Solved Challenge: 5 Options for a Long Distance Relationship that wants to close the Distance Gap

long distance relationship

 

GREETINGS MARIA!

 

Thank you, Maria, for sharing your challenge with us. We have, of course, prepared 5 options for you. Those options are pretty much obvious, but we do believe that we have something special for you: some considerations and powerful questions that will lead you to taking the right decision- For You. Jumping out of the-long-distance-ship to jump into finally-living-together-ship is not always an easy task, especially if you can’t agree on the location.

When we talk about taking such a life-altering decision, we should take into consideration two basic elements: the facts (the pros and cons) and the feelings. This is why we are asking you to prepare a piece of paper, open an empty document or if that’s not possible, make mental notes of how you feel when you hear (in the podcast) or read (in our written solution) each of the options.

You don’t need to write an essay :), it is sufficient to note down feelings in a form of: good, bad, scared, excited, bored, resistant, upset, etc. So get your piece of old-fashioned, digital or mental note and…

… listen to our podcast or read the solution below:

 

SO HERE’S YOUR CHALLENGE: 

 

I am in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend for some time now.

We came to the point of time when we would like to live together. The problem is that we are living in two different countries, and actually, we are living on two different continents. He would like me to move into his country because he has a very good job and very good conditions, and we could start our life there.

My problem is that I just found a new job in my country, which I pretty much love. It really gives me a lot of satisfaction.

Additionally, we’ve had some problems in the past, which do not make me feel very secure about the future of this relationship. Plus, I would also have to learn a new language and look for a new job that potentially may not be my dream job.

So right now I am not exactly sure how to go about it.

Could you please advise me something?

 

So listen up dear, you’ve got 5 options. Are you ready? Here we go!

 

AND YOUR OPTIONS ARE:

 

Option 1: Export- the one where you join your boyfriend 

Option 2: Import- the option where you get your boyfriend to join you 

Option 3: Find your own Switzerland- the one where you select the neutral grounds 

Option 4: International exchange temporarily on hold- the one where you continue in a long-distance relationship 

Option 5: International exchange terminated- the one where you guys go your separate ways

Have you noted down how you feel about each of the options? Good! Now let’s get down to each of them. And of course, also down to how you use the options we gave in the process of finding the right solution for you. And down to how those options have worked out for us when there was a time to take such decision :).

 

OPTION 1: EXPORT- THE ONE WHERE YOU JOIN YOUR BOYFRIEND

 

This is the solution that your boyfriend proposed, so why not consider it first? 

The obvious pros are that you guys get to live together, finally! You’ll also get a chance to experience something completely new, start an adventure! And of course, you’ll make the man you love happy :-).

The cons are that you need to leave your life behind, especially that new job that you love. You’d have to start from scratch and probably be dependent on your boyfriend for a while.

In your challenge, you don’t seem to be very excited about joining your boyfriend, which is why we think it is extremely important to discuss the topic of fear. And the most important question to ask yourself is; what are you really afraid of? The amount of fear that people feel while taking such a decision will differ, if you feel a great amount of fear, we may have a good tool for you.

It is quite simple: you take each of the 5 options and you ask yourself: what is the worst thing that can happen? You write those worst-case scenarios down and then you brainstorm the possible solutions. When you do that exercise you’ll be surprised that every situation has a way out. And even if you put yourself at risk and the whole relationship goes down the drain, you can still manage! The trick here is to not to let your mind dwell on those worst case scenarios, but to demonstrate to yourself that no matter what happens, You’ve got Your Own Back! This is a good way to handle your fear and to see that you’ll be alright, no matter what happens. 

 

OPTION 2: IMPORT- THE ONE WHERE YOU GET YOUR BOYFRIEND TO JOIN YOU

 

The key advantages here would be that you get to be together and you get to keep the job that you love.

Seems like a dream come true, right? But there are some super important things to consider here. First of all, you have to check in with yourself if you are truly ready to have him join you.Are you up for taking some potential responsibility for his happiness? Can you imagine him in your country, city, house?

If you do like this vision, how do you even convince him to join you? You’d need to get prepared very well for that conversation. The good news is that you have a very strong argument, the new job that you love so much. And his reaction to that proposal would tell you a lot about how important your dreams are to him.

A few points to consider for that option: does your boyfriend speak the language of your country? What are the career opportunities for him? Could he keep his job while he moves overseas?

