So one day you wake up to discover you or your significant other has to move. Suddenly you find yourself in a long distance relationship. Your challenge is to ensure your love surviving the miles.
Whatever your circumstances, you are now confronted with the dilemma of whether must decide whether or not the unexpected physical distance will prove to be insurmountable.
Can Long Distance Work?
Will you stay together in the face of a yawning geographical gap or will expat love perish on the anvil of distance?
It is possible to live in separate cities and be in love. It is possible to make your overseas relationship work! It’s complex and it can be scary. However, if you truly love each other, deeply trust each other and are willing to put work into your relationship, love regardless of whether it is the long-distance kind is worth persevering with.
To flip the question, some distance can help make your life together surprising, spontaneous and revealing. True, it can prove to be occasionally frustrating and annoying. However, long-distance relationships are rarely boring! Such is life in a long distance relationship.
Few of us actually plan to be in a long-distance relationship. Usually, these relationships arise as a result of life’s evolution and changing circumstances. Maybe one of you received a work offer that’s too good to refuse. Or you an opportunity to study opens up in a different country.
Alternatively, perhaps you met while one of you was away from home base. Now you both find yourselves in a relationship you see a future in and are keen to keep going.
However, wanting to keep your love surviving the miles and being able to keep it going are two different things. Admittedly, few of us see long distance relationships as being ideal. Everyone would prefer to have his or her sweetheart close to them especially during a festive season, major holidays and special anniversaries or occasions.
Good news, there are ways to keep the flame of romance alive and make a relationship work when separated by distance from one another.
Moving Overseas For A Relationship
So, you’ve made the momentous decision to move to another country! One of the most likely motivations for deciding to relocate internationally is to pursue a relationship.
Falling in love with a partner located in another country can be rather more complicated than moving for work. Perhaps surprisingly, there are a great many people who opt to move countries in order to live with their partners.
Logistically, it may be complicated and certainly, it isn’t uncommon but few people who make the move really consider the hard questions. What will your relationship look like at the end of your move overseas for a relationship?
One of the pitfalls awaiting lovers moving overseas to pursue a relationship is the complex emotion such a move often triggers. It is deceptively easy to become angry, resentful, and bitter about the sacrifices you made in changing your life and moving overseas to make your relationship work.
Even if you enjoy love to travel and are open to new cultures and experiences, moving to another country present a host of different challenges. Making the move for love often adds unexpected fracture points to the relationship.
Here are some tips for ensuring your love survives the miles:
Don’t Keep Score
Sadly there usually comes appoint where the familiar refrain, “I moved here for you” argument receives an airing. This point is one of the many black holes expat relationships can fall unexpectedly into all.
Keeping score about who has done what for whom in a relationship is to take a step down the road to nowhere. It inevitably ends badly.
Stay Open Minded
Your overseas relationship may turn out really; really different to how you first imagined it! Few of us absolutely understand where our relationship may be faring or how they are progressing. It’s difficult for anyone to predict accurately how either of you may be feeling about your relationship six or twelve months into the future.
In the interest of transparency, there area seemingly endless list of issues that can weigh you down on any particular day in a new country. On the other side of the coin, there is a multitude of ways you could fall in love. To fall in love with both your new country and each other all over again.
Change is hard to deal with for most of us. It can be confronting, confusing and frustrating. However, if you simply give yourself space and focus on channelling positive energy you will discover you can cope with almost any change that is thrown at you.
So, don’t let fear rule your relationship. Open yourself up to what change brings with it, learn to be adaptable and resilient! Be willing to overcome whatever changes you encounter. After all, you’ve come this far already, so why stop now?
Distance and separation can be hard, nightmarish even. However, with time comes a refreshed perspective on change and on the joys of expat love. Make the move and build a bright new future together, rather than waiting for some ill-defined possibility of an alternative future.
Oh, and its fine to ask yourself, “Why did I do this?” from time to time.
