Rapid global changes can force you to change your life, as I wrote about here. With the Greek crisis, my career goals altered, my sense of stability became uncertain and, naturally, my relationships followed this evolution. In my early 20s, it was the naivety of youth that brought me to Germany, and I dealt with a long-distance relationship between Munich and Athens. It was a couple of thousand miles that eventually broke us up. Today, due to a career move, I will be facing a much greater distance - that of tens of thousands of miles. Can it work?
Most will say this kind of relationship is doomed from the start, but it seems wrong to condemn it during the digital era. As long as a relationship has strong roots, distance can be coped and dealt with. Two years ago, I dealt with another micro-distance relationship, between two same-country towns that were separated by only 400 miles. This did give me the opportunity to just jump on my bike and drive straight to her, but now it is different, and the distance can only be transcended by spending a few thousand dollars on a last-minute ticket from Australia to Europe. So this time I won't rely on the whole "if it's meant to be" scenario; I will have to work on it to last.
First things first: There has to be reasonable planning of the time you will spend apart. You need to have a goal, whether that is the end of studies or a job contract that made you move away in the first place. Try to write things down first: Is the prospect of a family with the woman you love more important than giving everything up and moving abroad? Will the current situation in your life eventually end up ruining your sense of independence and, consequently, your relationship? An added difficulty comes from the fact that maybe both sides will have to move, one to the Eastern Hemisphere and the other to the Western. I face this situation. You need to know your goals and follow small steps toward the big one. If you see yourself failing, maybe it makes more sense to quit and join your significant other. There is a Greek saying that "Eyes that are not seen are easily forgotten." If you are going to be apart for a year, try to meet up six times -- half the times at your country and the rest at hers. Having dealt with this situation, I can surely say that after the 40-day mark, you start to really lose the sense of companionship. So fight it. Sign up to be a frequent flyer -- chances are that one out of five trips will be free, and that means buying her a ticket, too. If nothing else works, always spend the holidays together. Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and summer breaks are periods that are worth much more than any other day in a relationship, because they grow it.