Long Distance Relationships While Abroad - 5 Fundamentals

Long Distance Relationships While Abroad

Long Distance Relationships While Abroad

Long Distance Relationships While Abroad - 5 Fundamental Tips to Make it Work

If you are a travel-addict and opportunity jumper like me, you will find yourself having to decide between intimate and deep connecting relationships and absolute freedom to travel time and time again. Always telling your loved one which destinations are still on your bucket list and where you want to go live and immerse yourself next can be really hard on your partner. Unfortunately, not everybody has the same interests and not everyone has the itching need to go and explore the planet as soon as they have touched home base again. But that is okay! However, if you still want to make your relationship work through your Exchange/ Work Abroad/ Solo Travel experience there are certain things I have learned that are utterly fundamental. During my Erasmus exchange program, I have met various people in LDR’s. Some worked, some went up in flames, some simply faded away and I noticed that my relationship was different. Even though it has been hard, we have not been struggling as much as others have. How to make a long distance relationship work is, of course, purely subjective. However, there are some basic factors that almost universally apply, which is why here are 5 fundamental tips for long distance relationships while abroad as a female solo traveler. 

1. Have Your Own, Individual Identity

Long distance relationships can be destructive to the dynamics that you and your partner have with each other. Habits are thrown out of the window and all-day availability won’t work anymore. Co-dependency, however, might be one of the worst things in a relationship, as you will realize having as soon as you are geographically separated. If you do not have your own hobbies, goals, friends, and interests, either one or both of you will be miserable, and in the end blame that sadness on the partner. Therefore, being your own person even before you go traveling is fundamental to a working long distance relationship while abroad. Yes, your partner is not physically available 24/7 anymore, but you have your own, had your own life, even before. Being able to entertain yourself with your interests and goals, will keep you from obsessing over his/hers when you are not constantly present and keep you save from the occasional insecurity- and jealousy-attacks.

2. Plan Ahead and Set Priorities

Juggling around time zones and trying to set a Skype date can be hard and lead to frustrations. You were ready to immerse yourself and go out with your new friends - oh, but you were going to Skype with your s.o.. What now? Don’t let your partner down and at least find a little bit of time to talk to him/her! My boyfriend usually understands if I have other plans on my hand, but then I try to incorporate him into what is happening around me. I cannot count the times that my flatmates were yelling in between our German talks in the kitchen. That usually leads to a good laugh. 

3. Communication: Creating Rules or No Rules

Talking about your relationship and how you want to continue this journey with each other is crucial. There is no right or wrong when it comes to creating rules or no rules in a long distance relationship as long as you are both okay with them. You are both realizing that an open relationship would work best and you trust each other? Don’t be shy to talk about it. But be gentle to find out what your partner thinks about it first. Cannot imagine being the open-R couple? Same goes for that, if you do not feel comfortable doing it, then communicate that. Create as many rules as you both feel comfortable with! This highly depends on each couple. Keep in mind though, that creating too many rules aside from being faithful to each other might mean that there are some trust issues in the relationship. Trying to control exactly what the other person will be doing when you're not there to watch can deeply disrupt what you have, and might lead to your relationship going up in flames. Which leads me to…

4. Giving Space

It sounds ridiculous, I know. You are already thousands of miles apart and now this girl is telling you to give your partner MORE space? You have heard correctly. It does not matter if you are the one staying home or the one traveling and living the life, giving your partner space for his own life and day-to-day is important. Especially when you are apart, it can be hard to separate missing the other person from your life that you are currently leading. Understanding that you are not completely inexistent in their heart as soon as they have not talked to you for an hour is the holy grail of LDRs. Relax and be happy that he/she has got some distraction from the agony of not being able to be together. Show affection, but don’t expect the other to return it double immediately. Live your life and then have long talks on the phone about what he/she missed.

5. Create common goals

I have noticed that knowing when you'll see each other again helps to take the pressure off. Looking into an unknown distant future of not being able to see each other is frustrating and can feel like the time that you will spend apart might go on forever. Even setting a goal to book a flight at one point in time, if you do not have the money yet, will help to see light at the end of the tunnel. This way you can power through until you are at the airport picking your s.o. up with a pumping heart and butterflies in your stomach. 

Have you been in a LDR? How did it go for you? What do you think is most important to make it through the separation? Share your story & tips and trick in the comments!

Long Distance Relationships While Abroad

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Berlin-based author of this text is Larissa, founder of the Female Travel Collective, solo travel lover and convinced feminist! 

Berlin-based author of this text is Larissa, founder of the Female Travel Collective, solo travel lover and convinced feminist! 

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