12 Challenges Encountered in International Long-Distance Relationships and How to Deal with Them
Love works in more ways than you can imagine. You have no control over it and who you fall for. Who would have guessed that the love of your life would come from oceans away from your home country? It’s amazing how this foreign stranger used to be nobody to you and now they’ve become somebody and everybody in your life at the same time.
It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, unfortunately. There are multiple challenges that will get the best of you and make you feel like giving up. All these hardships and problems may push you to the edge, but this doesn’t mean you waste away what could potentially be the best thing that has happened in your life. Here are the pit stops in international relationships and what you can do to you can possibly overcome them.
When you’re in a relationship with someone, you have this feeling of wanting to be physically affectionate with your partner. You would want to hold their hand as you go out in public, hug them on days they feel sad, cuddle with them until morning comes, and do things to show how much you love them. It’s going to be hard when you can’t do all those with your loved one. It is normal to feel envious of others who can physically be with their lovers.
Turn your frustration for physical affection into something else. Spend more time on your date nights or look for special gifts that will creatively express how you feel. Do not over think your situation or pity yourself. You have to remember that it’s always different for everyone. Time will come and you can finally hold their hand, kiss them, and keep them in your loving arms for as long as you want.
Too Many Expenses
Airfare is so expensive these days and it’s starting to hurt your budget. Not to mention all the money you have spent for the long distance calls, snail mails, and gifts. There’s so much to spend on and it’s starting to make you worry. Why not try scheduling your trips instead of random visits? Be more practical with the gifts and agree with your partner on how you can be more cost-efficient with the way you exchange messages.
One of the major problems in the international dating scene is the language barrier. Perhaps your partner speaks Russian, Filipino, or Chinese while you on the other hand, are only capable of speaking English.
It’s hard to communicate when there’s a barrier of this magnitude between the both of you. You also risk miscommunication and misunderstandings because of the language barrier.
Try learning a word or two from their language every day. Start with basic terms and phrases such as “hello,” “good day,” “I’m sorry,” and “I love you.” Eventually, you’ll learn more words that will help you talk to them better. You can also buy a dictionary or translator for self-help, or make use of language learning courses online.
As much as you want to talk to them every minute of the day, it’s just not possible. There is a significant difference between your time zones and as you start your day, they’re just about to end theirs.
Sometimes you might catch your partner at a bad time and you can’t do anything but extend your patience with them. It can get easier by setting up a schedule for your online calls and dates.
Of course, you both have to make time for your plans. When you’ve scheduled a video call on that night, don’t go out with friends and say you’ll make it up next time. One missed opportunity can already cause a lot of friction in your relationship.
Bad WiFi and Cell Connection
Nothing is more annoying than a bad connection and intermittent cellular service. While you’re trying your best to get in touch with your partner, sometimes technology fails you when you need it the most.
If this happens to you, explain the situation to your partner. Don’t let them sit wondering why you haven’t contacted them. You can then try to catch up later to make up for the time that you lost due to technical problems.
Expectations in the Relationship
Given that most of your only time together is spent facing each other on screen, it’s really hard to discuss expectations in detail. You and your partner might be looking working towards different goals. You also both might be seeing your relationship in different views.
Countries all around the world have different cultures when it comes to dating. Sometimes it’s okay for both men and women to make significant decisions in the relationship and other times it’s just the men who have the last word. Resolve conflict with your partner every chance that you can.
You’ve been wanting to see your partner for a long time and even spend your life with them but the immigration laws seem to exist just to make your reunion harder. Consult legal experts right away to start your processing as fast as possible. Educate yourself with the immigration laws of the country your partner is living in and know the options you have.
Disliking Your Partner's Home Country
How unfortunate would it be that once you’ve reached your partner’s country, you find that you don’t like it? It’s going to be hard on your end since you have to force yourself to experience it, and at the same time, figure out how to explain your dislike to your partner.
Do not lie to your partner regarding your discomfort, but break it to them in the gentlest way possible. Tell them politely that you respect their culture and country, or city, it’s just that the environment is not the same as what you grew up with. The last thing you want to do is to insult their hometown and subsequently insult their whole background.
Next to disliking their country, another bump in the road that you have yet to overcome is the conflicting cultures that you both have. Something that’s a norm in your country might be a taboo to them, and vice versa. You have to be more careful with your approach. You would know which actions are beyond the line and which ones are accepted in their culture when you get to know your partner better.
Be upfront with them as you discuss each of your cultures. Make your talk casual and conversational. Don’t make it sound like you’re imposing rules and regulations. Respect the beliefs she has so she, in turn, may respect your beliefs too.
Discovering Each Other's Quirks
Getting to know your loved one is exciting, but accepting their quirks can be a little tricky. It’s not easy to accept the little somethings that can be borderline annoying. At some point you might not find the little quirks they have cute anymore and the gestures you see would not be as exciting as they used to be.
Nevertheless, you have to accept your partner despite who or what they are. You only have a little time to spend with them whether online or in person. Learn to find a way to tolerate the things that annoy you. Do not spend that time getting annoyed with their habits.
Leaving After Visit
The hardest part of all is not overcoming your differences, it’s accepting the fact that you have to leave again after visiting. It’s when the fairytale ends that reality starts to sink in. You have to go back to your old routine again of trying to make things work in between oceans. Just hold on to your hopes that maybe on your next visit, you or your partner won’t have to leave again.
Uncertainty of the Future
You will be filled with what ifs and what could be. What if the distance becomes too much for you? What if you guys don’t make it? What would it be like to spend a longer time with them? These things can actually take a toll on you but you just have to believe that one day, you can be together with your partner. Someday things will change and the time you spent apart will be worth all the sacrifice.