Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

July 5, 2023

A Different Type of Moving Announcement!

     I've shared a lot of moving related announcements on the blog over the past decade. In fact- the whole idea of starting this blog was kind of based on the idea that I had just moved far away for college, from Maine to North Carolina! And in the years since college, there's been many more long distance and local moves within the various places I've lived for radio jobs. 

      Today's upcoming moving announcement isn't related to school or my career. I'm not leaving my current radio job, nor leaving the Virginia Beach area. It's a local move from one apartment to another. But it is a very big deal, and something that I might not have expected I'd decide to even as recently as a couple of years ago. On July 8th (this weekend!), I'll be moving into my boyfriend Ryan's apartment! 

This picture of Delilah in my apartment always makes me smile!

     I've known this is coming for many months, but I still had nerves just now typing out the above sentence. Admitting publicly to everyone on the internet that I'm living with my significant other not only before marriage, but also before getting engaged is a bit scary, since I've previously expressed views here on my blog for many years that I would likely never do that. I realize that I could've just never shared this with y'all! I can control the parts of life that I do and don't want to share on here. No one is forcing me to write this blog post. 😉 But it seemed inauthentic to hide something that is a really big deal in my life right now from my blog. Plus, the new place will look much different than my old place, and I thought people might be curious when I share apartment snaps why I got rid of so much of my old furniture. Although I always have announced previous moves on the blog (since I like to share tours and pictures of my decor in various apartments), I especially wanted to write this as an encouragement to any other women (or maybe men too?) like me, who find their views on certain lifestyle choices to be shifting, while also still honoring their faith. 

       I'll start with a little bit of background that I think is important to this post (especially if you're newer to following me and my blog). My Christian faith first became important to me in middle school, and it remained so important in high school that I decided to initially go to a Christian college in the South. The interesting thing about my faith background is that although my parents (and especially my mom) did encourage me in going to church growing up and in being involved in various church groups/youth groups, neither of them are personally as strict on certain religious beliefs / lifestyle choices as I am. Neither of my parents are conservative (either religiously or politically). A lot of my religious and moral views I completely formed myself in my high school and college years through sermons, church groups, books and podcasts. I definitely am not the most strict or conservative Christian on all aspects of lifestyle choices.  But the one thing that I was always pretty strict about were physical boundaries in romantic relationships.

      ...And I still am, in some ways. There are certain parts of my romantic physical relationship that I continue to wait for marriage to partake in. And I'm so lucky to have a wonderful boyfriend who has never pressured me into anything I'm not comfortable with. It is worth the wait to find a person who respects your boundaries, and the values and beliefs that make you "you" and loves you for those values and beliefs. I'll be transparent- my last relationship a few years ago ended because that guy was pressuring me too much to explore the physical side of the relationship in ways I wasn't ready for or comfortable with. I will always be proud of myself for ending that relationship instead of staying and compromising my values. 

     Anyways, while I've stayed the same throughout the years on some of my beliefs, I have found myself becoming much more open-minded to other things, as well as less judgmental of others. The straight truth is that in this day and age (with inflation still running rampant), it is 100% the financially smart decision to cohabitate with someone, whether that's a platonic roommate or a significant other. The savings of having a roommate these days is exponential. I am so thankful that I've had the chance to live alone at different points in my 20s (and I think everyone ideally should live alone at least once), but it just isn't the cheapest housing option to do year after year.

         I also didn't find it beneficial this year to move locally into a larger new apartment with a platonic female roommate, only to leave again in a year or two when Ryan and I do get engaged or married. Being in a serious and mature relationship that is headed towards marriage in the next couple years makes me so excited to start taking some big steps together. Although I keep a lot of our relationship details off of my blog and social media (it's nice to keep some of life's most precious things to myself), I will tell you that Ryan and I truly have an incredibly stable and loving relationship. We'll have known each other for about a year and a half by the time that I move in. I would never rush into a cohabitation situation with a guy that I had just met, or if there were a lot of ups and downs and drama in the day-to-day relationship. I also don't think it's wise to pressure or force a guy into proposing just because a lease is coming up and housing situations are changing. That wouldn't be very romantic or fair now would it? We talk about our longterm future goals often. I can't wait to someday be engaged, married, and think about starting a family... but we have our lives to live in the here and now before those next steps come along, and that's more than okay! 

     Anyways, I move in with Ryan officially this weekend! The movers come on July 8th. Ryan's place has double the square footage of my little one-bedroom apartment, so there will be plenty of room for both of us (and Delilah). I'll be getting rid of a lot of my furniture and things that have been with me through all of my single girl apartments, but we are keeping a few of my furniture and decor pieces that I'm excited to work into the layout of the new place. Just like with all of the apartments that I've lived in, I plan to do some apartment tour blog posts on the blog at some point once we are settled into the space! (See all of my past apartment tours HERE.) Both of our sets of parents are extremely supportive of this decision, and both have expressed that they would all prefer we do experience living together before getting engaged and married. 

     Thank you for taking the time to read my little life update today! I welcome any (respectful and kind 😊) comments or DMs about this. The times like today when I share more personal updates on the blog truly make me so grateful for blogging in general, and the community I've built here over the past 10+ years of running Southern Belle in Training. Y'all have been with me through so many life changes over the years, and this is certainly a big one.

      Things will also be a bit quieter here and on my Instagram for the next few weeks while I'm busy wrapping up all the loose ends of moving. Bare with me in the next few weeks!

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese



  1. Congrats! Hope the transition is smooth for both you and Delilah! Excited for what's to come!

  2. I am SO happy for you and Ryan taking this next step. I have followed your blog for years now and there have been many days when things have been 'low' for me due to my stroke/etc. - those days you 'pick me up'. I know this is a great next step for you and Ryan. Enjoy and keep us posted on things - you are the best!

  3. Props to you for continuing to be authentic on your little corner of the internet. Good luck w/ the move always work and blessings on this new chapter of your life.


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