Follow Me

Twice now I have moved country with M, first from NZ to Sweden, and then to Canada. And I’ve got to say, it bugs the hell out of me when people comment, not ask, “Oh, so you followed M to Sweden/Canada”.

Do I look like a dog on a leash? Not the last time I checked. Have I got a brain of my own? I believe so. Can I make my own decisions? Apparently not, according to the question askers.

Yes, we moved both times because of jobs for him. But do you really think I just smiled, nodded and agreed when he came home and told me what we were doing? Do you actually think he just came home and told me what we were doing? You don’t think we might have discussed things a little bit first? Negotiated? Argued? Talked some more? You really think I had no input to these decisions? Do you think I just followed?

I would actually say our latest move was more of a 60:40 decision – with me weighing in on the 60. Don’t get me wrong, we both wanted to come here, but M had a lot more doubts than I did. For him, it was time to go – his PhD was over and he needed to move to take the next step. But we always knew that would be the case so there was nothing to debate on that point. It was more a question of where to, and where is going to work for both of us. So I did my research on the cities we were looking at. I didn’t like a couple of those cities, and I said so, very clearly (and once just as M was about to leave to fly out to an interview, oops, bad timing). And he listened.

So next time you meet someone who has followed their partner somewhere, kindly re-phrase your question – “So you moved here together then?” – or just don’t ask it at all. Because I can almost guarantee the couple has spent many hours discussing and weighing up the pros and cons of each choice before uprooting their comfortable lives and going to the effort, trouble and expense of heading half way across the world and leaving family and friends behind.

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