How To Tell My Partner About My Relocation Opportunity?

Fans of the timeless sitcom Friends may remember “The One Where Emma Cries” from season nine in 2002, in which Chandler accidentally agrees to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma (YouTube) to manage a regional division of his employer’s company. Chandler’s attempts to broach the relocation with his partner, Monica, are a model of how not to tell your partner about your relocation opportunity and are some of the funniest scenes from the series.

So, what is the right way of bringing up a relocation opportunity with your partner? While you know your partner better than we do and much of their reaction will depend on how happy they are in your current location and their feelings towards the proposed location, here are some tips for setting the scene.

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Don’t Put It Off

Receiving a relocation opportunity from your employer can be exciting but also requires a potentially difficult conversation with your partner since it would mean a complete family relocation. Having an open and honest discussion about this major decision is critical, and it’s better to do this sooner rather than later. Putting off the conversation may make your partner feel that you’re hiding something from them, or that you don’t trust them to support you. 

Choose The Right Time And Setting

Pick a suitable time when you and your partner can give your full, undivided attention to the discussion, not when you’re distracted by something else, watching TV, or looking after the kids. If possible, opt for a relaxed weekend day or evening when you're both relatively free of other obligations.

Also, select a private, quiet setting without distractions. Switch off the telly or put your mobiles away so you can really concentrate on each other, and make sure kids or housemates won't interrupt you. The goal is to create a comfortable space to have an in-depth discussion about what family relocation would involve.

Present The Opportunity

Clearly explain all the important details about your relocation offer, including the financial advantages for your relationship and family. Share the location, your reasons for considering it, the potential upsides like career growth or exciting new experiences, as well as any notable challenges or downsides. 

Listen To Their Thoughts And Feelings

After outlining the opportunity, give your partner ample time to share their honest thoughts and feelings. Then, listen attentively without interrupting. Allow your partner to voice any concerns, preferences, worries, or reactions without judgement – they may not have an opinion straightaway and need time to think about it. 

This is okay, and they also may change their mind when they have had time to consider the details, so acknowledge their perspective at each stage and validate their emotions. Your partner may feel anxious, excited, hesitant, or ambivalent about the move, and may even react angrily or upset at first. Whatever the response, prove that you care by actively listening and seeking to understand their viewpoint. Making a unilateral decision could breed resentment, which is not something anyone wants.

Give Time For Reflection

Since this may be the first your partner is hearing about relocation, give them time after your chat to process the possibilities. Encourage them to think through any lingering questions or concerns and let them conduct more research or gather additional information if needed. Schedule a follow-up conversation in a few days after you've both had time to digest the initial discussion and for emotions to settle. This reflection period demonstrates sensitivity and allows for fuller consideration before finalising plans.

Get Expert Relocation Help

If you decide to relocate, don't tackle this transition alone. Galleon International offers comprehensive family relocation services to assist with international or domestic moves. Besides easing your transition, having expert support will likely help with some of your partner's fears or concerns about the relocation process. Get in touch today to learn more about our family relocation support. 

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