Fell In Love While Abroad


Dear Meredith,

I did a semester abroad just over a year ago and met the most amazing person. He was sweet and caring and funny and protective, and we were able to travel together quite a bit. We fell in love quickly and dated the entire time I was there, and our airport goodbye was probably the most dramatic scene of my life. We were both devastated and I really thought, based on his reaction to my leaving, that we would make something work. We had never really talked much about the future, but left it open-ended; he talked about coming here to see me, I talked about trying to get back there to stay on a more permanent basis.

Since I have been home, I have been working hard toward that end, but he is TERRIBLE at long-distance. For me, it’s “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but for him, it’s “out of sight, out of mind.” We tried to stay together for a few months after I got home but then he met someone and called it quits with me. They have since broken up, and he tells me he misses me and wants us to have what we had before when I am back there again, but he won’t commit to coming here for even a visit. Whenever I suggest it, he says, “I think we should probably just move on.” I want to get back there because it’s where I want to live permanently, but due to immigration laws I may just be back for another short stint trying to make more connections. Do I contact him and see him again when I am there, and see if we still feel the same way? Do I forget him altogether and have an amazing travel experience on my own? Do I not go, because maybe I’m going for the wrong reasons (like feeling like we’d be together if I was there)? HELLLLLLLP ME.

– Lost in Translation


“I want to get back there because it’s where I want to live permanently.”

Was that really the case before you met this guy? If so, here are my thoughts:

You can go back there to make connections, but please don’t make the trip anytime soon. It sounds like you’re just learning to accept the breakup. You need more time to adjust to real life before you can hop on a plane and risk confusing yourself all over again. Can you revisit this trip in a few months?

If you do wind up visiting this other country to make professional connections, do not see the guy. He was very clear about his intentions — he’s into being with you, but only if you live nearby (and even then it’s probably a big maybe). You need to see how it feels to be there without him, and whether you’re as desperate to live abroad if he’s not part of the plan.

He said you should move on, so that’s what you have to do. It’s disappointing, but in some ways it’s so much easier. Now you can make your life – and your big decisions – all about you.

Readers? Should she make connections in this other country? Should she see him when she does?

– Meredith

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