We’re Stuck In Two Different Countries

What are your love, dating, relationship, and single-life questions? Things you’re thinking about as August ends? Submit your question here. You can also email [email protected].


Dear Love Letters,

My girlfriend and I met during COVID while living abroad, and like all stereotypical queers, we U-Hauled a little bit. What followed was seven months of idyllic life in every respect. We both fell deeply in love.

Disaster struck when I experienced visa issues that forced me to return to the states. Family tragedy kept me here and I’ve been struggling to return to the country we met in ever since.

There are several obstacles preventing an easy return: I have a learning disability that makes it challenging for me to pick up foreign languages, making employment challenging. While I am happy to enroll in higher education, the aforementioned disability means my undergrad is less than spectacular.

On her side, she comes from a different country as well, one with a very weak passport. If she leaves the country where we met, it would be even harder for her to return, even more so than me. Neither of us want to live in the US, nor is it financially an option for her.

We’d marry, but same-sex marriage is illegal in both where we want to live and her home country.

It’s been almost two years of long-distance now, and we’re both suffering. I’ve been working part time to focus on my language in the hopes of getting a job, but it’s slow going, and financially it’s not sustainable. Studying while working full time has proved ineffective.

We want to make our life together, but this isn’t working. Do we take a break? Do we call it quits? If we call it quits, how? Our pets are there and most of my belongings.

For me, ending this relationship would basically mean starting my life completely over from what feels like zero. I’m not even sure I’d be able to be romantically entangled with anyone new, knowing a woman who still loves me is across the ocean. I’m just hoping for a new perspective.

– Heartachingly Lost


I keep thinking: remote work and a grad school program that will let you in.

Maybe doing work from another country doesn’t help with the visa situation, but it seems more possible these days to do things from other places. Also, I assume a few higher education institutions are always happy to take people’s money. Maybe not. I can only guess.

But here’s the reality: if you can’t come up with a plan in a few months – one that gives you a light at the end of the long-distance tunnel – go there, deal with your belongings, kiss the pets goodbye, and break up before this gets worse.

I’m not asking you to end your relationship and become romantically entangled with someone new. Don’t entangle with anything at that point, just give yourself a break to think.

You had seven months of quality time with this woman, and a much longer stretch away from her. Even if you moved there today, it would’t be exactly like it was before. You’ve both changed, I’m sure, and have very different routines. It’s not as though one path leads to definite happiness and the other leads to certain sorrow. Both situations would be something new.

Right now, everything is about your significant other. Without her, you could set up the life you want – from scratch. Then the choices you make would complement what you’ve built.

It would be heartbreaking to walk away from something that works so well in person. But I don’t believe in soul mates, nor to I believe everyone gets one magical partner. People break up for a bunch of logistical reasons; maybe someone has kids, and they have to come first. Sometimes it’s about geography; we just had a letter about two people who can’t figure out how to get to the same place because of a parent’s health needs.

You can end this relationship and find so much happiness. Yes, there will be grief and what-ifs, but starting from zero can be a freeing thing.

– Meredith

Readers? Practical ideas the LW might not know about? And if a move isn’t possible, time to break up?

Love Letters

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