I’m in a relationship now. How feasible is it to maintain my relationship while traveling abroad?

Questions & AnswersCategory: RelationshipsI’m in a relationship now. How feasible is it to maintain my relationship while traveling abroad?
Sean Tierney Staff asked 5 years ago

I have a partner now whose job prohibits him from working remotely. I really want to go nomadic but I also cherish our relationship. Has anyone managed to successfully keep a long-distance relationship going and if so, how did you do it?

1 Answers
Sean Tierney Staff answered 5 years ago

So I can’t comment first-hand on this as I ended my relationship before moving abroad but we had both couples in our group who traveled together as well as people who maintained long-distance relationships successfully. I do think doing the long-distance thing can be a challenging situation to navigate and for sure stress-tests the relationship but if you come through it on the other side it means you have something rock solid and very special. I question the opportunity cost of what you’re missing out on in terms of connecting with locals as you travel or potentially finding love within your group, but this is all just speculation and opinion.
I would say these things about this question:

  • Yes it’s definitely possible to make long-distance work. The people in our group who did had really strong, pre-existing relationships going into it and seemed to regularly do calls and have at least quarterly visits (either their significant other joining the trip or going back home to visit him/her).
  • That said I think you should take a hard look at what you have and use the litmus test that one of my favorite role models proposes, No “yes.” Either “HELL YEAH!” or “no.”
  • I would say use a regret minimization framework here and do the thought experiment in which you explore which scenario you will regret more. Do the opposite scenario.

That’s my best advice but again, I wasn’t in a serious relationship prior to leaving for Remote Year so this decision was a no-brainer for me to end the relationship before departing. I’ll defer to the better advice of others who have been in strong relationships facing this question here.