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September 2015

Leaving a loved one behind to live abroad

Published: Tuesday 22 September 2015

What do you do when you have a dream to live abroad, but it means leaving your partner behind?

Many people can relate to moving abroad and leaving a loved one, whether it’s for work, study or simply because they’d like to explore more of the world.

Yes it can be painful, difficult and take some courage, but it’s not the end of the world and it is possible to make it work.

The first question to ask yourself if you are considering this move is, should you do it? A big part of this decision comes down to respect and a willingness to listen to each other’s point of view and concerns.

If you’re the one leaving, be honest about your motives and explain the reasons why you are doing what you are doing. If you have the support of your partner, take the chance to live out your dream. But make sure you take into account any wishes your partner might have, whether that’s returning home regularly or putting a time limit on how long you are apart.

Before you go you it’s important to work out arrangements for what you will do about your household while you’re apart, such as paying half the rent or mortgage, or if your partner downsizes and moves to a smaller property.

You will also have to be prepared for the challenges a long distance relationship can bring, which can range from loneliness to anxiety for both parties.

Communication really is key. Make sure you stay in regular contact and check in with each other as much as possible. There are many free ways you can keep in touch, whether that’s a call on Skype, FaceTime or Facebook Messenger, or messages via WhatsApp, email or text.

If you are the one who has gone abroad, give your partner as much information as possible about your new life. Send photographs of your new apartment, your local park or your new workplace.

Answer their questions and put their mind at ease. Sharing details about your life will help allay worries those at home may have about your new living situation.

If you are in a position to do so, also try to book regular flights to see each other. Sign up to airline newsletters to get the best deals and create price alerts for your flight route on sites such as Skyscanner or Expedia. These deals will lob into your inbox regularly.

In order for a long distance relationship to succeed, both parties have to make sure they’re on the same page and know what they are committing to.

No one said long distance relationships are easy, but with a bit of hard work and commitment, they can work!