Should you move abroad in the name of love

  • happy couple reuniting at airport
Published 2 weeks ago

As a new year has just begun, you might be tempted to fulfill your dreams and projects, like moving abroad to reunite with the love of your life. Long distance relationships are a hard thing, whether you have met your soul mate online or during your travels or a semester abroad. However, before taking the leap of faith, make sure to find the answer to all the questions that you might have. To help you choose wisely, let's have a look at some of these questions together.

Are you mentally prepared?

young woman alone in the city

Moving abroad isn't an easy task as it may seem, regardless of your plans and motivation. If your only goal is to reunite with your soul mate who is thousands of miles away, you better think twice. There are many factors to consider, like your willingness to adapt to a new environment, discover new cultures and meet new people. Often in the case of a long distance relationship, you might want to get married or move in together. However, keep in mind that you will also have to integrate a new city and a new family and do your best to make it feel like home. Also, you will be away from home and your support network which included family and friends. Is it really worth it? What if things don't turn out the way you expected them to? Will you be strong enough to back out and make as if nothing happened?

What about laws and procedures?

visa application form

How long are you planning to stay abroad? Have you inquired about the conditions to be met and relating formalities? Depending on the length of your stay, you might need a visa or a resident permit – which involved a lot of paperwork. Procedures can be relatively complex or straightforward, depending on your origins and the country you're planning to live in, so you should be prepared to tackle all these. Do you already have the required documents or will you have to get some more stuff done? In some countries, you might need a fiance or spouse visa, or a dependent visa. Besides, in some countries, couples are not allowed to live together without being married. In the Middle East, for example, it is forbidden to hold hands, hug and kiss in public, even when you're married! Elsewhere, proof of your relationship may be needed so that you can live together or get married. If you're not yet ready for all this, maybe you should think about it all over again, to be sure of making the right choice.

What are your long-term plans?

young female entrepreneur

Would you just put your career on hold and move abroad for love? Today, men like women around the world are content with being the trailing spouse. Keep in mind, however, that you're far from being the trailing spouse. Would you sacrifice your successful career and commit without being sure of the outcome? What are the chances that everything turns out perfectly as planned? So it's wiser to make long-term plans rather than focusing on the short-term benefits. Take the time to inquire about the local labour market, the most promising fields, conditions and restrictions relating to your profession and whether your qualifications are recognised in your host country. If you're already employed, you could perhaps request for an international transfer or inquire whether you can work remotely for some time. If not, try to find a job before moving so you can be totally independent. If innovation is your thing, have a look at the opportunities for starting your own business. In case things don't turn out as planned, you won't have to go back home and start anew. In all cases, discuss your long-term plans and ambitions with your partner and be a team. Be honest, both with your partner and yourself – it's the best way to face and overcome your fears.

Are you familiar with the local culture and language?

family reunion

If you're moving abroad, you obviously have to learn the local language, as well as culture and traditions, especially if you're planning to get married or live with your partner and their family under the same roof. You should be aware that moving abroad for love is much more than an adventure trip during which you will get to discover new cultures. You will have to get into depth into your partner's culture and traditions to better grasp the local way of life – and this will help you adapt more easily. In case you have any doubts, but you don't yet have a social circle in your new city, feel free to ask any questions that you may have on expat forums where you can get plenty of tips and advice. There might be a good understanding within your couple, but it's best to anticipate the meetings with family members and relatives. Even if you already have a good command of the local language, learning some expressions will help in your everyday interactions.

Where are you planning to stay?

young man in own apartment

You're probably excited about reuniting with your soul mate and living under the same roof. Are you entirely convinced of having made the right choice? If you'd instead get used to your new life abroad before rushing into commitment, it's best to rent an apartment first. Those who are about to live in together for the first time might find it hard, and in case things don't turn out the way you expected them to, you won't have to start from scratch. Renting a flat means being independent, both financially and regarding lifestyle. It may be easier for those who have lived together before, though. Make sure to think twice before saying yes to family life. Quitting your old habits to adopt new ones, whether in terms of eating, dressing or etiquette, can be a hard thing.

You might have understood by now that moving abroad in the name of love is far from what you might have seen in a movie or read in a novel. So make sure to have an answer to any questions you might have before taking the leap of faith. If you've been there before, feel free to share your experience or give out some tips by leaving us a comment below.