Are Long-Distance Relationships Possible?
When studying abroad, keeping contact with those you love at home can be difficult, especially if you are over 5 hours apart in time zones. What do you do? Is it even possible? It may be stressful at times, but rest assured that relationships are possible, and no, I am not just speaking about significant others. This also resonates with relationships with family and friends. People change, that is essentially inevitable, but working through that change and communicating can make all of the difference.
Family is the easiest and most difficult relationship to navigate while abroad, but why? It is because while you may not lose family like you lose friends or significant others, distance can put a strain on any family. At its worst, distance can tear families apart, which is why it is so difficult. On the flip side, it is the easiest because your family will always be there for you and can be there to support you in times of need. You cannot suddenly become unrelated to family, genetics are a thing!
But the question remains; can a long distance familial relationship work? Absolutely! Remember, they will still love you and support you. BUT, the key to maintaining this relationship is through communication. Even a message here and there or a video call once a week (or even month!) can keep families from not drifting apart.
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Friends, the ones that are always there for you.. Are they there still? Or do you still want them there? While studying abroad or just coming back, friendship dynamics can change because you yourself have changed during that time. This is completely normal; people can grow apart. And yes, that means even kindergarten buddies can grow apart as they get older. Remember to be kind but be honest with them too. Friends can talk though tough situations and be able to find some common ground.
So my answer is mostly yes. It really depends on the friendship dynamic you have before you even leave. If it is a toxic friend, it may actually be better to part ways. If this is a friend you do not ever want to lose, communication is key. Be sure to talk to your friend, good times or bad. Even if you are struggling with the friendship, talk it out. They may have some insight into what is going on too. It may be easy to give up on all of your friends at home, but do not do that either. Call them, text them, send them goofy Snaps, whichever. Your best friend from elementary can still be your best friend for life. 😊
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Ah yes, significant others. Leaving them to study abroad can be a struggle, you do not ever want to leave their side. But remember, you wanted to study abroad, so do not let someone hold you back on your dreams and goals. If they love you truly, they should still support you through it all. They do not have to agree with what you do, but they should still support you. Being away from your significant other can be challenging while abroad, and you may feel lonely a lot. Plus, there is the chance you may find someone else abroad.
The question lingers, is it possible to maintain a romantic relationship while apart? Absolutely! The same factor is involved here: communication. You cannot keep a significant other if you never speak. Also, be honest and open with them. If you feel the relationship is taking a different turn than what you would like, be sure to speak up. Even a text once a day can make a difference. They are possible, but you will just have to work to keep the spark going. Love will always find a way!
Coming home- Friends from Abroad
What about coming home and missing all the friends you made abroad? This happens all of the time too, and it can be quite challenging to overcome. Even just seeing someone who looks like them can send you through a whirlwind of emotions. These relationships are just as important; keeping international friends opens your life to multiple perspectives.
So like the rest, these relationships are possible, but please please communicate with them! If you never talk, chances are these relationships will deteriorate the quickest out of all of the relationships listed. If you want to keep a friend from abroad, all you have to do is talk to them. Or even tag them in a post on social media, anything to keep correspondence.
Based on your personal experience, are these relationships strong? Can they work? Comment below with your thoughts! If you disagree, be sure to leave a comment too, but remember to please be respectful.