 

OPTION 3: FIND YOUR OWN SWITZERLAND- THE ONE WHERE YOU SELECT THE NEUTRAL GROUNDS

 

The key advantages here would be that you get to be together and you get to keep the job that you love.

Seems like a dream come true, right? But there are some super important things to consider here. First of all, you have to check in with yourself if you are truly ready to have him join you. Are you up for taking some potential responsibility for his happiness? Can you imagine him in your country, city, house?

If you do like this vision, how do you even convince him to join you? You’d need to get prepared very well for that conversation. The good news is that you have a very strong argument, the new job that you love so much. And his reaction to that proposal would tell you a lot about how important your dreams are to him.

A few points to consider for that option: does your boyfriend speak the language of your country? What are the career opportunities for him? Could he keep his job while he moves overseas?

 

OPTION 4: INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE TEMPORARILY ON HOLD- THE ONE WHERE YOU CONTINUE IN A LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP

 

Why would we even mention that option? Well, mainly because of that new job of yours. If you guys can’t reach the decision where he joins you, you could still consider extending that long-distance strain in favor of grounding yourself in the job, building your professional experience, so that it’s easier for you to find a job elsewhere geographically, in that new industry. There are some other potential advantages, you could take the time to study your boyfriend’s language and move when you have already found the job there. 

Key questions to ask yourselves here: can you guys accept prolonging long-distance relationship? What is the true reason for neither of you being able to commit to that relationship strong enough to leave your lives behind? Is that relationship really a priority to both of you?

This option could be a good one, especially if you put a deadline to it and have a solid plan for what happens when the expiry date approaches.

 

OPTION 5: INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE TERMINATED- THE ONE WHERE YOU GUYS GO YOUR SEPARATE WAYS

 

It may sound a bit harsh that we are even proposing that solution. But this option still has some advantages, well, first of all, you both get to keep the jobs that you love and stay in the countries of your comfort zones.

There is also that one thing that you mentioned in your challenge, those problems from the past, that do not make you feel the most secure about the future of your relationship. This option is a valid one also when neither of you can really prioritize any of the first 3 options and do not want to maintain the long distance either.

Key things to consider: how important is that relationship to you? What do you feel when you think about breaking it off? Why haven’t you been able to decide to move in with your boyfriend so far?

 

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR OPTION?

 

So now you got your 5 options and you have noted down the feelings you’ve felt while reading the options, what do you do next?

Well, first you look into your feelings. For example, if you felt relief when you read about the break-up, you may already have your decision. Or if you suddenly felt excited about joining your boyfriend, but then the fear got the better of you, you may try our fear management tool out to help yourself put your affairs in order.

We have also given you a number of powerful questions to ask yourself. Answering them will point you in the right direction. If you allow yourself to answer them honestly, you may be able to get to the roots of your problems.

But you also have to answer the mother of all the questions: How important is that relationship to you? Is he “the One”? Can you imagine yourself growing old with that man? Is the love towards your boyfriend stronger than the one towards your new job? If the answers are YES! Well, girl, you have a very strong case to go ahead and pack your bags. After all, that new job is not gonna hold you tight at night :). But if the answers are NO, or I don’t know… well, maybe it is time to call it off?

When you have answered all those questions for yourself, the time is to talk to your boyfriend. Ask him some of those powerful questions, and you will know how important this relationship is for him too.

 

HOW DID 5 OPTIONS HELP ME DEAL WITH MY LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP?

 

And now a bit of an insight from my own experience:

You don’t have to choose only one of the options. You can make a plan where you try out how a couple of those work for you. You select together the one that is the most acceptable but make a contingency plan in case it doesn’t work out.

I met my husband in a neutral country, and then each one of us needed to move back to our respective countries. We have tried option 1 and it really didn’t work for me, I was miserable in his country, so I went back to my homeland, thereafter we did the long-distance-thing for a year.

And then he joined me. It worked fine for a while, but neither of us really loved it. We went for our own Switzerland, and this option works the best for us. How did we manage all those changes? Well, we have both always been 100% committed to making this relationship work. It was our common priority and we have always had a contingency plan: honey, I am joining you in your country, and I will try to do my best, but if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be the one who calls the dibs next :).

That’s all folks :). Good luck Maria and we would absolutely loooove to hear from you.Were the options helpful? What have you decided?

Much Love

Anna&Marta