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Advice on Keeping your Relationship while away!

I'm going travelling to Asia, and Australia at the end of the year, I have a fantastic boyfriend of three years but I am battling in my head as to how long I should reconsider going for and whether our relationship can really last!!! Please advise, anybody who has been in this situation!
13 years ago, January 19th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #25687  
B Posts: 24
I'm going travelling to Asia, and Australia at the end of the year, I have a fantastic boyfriend of three years but have known his familt for a little while longer - my mates brother!!
I am battling in my head as to how we will survive?

I have the opininon that as long as you are aware of the realisms that may occur then half your battle is fought! As you can tell I am going tragvelling alone, it is something that I have wanted to do alone and also he is studying for another year or two when I will be away. I am 24 and and he is 33 and though there is an age gap we really are a perfect match, yes like any other couple we would like to throttle each other from time to time but we have a fantastic relationship amidst the two of us studying part time for the past couple of years - I finish in June.

I kinda think that seeing he will be studying the year I am away that I am giving him space also.

But as much as we are aware that this distance for s year and possibilty of my personal change whilst away, we both reckon this is a doable thing. I trust him totally while I'm away and him me also, it's the women I don't trust while I'm away he he!

What is your advice to someone who is travelling for a year and leaving their loved one at home.... would you think it possible to survive?
It cannot be all doom and gloom?
Positive stories are welcome..... I'veheard the bad ones but if there is a valid and usful lesson to your story please please please write to me!!

Thank You,

Uncle Matt - Deborah -Ireland Reply to this

13 years ago, January 20th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #25725  
Hey Deb my girlfriend is traveling and so am i and we have been apart for 4 months so far and wont be together again for another 4 months and then we trave together for a few months and then she goes home an i keep traveling into 2009, so far it as worked out well and we both see it as following our own dreams and that if it works it will only make our bond stronger.

If it is meant to be, then it is meant to be and will last through anything, if you need to travel, then do not stop, go for it as you only regret it and you may well end up resenting him for you not going

Thx Mike 😊 Reply to this

13 years ago, January 21st 2008 No: 3 Msg: #25755  
Hey Deb,

I'm leaving Aus in March to go to Asia and the UK, and have a boyfriend of 3 years as well (It'll actually be our 3rd year anniversary the day before I depart).

I love him to pieces and we go well together, but I'm going crazy staying in one place and he's got his car that he loves and doesn't want to leave.

I'm 21 and he's 23 so the age gap isn't as big as you and your boy - and 23's not a normal 'marrying age' anymore, whereas I guess 33 is, so I don't know how relevant my opinion is!

My thinking is that even though I'm going to miss Y (my guy) terribly, i don't want to do a long-distance relationship. It's a whole year out of our lives, and if we both just waited for each other - what if I get back and we don't 'click' anymore? What if we both turn down people we really like for a whole year and then find we've both changed?

There's also the what if I wait and he messes around while I'm gone? What if I find someone I really like, and think 'ahhh... I'm on holiday, he'll never know!' . An LDR takes a *lot* of work (or a *lot* of money and free time, like Mikey's got going!) and what if you put in all that effort and it comes up to be for naught?

We've decided that we're going to 'break up' when i leave - i.e. we're both technically single while I'm gone. We'll keep in touch and stay friends while I'm away, but that's it. When I get back, we're going to look at the situation and review our relationship - decide whether or not we want to get back together.

That way I think it saves a *lot* of the hurt - because there's no possibility of 'cheating', and the main block of pain is when you miss them for the first few months like anything - so something you go through anyway. You don't return with a huge heap of expectations (or guilt, depending on how you change through the year) and if you do still like the person, but they don't like you, it's an easier let-down than 'Well, thanks for waiting the whole year, and it's good to see you, but I'm in love with someone else now'.

It's kind of callous and I really *don't* like the idea - because when I leave, I'll still be in love with the guy. But I think in the long run it's easier on both of you.

If it's meant to be, it will - you'll get back and the sparks will fly and it'll be like nothing ever changed. If not, there just won't be anything.

