Your Call: Is 19 Too Young to Relocate for Love?

Dear Em & Lo,
I’m 19 years old, and have been dating my boyfriend for eight months. However, we live 3 hours away from each other.  This hasn’t caused any problems yet, we get to see each other most weekends and the relationship is going great.  We fit together perfectly in all aspects of our relationship.  Lately I’ve been thinking of transferring to the university that he attends. It wouldn’t be until next fall, but I feel like this relationship is really going somewhere.  My mom says if it’s meant to be that it will work out without us going to the same school, but I’m not sure I want to take this risk.  She also says eight months or even a year is not a long time, and I don’t agree with her.  I’ve been hearing that I’m too young to know that I’m in love, but I can tell you I have never cared for a man this much.  Should I stick it out and stay three hours away and risk the distance taking its toll on our relationship, or should I take the risk and transfer, knowing there’s always that possibility that things might not work out?
— Don’t Call It Puppy Love



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  1. yea me and my boyfriend have been going out for 8 months and he lives 12 hours aways so three is no big deal im gunna move down there after doin a year of college at my school and when i get there im still not going to the same college and ill be an hour away but its much closer and ill see him more and i still will have my own seperate college experience, cuz i love this man and he loves me and we’ll do anything for eachother and its been 3 months and i’ve seen him once and we’re more in love than ever!

  2. I’m surprised so many people are pushing for a “transfer” option…uproot your entire social and academic life for a 19 year old? I’m sorry but even when a young couple follows each other to school, I’ve rarely seen it work out. If it’s meant to be, it can happen later, too. This isn’t someone you’ll never run into again and won’t know how to reach out and contact.

  3. There are too many variables here to be able to offer good, solid advice. What is your relationship style/history? His? How do you *both* feel about the possibility of a move? If either of you are at all prone to feeling “smothered,” that’s a big red flag right there.

    Like Doug said, you need to take other things into account, like financial aid, school and program quality, and if you have other friends in the area you’d be able to hang with if things go pear-shaped.

    That said…Michael was 18 and I was 19 when we met online. He lived in Minnesota and I lived in Oklahoma. He moved down to be with me (and into my parents’ house!) only five months after we met; as of today, we’ve been together for twelve years. It might not have been the objectively smart way to go, but it worked out for us.

    Most importantly, find a way to spend a large, intense chunk of time together before making any decisions. If you can’t handle a month together over Xmas or summer break, you’ll have your answer.

  4. ** I am a different Elizabeth than the one above.

    So, my fiance and I started dating when we were 19 and have been together almost 4 years now. We did go to the same school when we started dating (he dropped out at one point) and “lived in each other’s pockets” as someone said above. And yes, we have had our problems related to that, but if it’s real love the distance won’t destroy it, but neither will the closeness. But I really don’t think there is anything all that wrong with you transferring schools. I mean, yes – if it’s going to put you in significantly more debt than you would if you stayed, then maybe wait it out a little longer. Also – if HE isn’t too sure about the move, then wait a little longer, maybe until next spring semester (or winter term, however your school does that).

    I think you should carefully take into account both opinions, your own financial state and the difference in education levels at the two universities. And if you go through all of that and your heart still aches to be near him all of the time, then go for it.

  5. From what you say it seems like things are going ok right now. You say that you manage to see each other regularly- what’s the problem?

    19 isn’t too young to be in love, but it is too young to live in each others’ pockets, when you’ve only been dating 8 months. I’ve been with my boyfriend since I was 18 (I’m now 23). We went to different universities (we were 2-3 hours apart), and each had our own lives and our own friends and our own independence, whilst still keeping the relationship going. I did a lot of growing up, and I know that our relationship now is stronger and more mature because of it. We moved in together after we graduated, and have been living together nearly 18 months. We are really happy, but I think that one of the reasons that our relationship is so good now, is because we had our own lives and the chance to grow and be independent.

  6. My bf lived in another state and I couldn’t take the distance. I was 18 at the time and my entire family was against it but I knew what I wanted and I did it anyway. We’re still happily together and I don’t regret leaving one bit.
    LDRs are hard. That’s why I left. My best friend and his girl are going through hell trying to make theirs work out so I feel your pain.
    You have some time to think things through. If you do it, it may be the best decision of your life. But if you two break up, or you’re miserable there, then I say come up with a back up plan just in case.

