LDRs can be difficult to adjust to, especially if it wasn't part of the plan.
11 February 2022| Last updated on 22 February 2022
Moving abroad is a rather huge decision for anyone to make as it holds a lot of implications.
Those implications become even more significant when you have a partner. For those fortunate enough, they make the move together. However, sometimes that’s not possible.
For some couples, staying together while growing their careers can mean living apart in different countries for long periods of time. Whether it’s for work or study commitments, the duration of time apart can become open-ended. Depending on where you relocate to, restrictive visa laws can also hinder if and when they can visit your or vice-versa.
For couples who are considering living apart temporarily, it’s important to have an open and honest discussion about their expectations as well as how they’ll manage this new situation. Simply hoping it would work out is not good preparation. It’s important to share ideas on how you’ll keep the relationship going.
Here are our top essential tips for expats in a long-distance relationship.
1. Make a schedule.
Setting a time interval of when you’ll see each other, how long you’ll stay and when you’ll talk are all crucial points.
Scheduling a dedicated time every day to hop on a video call could help avoid getting caught up in your busy lives and no communicating enough. It will become something you look forward to and builds anticipation of “seeing” each other. This is crucial if you live in drastically different time zones.
2. Manage your expectations.
While communication is essential, it’s important to understand that your partner will have a life outside of your relationship - one that doesn’t include you.
This is a good thing though. Having friends in your life and doing fun activities with them can help reduce the absence you may feel. It will also give you more to talk about on your video call dates.
3. Do activities together.
Just because you’re miles apart, it doesn’t mean you can do things activities together.
You can watch movies at the same time while on the phone or play online games together. Even video calling while during normal, everyday tasks such as cooking can help give you both the feeling of being together.
4. Keep the future in mind.
Knowing that your current situation is only temporary can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel when things get rough.
It’s also important because plans can get derailed and one year becomes two and you find yourself in a situation that you never agreed upon in the first place. So being clear about future plans can help avoid disappointments.
5. Do similar things by giving suggestions.
If you’ve recently enjoyed a specific book or movie, recommend it to them. If you tried a new dish that might also be offered where your partner is, tell them to try it out.
This will help keep the conversations going as well as create new things in both of your lives.