I think whether you play LDR or 'free & single', nothing will change that. As long as you both have an agreement on what you think will work best and accommodate both of your situations (not just 'what you want', because then you might never leave!) it'll work out OK for you both - whether happily together or happily with someone else.

Having said all that, fingers crossed all our relationships go well! Reply to this

13 years ago, January 21st 2008 No: 4 Msg: #25764  
B Posts: 4
you've decided to not travel together, that should give you a clue to your answer. i've been married 23-years to the same great guy. i've traveled with my spouse and without my spouse. a large part of the joy in experiencing new places has been experiencing them with my partner. frankly, i'd rather wait until he could go than go without him.

also, playing 'married' when you're not? i don't get that. you either make a commitment or you don't. either way, you should talk about it fully. i agree with Natasha...best to break up if your not married.

hope that offers perspective...

Celeste Reply to this

13 years ago, January 21st 2008 No: 5 Msg: #25784  
B Posts: 5,195
Does your boyfriend want to travel - or is it just not his thing?

Can you wait until he can travel with you?

If your relationship is so good - and he has the desire to travel - to some extent - then you should be doing everything you can to make it so that you get to travel together.

If like Mike that means separately for a part of it - but together for a number of months then so be it. But a whole year away - with out time together? - it won't work out well.

There will be opportunities and temptations that you've never dreamt of - with people but also places and jobs and ideas - it will change you, and put a lot of stress on him wondering who those guys in the background of the drunken phone call that you made to tell him how much you miss him were...

I've never travelled for a long time with a long term relationship back home - it's not a situation I have experience of - but unfortunately - in every case I can think of - when I've met people in that situation - even those that go back to the partner at home have things that "they will never be able to tell" to their partner.

The exceptions are - friends who have travelled for a few months - with meet-up points with a boyfriend/girlfriend - for a significant period - then travel on. Reply to this

13 years ago, January 21st 2008 No: 6 Msg: #25785  
I'd agree w/Natasha which is interesting because so does Celeste and yet she and I couldn't think more differently about this. So is one or both of us misinterpreting Natasha?

I think it's okay to go out on this adventure with as few attachments as possible. You will be able to experience the experience with nothing additional eating at the back of your mind and it will do your boyfriend right by freeing him of the same responsibility.

You both sound like it's a tough decision but one that is agreed on, so just go and be open to the possibilities. You may come back and get together or you may come back and not get together but value the time together nonetheless. This is just one more thing you have no idea of the outcome so just be prepared as best you can for either possibility and then get out there and see what happens.

And good luck to both of you, whatever happens. Reply to this

13 years ago, January 21st 2008 No: 7 Msg: #25798  
I don't think people are giving the relationship enough credit here!

If this is just something that is happening for a definitive length of time, if you have no reason to break up with your partner, if you really want to travel and he doesn't..then go for it! Now is as good a time as ever if he has his studies, you can do the travelling you always wanted to do. As long as there is an end in sight when you will be back together I think you will be ok. I think the people that break up are the ones that don't trust themselves.

Ok so you actually asked for advice on keeping the relationship! And all you have had is bad news...!

So communication is CRUCIAL!!

Letters, emails, post cards, telephone calls, MSN, Skype...do it all! Without communication you have nothing!
Stay involved in each others lives, keep up to date with his studies as he keeps up to date with your travels.

Perhaps people will say it is naive to believe a relationship can work when you are apart for so long, when you are travelling and exploring and experiencing so many new things. But if you truly love each other and want to be together there is no stopping you. You have to try and look positively on these things regardless of all the BUTS and WHAT IFS entering your head.

