You meet someone very special, you fall in love, and everything is perfect. Suddenly, it turns out that you get an internship abroad. You know you have to take it, but what about your boyfriend?
Imagine these situations, in moments like these, you see yourself in the film sliding doors and you continuously ask yourself: Which is the best choice for my life? Which one will make me happier? What if I’ll leave and we’ll break up? And if I stay here will I regret it?
All of us run into these difficult situations at least once in our mid-20s and then we have two choices: either to break up or to go for a long-distance relationship. So, if you decide to pack your stuff and leave for a new great adventure trying to make your relationship work from distance, you should read what I learned the hard way.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I experienced these kinds of relationships first hand.
In my long-distance relationships, I was always the one who left. And I can say that it’s always easier for the one abroad, because while one stays and continues his routine without his significant other, the one who leaves at the beginning experiences a full immersion in a new place, with a new culture, new habits, new friends, and a new routine.
But as soon as the thrilling effect passes, you will feel nostalgic. Being with someone is not always easy, and being with someone that is not physically near you is even more complicated!
When I decided to pursue my dreams abroad, I didn’t know what this implied, but I was young and I felt invincible. This is probably one of the reasons why it didn’t work. But this is also one of the reasons why now I’m quite good at make long-distance relationships work, because the first failure taught me a lesson.
If you are the one abroad you should be the one who puts much more effort into the relationship. You know everything about your SO’s life but what about him?
He doesn’t know anything about your new life and you have to make him feel part of it even if he is distant.
Among the few things I’ve learned during my long-distance relationships is that if it didn’t work out once, it doesn’t mean that it won’t work again with another person. There isn’t a winning formula to make it work, there aren’t instructions and there aren’t rules.
Each relationship works differently from the others. In the moment when the distance comes to be, it can either blow all your love away or light it on fire.
Distance doesn’t kill love, doubts do. You have to try to give your best in choosing love over doubts. Although the fans of the quote: “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know”, think it’s more courageous breaking up before leaving, it’s not always like that.
You should always give your relationship a shot, it’s one of the most courageous decisions you can take.
The days before departure, and most of all when you are finally sitting on your plane seat, you’ll find yourself asking: “Will I miss him?” “Will he miss me?” “What if everything changes when I come back?” You definitely have to run that risk in your life, and it’ll be super hard when you’ll realize that you can’t wake up with your boyfriend on Sunday mornings or have spontaneous weekend trips to the sea.
In some cases, it will all be too much, but in other cases you’ll be surprised like I am, to realize that someone is willing to spend so much of their precious time on you even if you decided to temporary “abandon” them to pursue your dreams.
So you must stay positive, the waiting can be painful and you can sometimes feel lost, but you need to remind yourself that the fruits at the end will be sweet as heaven.
At some point, you will realize that everything around you is amazing, your new life is full of interesting new activities, you are meeting everyday nice people and you are learning a lot about life, work and culture. But you’ll still miss them.
This can be frustrating, however, bear in mind that you took the risk of continuing your love story even if thousands of kilometers were between you.
So, if you are going to do this, you must talk about your feelings of fear, insecurity, jealousy, and apathy. If you try to hide anything from your partner, it’ll eventually swallow you up from inside out.
As serenity comes and goes, the frustration due to the long distance could kick in and challenge you, but don’t try to deal with things all by yourself. Be open and honest with each other. You must think about their feelings too, you left and you are so focused on adjusting to the changes you had to make, in order to adapt to the new country, that you forget to think about how things might be affecting him.
Nobody has ever said it is going to be easy, the extra distance makes many things impracticable.
However, the distance also makes the simplest things the sweetest, you’ll find yourself daydreaming about being able to hug each other, eating together at the same table and feeling each other’s touch. These small wishes could suddenly mean so much more in a long-distance relationship.
These kinds of relationship may be tough but they have their own surprises too and it can give you the opportunity to bind together even stronger.