  7. You are complaining too much, I’d give anything to be able to see my boyfriend every weekend! We’ve been together for almost 2 years, and we live in different sides of the Atlantic.
    This means seeing each other only every 6 months, when we have vacation from our universities.
    I agree with your mom – if it’s true love, it will last no matter what.
    And besides, you’ll leave all your friends behind, while he’ll still have his friends around him, and maybe this makes you feel uncomfortable.

  8. I agree that three hours away is really quite a short distance; an hour and a half if the two of you agree to meet halfway.

    I think that at nine months, the decision to move isn’t a wise one. I’ve been with my current girlfriend for two years, so I’d like to say as a person in a relatively new relationship (in long-term), there’s a lot of changes that still need to occur after the nine month mark. My gf and I didn’t have our first real argument until almost a year in.

    If things are going really well, then don’t rush it. You’ve got time. Until then, figure out the things that you want to do; things that will be a lot harder to do once you’re living so close. Learn to paint, read those books you’ve been putting off, go on a spirit journey. Appreciate that you have some space, and develop your interests to make sure both your interests aren’t just each other.

  9. Puppy Love,
    My parents met and started dating their senior year of high school and after their 1st semester of college at different places they decided that staying apart was too hard. My mom transfered to my dad’s college and they are still together today, 36 years later. I know they are probably a rare case, but after hearing their story many times and seeing how much they still love each other I have to tell you to relocate if you truly believe it is the right decision.

  10. Life is full of decisions that might not be a good idea in retrospective. Life is also full of “what if”s. A good decision is one that seems like the best one in the moment it is made, and a good decision is always one that you won’t regret — because you made it at some point in your life with all the information available to you then, and you thought it was the best idea.

    I think you should thoroughly think all aspects through: Is it worth it, is he worth it, what about your career, financial aspects, would he do this for you, what if you split up, all the things the other commenters already mentioned. And in the end, make a decision that you think is a good idea 🙂

  11. I think the biggest question is does this new university still offer you the same opportunity that the old one does? If the change in quality is Ivy League to State university, perhaps you should reconsider but if the change is more one state university to another, with similiar financial aid then I say why not? Even if you don’t end up together, colleges are big places and I doubt you would struggle finding new friends. However, you’d have to ask yourself if he would do it for you, and how much will it cost to move their. If it incurs any cost to you other than moving your stuff (i.e. you are currently living at home and this means you need an apartment) then it’s a terrible idea. You can deal with a few years apart if it means saving thousands of dollars.

  12. In my opinion, 3 hours away isn’t very far. Whether you switch schools or not… it’s only 3 hours away. If you switch schools and it doesn’t work out – you’re only 3 hours away from where you might choose to return to. I don’t think relocating a mere 3 hours is a big deal ultimately. If you’re still going to college at all I don’t see that it would be negatively affecting your education.

    That said – when I was 18 I moved 2 states away to be with the man I loved. That’s a hell of a lot further than 3 hours. It was a big risk… but it’s been 9 years and we’re still together. We’ve been married for 7 years and it has been wonderful. For the first 4 years or so we were together almost 24 hours a day and thrilled. Now it’s real life we’ve lived all over the country and it has not been the crisis situation people imagine always happens with young love.

    Honestly, I think that no one else can decide for you what’s the right decision here. Ultimately, you’ll make your own decision because you ARE an adult… and either way you risk something. Just don’t do either one for the wrong reasons. Try to think past the surface reasons for either side before you act on it.

  13. It’s not an age issue. At no point until after you’re married should you reshape your life around his–and even after marriage it should kept within reason.

  14. I’m your same age and in an LDR with my boyfriend of two years, and our situations seem -very- similar. I recommend you wait. The weekends are the best times for you to see each other right now, anyway, what with school being so important. And, the time apart does give your relationship a chance to blossom in many ways that might otherwise be stifled if you saw each other every day. Try not to stress too much, honey; you can stick it out! Communicate daily with him in whatever way is most comfortable for the both of you, and make the most of the time you get together, and good things will continue to happen, even though I know the pain of being apart is even physical sometimes.

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