I loved this candid story by Ruth Ley. Here's an excerpt from her post.
Don't let the stereotypes about two-body problems get you down. If you both build up your CVs, the doors open.
When I was in graduate school, I had arbitrary rules for myself based on a stereotype I had about what a successful independent scientist would do. Rule #1: Never follow a man. Rule #2: Never live in the Midwest. Rule #3: Never postdoc for more than 4 years. Breaking all those rules at once was the best thing I ever did for my career.
Many people meet their life partners at work, and we were no exception: I met Lars Angenent while we were both doing postdocs at the University of Colorado. We were in different departments, but Lars was doing part of his project in the lab I was working in. The only problem was, we didn't realize we were each other's life partners until 2 weeks after my future husband left the state for an assistant professor position at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. So, it was too late to bargain for another job, and besides, at that stage--just starting out in our relationship and in our careers--it didn't really cross our minds that we should move together. When Lars would say, "You're moving to St. Louis," I'd laugh, thinking it was a joke. That was rules one and two combined.
So, with no job solution in sight, I started to look for a second postdoc in St Louis. Breaking all the rules seemed like the only option.
While I was having a great time as a postdoc, my by-then husband was doing well as an assistant professor. His phone started to ring: Other institutions were recruiting him. Word got around that he was available and he got more phone calls. He'd tell them right away that there were two of us, and he'd send my CV over. Then I'd get a call. In several cases, people in the engineering department--where he was sought--would send my CV to the medical school to see if any particular department was interested in me. Then word got around that I, too, was available, and I started to get my own calls. It was an exciting time: The timing was perfect for both of us to be on the job market.
We ended up with several competing offers. We chose Cornell University because it offered the best overall fit for our family. We are in different departments, but our buildings are side by side.
Lessons learned? One: It took a little longer to solve the two-body problem than I might have liked, but it ended up helping me tremendously down the line--so be patient. Two: Some people are worth violating your rules for. And Three: There's more to those "flyover" states in the Midwest than what you can see from the airplane.