When it comes to long distance relationships there are a lot of sacrifices to be made and the decisions you make definitely won’t please everyone. There will be tough situations throughout the time when you are apart and even more when you finally close the gap. Being in a LDR is more complex than most people realize because, to them, closing the distance is the end of the struggle. This could not be more wrong. The LDR with your SO may be ending, but certain aspects of your LDR will linger throughout the rest of the time you are together. Three aspects of your life in particular will be forever affected by your LDR:
Family. Whether your parents say they will support you no matter what or they are against it from the start, you will get some resistance when you tell them you’re moving away. You might not be the one moving to close the distance, but later on you and your SO might decide it’s time to move back to his home country. And even if you don’t, his family is going to be upset that he moved away. They will try and be supportive and visit when they can, but you are going to constantly struggle against distance with one of your families.
Friends. The same goes for friendships. Moving away from home not only means you’re distancing yourself from family, but you’re also leaving behind a lot of friends. Making friends when you’re young is so much easier than finding new buddies in the adult world. There are no play dates, no neighborhood games of wiffle ball, or people encouraging you to make friends. You are on your own, expected to maintain friendships with the people you’ve left at home while also forming new friendships with people in this foreign place. You may find it much harder to make new friends once you move and it will be difficult to keep in touch with the ones you left behind. Where do adults even make friends?!
Finances. Money, money, money. It always comes back to money. Moving costs are extremely high, especially if you’re moving to another country. But once you settle into your new home the expenses continue. You’ll need to buy flights to attend birthdays, holidays, and other important events for your family/friends and if you can’t attend then you’re faced with obscene costs to ship a gift. Your budget will need to account for long distance expenses even once you have closed the distance, only this time it applies to more people!
So whether you’re in a LDR now, expecting to be in one in the future, or just closing the distance with your SO you need to be aware of your future. You may be thrilled to finally be together (I know I’m getting excited for this too) but you also need to be conscious of the fact that your life may still be very different than people who haven’t been in a LDR. Expect that some family members will not be thrilled about you moving to another country. Expect that it may be challenging to make new friends and maintain existing friendships. Expect that you will need to allocate extra money for presents and special events. And, above all, expect that you will never truly escape the distance.