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I’m beginning to think about moving closer to my girlfriend to spend more time with her. We’ve known each other for around 7 months now and things are going great! We are both good at communicating in our long distance relationship. We spent some time together this summer when she was back. She currently lives abroad but is moving back next year. I’ve got two kids (preschool and second grade) and when she moves back, we’ll be about 2 hours apart from each other. She has met my children already. She has been engaged previously but backed out because she wasn’t ready and because her ex never talked about rings or anything before he proposed. We are both in our upper 30’s / lower 40’s and she is wanting kids of her own someday.

Mom is out of the picture; I have full custody of my children and they are close with my parents and my sister's child. The kids would be about two hours from them if we moved. My girlfriend have around 9 cousins near where she would move back to that I know my kids would have a fun time with. My kids are in a larger and good school district currently. The school district where she would move back to is significantly smaller. My youngest is introverted has been a slow talker, but doesn't have any problems understanding others. My oldest is very extroverted, a people please, and is excited about his dad dating. Both boys have enjoyed spending time with her in person and via video chats. I know my children would love the country life (the animals, the space to run around) that moving to a smaller country town would provide.

From a parenting perspective, what are some things to take into consideration when deciding whether or not to move my kids and I closer to her when she moves back next year?

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    When you say she is “moving back”, what exactly is she coming back to? Does she have a house, job or needy family requiring her to stay in the place “two hours away from you”? If anyone moves closer, why can’t she?
    – AsheraH
    Aug 24, 2022 at 17:12
  • @AsheraH Great questions. She had a family member that passed away last year and she wants to move back home to be closer to the rest of her family and also to help farm on their family farm part time. Not sure what else she will do with the rest of her time (she’s still working on it), but she likes to be busy and I believe she’ll have no issues finding a second part time job. She will want to stay somewhere near her family’s farm; where, exactly, is TBD. Aug 24, 2022 at 17:27
  • I'm just basing this off of things I've heard other people in these situations say. I don't have personal experience. Sometimes a stepparent can be abusive. Sometimes a stepparent can feel in competition with an SO's kids for their SO's attention. It's important to listen to your kids. Sadly this last one is gendered, but I have heard many stories of single dads using their new partners as unpaid nannies and neglecting their own relationship with their kids once there is a woman around to do all the boring childcare stuff. I'm sure you won't do that on purpose, but it's a pitfall to avoid.
    – ribs2spare
    Aug 31, 2022 at 18:30

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This all sounds pretty healthy. Your kids are still young and if there isn't a strong social attachment to your current environment, they are likely to adapt quickly.

There doesn't seem to be any strong red flags so why don't just go with what will make YOU happy. A happy parent generally will be a better (and more fun) parent than a sad and lonely one.

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