Should you emigrate for love?
Now that dating is a global enterprise, some of us are being presented with realities that a few decades ago would have been a major deal. We’re talking about things like people knowing a large chunk of our history before even meeting us (thank you social media), dates openly describing themselves as bi-sexual or gender fluid and first dates happening in cities or countries we don’t live in. Even the idea of emigrating for love is now more viable than ever, with the sheer amount of access to international dating opportunities.
If you ever find yourself in the wonderful and confusing realm of deciding whether your love warrants permanently crossing borders and setting up a new life, there are a certain set of questions it’s imperative you ask. Some of them may seem obvious yes, but what matters more than this is paying attention and giving careful consideration to how you’re answering them. Are you drawing your responses from facts or fiction, fears or hopes?
Question 1 – What am I leaving behind?
This is usually the very first question people ask themselves when confronted with the possibility of moving from their hometown for an extended period of time. Like all creatures of nature, we’re territorial animals. We grow roots and connections to the familiarities in our life and they in-turn become a source of comfort in an ever-changing world. Having said this, it’s essential when you think about what you’re leaving behind, that you answer the question realistically. Our Matchmakers can help you to address some of your questions.
If it’s friendships you’re worried about, take a closer look at how often you see those particular friends. If it’s wanting to be close to family, likewise think about how often you actually see them and how many times in recent years there’s been that dreaded emergency we all fear. Doing this is key because often it’s the idea of closeness or the proximity of a relationship that we find comforting, rather than the realities of it. If ninety per cent of the relationship you have with your best friend is conducted via WhatsApp, or you only visit your mother once every 6 weeks, the negatives of emigrating may be more in your mind.
For those of you who genuinely do see family everyday, see friends every weekend and have a brilliant job you don’t want to leave behind, the next question is more appropriate and perhaps a bigger one.
2 – What am I gaining?
Whilst some attention of course needs to be fed into what you’re going to be leaving behind if you emigrate, looking forward is really where the majority of your thoughts should be focused.
Consider your best-case scenario if you emigrated, whatever that looks like for you. Perhaps it’s becoming a husband, a mother, or having a better standard of living with your new beau. How will it positively impact the future of your children, in the long term or, your career or your leisure time? Look at the day-to-day plusses, the seasonal positives and how this move might bring you closer to the five, ten or twenty year goals you’ve set yourself.
Give your potential wins as much consideration and gusto that the angst of loss is likely to generate naturally. It’s okay to be excited and to visualise living your best life. In fact, it’s actually necessary to keep you motivated.
Question 3 – What would make the decision easier?
If you’re finding the choice of whether to emigrate for love really difficult to conclude, then another angle to consider is what would make the decision easier. Don’t focus all your attention on the blockers, save some energy for those small details that will knock them out of the way. It’s tempting to dwell in the land of whatifs and maybes but not much happens there and you must do your dreams more justice than this.
So, let’s say that you’d be able to make a decision more easily if you knew your children would have a good standard of schooling and life in the new country. Get active, do some proper research, speak to parents and schools, join online groups where you can have your concerns addressed. Likewise for the job market, do your research, look at plan A and formulate a plan B that will make you happy in any interim. There are always deal breakers in any big life choice, as well as things that will make decisions easier – find them.
Question 4 – What would make the transition easier?
This is slightly different to the above question, in that it comes once you’ve decided you definitely want to go ahead and trial your new life in another country. Transitioning is about stages, it’s about doing things at a certain time, using one pace that feels more comfortable than another.
Decide whether you want to trial the move for a month, if you want to concentrate on long weekends, take all your belongings, or leave them in storage to begin with.
Would having a friend go with you and stay for a week help you out emotionally, or do you need to schedule Skype dates with those you’re leaving behind, to feel more at ease? Take a deep breath and think about it. Your answer will likely match the type of personality you have, some of us prefer to rip the Band-Aid off quickly, others need it slowly peeled away.
5 – What are your motives?
A simple question. Are you doing this because you have found someone who is, or may be, the love you’re looking for? Are you walking towards your future, or running away from a past? People get confused between these two different motivators but they have a massive impact on the decisions we make and why we make them.
If you’re running from something, think deeply about whether emigrating will actually give you the resolution you want – both emotionally and physically. The challenges we run from have an uncanny habit of catching us up pretty quickly, so be honest with yourself and of course your partner.
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