Good luck!!!
Reply to this

13 years ago, January 21st 2008 No: 8 Msg: #25800  
I guess I should've said, yes, it can work. My advice was based on the info provided. It sounds like you (both) made the decision to be able to go out on the road without the work a serious long-term relationship takes. There is nothing wrong with that position. If you had decided to try and make it work while you were out and about I'd say go for it as well.
It isn't that one way is positive and the other negative, they are just different. So long as you have discussed it with your significant other and are both being as honest as is possible, you should feel okay with your decision and go enjoy the time to experience new things. As should he.
Maybe you'll come back and find that the two of you are perfect together and you'll have your journey and the man of your dreams. Maybe not. Either way, you will hopefully continue to grow and learn from the choices you make.
I don't think you've gotten bad news, just people's opinions, which are obviously varied. Reply to this

13 years ago, January 22nd 2008 No: 9 Msg: #25805  
There are just some things you need to do alone. It doesn't mean that your relationship isn't strong enough - you don't need to be joined at the hip, nor married to prove to yourself that your relationship will hold up. In my opinion, if you break up after being separated for a year because it got too hard, this probably means you would have broken up anyway in the long run and you've just accelerated the process. And imagine you'd not gone travelling for him just to break up later; what a waste!

I have done long distance and it hasn't worked - but only because all the things I wouldn't admit about the relationship when we were together became apparant. But one of my girlfriends did a year of long distance, and ended up so sure of her partner that they're now moving in together. If you have a good relationship then you've got nothing to worry about. Just go travelling!! Reply to this

13 years ago, January 22nd 2008 No: 10 Msg: #25809  
In my experience - whilst it worked the first trip (6 months) and subsequent shorter trips, it didnt survive the next longer (5 month) trip. Mostly because I was travelling and having these incredibly lifechanging experiences and he couldnt relate and didnt have the same passion-understanding of travel. So ... yeah, could have been that the relationship wasnt strong enough ... but it was 8 years! Anyway, communication is the key ... has your man travelled before? I think this is a big factor. If he understands your interest and desire to travel from personal experience I think it will help. In the end, if its going to work, its going to work. Good luck. Reply to this

13 years ago, January 22nd 2008 No: 11 Msg: #25817  
B Posts: 4
Sorry, that reply post of mine was worded badly.

If you have a commitment to someone (the promise of monogomy and a lifetime partnership), then you're married. If you haven't made a lifetime commitment of monogomy and partnership, then you and are boyfriend and girlfriend or bf/bf or gf/gf (you get the idea); you're not married, you are single. Travel single!

If you're married, you'll work it out, but it's not near as much fun not traveling with your best friend...your spouse!!!

Best wishes 😊

Reply to this

13 years ago, January 22nd 2008 No: 12 Msg: #25825  
B Posts: 5
my theory is, if your relationship is meant to endure, it will. if you are pursuing your dream and he is truly supportive of you, the relationship will last. i recommend trying to connect when you can--my partner and i met in rome for a week, and now i am going back to the u.s. for a few weeks before finishing out another couple months in nepal (i've been here almost 4).

and skype is a wonderful thing. we talk almost every day so that he can still feel like he's an important part of my life throughout this experience.

we are also planning a trip to greece together when i return, to celebrate our reunion. to have something like that to look forward to helps.

it's not easy, but if the relationship is right it will last, as long as you both put in the effort. good luck! Reply to this

13 years ago, January 23rd 2008 No: 13 Msg: #25869  
Hello Deborah 😊

I was in your situation when I was 20. I think people in this situation these days are lucky because of email and live chat on the internet.
The relationship did not last forever because we were very young with things to do which dragged us in opposite directions accross the world. Considering how young we were I think we did the right thing by attending to our lives instead of complicating things by staying togehter.

About other women, I think all u can do is trust him unless u have a solid reason not to.

I am now 38 and have a boyfriend who I live with and a 7 year old daugher. I still travel a lot but am careful to keep a balance of all areas of my life. Now instead of long trips I go on many for short periods of time. When I have the money I travel around 12 times per year for between a few days and a month at a time. It is a good solution for me because I get to have some of everything I want.

Mel Reply to this

13 years ago, January 23rd 2008 No: 14 Msg: #25874  
B Posts: 24
Hey Guys, it's great to hear so many replies!!

I appreciate all answers good and bad, but I think I may not have worded my query very well.

Dave has been travelling before, he spent a year in New York, where he did change and we have spoken about the fact that I may well just come back a changed person myself, he fully supports me travelling, and we have spoken about me only going for a shorter period of time but we both know that that's not what is going to change things, it may make our situation more doable but I really feel I need the freedom to return in a year or so. As I said, he and I have spoken about this and we both think I should just do it.

