Foreign Internships and the resulting temporary long distance relationship D:

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Mord, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I'm considering applying for foreign internships for next summer, I'm told that I should start applying and looking into them in october so they're already on my mind!

    The trouble is I live in yorkshire with my girlfriend who I'm very very close to, we've been together for three years now and I couldn't imagine being without her, I've literally not left her side for longer than a week and that was intolerable.

    But, I need to get some decent experience and there's not a whole lot in my field in the local area and the idea's been suggested to me that I look into taking a three month placement abroad of which there are plenty available, in principle the idea appeals, I enjoy traveling and I'm sure the experience would do me a hell of a lot of good.

    The downside is I find the idea of leaving my partner for 3 months terrifying.

    Has anyone else done anything similar and how did your relationship hold up at a distance? I've no doubt that we'd stay together I'm just primarily worried about our emotional wellbeing, we're a nauseatingly close couple.

    At the moment I'm leaning towards looking in to something a little closer to home, though my enthusiasm just goes out the window as it would likely mean london where I grew up living with my father, I may gain some decent hands on experience but it wouldn't be nearly as fulfilling as traveling.

    Any input is much appreciated :)
     
  2. gazzrenn macrumors 6502

    gazzrenn

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  3. bartelby macrumors Core

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    Jun 16, 2004
    #3
    When I first met my girlfriend (now wife) she was in uni four hours away by train. She then had a year in the US studying. I managed to go over there twice. It wasn't really much of an issue, we wrote letters (pre easy access to email) and phoned once a week.

    With the amount of different communication methods these days I can't see why any stable relationship, which yours sounds like, can't survive, or even become stronger, over a long distance.
     
  4. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    #4
    If it's going to be in the summer, can't your girlfriend take some holiday and come out to see you for a couple of weeks halfway through your placement?
     
  5. Mord thread starter macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #5
    Possibly, though likely only a week, her job is rather demanding and firmly located locally.
     
  6. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    #6
    At least it will break up the time you spend apart. :)
     
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
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    Location Location Location
    #7
    Agreed.

    I'm in a long distance relationship, but with Skype video today, I'm sure it's far easier to be in my situation than it was even 10 years ago.
     
  8. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    Oct 29, 2007
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    CA
    #8
    How does she feel about it? We can rationalize both sides for you many ways, but what is likely going to matter is how she feels about it.
     
  9. Mord thread starter macrumors G4

    Mord

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    Aug 24, 2003
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    #9
    I was wondering how long it'd take for anyone to ask that! She gave a fairly indistinct response, which I read as her not being particularly keep but willing to put up with it as she knows it'd be good for me and my career prospects.
     
  10. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #10
    Probably not the most sensitive (or helpful) advice. ;)

    If you both think you can do it, find ways to make it happen. Skype works great for out-of-town work trips (I made plenty of those calls with my family when I was traveling frequently), a cute text message here or there does wonders, too.

    It sounds like your relationship is more than strong enough to make this work. I say give it a try. :cool:
     
  11. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #11
    When I did an Internship/ Study abroad program in London in the first half of 2009, every single relationship that the other students brought over failed. Whether they had been dating for five months beforehand or two years, every single relationship died.

    There were nine of us and of those nine, three brought relationships and all three failed.

    Perhaps people in the UK go about relationships differently from us Americans, I don't know. :p
     
  12. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000

    Abyssgh0st

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    Norman, OK
    #12
    My girlfriend and I have been discussing a similar situation recently; I understand your pain! The way we rationalized it was:

    1. She could visit one time throughout the year (visits would be very nice, even if only for a week).
    2. Phone calls may be subpar due to international phone rates, but we both have iPhone 4's so WiFi FaceTime it is!
    3. As previously mentioned, Skype is a must here.
    4. Write hand written letters. Maybe one for every week you'll be gone (that's 52 letters for me, 12 letters for you). They mean so much to almost every woman, and it will make them very happy.
    5. Do something memorable before you leave; take a week long vacation, try and stay up 48 hours together, experiment! Be creative. ;)

    Good luck! If she is the one for you, she might not like it or even pretend to do so; but she will tolerate and understand that it is best for you, and inherently her as well (in marriage, you gotta have a job!) in the long run.
     
  13. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #14
    There's a lot of other things at play besides relationship time.

    For instance, my now wife and I spent 8 months apart from January of 09 to August of 09 as she had to go back home 2000 miles away to finish school. We got by with phone calls, iChat and she flew out here only twice. It was tough, but we got by because we loved each other so much and wanted to make it work.

    It sounds like you should be able to handle it, and your relationship will only be stronger for it.
     
