Don’t Be Afraid to Do Long Distance Abroad

Audrey Glas
November 18, 2021

The fear of having a long-distance relationship should not stop you from going abroad, I promise its possible. For me and my partner there was no question about staying together while I’m abroad, and he’s not able to make the voyage here to visit me. We had conversations about being abroad before I left, and I know that I have a supportive partner and a mutual understanding of expectations. It’s necessary to find a balance between communicating with family, friends, and romantic partners back home, and fully enjoying the experience of being in Spain. Though it is difficult to be 4000 miles away, being abroad and away from him gives me the ability to explore this experience by myself and remind myself to discover my own independence in Spain.

Back home I am able to get in my car and drive a couple hours to visit my boyfriend at his school and he can do the same to come to me. But while I’m here it’s a drive to an airport, a flight or two, a taxi ride, and at least a couple hundred dollars. Four thousand miles between us is quite different from our usual long distance of four hundred miles apart, but the expectations and the relationship remain. Just because you’re in a different country than your romantic partner, your relationship doesn’t have to change, just the ways in which you approach it. We are still able to communicate and make each other feel special despite the ocean between us.

I have quite a few friends that are also in long distance relationships with their partners back home with a range relationship length. I love hearing a good love story, and asking my friends about their relationships for my blog has been a great excuse to hear some love stories. Each of them has shared their difficulties being abroad and the sentiments are generally pretty similar. Here are some of the best things I learned from these long-distance love stories:

  • It’s possible to manage a long distance relationship abroad, even if your relationship is not used to the distance (Janet and Jeffrey*)
  • The cheesiest way to approach LDRs is very true: communication is important, even in relationships that are used to the distance (Iris and Miles)
  • There are some great resources for modern relationships to strengthen connections from many miles away (Vanessa and Zach)
  • Distance makes the heart grow fonder though it’s one of the most annoying cliches LDRs hear, we’re living this cliché out every day (Max and Kristen)
  • Sad but supportive is the general consensus of the feelings of our partners back home, but it doesn’t have to compromise the experience or the relationship (Alex and Lucy)

Full disclosure, it is difficult to have a long-distance relationship while abroad. But this difficulty is most often not powerful enough alone to justify breaking up for the reason of being abroad. Everyone is in a slightly different state of their relationship with different experiences, but are all doing long distance. We didn’t each come abroad in a perfectly prepared state, but we had conversations prior to departure to prepare as best we could. There is no one perfect way to do it. Each relationship will have a different experience, and we have a lot of lessons to learn about just how possible it is to maintain a relationship abroad.

*All names have been changed for privacy.

Audrey Glas

<p>I am a student at Gettysburg College '22 studying Political Science, Spanish, and Peace and Justice Studies. Studying abroad in the Madrid - Language and Area Studies Program Fall 2021 is my first real experience abroad and I am excited to engage with the cultural experience I will have access to exploring Spain! In my free time I enjoy baking, cooking, listening to every genre of music, hiking, and other outside activities. I'm so excited to take a break from my small historical battlefield college town and move to a big capital city in a new country with a whole different history!</p>

2021 Fall
Home University:
Gettysburg College
Harrisburg, PA
Political Science
Explore Blogs