Long-distance relationships require hard work and dedication, but there’s nothing better than when you can finally close the gap and it pays off tenfold. That’s a day people like me and, assuming that’s why you’re here reading this article, you are excitedly waiting for, but before then there’s still some planning left to do. If it’s you that will move to the other side of the globe in order to be together with your partner, here are 5 things you should consider before making the big decision.
Are you absolutely sure you are ready to close the gap?
Often, the hardest thing about closing the gap is uprooting yourself in order to move to where your partner lives. On the one hand, you will finally have the love of your life by your side from the moment you open your eyes in the morning and till your head hits the pillow at night, and you’ll no longer dread the fast-approaching day when your trip ends and you have to fly back home. On the other hand, you must leave behind everyone and everything you’ve ever come to know and adapt to a completely new environment.
Of course, you can pay a visit back home every once in a while, and it’s not like you can’t keep in touch with your friends and family via social media or the numerous texting apps we have nowadays. That being said, this is a huge step, and you must thoroughly think about what you want and what you are willing to sacrifice in order to be happy.
Have you looked into applying for a visa?
If leaving your whole life behind is nerve-wracking, applying for a visa is a pain in the butt. While not necessarily a lengthy process, it involves quite a bit of paperwork. It may take a while to get everything in order, but that’s not the real problem; that would be your application being denied for whatever reason. Depending on the country in question, you would have to wait anywhere between a few weeks to a year to be able to apply again, which is, if nothing else, one hell of an annoying set-back for those of us eager to close the gap sooner rather than later. The sooner you start doing your research and apply for a visa, the better.
Where will you be living?
Sorting out living arrangements is an essential part of the planning stage. Obviously, you wouldn’t be closing the gap if you didn’t have a roof over your head guaranteed, would you? Think of your options. Can you go live with your partner from the get-go? Could they accommodate you, or does their present living situation not allow that? If that’s the case, can you get a place of your own until you can figure something out?
Strictly speaking, living by yourself for a while after relocating to the new country is advised. Being entirely dependent on your partner is a bad idea, not necessarily because they may turn abusive and go out of their way to isolate you, but because a lot of people become depressed upon arriving in the new country and feeling disconnected to everything but their partner. In that respect, living on your own for a bit and giving yourself time to adapt and be your own person can help avert such a situation.
What will you be doing once there?
Another thing you should think of ahead of time is what your life will be like once you close the gap. Sure, make up for lost time with your partner, but it’s not likely you’re going to spend your entire day with them; it’s simply not feasible. They’ll have to go to work, or go out to take care of something or other, and what will you do in the meantime? Be stuck at home? What I said earlier about becoming depressed applies here too.
Before you close the gap, you should do a bit of research on what options you have available. First thing first, unless you’ve agreed to be a stay-at-home partner, look for a job. Not only will you have a source of income, but you will also not be dependent on your partner for money. Another things you should look up are clubs or hobby groups in the area. You don’t necessarily have to be super interesting in a specific hobby, but it’ll help you go out and meet new people and make connections to make up for the ones you’ve left behind.
Do you have a plan B?
I’m not saying that your relationship will take a turn for the worst as soon as you close the gap, but there is merit in being prepared for such a scenario all the same, especially if you and your partner didn’t get to spend all that much time together in person throughout your long-distance relationship. The sad truth is that, sometimes, people are different in real life, and we cannot see that for ourselves until we get to spend more time with them in person.
If you did as I advised above and made preparations for getting your own place, a job and a hobby or two, then you’re good to go. Otherwise, I strongly suggest that you at least have some semblance of a plan in mind going forward, for your own sake.
Long-distance relationships can be messy and complicated, and closing the gap may not look possible at times, but, as long as you don’t give up, there’s hope. Dear reader, I sincerely hope that you will one day have the assurance that you will be kissing your partner goodnight for the rest of your lives. Then you will be grateful that you kept fighting for what you loved.