Remember You Relocated For Both Of You
One of the challenges that come with any long distance relationship is the complexity involved in dealing with both sets of parents. Parents will always be parents. They tend to look at the relationship from the perspective of sacrifices made and obligations incurred. Unfortunately, that is never conducive to a healthy long-term relationship.
Parent tend to observe, “You moved there for him or her, the least he or she can do is…” way too often. Any decision to relocate is always intended to mutually benefit both participants in the relationship.
Emotions such as happiness, excitement, frustration, annoyance, determination and even the occasional bout of anger are as common in overseas relationships as they are in domestic relationships.
Undoubtedly, you will encounter every emotion in the spectrum when it comes to moving abroad for passion. One of the tricks to maintaining a long distance relationship is to grant yourself the freedom to feel every one of those emotions.
These emotions are most absolutely natural. You have plucked yourself out of your normal life and plunged into a new, wonderful fun, exciting and adventurous relationship. Experiencing the occasional bout of resentment or aggravation about upending your life doesn’t make you a bad partner, but incubating that resentment inevitably leads to disaster.
4. Make Mutual Decisions And Always Be Honest
Every major decision you make moving overseas for a relationship needs to be a joint one. If you don’t practice joint decision-making your relationship will be a turbulent one and will inevitably struggle.
Disagreeing on small issues is normal. But making decisions about substantial issues such as the immigration process, visa applications, housing and cars is something you both need to be honest about and ultimately willing to compromise over.
Don’t Allow Resentment To Fester
Being frustrated about having to adjust to a new culture, learn a new language, the loss of status that often comes from having to give up a good job and leave your friends and your family behind is totally valid.
However, you can’t use that excuse whenever you have an argument. Firstly that unfair to you and secondly, it’s completely unfair to your partner and ultimately your relationship.
Consider Your Partner’s Feelings, Too
It is seductively easy to fall into the habit of focusing on your own feelings when you move overseas for a relationship. However, there are two people in your relationship and your partner can be just as affected by the turbulence triggered by an overseas relationship.
However, confused and frustrated though you may be feeling in your relationship, it’s easy to only focus on your own issues when adjusting to all the changes you have made. For this reason, it’s important to take time out to consider what your partner has gone through.
Your partner is the one who has to unflinching support you as you go through the process of gaining a residency visa and duelling with the bureaucracy. They are the ones who pick you up off the floor or have to listen to you vent about missing family and friends.
Deciding to move in together is an intimidating step for any couple. When you throw an international relocation into the mix, the challenges involved in acclimatizing to living together for the first time is often forgotten.
Give your relationship time to breath. Recognise when you are responding to stress and give yourselves time to make cohabiting work.
Long Distance Relationships
Despite the perceived corrosive influence of technology on human relationships and the many obstacles thrown in the path of loving relationships, romance remains at the very heart of expat love.
Distance remains one of the primary factors with the power to alter the course of romantic relationships. It is challenging for individuals to maintain a healthy relationship when separated by the implacable tyranny of geography.
However, as long as each party retains an open mind and remains committed to the relationship, it is possible to maintain a healthy long-distance relationship. Here are nine key points to bear in mind to keep your long distance relationship on course.
Nurture Open Communications
Any successful relationship demands an investment of time and attention, regardless of whether a couple is actually living together, or are separated by geography.
If you want to keep your long-distance relationship healthy, It is paramount to proactively work at keeping the lines of communication open and transparent at all times.
By simply making a concentrated effort to maintain regular interactions with your partner, a long-distance relationship can flourish and thrive. Develop a regular schedule for your communications. Mix up emails, regular telephone or Skype calls or other live chat sessions.
Technology Can Be Your Friend
Today’s efforts to communicate long distance have the benefit of contemporary technology innovations. There are a host of affordable, real-time communication options. Resources such as Skype make it cheaper and easier than ever to make international calls, while instant chat, WhatsApp, Microsoft Messenger and email mean you can readily chat on the fly.
