In my previous post, I talked about what it was like to move countries and how to prepare for that. In this post, we’re going to look at four ways you can assist your SO if they move to your country.
1. Don’t take it personally
When one moves countries, it can be daunting and lonely. And while it’s done gladly in order to be with their love, it’s still hard.
As such, there are often moments when they’ll just miss their old home. It may come out in a comment about wishing they see certain friends, or perhaps in a tactless statement of “back home in _____ we did this better.”
However those moments reveal themselves, the best way you can handle them is to not take it personally. They’re often not a result of regretting the move, or wishing to be “back home.” It’s just the weight of the changes setting in and feeling overwhelmed; a need to cling to something familiar. It simply takes time to establish a new life.
2. Encourage productivity and activity
If your SO is moving countries for you, there is a high chance that their visa will restrict their ability to legally work for a time. This will leave a lot of days that need filling with something.
In How to survive moving overseas, we looked at the importance of having “floaties” to keep one’s brain active after moving countries. If you haven’t read it yet, I strongly recommend it. These two posts go hand in hand.
Since you’re the one who knows your SO best, and know what’s available where you live, you are in a great position to be be able to suggest activities in your area that they would enjoy.
This would be a great conversation to have together before the move; it gives your SO something more to be excited about. Not to say you aren’t enough to be excited about. But if you’re working or studying full time, they won’t get to see you much through the week.
3. Reaffirm their worth
Going from a structured, established life to one that feels out of control and unstable can seriously shake one’s feeling of worth. This is especially true if that person is used to providing for themselves.
If your SO is unable to contribute financially, it’s easy for them to feel like they are being a burden and making your life hard. For these reasons, it’s important that you strive to acknowledge when your SO does something for you.
Did they clean the kitchen? Let them know they rock!
Did they make you coffee? Give them a hug.
Did they pack you a snack for work? Let them know what great care they take of you.
Whatever it is, no matter how small, let them know that they’re making your life better. This can go a looooong way in alleviating feelings of worthlessness.
4. Have patience
Finally, have patience with your SO, and yourself. If you made it to closing the distance, then I daresay you both got pretty used to making your long distance relationship a natural part of life.
The dynamics of the relationship will change once you are together; you almost need to relearn how to relate. It can take some time to find a new routine for your lives.
Many things you learnt in your LDR can still be applied. However, adjusting to the differences between communicating via text and webcam vs. face to face can be challenging. After nearly six months, Brittany and I are still learning how to handle the changes.
So be patient. Give your relationship the time it needs to adapt and thrive. Don’t worry if finding a new routine takes longer than expected. Don’t freak out if you get on each other’s nerves more. Don’t panic if things seem different. Closing the distance is a life changing event. It’s stressful, it’s hard. It is different…