Retreat or Retrench? What If Your Move Was a Bad Idea?

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“So come on and let me know.

Should I stay or should I go?” – The Clash 

At first, moving to a new state or city may have felt exhilarating, full of promise and potential. Then reality set in. Your new surroundings aren’t like you imagined them and now you’re beginning to wonder whether you made a mistake.  

Many people feel regret or uncertainty after a major life change, and moving is certainly one of them. The good news is there are ways to turn this around and thrive, even when the change doesn’t immediately seem to suit you. Here are some things to think about before you decide whether to stay put or make a graceful exit.  

Weigh the Pros and Cons 

Leaving soon after a move can be difficult, not to mention a tad embarrassing. You’ve already invested a considerable amount of time and money, and there may still be opportunities you haven’t yet explored in your new city. That said, if you’re truly unhappy or the situation is untenable, don’t feel obligated to stay just to save face. 

Think about your health, stress levels, and work-life balance. If your overall quality of life has taken a serious hit, it may be preferable just to move on. However, if it’s more a matter of just adjusting to the change, give yourself a bit more time. 

Signs You Should Retreat 

If you’re still struggling with one or more of the following six or more months after your move, it could mean retreating is the right choice: 

  • You feel chronically stressed, anxious or depressed.  
  • You’re isolated and lack social connections. 
  • You’re homesick for your old life. 
  • Limited career options are making it hard to thrive in your new location. 
  • The financial realities of living in your new city are more than you expected.  

First, try to remedy the situation. Put yourself in “active” mode and build connections, look for new work options and ways to reduce expenses. Just moving to a more affordable area nearby might be enough. 

When Moving Right Away Isn’t an Option 

First, don’t despair. Instead, think back to why you decided to move in the first place and whether these reasons are still valid. Putting it all down on paper (yes, paper!) is a good way to gain some perspective. Make a list of pros and cons and reach out to others you know who’ve been in a similar situation. Try to pinpoint exactly what’s making you dissatisfied and brainstorm workable solutions or compromises.  

Remember, it takes time to adjust to a big move. Try new hobbies, join local social groups, tackle a small home improvement project, and explore the area’s cultural and recreational options. You might find some hidden gems that will make staying worthwhile. 

If you’re renting, see if you can find a shorter-term lease or sublet. If you own a home, research the local housing market to determine if selling or renting out your place right away makes financial sense. The more flexibility you build in, the easier it will be to move quickly when the time is right. 

Keep an Open Mind 

Above all, do your best to stay positive and open to new possibilities. Perhaps the best things about living in your new city will reveal themselves over time. With a little effort on your part, you may find happiness is really just around the corner.   

America’s #1 Mover® is Here to Help 

No matter where you’re heading or why, it’s always smart to move with experienced, reputable professionals. United’s full-service moving packages provide flexibility to mix and match the services you want and need, from packing and unpacking to standard furniture placement.     

Get a quote from United Van Lines today.     

Check out our other blogs for moving tips and packing advice, as well as city guides and a wealth of other helpful, time-saving information.  

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