." — Liz M.
2. HE WAS CHEATING
"I gave up work, career, friends, etc., to move across the world. He forgot to say he'd been seeing someone else. For four months. It took a while to claw my way back from that one! My one piece of advice: Do NOT move for a partner." — Lynne O.
3. IT WENT BETTER THAN I EXPECTED
"My husband and I were married but living in different American cities when he got offered a job in Rwanda. He moved and I followed one month later, leaving behind my dream job. The move pushed me into running my photo/filmmaking business full-time, and though I was very worried about getting work, it all turned out much better than I expected. Five years later and I'm still running my business full-time." — Laura P.
4. THE BALANCE OF POWER WAS SKEWED
"I moved for someone to a place where he discovered the type of girl he really wanted. He had family here and I didn't. Luckily, my own amazing faraway family helped me get into an apartment here when we broke up. My takeaway was the balance of power is really skewed toward the partner with greater financial security and connections in the city (duh, I guess). But I don't regret the move, actually. I had to cultivate a lot of independence and maturity after I was single again." — Amy B.
5. RIGHT PLACE, WRONG GUY
"I did this when I was 20. I shudder to think of my daughter doing this. I moved from Boston to Los Angeles with my then-boyfriend. Did not live happily ever after with him, but I did meet my husband in Los Angeles five years after I moved there." — Lisa H.
6. WE LIVED IN LIMBO
"I moved with a college boyfriend across state, from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. I did not know a soul in Philadelphia, had never lived there, nor even visited more than twice. I didn't have a job waiting for me, either. Looking back now, it seems like a whole lotta dumb. The first few years were rough. I wanted to get married and he didn't, so we were in live-together limbo. I don't even like to think back to that time, but it was a risk that worked out in the end. We are married 20 years now with two kids." — Christine C.
7. IT WORKED, AGAINST ALL ODDS
"I graduated from college and six days later moved from Iowa to Colorado to be near a boy I met in Mexico on spring break. I told everyone who would listen that my moving had nothing to do with the boy (including him). I had no job, no prospects, no place to live, and about $600 bucks in my pocket. We got married and have a beautiful 7-year-old daughter." — Carrie B.
8. IT WAS WORTH THE RISK
"I met a guy online on Yahoo Personals back in 1998 when no one used online dating and moved from Florida to Raleigh. We've been married 19 years now and have two kids. I learned that it’s worth taking a chance on something that seems crazy to everyone else. Besides, you can always move again." — Jennifer G.
9. I'M STILL TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT
"I moved across the country and left a career I loved for my husband's military career, only months after we got married. It's been a year now and I'm still trying to figure things out, but I've learned a lot about myself and about relationships during that time. It's been a year of understanding, coping, accepting, learning, and growing." —Kimberly G.
10. I ENDED UP BETTER OFF
"I moved cross-country, not entirely to be with someone, but it was a contributing factor. He broke up with me a few months later because he apparently liked me better when I was too far away to see regularly. But he moved away long ago, while I still live here and love it. I think I got the better end of the deal." —Fawn F.
11. I HAVE NO REGRETS
"I moved from Pennsylvania to California. We've been together 15 years, married nine, and 10 years ago I dragged him back to Pennsylvania. Life is risk and taking chances—I'm happy with no regrets." —B.K. J.
12. I TOOK A FINANCIAL HIT
"I moved to Norfolk, Virginia, where I’ve never been, for a relationship that was still very new, but very intense and serious. We bought a house, broke up 10 months later, and I kept the house. I’m in the process of selling now, three years after we bought it, at a massive loss." — Eileen J.
13. I GOT A HUGE SHOCK
"I liquidated my life to move to Costa Rica to be with my boyfriend of two years. I found out he was MARRIED two weeks after arriving." — Bridget C.
14. I WAS RELUCTANT AT FIRST
"I was living in Park City, Utah and picked up a tourist in a bar. He was living in Cleveland, but we found out we both grew up in Indiana. We closed down the bar and spent the next two years Skyping, FaceTiming, and flying back and forth across the country until we got engaged, and I very reluctantly moved to Cleveland. We got married, I’ve grown to love Ohio, and we have a baby on the way! He’s the greatest human being I’ve ever known." — Amy B.
15. WE COMPROMISED
"My husband and I were long-distance (California for me, Maryland for him) and decided to meet in the middle. We ended up in Chicago for nine years." — Jennifer R.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health