So there you are, studying abroad in a foreign country with no real academic obligations, no jobs, and no worries other than which incredible new place you will visit that weekend. All of a sudden, you are put in a perfect place to meet a new guy that you would never otherwise get a chance to meet! What could be more romantic than a kiss on top of the Eifel Tower, or holding hands walking down the Great Wall of China? What awakes you from the bliss of your new and exotic relationship is the realization that your time with him is fleeting. One semester can go by in the blink of an eye, and you are left with only the memory of the blissful fantasy-world that was your semester abroad. Worst of all, your new boyfriend could live across the country, or even worse half way around the world.
This seemingly unique situation has become incredibly common among college student traveling abroad. No matter what you and your significant other decide on for post-abroad status, there will unavoidably be sadness, and confusion. As Chris Harrison and Rihanna would put it, you will be going through an “emotional rollercoaster” after “finding love in a hopeless place.” There is really no right or wrong answer for the best way to go about the inevitable end to something that felt so right. We all need a little help sometime with coming to terms with the next step in our lives, whether it’s dealing with a long distance relationship, a premature break-up, or anything in between. Only you can decide what is the right path for your relationship. Some options that you are faced with are likely to include: A) Stay together, regardless of how hard or seemingly impossible that may seem. Positives of this: You get to stay emotionally connected to your boyfriend and you can avoid complete heartbreak. Negatives: There is potential for things to get messy, as you are unable to keep up the constant face-to-face contact that you were used to. B) You can go on a “break” and stay in touch and on good terms without being exclusive. Positives of this: You get to see who else is out there without being tied down, and you still have potential to rekindle your relationship if you decide that there is no one you would rather be with! Negatives: This could be very emotionally confusing. You risk the potential for a serious disconnect over your feelings for one another as time progresses. And of course, we wouldn’t want the classic Ross and Rachel fight… “But we were ON a BREAK!!!!” Or C) You could call it off completely and cut your losses. Positives: There would be ne misunderstandings about what you are doing and how you are feeling because you will have complete closure. This also allows you to move without any guilt or hesitation. Negatives: You could be missing out on pursuing a good relationship just because it is inconvenient.
Relationship are never simple, especially ones that are kindled on a semester abroad. You just need to be honest with yourself about what you truly want and what is best for you before making the tough decisions about your relationship.