I have to be far from family to live with my boyfriend

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I'm 26 and have lived within two hours from home my entire life. I am very into traveling and living my life to the fullest. My dream was to move to Florida to be close to my happy place (the beach).

When I was finally in my last semester of my master’s program, my boyfriend (of 4 years) got a job opportunity 1,000 miles away, in NY, outside of the city. My last semester seemed to crumble at the thought of losing him, moving, leaving my family, etc. We both made the decision that he should take the job and eventually I would join him. Making that decision was difficult.

Six months have come and gone and I am a month away from moving for a new job, my boyfriend, and living with him for the first time. However my head is in a state of pure panic as I think about 1) leaving my beloved family and 2) going to a place that was not my dream place.

I feel so uncomfortable and so sad knowing I have to leave, yet I always wanted adventure. Why am I so codependent with my family? Why is it so hard for me to leave the nest and pursue what's next with my boyfriend? I'm 26, but I feel like I'm 18.

- Leaving


There's nothing wrong with wanting to stay close to your family because you love them. There's also nothing strange about panicking when it's time to leave. This will be a big change for you. Of course you're freaking out. But please give yourself some credit; if you were attached to your family in a way that prevented you from having any other kind of desirable experience, you wouldn't have signed up for this plan at all.

It seems more useful to focus your energy on brainstorming how to build community once you're in New York. It’s not a social, find-a-new-friend world right now because of the pandemic, so the first thing you should do is be kind to yourself about deadlines. If you don't make any friends for a few months (or more), remind yourself that these are strange times. The friends are out there; they're just not available to you yet. Don't judge your new hometown until you've had some real time there.

Take advantage of whatever digital and safe outdoor activities are available to you. There might be ways to socialize with people at work, for instance.

Also, you don't have to become some stoic person who never checks in. Don't be shy about calling your family. You don't have to prove you can do without them.

You didn't tell us much about your boyfriend, how you feel about him, and what you're excited about when you think of living with him. Can you make that list for yourself? When you talked about moving to meet him, did you discuss how long you'd both stay or whether he’d be open to moving for you at some point? It's a conversation worth having when you're both in a good place.

– Meredith

Readers? These feelings are understandable, right? Advice on this kind of life change?