Is your boyfriend moving abroad for work, college or military duties? You’re probably wondering how will your relationship work?
The distance between you will bring many challenges, soon there will be a whole bunch of questions running through your mind.
But have no fear we are here to help.
Today we guide you through the common questions couples ask, with clear actionable answers:
My boyfriend is moving to another country!
1: Can you see yourself together in 5 years time?
Sorry, the big questions are first! Are you investing your time in a relationship that is worth more than the time commitment and stress of an LDR?
The shift in your communication habits and free time when you next meet in person are huge changes to consider. It is not a hard task, but altering your free time for another person’s schedule will show the amount of effort that you want to put into your relationship. Start by making a plan. Good things are worth fighting for right?
Top Tip: Close your eyes right now and envision your future in five years time. Can you see yourself together building the life you desire?
2: Decision time: Are you prepared to start a long-distance relationship, or is it best to go your separate ways?
Another complex question to answer. If you in any way see a future with your boyfriend, you would leave the one billion ‘what ifs’ behind and give it a shot.
Is your boyfriend is worth a crummy skype connection, because seeing his face and hearing his voice is the best reward? He means the world to you and you can’t imagine spending your life with anyone else.
Think ahead and realistically talk over your expectations of time between visits. If you want to spend birthdays and special holidays together or with family, arrange what you need to do a few months in advance.
Things to consider:
- How long could you go without seeing each other?
- What would the financial cost of travel between countries or states be?
- How long is your boyfriend moving away for?
- Do you think his own character traits will lend themselves toward a long-distance relationship?
- Do you think you are ready for an LDR?
3: Have you discussed your expectations in great detail together?
Think of how you will replace your in-person communication and time together. Are either of you best on FaceTime, or does texting suffice? Do you want to call once a day, or once a week? If one of you doesn’t text back right away, will that cause massive tension between you?
The big question: Do you already have strong communication in your relationship now? – The distance will only make this 10 times more challenging.
4: Can you handle the distance between countries?
Is either of you excited to travel, to visit the other person? Maybe your boyfriend loves long drives and doesn’t mind being away from his home or college for a few days. Or you could be the one flying over to him and bringing his favourite treats from home.
Mailing care packages and sending handwritten letters can bring your boyfriend to tears (he might not tell you that part!) because he knows how much time and love went into your surprises. It is all about making your partner feel as if you are just in the other room, that is loving from a distance is all about!
5: Are you afraid of breaking up while he is overseas or working away?
If your boyfriend is making ultimatums about how many visits there needs to be and becoming controlling, recognise the warning signs that this relationship is unhealthy early on.
When there is distance, trust might decrease initially out of fear, but no one should ever threaten to break up with their partner for immediately solving the distance.
Look into the future, in the long-run the amount of time you spent apart will surpass the time you will have together in the future. Having kids, career changes, obstacles will require your teamwork.
Be with someone who gives you security in your relationship and finds ways to overcome challenges along the way, not more questions to an already different time.
5: He said he doesn’t believe in long distance relationships: What next?
Not believing, and not understanding are two different things: If your boyfriend does not believe in having an LDR, dig deeper. He might be trying to break up with you, but he might also not understand how to make an LDR work. Talk through his fears or concerns and come to a conclusion for yourselves on how a long-distance set up would work with your lifestyles.
6: Once living abroad, will I get jealous if he is socializing without me?
The big word here is faith.
Faith that your trust will not be betrayed with infidelity or lies.
“Knowing that I wouldn’t see my boyfriend for months gave me a deep trust in him, knowing that he would never break our commitment.”
In an LDR all you have is your word and your openness with your partner about your life’s and your activities. If either partner is not willing to have a mature outlook on living at distance and provide certitude and assurance in their relationship, both parties should reconsider the relationship fast!
7: What if things don’t feel ‘the same’ when I see him again?
Ah, the classic thought that many LDR couples face as they are close to becoming reunited – ‘How do we kiss again?’ and ‘Are we going to feel the same connection in person again?’
It can be weird for the first few hours or even days, it can take some time for your mind to catch up, especially if you have been apart for a month or more.
Don’t hesitate to touch each other’s face and kiss. Soon you will both be back to your ‘normal’ ways and forget that you haven’t held hands or cuddled someone in such a long time!
Have faith that you can draw upon all the fun conversations you have enjoyed over the past few weeks. You will have plenty of fun things to talk about and activities you will of planned.
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8: How will I fill my spare time that I used to spend with my boyfriend?
Good question. The best answer is to be proactive in enjoying the new free time you have.
How about spending this time taking on a new hobby you always wanted to try, or maybe you would enjoy volunteering to walk dogs at the local dog rescue centre. Or how about joining a running group in your local area?
Maybe you will finally get your friends together for that wine and art class you’ve been wanting to try! Enjoy making other interpersonal connections with your friends, co-workers and family to keep yourself very social. If your not a very social person spend the free time doing more of where your passions take you.
It can be easy to feel lonely, but being alone doesn’t mean you are necessary lonely! This was a tongue twister. Sometimes being by yourself can be helpful, recharging, and necessary. See it as a positive and make the most of the time.
9: Things are getting serious, can you legally move abroad with him on your current passport or visa?
Before you pack any boxes, think about what you might be planning.
- Can you legally work in the new city and how long will it take to find employment?
- What kind of living situation do you both want long term?
- What are the legalities of moving and what are these costs?
- What timeframe will this take?
Start looking into your immigration process now and how the law will affect your individual situation. Hiring an immigration lawyer for a small amount of time might help alleviate the stress of filing the perfect paperwork.
This is often one of the more complex elements of a long-distance relationship and something that should be discussed and research a long time in advance. This way you will develop a rough plan and ideas of how the local laws will affect your living situation. The more knowledge the better.
10: How do you deal with the lack of physical contact in a long distance relationships?
The short answer: Missing physical contact with your loved one is similar to fear – The feeling will never go away, but you need it to be present. It would be uncommon and classed as rare if you didn’t miss the intimate moments or the thought of your partner’s touch.
Fear is the same, the emotion is present for a good reason, the trick is knowing how to deal with it. Here are a few quick points to help.
- Before you start a long distance relationship, talk over with your partner your expectations and how long you may be able to go without visiting each other.
- Remember, missing physical contact will strike in stages, some days you will be fine and others you will feel strong emotions.
- On the days that a more challenging, have a go-to plan for filling that void. Visit your grandmother for a hug, watch your favourite comedy show, journal your feelings, take up a sport. Whatever you choose, aim to be proactive with a form of action.
- On the harder days be prepared to talk over your feelings with your S.O. You must stay open to communicating your true thoughts.
- Don’t put yourself in positions where you may be tempted to cheat on your partner. Avoid regular parting and places where single people go to ‘hook-up’.
- Stick to a plan, knowing you only have so many days until you see each other. countdown apps can be helpful.
11: Can you sustain a long distance relationship financially?
Another big question to finish on. Sure we don’t normally think of relationships as an expense, but living long distance is different. Travel is costly and soon adds up. If your boyfriend is moving away, sit down and work out a plan containing how often you would like to see each other. Where you are going to stay during each visit and all the small costs associated with this.
True, a spreadsheet isn’t the sexiest thing we have suggested, but please plan ahead and give yourself a fighting chance to make the distance work.
Best wishes to you all.
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*Original pictures by freepik