Mind Over Miles: How can I deal with so much time difference?

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Dear Mind Over Miles,

My question concerns firstly the time difference. I’m Swiss, my boyfriend is Australian. That means we’re 8 hours (in winter 10 hours, which is actually easier) apart. It’s really difficult to phone as I go to bed when he gets up and basically vice versa. I don’t know how to deal with that. We skype every Sunday though, but I miss hearing his voice the other 6 days of the week. How can I deal with so much time difference?

And the second question is about moving. I will finish my studies next January probably. I wanna work then and save up money so I have a bit of savings on the side. But I don’t know if I even have a chance of finding a job there… My qualifications won’t be recognized there and I don’t know yet if I’ll get a relationship-visa. Additionally my family doesn’t want me to move as they think I would give up all my perspectives for my future. My boyfriend works with Computers (which is more universal than Law,which is what I study). He doesn’t even consider moving as he has a really good job there. I don’t know what I should do….

Thank you so much for your help!

-SwissAustralian


 

Dear SwissAustralian,

Timezone difference can be tough, adding more difficulty to an already difficult LDR. But, based on your question, you already know that! You’ll be happy to know that timezone issues are manageable if you keep a few things in mind:

1. Try not to get overly frustrated about it. Of course it’s an inconvenience, but in situations like this attitude is everything. Timezones suck, but try to find at least one positive thing about your situation and focus in on that on your worst days.

2. You may have to try a few nontraditional ideas to keep connected to your love. While other couples are talking regularly, it may be better for you and your boyfriend to get into the habit of leaving one another phone messages -or even looking into websites online that let you send voice or video messages to someone throughout the day or week.

Video Message Online is a website that lets you record video greetings to send to someone at any time for free. So if you’re missing your boyfriend’s voice: make him send you a video message on the days that you can’t skype!

3. It’s smart to find other ways to connect through the week. While you’re waiting on that Sunday skype date to come around, try to find another thing that keeps you both connected (and distracted) through the week.

If you are both into photography, have a little mini photo challenge where you take photos of your lives apart throughout the week. Or play a turn-based game that lets you play at your own pace together. In this way you always feel connected in some way!

4. If all else fails, find a hobby or activity that makes time fly by quicker for you. You know the saying “time flies when you’re having fun”? Surrounding yourself and filling your time with things that you enjoy can make the long week pass by so much quicker. If you’re focused on doing things you enjoy, you’ll be less caught up in how long you have to wait before you can see your S/O on skype again.

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Your second question, in regards to moving for love, is a tough one. Moving anywhere to where you’re not sure you’ll have job security is risky. What happens if you’re not ever able to find a job? Will your boyfriend be comfortable supporting you for a long period of time? Will YOU be comfortable with his having to support you for an extended period of time?

There are a lot of details to factor in:

Your qualifications won’t be recognized where you’d be moving. If this is so, what job will you take when you move there? Have you looked into what other options will be available to you in his country if you can’t work in the profession that you’d studied years for?

It would be unwise to move to a foreign country without any plan of action on how you will support yourself. So if you already know that you can’t work in Law in Australia, start looking into what employment opportunities ARE available for you and from there you will have an idea of how you could support yourself once there.

• Your family doesn’t want you to move; they think it would mean you are giving up your future. If they feel this way because you won’t be able to work in the profession that you’ve studied years for -they might have a valid point. It’s ultimately your choice, but their concern that you’re giving up everything that you’ve worked for may be valid, and not necessarily malicious.

The best way to win them over? Show them that you have a plan of action. A detailed “plan a” and “plan b” and maybe even a “plan c” that shows you’ve really looked into all the nitty-gritty, technical, un-fun details of country hopping and not just the fluffy part about how you love your boyfriend and want to be with him at any cost.

• Your boyfriend doesn’t even consider moving, since he has a really good job in Australia. A country to country move is a big deal, especially if it means you are dropping everything: your life, your friends, your family, your career and your education to be with 1 single person in a place where you know no one, have no connections and no job prospects.

I’m not sure how much you and your boyfriend have talked about the prospect of either you OR him moving, but that is an important discussion to have together.

Having a good job doesn’t mean you automatically don’t have to consider moving to where the other person lives. Maybe you’d rather not leave your good education. Things like this need to be discussed in great detail.

I can tell you that there is nothing worse than abandoning everything you’ve known all your life and everything you’ve worked for only to realize that you really didn’t want to leave it but felt obligated to because your partner had an advantage that you did not. Can you imagine how resentful you could one day feel towards your partner?

When it comes to decisions to close the distance and making big changes and big sacrifices like this, it’s important to try and cover all your bases in advance so there are no nasty or negative surprises later on.

I hope these thoughts help you to make your final decision.

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