We have also discussed the concept of breaking for the year but we both also feel that why would we ruin a perfectly good relationship when we don't know what the future holds..... so the concept of breaking up for the what if's along the way, we feel are equally relevant to the what if there was no need to break up?

He, as I mentioned before, is studying and has also bought an apartment so has money commitments at home and so travell is just not as important a thing for him to do as it is for me.
We have spoken about him coming out to meet me in Auz while he is on his summer break from part time college, he'll take holidays from work and come meet me, which will give us both something to look forward to and will wbout 6months into my trip so if we are to meet about half way then thesting we feel would be taken out. Of course I will be keeping in touch also with him.

I think as he has been away himself and knows how it goes, that he can understand a little of what to expect, I'm sure that he'll be wondering at times who those guys are at the other end of the line but so as I'll be wondering who those girls are that he met when he was out in town partying, but we trust each other and Ce sera sera, if it happens that he finds somebody while I'm away, I won't hate him for it but I would really be heart broken, it's just another what if that may have to be dealt with when the time comes. We are a very open and honest couple with each other and also monogomous.... not married though!!!! And to be honest, you don't have to be married to have a strong relationship!

So I guess when I return in a years time, I'll be able to tell you all whether or not this was an I told you so or whether it really is doable. And I too will be like you guys, replying to some poor innocent defensless critter who is about to tackle the world of travell and fears leaving their loved one behind....


Reply to this

13 years ago, January 23rd 2008 No: 15 Msg: #25876  
B Posts: 5,195
I think the most important thing here is not to do this naively - which I think from your posts is not the case - you have your eyes open - and understand the situation and the difficult times you may face.

I hope the replies above give you some good ideas and advice - each of those replies will reflect on the experiences of the poster more than your situation - because beyond a few paragraphs we don't know anything about the situation.

Everyone here wishes you and your boyfriend the best of luck - you will have an amazing experience when you travel - and when (you sound determined so not if!) your relationship makes it through that time - it will be stronger for it. Reply to this

13 years ago, January 25th 2008 No: 16 Msg: #26020  
It is a pity he cant come with u Deborah. My ex whom I did my first backpacking trip with was an experienced traveller. It really added to the experience for me. My very own personal backpacking guide. 😊

The changing that will inevitably happen to u may not necessarily have negative effects on your relationship. I think when u go travelling without him it may well be good for the relationship because u will have lots of interesting things to tell him whether by email or when he visits and when u get home. Also I think it is a good thing for people to spend their 20s finding themselves. It helps keep a person centred when their responsibilities increase later and demands are being made on them by family, work etc. If u know who u are and what u want in life u are more likely to be able to give to others without losing yourself.
U are very young and will likely change a lot in the next 5 years whether u travel or not. It could happen that u dont travel and reach 28 years and feel the need to get away from your relationship to discover yourself. So many people leave their relationships at that age.
Anyway what I am saying is have a relationship by all means but put your main focus on yourself and discovering how u want to live your life while in your 20s.

Mell Reply to this

13 years ago, January 25th 2008 No: 17 Msg: #26023  
B Posts: 24
That's why I'm doing this alone, I really am looking forward to learning more about myself and strenthening areas in my life that need a little more focus, I have been working for years and have had pretty tough jobs and have already come so far in building and strengthening areas but as you said Mell, I look forward to being able to give a little more to others without losing myself!! What a great summation!

To be honest I keep going through bouts of saying to myself..... look just go do this if it happens it happens and then I picture us and the fun times etc. and get a little sad at the thought. But the one thing I do know is that this trip is inevitable and I will just have to wait and see what is in store for me!!!

I spoke to the travel agency yesterday and I am very tempted to move my trip forward to September instead of November, I really am chewing at the bit to get going. I know this is getting off the topic a little but does anybody know what Asia is like in September??? I'll have to fly into Singapore and had not planned on being in Cambodia until Nov so I am planning on staying around Malaysia and Sarawak, maybe do some jungle work with the Orangutans? and hit some of Southern Thailand to get to know it a little before I come back through there in another couple of months time.