Happily, couples these days can remain in continual contact, regardless of their geographic location. Embrace communication technology and make it your friend. Savvy communication channels mean there is no reason why your relationship cannot remain strong over time regardless of geography.
Chill Out And Work On Resolving Trust Issues
While regular communications with your partner will strengthen your long-distance relationship, you will also need to cultivate a certain level of chill during those inevitable times where you are not in contact.
Prolonged absence can trigger grave feelings of insecurity and even paranoia. This can be particularly worrisome if your partner has relocated for work purposes and is now socializing with colleagues and new friends.
Confront inevitable trust issues as they emerge and look to resolve these feelings through honest and open communications with your partner.
Remind Yourself Why You Are In Your Relationship
When dealing with trust issues, it is always helpful to try to remember why you chose to enter into your relationship with your partner. Remind yourself why you entered into a romantic relationship with your partner in the first place.
By remembering your partner’s unique qualities and nurturing your deepest feelings of love that anchor your relationship, you will find it easier to put your mind at ease and dampen down those doubts and anxieties.
Ultimately, it is important to keep in mind that distance does not automatically alter feelings or an individual’s personal characteristics.
Keep Physical Attraction Smoldering
Making the necessary adaptations to any relationship after transitioning to a long-distance relationship can be difficult and challenging. This is especially so if it results in a lack of time together.
This can cause heartfelt issues such as separation anxiety and even depression. If steps are not taken to proactively confront these issues you can find yourself neglecting your personal appearance and falling into a negative, downward spiral.
Work at staying energized and motivated for the good of your relationship. Where possible, ensure the sparks of physical and romantic attraction continue to smoulder between you.
Clarify Your Professional And Romantic Aspirations
Successful long-distance relationships require a keen sense of self-assurance and personal security. If these are missing in your relationship, you will find yourself constantly questioning the basis for your relationship and your partner’s long-term commitment.
Ultimately, both of you need a clear, mutual understanding of your professional as well as your romantic aspirations. This will contribute to ensuring your relationship enjoys the best possible chances of survival, while it also reminding yourselves that you and your partner share similar aspirations in life as well as in love.
Time Apart Can Prove Beneficial
Often, a long-distance relationship requires you to make the best of a far from ideal situation. If you approach your long-distance relationship with an open and forward-focused mind, it is possible to see some benefits arising from spending time apart from a loved one.
Find up a new hobby or expand your mind by enrolling in a new course. Use this fresh thinking to strengthen the bonds between you. This inevitably takes time, so be patient and give yourself the time you need to adapt to your newfound circumstances.
There is always space for spontaneity in any relationship, even one being conducted long-distance. While routine communications are an essential element of keeping up the bonds between partners, don’t allow yourself to be constrained by schedules.
Keep your relationship fresh by allowing space for spontaneity and excitement. These bursts of inspired spontaneity also underline your commitment to not taking your partner for granted.
So when the opportunity for acting spontaneously arises, grab it with both hands and don’t let go! Make the occasional surprise visit to your partner’s new home, and never be afraid to send small gifts as tokens of your affection. This will help both you and your partner to adapt to the circumstances of your long-distance relationship.
No Moping Alone, Stay Social
Naturally, your partner is often the fulcrum of your social life. However, finding yourself in a long-distance relationship does not mean you have to become a hermit.
For your psychological health, it is important to remain active and committed to enjoying a rich social life even if your partner has relocated. A social life can cushion the transition process while helping you adjust to your new circumstances and maintain a positive perspective.
For love to survive the miles, you need to avoid placing unreasonable expectations on each other. Obsessing over scheduling Skype calls, returning emails and even scheduling is never healthy in any relationship. Long distance relationships require extra effort, a strong and positive outlook and a shared view of your future. Don’t be hesitant to discuss your hopes and your fears about your relationship.