We have always been told, "Distance makes the heart grow fonder". However, does it always? Studying abroad comes with ample hardships, and one of the most underrated I believe is the issue of commitment in relationships and love affairs that happen abroad or the ones that become long distance. I have interviewed a couple of friends of mine and asked them about the matter.
What do you think about long distance relationships and commitment abroad, can they work?
Rachel Wheeler: My opinion is it can absolutely work out. Not all long distance relationships are "doomed". It is going to take work, but I think it mostly depends on how serious you are. Future plans. Do you intend on being together, do you have plans to be physically together? If yes, then it can work.
Fotó: Pál Zsombor
Mary Kawar: I believe that long distance relationships can be difficult because physical contact and face to face interaction is key when it comes to understanding each other when a couple are doing long distance. It’s difficult for most of the people to manage your daily life and still find the time to be online, furthermore a partner's sexual needs may struggle which might lead to cheating.
Maya Sawyer Gillilan: I think in general yes, but it depends on both the person and how often and for how long you are able to spend time together in person.
I have done it twice and my eldest brother did it for 4 years.
I also think it helps to start dating while you are physically together and then it can go long distance or at least for me, I need the physical connection. Not everyone is that way though.
Fernanda Sesnick: Commitment with someone that is too far away from you can be complicated. I think it is better to try to organize your life plans to be as close as possible to see your partner again, and later if both partners are content enough with the distance then a relationship can be tried out.
Abeer Bakerjian: Meeting your one while studying abroad can be magical and exciting, you get to try new things together and go through thrilling experiences.
The most important piece of advice in my opinion is to savor every moment; be together and get to know each other, since you have limited time together.
Be yourself and be as open about your feelings and expectations of the relationship.
What pieces of advice can you give to love birds abroad or those who stumble upon little love affairs while away?
Rachel Wheeler: If your partner knows and it has been established that you are both allowed to see other people then it is fine.
Otherwise don’t cheat on your partner if they think you are both exclusive.
Dénes Deák: Having different schedules sure can be a trouble for some to keep in touch, but messaging apps and video calling surely does help a lot.
Abeer Bakerjian: To maintain the relationship with long distance: keep the communication going; have video calls, plan having dinner together,
do the same things like watching a movie or reading a book, build trust in your partner and earn your partner's trust, always check in
and keep your partner informed about your day to day life. Lastly and most importantly express your feelings and always make your partner feel safe.
It is safe for me to say that love conquers all. Although it certainly can be tough to manage your love life while studying away, but whatever love song that goes your way will definitely be worth it.
I believe that if the love is strong enough to withstand physical distance then there's nothing to be scared of, and of course communication is always the key so do not be afraid to speak to your partner about your feelings and needs, if Romeo and Juliet found a way to make it work, you can.
(Yes, I know they both died, but that is beside the point.)
Written by: Joseph Hazeen