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4 Life Changes That Are Harder Than You Anticipate

Life is all about change. We are constantly changing our minds, changing our perspectives, and changing our appearance. Some changes go unexpectedly smoothly. Things just feel like they fall into place with ease. Other times, you’ve planned for the change. You’re even looking forward to it, but it feels like everything is going wrong. This can happen with any transition, but in this blog, I’m going to take a look at four transitions that are often harder than we anticipate.

I’m Christine Tomasello, a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), and I have a lot of experience (both personal and professional) working through tough transitions. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of working with a therapist during life transitions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Moving in Together or Getting Married

Taking that next big step in a happy, thriving relationship is a much anticipated moment that many people are excited for. Then, you move in together, and you find yourself missing your personal space, having to compromise a lot, and suddenly discovering all your partner’s cute quirks are really irritating. No matter how much you love someone, it’s hard to get used to all of their habits and behaviors and how they may conflict with your own. It’s an adjustment, but if you truly care for the person, it’s worth taking the time and making the effort to get through this phase in your relationship.

Starting a New Job

Whether you’ve been looking forward to this promotion as you struggled for years in a lower position within your field or you’re a fresh-faced first-time employee, starting a new job holds a lot of opportunity and excitement. You’ve made it! So, why do you suddenly feel so worried? Before you even set foot in the door for your first day at the new job, you’re running through all the things that can go wrong. Maybe you’ve developed a sudden case of imposter syndrome, believing you can’t do your new job or don’t deserve the promotion. Then, you start the job and everything is new and unfamiliar, and you’re struggling with the learning curve. Plus, you don’t have the coworkers you used to rely on for an office support system or you haven’t met these work friends yet if you’re new to the company. Again, it takes time to adjust, and the transitional phase can be really exhausting no matter how excited you are about your new job.

Moving to a New City

Whether you’re moving across town, across the state, across the country, or across the globe, moving can seem like a fun new adventure. You’ve made all the plans. Moved your whole life. You’re ready for this change of scene and change of pace. You’re excited to get started. Then, you realize that all the stuff that was worrying you before has really just relocated with you to the new city. Plus, everything is different, and there aren’t any familiar faces to make the move easier. Granted, we are very lucky with the resources we have to stay in touch with our friends and family members no matter how far away they are, but that’s not the same as being able to stop in to see a friend for coffee in the morning or meet up for dinner after work. Even telling yourself that you’ll make the friends and develop the network you had before doesn’t help you feel less lonely and isolated today.


Retirement is something most of us start looking forward to about five minutes after we start our first jobs. No matter how much we love the work we do, it’s hard not to glorify the thought of retiring and living a life of leisure. Unfortunately, many people look forward to retiring for all the years that they work, but in the meantime, they create an identity that is largely connected to the work that they do. After retiring, people find themselves struggling with a loss of identity and purpose. Who are you and what is your life about if it’s not wrapped up in your work? You may also find yourself feeling very bored. Then, you may be hard on yourself for not appreciating this time. You’ve been looking forward to it, so why aren’t you enjoying it now? No matter how much you look forward to it, retirement might leave you feeling lost.

Going Through a Difficult Transition? Let’s Talk About It!

If you’re in the process of making a life change (big or small, expected or unexpected), don’t forget that you don’t have to go through this on your own. Maybe your loved ones are tired of hearing you talk about it? Maybe they don’t have the resources you need to help as you navigate this situation? Whatever the case, I would be happy to work with you to make difficult changes go a little more smoothly. You can visit with me at my San Diego therapy practice, Beachside Counseling. Getting started is easy. Simply complete my contact form, call me at (858) 863-8635, or email I look forward to hearing from you soon.


About the Author

Christine Tomasello is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Founder of Beachside Counseling in San Diego, CA, where she helps clients work through grief and loss, major life changes, and challenging relationship patterns. Christine identifies as a helper, healer, and highly sensitive person (HSP), and specializes in working with other therapists, helpers, healers, and HSPs.


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