This past weekend, I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in awhile. I’m mightly glad our paths crossed because in a few short weeks he’s pulling up stakes and heading across the country to live with a man that he loves.

My understanding is that this is a relatively new relationship and the future is To Be Determined. But for now they’re determined to determine together and while I’ll miss seing my pal around town, I can’t think of a better reason for him to go.

The Man of Mans moved to Ottawa for a job. I moved to Ottawa for him. That wasn’t the only allure of this city. Once the prospect was on the table, I found there was enough here that I could find happiness as well. And The MoMs would have never come if I couldn’t be happy. But Ottawa wasn’t on my radar until he had a reason to come. I never would have chosen or even thought to live here, if he hadn’t asked.

It’s seems most people consider moving to study, for a job or even for a change of scenery a bold, enriching experience. Yet sometimes there’s less support for a person who wants to hightail their smitten ass out of town and to live with their beloved. Once upon a time, I judged myself for doing that very thing.  Leaving to be with a lover seems to evoke particular unease if the couple in question haven’t logged a requisite number of years together and/or made an engagement-like committment.

This reticence, I suspect is born of good intentions. No one wants to see someone they care about get hurt. There is such optimism in the leap of faith required to up and move somewhere new for someone new. That much optimism is scary because, my god what if it doesn’t work? What if it doesn’t work and the person I care about is devastated and far, far away?

The truth is anything can not work out. That dream job might be a nightmare. The new scenery may make you realize the grass was greener where you came from. It’s always as risk and love as much as anything can blow up in your face.

But what if it doesn’t?

For my money, love is a damn good reason to pack your bags, gather your courage and get the hell out of town. In fact, it’s my favourite.  It may not work out. Your heart might get broken.

But the cards might just fall in your favour. Love may take all your previous plans and KICK THEIR ASS WITH AWESOMENESS! It might be better than any job, school or the most beautiful scenery that’s ever been seen. It might be the best decision you’ve ever made. And if it’s not, it’s not. But why not try?

My friend is leaving to be with the person he loves. I’m pretty happy about that.  To quote Erica Jong:

Love is everything it’s cracked up to be…It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for.



  1. Greg says:

    Good luck, Nadine’s friend! I can’t think of many better reasons to pack up and move, either.

  2. zoom says:

    Good for him for having the guts to take that leap of faith. I’ve stayed in Ottawa all my life so far, just out of sheer force of habit. I admire people who step beyond the inertia, beyond the familiar, beyond their comfort zone, and into the realm of fresh possibilities.

  3. Natalie Joy says:

    Love this.

  4. Lisa L says:

    As someone who moved to another COUNRTY to be with the man I loved I totally 100% support your friends decision. Sometimes the best things in life come from a leap of faith. If hadn’t leaped across the border 7 years ago I wouldn’t be married to the man of my dreams or have two beautiful children. And a home I love.

    Surenthis decision was met with much resistance from my mother. Who was appalled that I move to another country without a ring on my finger! But I didn’t listen to her. I listened to my heart. And guess what? I got the ring. And a whole lot more.

    Best of luck to your friend. These decisions are never easy but in my opinion are totally worth it!!

  5. Bart says:

    For what it’s worth, Nadine, I wouldn’t have moved to Ottawa if you hadn’t. It’s worked out pretty well for me so far. :o)

    • nadinethornhill says:

      For what it’s worth, once you came Ottawa really started to feel like home for me. Even though we can’t see each other as much, it’s very comforting knowing you’re nearby.

  6. Great post. I also wish your unnamed friend (wink nudge) the best of luck, though of course it’s a loss to Ottawa. Hopefully we can lure him back from time to time.
    I once made that leap of faith for a relationship that was just a couple of months old. Scary, but in retrospect I think I must have known it was destined to work out. A few years later, I even turned the tables and asked him to follow me to a new city for a job. 16+ years in, I think I can say it was right to leap.