Hae Nao Mih,
Hide my ID. I am traveling abroad next month for further studies. Should I continue paying rent for my girlfriend? She has no job or source of income. We’ve been living together all this time, but we don’t have a kid yet. She’s already finished college, and she’s not willing to go back to her parents.
Traveling abroad is the first step out of your comfort zone and into the world of travel, not forgetting that you’re completely on your own. However, detracting from that excitement is anxiety over one of life’s most difficult situations: dating while studying abroad. If you’re attached to your partner, fears and anxieties over studying abroad may feel like they’re heightened tenfold since there’s a whole other person to consider.
There are many things you need to address when studying abroad while attached to your girlfriend, whom you’re going to leave at home. But I’ll tell you this: you know your woman, I don’t know her. Relocating to another country is quite challenging and tricky. It’ll be expensive considering you’re a foreigner and a student too. Supporting your girlfriend is your decision to make. Are you financially stable? And is she worth the sacrifice? Are you ready to keep the relationship?
You’ll be busy, which will make studying abroad while in a relationship tough. There won’t be a ton of downtime on Skype blowing kisses and writing long heartfelt messages to your woman every now and then. You’ll be busy attending lectures, learning a new language, and writing term papers and research.
Once you’re past the initial culture shock and homesickness, you’ll be ready to absorb it all. Do you know how many people you’re going to meet: peers in your study program, cool locals who hang out at the plaza, backpackers in town for pub crawls, or that cute barista at your favorite coffee spot around the corner? Do you know how many trips and excursions you’ll be taking in your study abroad program or even on the continent? Studying abroad will bring out the adventurer in you and give you the chance to do things that everyone talks about.
I’m not asking you to break up with your girlfriend. All I’ll tell you is to do what’s right depending on the stage and strength of your relationship. This relationship will only succeed if you’ve got a solid foundation and great communication skills.
You know her better than any other person, and you know if she’s worth taking care of, even if you’ll be straining on your end. I just want you to be realistic, set healthy expectations, and take full advantage of a potential once-in-a-lifetime experience without being in danger of letting someone detract you from it.
Naomi Makassi from Kitale, Trans Nzoia County, is a graduate of Rongo University who finds passion in helping young adults build successful relationships through writing.