6 tips for maintaining a long-distance relationship while studying abroad
If you’re in a relationship, one of the toughest decisions when traveling to study abroad is going to be staying away from the person you love. How to enjoy the experience without having your girlfriend or boyfriend by your side?
One possible option is to keep the relationship at a distance until your course is over!
But before making the final decision, it is advisable to have a very sincere conversation with yourself :
-Will I be able to take advantage of the opportunity knowing that he/she will stay?
-Will I be able to concentrate on my studies and work?
-Will the distance affect my performance?
-Do we trust each other enough?
-Is our relationship strong enough to withstand the distance?
Self -knowledge is as important as knowing your girlfriend’s/boyfriend’s opinion. After answering these personal questions, it is time to have a frank conversation with her/him. State your plans to study abroad, explain why and how important the experience is to you, and ask for her/his help and understanding.
If after all that, you decide to travel, it’s time to plan what the couple’s routine will be like while they’re away.
ATTENTION : to make it easier, we will give you tips from the point of view of someone who starts using the masculine. But they are valid for everyone: if you go or if you stay; if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend.
1. Understand the changes
The first thing to do is understand that everything will change for those who leave and everything will remain the same for those who stay. While you go through the process of adapting to the new environment, discover new incredible places, make new friends, learn a lot, etc., your girlfriend continues in the same routine as always, and worse: without you.
Therefore, it is very important to understand the feelings of those who stayed to avoid fights and resentments. Always put yourself in the person’s shoes .
You’ll also need her to put herself in your shoes, because adapting to a new environment isn’t always easy. The first few days (or even weeks) will be hectic and nostalgia can hit very hard – and easily turn into regret for having left.
Going through this initial period will be an ordeal and requires effort and understanding from both of you.
After the initial shock, it’s time to establish a routine. The most important thing is communication between you. However, contrary to what you might imagine, maintaining constant communication can be harmful.
Thanks to new applications such as Whatsapp, Messenger and Skype, it is possible to exchange messages all the time – literally! Although having all this ease is incredible and should certainly be used in favor of the relationship, being in contact all the time can be harmful.
Soon, the messages will no longer have as much content, you will run out of subject and run the risk of becoming extremely dependent on each other – and even possessive. Things like “where are you?” and “why didn’t you answer me?” will be said. The charge will start to weigh.
It is important to remember that you will have many commitments and responsibilities with studies, just as your girlfriend will still have work and/or studies to worry about. Also, possibly there will be time difference between you.
3. Fixed call times
The ideal is to find gaps in their schedules and stipulate fixed times to talk . For example: at your lunch break and in the evening, when both of you are free. Reserve these periods exclusively for your girlfriend – no talking to her while doing your homework or sharing a room with your friends.
Clearly, this doesn’t mean you can’t message or fail to reply to the person outside of the scheduled time; it’s just essential that you don’t become dependent on each other’s apps and “virtual presence” all the time, to the point of hindering your performance in studies and jeopardizing your experience abroad.
4. Video chat
When it’s time to talk, make a point of using apps that allow video chat! Written conversation leaves ample room for misunderstanding and misinterpretation. The video makes it possible to see the facial reactions and hear the intonation of the person. (Not to mention that it’s a delight to see and hear your girlfriend.)
5. Keep a routine
A lack of communication can be just as harmful as an excess. Once the times to talk are stipulated, keep the routine. Tell her about your day and be interested in her day, even if they didn’t do anything interesting.
6. Fidelity and jealousy
Another thing that must necessarily be clarified is the question of fidelity. In a long-distance relationship, jealousy can be the biggest cause of fights and even breakups.
There are those who manage to have an open relationship. If this is the case for you, stipulate very clear rules. Are you allowed to be with other people during your time apart? Can the relationship survive this? Clarify this matter before you leave and stick to your rules.
If the relationship is exclusive, it’s important to trust the person. Accusations, insecurity and possessiveness will be like poison and will soon cause turmoil in the relationship.
- Exchange cards! It’s very romantic to receive letters and it shows that you’ve dedicated part of your day to handwriting each other. The wait for the response is also very good.
- Take something of hers with you: a piece of clothing with her perfume, a plush, a pillow, etc.
- Treat yourself before you leave! A cool idea is to make a photo album or relationship scrapbook.
- Have a framed picture of her in your room.
- Make plans for the future together.
- Plan your return.
- Create an account on some free sharing service so that you can make private photo albums. That way, your girlfriend follows you on your trip, sees the places you’re visiting and doesn’t feel so excluded.
- Introduce your new friends to your girlfriend via video chat. This is another way to make her feel included.
- For those staying: if possible, plan a trip to visit your boyfriend!