College is the perfect environment for meeting lots of new and exciting people, and when studying abroad, much of the international student experience is built around meeting new people and often getting into relationships. That's great, but if you end up in a relationship after meeting someone at your new college – or if there's someone you've left behind – you may have to make a decision about what happens when you're apart either for the summer or during the school year. Many people dismiss long-distance relationships as too hard, but I've been in one for a year. While it's not much fun, it's manageable if you're prepared to put a little bit of work into it. Here are five hints for making a long-distance relationship work while you're studying overseas. [Learn how to adjust to life as a U.S. college student.]
1. Be sure a long-distance relationship is what you both want: For a long-distance relationship to work, no matter how new it is or how comfortable you are with being together, both people in the relationship have to be fully behind the long-distance idea. If one person isn't sure then leave it, or come back to it, but don't try and push it. Long-distance is very hard work, and to be successful there should be a strong commitment on both sides. Most of the long-distance relationships I've seen have fallen apart because of this lack of commitment. 2. Set boundaries before you go: Make sure you talk openly about the structure of your relationship before the move away. Whether you want to be monogamous or take a break and see where you are when you're home again, then you both have to be 100 percent open about it. Taking emotional confusion and putting several thousand miles between it is just not a recipe for success. You should also try to decide when the long-distance aspect of your relationship will end, or at least have a fixed date for when you will next see each other. How long will you be apart? A semester? A year? A whole degree? Whether it's six...
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