Choices define our life, at every age and in every situation. They define where we are going, what comes next and what is going to change. Some choices are easy to make, like what you are having for breakfast, or whether you take the bus or the metro. But every now and then, we are confronted with something more meaningful.
This is quite often the case when our decision-making involves people who are important to us, or people we love. For example, sometimes the only reason stopping you from making the decision to move abroad is your partner. You are in a happy relationship and you don’t want to face the challenge of long distance.
Or, you are so in love that you cannot bear being separated from your partner for too long. If you are torn between staying and leaving because you are in a relationship, go for the latter. It is possible to study or take a seasonal job abroad and maintain your relationship with your partner. In the following I am going to tell you how.
Be positive about your decision – you need to want it!
If you have decided to go abroad while your partner stays at home, you need to be certain that this is what you really want. Understand your motivation for wanting to go abroad, the value it will bring and what you hope to gain from the experience. Doubts are normal and they will come to you, especially in your weakest moments.
If you are not 100% certain in your decision by the time you leave, there is a chance that you will quit your studies or job abroad and just go back home. But if you are committed to your decision in the first place – no matter how dark and lonesome some nights may seem – you will be able to hold on to that.
There is a reason why you chose to go and that should outweigh the reason you yearn to go back home. Think about the good things that have happened and will happen to you during your time abroad. Such as the beauty of a new city, the delicious food of a different country or the new people and friends you will meet. Which brings me to my next point.
Emancipate in your relationship – in a good way
Don’t forget, the best way to not constantly think about your significant other at home is to get in touch with new people, meet new friends and get inspired by different languages and cultures. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean you should replace your partner or get so distracted by partying and going out that you forget about them.
But staying at home all night to facetime with your partner and rejecting any invitations from your new social circle won’t make things any easier, far from it. You could become more isolated and lonely because you’re going to miss the opportunity to get integrated.
Don’t miss the warm nights, chatting and drinking on rooftop bars or spending your evenings at the beach during your summer job abroad. The best advice would be to find a good balance of having your own lives and the one that you are sharing as a couple.
The basics: the power of love
Trust is a fundamental part of any relationship. Especially when you are facing time apart. It is important to know that you can rely on one another, that you support each other when things get hard and that you always have a shoulder to cry on. Also honesty is essential. Try to be as open and upfront as possible, explain your fears and doubts and discuss them. It will make you feel less far apart. Needless to say, these things should come from both sides, don’t hide behind the distance, get yourself involved and care for your other half!
Obviously, but very important: Keep in touch!
If everything goes well for you, you’ll meet a bunch of new friends, you’ll enjoy your work or studies, and you’ll start to really feel at home in your new city. It can be exciting and all-consuming, so don’t forget to stay in contact with your loved ones back home. They need attention because you left them behind, and they will also be feeling your absence.
Try to find different time slots during the week where you video call your partner (or parents!) so you can see each other. Texting is also good for keeping in touch throughout the day and sharing little snippets of your life. Be mindful that whilst you might have a new, exciting life that you want to talk about all the time, your partner has their life at home, too. Although it might sound familiar and sometimes even boring to you – show some interest.
It is not only important that you communicate with each other, but also how. Don’t stick to smalltalk for too long, but have some deep, late night conversations too. Your interesting and inspiring conversations were the reason you fell in love in the first place, right?
Meet each other!
Moreover, try to see each other in the real world and encourage your partner to visit you during your stay. Even if it’s just once during the whole time that you are away. After the visit, your partner will understand your life abroad better. They will know what you deal with on a daily basis and maybe even get to know the people you are surrounded by.
This can help strengthen their trust and they will feel close to you and that they are still a part of your life. Trains and cheaper flight tickets have made it easy for us to go from one place to another so you should take advantage and overcome the distance!
While your partner visits you in your new home, consider going on a trip together to explore the region where you are living. Collecting precious moments together while traveling will make your bond even stronger.
Also: When it comes to the costs – it is worth it! Spend the money!
When in doubt…
There will be times before and during your stay when you think about breaking up. But let me ask you: Is that really worth it, losing the one you love? Try to think about the person, not the relationship. You love this person simply because of who they are. There is no way they could be replaced. You wouldn’t want to be without them, and being separated forever would be so much worse than just being separated for a few months…