  14. gazzrenn macrumors 6502

    gazzrenn

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    Blackpool, UK
    #15
    Are you kidding me? :p

    There are more girls in the world than potential careers. Makes sense to focus on the one thats harder to get right!
     
  15. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #16
    Read the OP more closely - sounds to me like she's already found the girl she wants to be with. You'd seriously tell her to dump her girlfriend on no more of a basis than how easy it would be to find another one?

    Perhaps there are those who would read your advice and see the merit in it; I have a hunch from reading the OP that she doesn't want to dump her girlfriend; the gist I got was that she's looking for a way to make this work.
     
  16. Mord thread starter macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #17
    Bingo, I'd do anything for her just as she'd do pretty much anything for me, I'm not giving that up when I know just how rare that sort of relationship is these days.

    Thanks for the advice everyone, I think I'll just apply to as many things as I can then weigh up the options then, though if I get something abroad or far away I feel a lot better about taking it, deep down I know nothing could get between us and even talking on IM cheers me up immensely when we're apart.
     
  17. JsR macrumors regular

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    Feb 28, 2010
    Location:
    Newcastle
    #18
    My advice to anyone in this situation is follow the career. It's only 3 months! I have milk in my fridge longer than that ;)
    I was with my boyfriend for 4 years and I got offered a University place in London and I turned it down and stayed here with him. It was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. We have since broken up and I regret not making the move. I promised myself I would never put a love-interest in-front of a job/career interest. Experience will stick with you for life...
     
  18. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #19
    Looks like I'm late to the party but I'll chime in anyway. ;)

    I started dating a friend of a few years last spring, but my work took me away from her for six months after we'd only been dating about a month. We are fairly serious, and we talked/Skyped every day. I ended up going to see her once in that time, and overall we managed to keep things going pretty well. In our case, it is about close communication. I told her whenever something was bothering me, however trivial, and she did the same. We had a few rougher days but nothing really bad. We talked through our problems. When you aren't face to face, you have to be more explicit about things because there's no body language to tell you how your significant other feels. make your feelings plain.

    I think it all comes down to the level of committment and communication. If you two are serious and neither have any underlying doubts you haven't talked about, I think you'll be OK as long as you stay in touch. You just both need to be on the same page. Best of luck to you both. :)
     
  19. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #20
    How abroad to you mean? Are these locations that she or you may be able to easily and inexpensively travel to/from once or twice to break up some of the time apart? If you know halfway through you'll see each other it might make it easier to digest. A mercy visit!

    If neither of you are resolute in refusing to be apart for 3 months I see no reason you can't make it work with all the technology now available. No doubt it will be difficult but I imagine the idea of it is more difficult than the reality would be. Plus, 3 months is a minuscule amount of time in perspective. If this is a necessary step for your career I think you should take it.
     
  20. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #21
    My girlfriend was on a 5 year course at a different uni to my own but it wasn't that difficult really. We spent 2 years at each others side whilst at college and spent all our summers together. It was hard at first but phones, Skype, video chats, playing games online with each other... it really feels like distant people are right beside you. We did see each every fortnight, just for a couple of days so that didn't make it too bad. So long as you both have things to be doing it doesn't feel that long.

    I'd say your girlfriend should get a Post Office phone card. Those things are great for international phone calls. I rely on them to call my family abroad (£5 gets you hours and occasionally they have free days too).
     
  21. Fuzzy14 macrumors 65816

    Fuzzy14

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    Nov 19, 2006
    Location:
    Renfrew, Scotland
    #22
    On a similar note, my office in Glasgow was quiet so they sent me down to Teesside to help out for 4 weeks in April... I'm still here! Looks like I'm going to be here until February 2011. I've got a wife and 2 young kids back home, and she's the breadwinner in the family not me! So it's a bit of a struggle.

    Previously I only had a PAYG phone but I got an iPhone so we're able to text and phone each other often, we've also got Skype but my internet connection in my rented place isn't really up to it. We must text, phone or e-mail each other about every hour, it really does help.

    It's happened the other way before too, just after we moved in together (in 2000) she got a job in London and moved out for a year! It's tough but you will find out you can cope. If you are that serious about her and don't want to lose her, put a ring on her finger!
     
  22. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #23
    I think that she has left no doubt that she is serious, and perhaps :confused: the stronger of the two?

    I wish them well, whatever the choices made.
     
  23. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #24
    I don't think you have too much to worry about Mord. Of course your girlfriend isn't going to display happiness at the prospect of losing your closeness for three months, but I'm sure she'll understand it's something you have to do.

    And although it seems like an enormously daunting timeframe before hand it is only 12 weeks. Something the two of you will get through.
     

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