When or if your girlfriend goes abroad for all the right reasons, that must be something to pop a champagne bottle for, right? My friend dropped in a few nights ago to give me the good news that his long time girlfriend finally got the visa to go and study abroad; but the look on his face hinted at something been amiss.
After sometime discussing all the things they needed to do before she gets on the plane, I tactfully asked him how he was going to keep it together for the two years she’d be there getting her Masters degree.
His answers were vague. He was not certain about how it would go down with him. And two years was a long time for a man to wait. This was not the sort of situation he was used to dealing with.
I couldn’t help him because I wasn’t used to it either. In my mind this was the classic case of a brewing long distance relationship.
The pros and cons of this sort of thing can never be fully appreciated until you have lived it.
When your girlfriend goes abroad, the time apart can bring up facets of your personality you never knew about. I think a study of how men cope when the girlfriend goes abroad would be interesting theme for any sociology class.
In the last few days, I have being thinking about it. The issue is practically on my doorstep because my friend is really close to me. I could feel the vibes from him. And they were not all positive.
Reasons for going abroad
I guess that should be obvious to anybody who is over 18 years.
In the case of my friend Paul, his is the classic excuse for his girlfriend going abroad. Since oversees degrees in western countries are very valuable here, it is the dream of almost everybody to get a degree abroad.
It is even better if your stay abroad is on full scholarship. Nobody thinks twice of about it if a full scholarship is thrown in.
Another classic reason for going abroad is to get a good job. Another way of saying you want to raise your living standard.
If the girlfriend goes abroad to get a good job, that can only be good news for the family and close friends especially if the job is very good.
That is the time we all learn the intricacies of international money transfers as the expected remittances start to flow in a few months down the line.
What if the girlfriend goes abroad for a vacation? That is nothing. After all, she’d be back before you can say ‘vacation.’
Keeping it together when girlfriend goes abroad
The first few days after her departure are akin to how people cope with grief. Not in the sense of being immediately sad and overcome with a deep sense of hopelessness though.
In the first few days after the girlfriend goes abroad, in one way or the other, you’d likely go through all the classic stages of grief well known to psychologists, though in a much reduced scale.
So just like my friend Paul, you are likely to go through the phase where you find it difficult to believe the girl of your life is not around anymore.
Everything you did together would take on special significance. The dates, the fights, the mini separations, reunions. These would seem like the best days of your life.
You would experience anger (thinking you could have done something to prevent her leaving); you would try to look for a workable compromise; you become very down and might try to cover it up by looking gay and cheerful all the time; and finally, after a while, you’d accept the fact she is gone.
How friends help you to cope
Now she is no longer around, one of the best coping mechanisms is how friends pitch in. This is a period you see yourself renewing ties with buddies you sort of stopped seeing because you were too preoccupied with her.
On the other hand, if all your friends are in relationships, hanging out with them would be a sad reminder of your new single state.
There is nothing as terrible as watching friends making out with their significant others while you stand there watching in envy.
So sometimes being with friends in your present state is not a very good idea. However, being alone might also drag you deeper into depression.
Getting on with life
It shouldn’t take too long (three months tops) to work out a new regime after you girlfriend goes abroad. Come on, we are men for a reason. Nobody expects you to keep moping for her for very long. It is not as if she is dead.
And men being men, how do you deal with the temptation of other beautiful women? Let’s be honest, you are now effectively single. I am sure many single ladies would not miss that fact too.
If you are cute, confident and outgoing with a good job, trust me, you are a strong magnet for all kinds of girls. You are single and free remember?
So forget the grieving, the depression and all that, your biggest problem would be how to stay faithful to her while she is abroad. Can you keep it together and wait for her to come back?
As a man, all I can say is, I doubt it. Not for that long!
How about you, guys? Do you think you can keep it together for real if your girlfriend goes abroad for a long time? Please, tell us what you think in the comments section.