Most people make a move hoping for a positive outcome, maybe a shorter commute, more living space— or in the case of people moving for love, establishing a successful romance.
About one in four adults have moved for love at some point in their lives, finds our latest survey. But weighing whether one should move to be closer to a significant other can be tricky, compared to deciding to relocate for plenty of other reasons.
After all, does moving for love ever work out?
Because unlike people who just want a shorter commute or a bigger apartment, the success of moving for love can’t be measured in minutes or square footage. And with these matters of the heart, there are few guarantees.
Well, good news. A new HireAHelper survey about moving for love finds that relocating for a romantic relationship actually pays off. Here’s what we found:
- One in four (24.1%) people say they have moved to pursue a romantic relationship before
- Three-quarters (73%) of people who moved for a romantic partner are either still together or were together for more than a year. This includes 38% who moved for the romantic partner they’re still with
- Two-thirds (65%) of people who moved for a significant other are glad they made this decision
- Even among couples who are together for six months or less after a move, 51% still say they’re glad about their decision to move for a partner
- The hardest part of moving for love? Most commonly, it’s making the decision of whether to relocate in the first place with a third (32%) selecting this option. But about a quarter of respondents (27%) also cite the moving process as a major pain point
1 in 4 people have moved for love
About one in four people (24%) have relocated for a romantic partner, finds our survey. (Men are slightly more likely to have relocated than women, with 27% having done so compared to 23% of women.)
There are some generational differences when it comes to moving for love, as well. Baby boomers (ages 54 and up) are half as likely to have moved for love (12%) compared to overall responses. Millennials, however, are more likely to have moved for a romantic relationship (31%).
In total, a quarter of all respondents moved for love at some point in their lives, but does moving for love work?
Our survey suggests that relocating for a romantic relationship pays off more often than it doesn’t.
After a move, 73% of couples last more than a year
In all, three in four people who moved for a romantic relationship are still with their significant other, or were with their partner for more than a year after moving.
Of people who say they’ve relocated for a romantic partner, 38% are still with that person, while another 35% moved for a relationship that lasted for a year or longer. This is a solid success rate for long-distance couples or courters who are considering if a move will lead to a good match.
Of course, not every couple stays together after one partner relocates. Just over a quarter (27%) of people who moved for love said that this relationship lasted less than a year—of those, a third (10%) lasted less than three months.
2 in 3 are glad they moved for love
There are more good signs for couples who are considering relocating for a relationship. The majority of people who made a move for a significant other view this choice positively.
In fact, two-thirds (65%) of people who moved for love say they’re glad they did so. (This includes 47% who say they are “very glad” they moved, and 19% who are “somewhat glad” about this decision.)
Another 19% have neutral feelings on this past decision to move for love. And of all the people who have relocated for romance, just 15% regret it.
How this decision is viewed is, of course, correlates to the outcome of the relationship. People who are still together tend to be the happiest with their decision to move (74% say they’re “very glad about it”).
But somewhat surprisingly, even when the relationships didn’t last, however, many still feel their move was a good decision. Just over half (51%) of people who were together 6 months or less after relocating for a partner say they’re glad they made that move.
For 27%, moving was the worst part of relocating for love
From finding movers to getting settled in a new home, moving involves major investments of time, money, and energy.
We asked people who have moved for love which parts of the moving process they found most difficult (allowing them to select more than one option). A third (32%) of say that making up their mind to move for a romantic relationship was one of the hardest parts of the process.
The moving process itself makes an appearance, of course, with 27% citing this as one of their biggest difficulties in relocating for love.
Homesickness might be another major issue to contend with after moving for a partner. The next-most common complaints about moving for love are difficulties adjusting to life in a new area (31%) and leaving their old lives behind (30%).
Other major pain points include being in a long-distance relationship before the move (28%) and finding a job in the new area (24%).
There are also some differences in how men and women were affected by moving for love.
Men had a harder time making up their mind to move (38% compared to 28% of women) and managing changes to the relationship after the move (13% to 11%).
Women more often found it difficult to work through disagreements about moving (13% compared to 9% of men) and finding housing in their new location (13% versus 7%).
People will move for a partner after dating for 6 months or more
Lastly, we asked some questions about respondents’ willingness and expectations to move for love.
About 44% of people say that if they had a long-distance partner, they’d be open to relocating to be together. Just 26%, by contrast, say they would be against moving for a long-distance relationship.
How far will people move for love? It’s split. 46% say they would only be willing to move within their own city or state to be closer to a romantic partner, but about the same number of people, 44%, say they’d be open to moving across state lines or further. (This includes 15% willing to relocate across the country and another 7% who would move out of the country for love.)
Another question long-distance couples wrestle with: how long should they be a couple before it makes sense to consider moving to be closer? The magic length appears to be at least 6 months, with two-thirds (68%) of people saying they’d expect to be with a partner for half a year or longer to discuss a relocation.
However, one in five (20%) say they’d be willing to consider moving for a partner they’d been with for less than 6 months. Another 12% said they wouldn’t move for a romantic partner.
The results are in: moving for love is likely to pay off
Overall, Americans are fairly open to the idea of moving for love, and a quarter of adults have actually done so. And most people who relocate to pursue a romantic relationship have positive feelings about the outcome.
The results of our survey show that deciding whether to move for love can be a tough choice—the hardest part of the process, in fact. But for people who decide to do so, resettling nearer to a romantic partner has a solid chance of succeeding, sustaining, and paying off even when you don’t stay together.