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Transitioning from living near each other to living an ocean apart


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My bf and I met in college and have been together for 2.5 years now. We've had our share of issues (mostly due to my own wanderlust/fear of commitment), but have been pretty solid for the most part. We really are best friends and each others biggest supporters.

 

A few months ago we had a frank discussion about how I feared he was getting stuck in a rut and wasn't really trying to figure out what he wanted to do in life. At first he didn't take that very well, but after some reflection realized I was right and was very thankful that I gave him some tough love. Now, only a few months later, he's just been accepted to a world renowned graduate school in the UK (we currently live in the US) and will be moving overseas in the fall. I'm graduating in the spring and my plans are pretty up in the air, but i'll most likely land in the US or volunteering in Latin America, though finding a job in the UK isn't out of the question.

 

I am so incredibly proud of him and excited for him to really take some risks and pursue his dreams...but i'm scared about what this means for us. We've lived in the same city for our entire relationship, about an hour away but still close enough to see each other 2-3 days a week. We did long distance for 3 months while I was studying abroad and it did NOT go well...really set us back, though our relationship was still pretty young at that point and we didn't establish any rules or expectations beforehand.

 

Anyway, what advice do you guys have for transitioning into an LDR? I'm open to looking at jobs near him, but the visa process looks pretty complicated. So far I know I would be able to visit once in the fall, then he would most likely come home for Christmas, and i'll just have to hope I can save enough money to visit again in the summer.

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The first thing, like you mentioned, is setting up clear boundaries. It's really difficult since you've spent so much time together, but this could be a good opportunity for both of you to branch out and invest in yourselves individually. I think the main thing is realizing that all relationships are finite, whether they end because of spending your lives together, divorce, break up, etc. This might help you put things into perspective and not be so worried about "what if we break up" because of xyz. It'll help focus on the positives. I think the main thing is to realize that you can't base your entire life around one other person. Don't feel like you have to go to the UK just for him. You need to do what's best for you, and sometimes that might mean putting your relationship aside. The most important thing is just open communication and being strong enough to know when things aren't working and to let go. It's hard, but it'll be a good way of finding out whether you two are really compatible. If you get through this, everything else will be easy. If it doesn't work out, at least you know and can move on with your life. Best of luck!

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