Falling in love with a foreigner is exotic and thrilling, two unsuspecting love-struck souls who hail from two different homelands across the world.
Long distance relationships can be challenging but it’s not impossible to start something great and long-lasting.
Here are some tips for success:
An international long-distance relationship won’t succeed overseas if you’re not really in a relationship. This means that fireworks may turn to explosions if you’re on chapter “in love and in a relationship” and your special someone is on chapter “having fun and love meeting new people.” Make sure you’re on the same page! Spending time, emotion and even the money to travel has a strong possibility of ending in storybook heartbreak unless you define the relationship with exclusivity. “Establish your role in the relationship” and ask “where are we now?” recommends InterNations, an online international community for people who live and work abroad. Happily investing in and growing a relationship rests on a foundation solidified with commitment.
Megan Jerrard, of blog Mapping Megan, met her husband in Tanzania, Africa. She is from Australia and her other half, Mike, is from America. They got married in Hawaii less than three years after meeting each other at the bottom of Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was a quick 12-hour meeting before they said goodbye and entered into an 18-month long-distance relationship that grew by speaking every day.
It’s easy to rely on texts and emails. But phone calls and video chats force you to get to know one another on a more intimate level, shares Megan. Communication creates connection. It’s time to talk about your desires, needs, dreams and goals. It’s necessary to be open about vulnerabilities, doubts and worries. You flirt to build up anticipation for a visit and start to get to know each other on a deeper level than you would if you were just messaging one another.
Trust can sometimes be a leap of faith for two people across the globe in a relationship, especially if the relationship was long distance from the start. Being open and honest about the potential of jealousy can be helpful. Even prepare for it; it’s a common challenge. You will both hang out with friends, work with colleagues and cancel a scheduled virtual date because of an activity. Communicate about these aspects of your life. Invite your significant other to be a part of these experiences and meet these people when visiting. Trust one another with the benefit of the doubt. Don’t create conflict and be suspicious by looking for reasons to not trust—when they actually don’t exist.
Set Expectations & Goals
A long-distance relationship can start to feel endless at times. The question moves from “where are we now” to “where are we going?” The expectations of speaking every day and goals to visit once every two months will evolve into questions about the future. As the seriousness of your relationship starts to grow, introduce new goals like the idea of living in the same city. Discuss your career paths, who would be willing to leave family and if you would immediately live together. These conversations may be tough and they’ll require compromise. But neither person deserves to believe in the relationship when the other does not.
Make a Long-Term Plan
Once you’ve decided that at this date or point in the relationship, one will move for the other, the official re-location process can start. If your shared city of choice is somewhere in the U.S., keep in mind, it can take six to seven years to become a U.S. citizen. First, your partner will need a visa to enter the U.S. You can petition for him or her, as your fiancé, to get married in this country. Once your spouse, your husband or wife will have priority for getting their green card. Once married, you can actually expedite the citizenship approval process and only wait three years as opposed to five. It’s not unusual for marriage and moving to the U.S. to go hand in hand. SimpleCitizen, a step-by-step wizard breaks down the process to complete immigration paperwork.