Can my year abroad relationship survive my return to the UK?

I met my boyfriend during my year abroad in France and have just moved home to the UK. We've agreed to try and make it work but is this completely unrealistic? He doesn't speak any English so I'm worried he won't be able to fit in with my old life and we'll drift apart. Has anyone experienced this?

This question was asked on 19th August 2014 and has been read 1635 times.

  • Lucy · 3 years ago

    I have been in your shoes and one year after my year abroad (and having just graduated), I can confirm that a long-distance French-English relationship CAN work! My boyfriend and I had only been together for a few months when my year abroad ended and I had to come home, but we are now stronger than ever one year on (and I will be soon moving to France to join him!). It's scary, but if you want to make it work, you will. Take advantage of cheap flights and early-bird Eurostar tickets as often as you can and make full use of all the technological assets at your disposal; Skype and Whatsapp mean you have no excuse not to remain involved in each other's day to day lives (and continue daily language learning, hopefully reducing the effects of the language barrier?)! It's an emotional rollercoaster, but a truly rewarding cross-channel relationship will be well worth the effort.

  • P · 3 years ago

    My boyfriend and I got together two weeks before he moved back to Germany after his year abroad in England so pretty much the complete reverse of your situation! It does seem crazy and like all the odds are against you but more than two years down the line, I am so happy we were both prepared to give it a try. With the internet/flat rate landline calls, staying in contact is easy and travelling to Germany, or in your case, France, is so quick and cheap, you can easily go to visit them or vice versa. My main tip would probably be that planning the next time you're going to see each other a while in advance helps massively - not being together is a whole lot easier when you know for certain when you'll see each other again. Who knows what will happen in the future but if it's someone you really like, it's definitely worth giving it a chance.

  • Heather Collier · 3 years ago

    I knew a girl on my course who met her Finnish boyfriend on the year abroad almost 2 years ago, and as far as I'm aware they are still together :)

  • Lauren Stevens · 3 years ago

    I had already been in a long distance relationship between the UK and Finland for a year before I did my year abroad, so it wasn't much different for me, other than the flight between us being slightly longer and expensive. I think distance can really help you value your relationship and you appreciate your time together much more. If you are flexible with spending money together this definitely helps, so you can help each other out when you need it.

    Skype and other things like texting are great, but I think its best to limit it so you can encourage each other to have your own lives and it doesn't feel like you're always waiting to see each other. In the long term, its much healthier to maintain your own life alongside your relationship because if you do happen to break up it won't be the end of the world. I also think establishing trust before is very important because jealousy is not a good thing. Becoming jealous, overly protective or controlling is unlikely to help the relationship survive.

    My relationship survived, but that's because I was ready for the challenge. If you're very dependent on your other half and used to spending every waking minute with them, its bound to be harder. If your relationship can survive after the year abroad, then you're probably ready for many other challenges that may come your way in the future! It's also great for your French practice!

  • Minna Jalili · 3 years ago

    Hi there!

    It definitely works. I met my boyfriend during my Erasmus year in London three years ago! Even though I did my Master's in France and he finished his Bachelor in Germany we made it work and now we live together in London! It worked perfectly fine even though he doesn't speak French, which is my main language and the language most of my friends speak.

    If you want it to work, it will work.

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