I have been reading loads and it says that its not a great time of the year to go, but it is really that bad? Reply to this

13 years ago, January 28th 2008 No: 18 Msg: #26209  
These questions re long distance relationships are exactly what I am asking myself at the moment and its doing my head in :o)

First, good on you Deborah - I wish you luck with your trip and your relationship. You seem to have a really strong and positive attitude to it and I think this counts for a great deal.

My daughter (who is 8) and I are going travelling for about 7-8 months, and initially my partner of 1 year was coming also, for 6 months and then we were going to come home and buy a house together and settle. However, due to work and finances it has become completely unfeasible for him to come although he is hoping to join us for about 4-5 weeks at some stage. We are both upset and disappointed that he can't come but as nothing is going to change that, we're just trying to deal with it and stay positive, stay focused the long term and making sure we keep up our strong communication.

But....although we are committed to staying together, I am really struggling at the moment, mainly because of the issue that I will be out there having a great time, seeing some amazing sights and experiencing life in a completely different way, whereas he will be at home, working and just doing the normal day-to-day stuff. I want so much to share the excitement with him (even the planning) yet I feel that I can't, even though he says its ok. I feel guilty about wanting to ask his opinion on things and saying "wow look at this!" every time I find something else we want to see on our travels, because hes going to be missing out on all this and he is feeling it badly. I feel as though I'm rubbing his face in it. Yet I think its natural for me to want to share these feelings with my partner. Its very disappointing not to be able to do that without feeling guilty or selfish. Its a Catch 22 situation.

How has everyone else handled this, when one partner is travelling but the other isn't?

He is encouraging of me going, although I know he wishes I would cut it down to mabey 3 months. But this long trip is something I feel such a strong need to do right now (have been burnt out and worn out for a very long time) that I'm not happy to cut it short. I dont feel this is an opportunity I will have again for a long time, so I want to do it right. It doesnt mean I dont love him dearly, but to me, cutting short my trip would only make me regret it and resent him for it, so I am going for it and hoping that our relationship is strong enough to survive the separation.

I am deliberately putting myself out of my comfort zone, challenging myself and taking away the order of a "sensible" and structured lifestyle - I made the momentous desicion to resign from my job, sell my house and go travelling with my daughter and its been a really free-ing and life changing decision (I'm always Little Miss Sensible). I beleive completely that this will change me somewhat, and I do wonder how and to what extent and how that will impact on our relationship.

Sorry for rambling on, but its a such a deep and complex issue.

Would love to hear some thoughts on this... Reply to this

13 years ago, January 28th 2008 No: 19 Msg: #26217  
LOL November will come soon enough.

The rainy season is not as bad as one would think. I was in Thailand during the rainy season last year(June). There were 0-6 hours rain daily but plenty of warm sunshiney hours. Often the rain will conveniently fall at night. One problem for travellers is getting boats to islands during the rainy season. If the seas are too rough they wont go. So best have a not too rigid plan in case u need to change it because of the weather.
I would actually prefer to go to Thailand during the rainy season because there are fewer tourists and accomodation is often cheaper. Also the flights to get there are more than 100Euros cheaper. 😊

Mell Reply to this

13 years ago, January 28th 2008 No: 20 Msg: #26221  
Hello KRC 😊

I just go right ahead and share my experiences and ask my boyfriends opinion. I think your boyfriend might actually like that. It will help him decide were he wants to meet up with u for the 4-5 weeks. And being an experienced traveller myself I like to hear all about what others are doing on their travel while I cant be there. It is like living through them. And u dont need to feel too selfish. I travelled with my daughter who is now 7 a few times. U have your work cut out with looking after an 8 year old 24/7 while travelling. I come back exhausted after travelling with my daughter. I am so glad that my boyfriend is comming to India with us next December so I dont have to look after her alone. 😊

Where do u live anyway. I live in Germany and am not allowed to take my daughter travelling during school time. It is the law here apparently.


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