By Susan K. Thomas
© 2013 Diversity Rules Magazine.  All Rights Reserved.

thomasSusan K. Thomas is a lecturer in English at the University of Kansas where she spreads the good gay word through LGBT literature and first year composition courses. She is currently researching the impact of HIV/AIDS on the LGBT community in Kansas. She has two cats, Hannah and Hamlet (Ham). 

Q. I have fallen in love with a woman who I met online. We’ve been talking every day for the past year, but have never met. We’re now talking about me moving to live with her. I’m ready to pack up what I need, my dog, and go. All of my friends keep telling me I’m crazy. What do you think? Liz

A. Liz, don’t put in notice at your job and give up your apartment just yet. First of all, your friends are just concerned for you and want to make sure that you have considered everything before you make the plunge. I am not telling you not to move, okay? However, I am telling you to think through everything before you do.

To begin with, make sure you have completely thought about the little things such as where you will work and live. I am sure that you and your girlfriend have probably discussed these things, but I’m going to make a few suggestions.

Before you pack your car and head out on this new adventure, you might consider applying for work before you move so that you can have a position in place when you move. Finances can bring a great deal of stress to any relationship. Also, make sure you have money in savings just in case. Extra expenses always arise with a move so make sure you are not relying on your girlfriend or credit cards to pay for these incidentals.

Next, you should consider living alone in your new city, even if it means just renting a one bedroom or an efficiency apartment for the first six months. You have never met your girlfriend, which means that you have never lived in the same city much less the same space. I know that you will want to save money, but I suggest that you live apart in the same area as your girlfriend for a while before you consider moving in together.

And I can hear you saying that you will be spending all of your time with your girlfriend so why not just share a place? Well, I understand that you’ll want to be together quite a bit, but at first it will do you both good to have separate places to retreat to if necessary. Trust me on this! Establish your own residence so that if there are any rough transitions, you will have a place to sleep.

As you and your girlfriend come to know each other in person and move toward living together, you will need to discuss how finances will be handled when you do get to that point. Determine if you are going to have separate bank accounts or pool your resources. You will both need to be completely honest about what bills you pay monthly as well as credit scores. Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to finances! Neither of you need any surprises creeping up on you.

Finally, you might ask yourself why you are asking me for advice. Because you are, you might not be ready as for this move as you think. I know that when we fall in love we often stop thinking with our brains, but instead let our hearts lead the way. You need to really consider how this move will affect your life on all levels, and not just in your relationship. In the meantime, why not plan a trip to visit your girlfriend before making the final decision to uproot yourself. This can help to move your relationship forward as you come to know each other.
Good luck and let me know how it goes!

“Inqueeries” is an interactive column.  Readers are encouraged to submit questions for Susan to answer!

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