So you moved to a new country with the love of your life. You thought it would last forever. You built a life, from scratch, together. You’ve never experienced this country as a single person. Your lives are intertwined in a way that people who live at home could never understand. But now, it’s over. Whether you were the dumper or the dumpee, being single for the first time in a country that’s not your homeland is an understandably daunting situation to be in.
I lived in England for all my life, then in 2010 my boyfriend and I packed our bags and moved abroad, to Malta. We started an entirely new life, getting new jobs, making new friends, making each apartment ‘ours’ and basically each became a version of ourselves that moulded with the other. Then after six years of living together in Malta, he moved out. No matter how painful or amicable a breakup might be, when you live abroad it will always be different and there are a lot of learning curves and emotions that you’re going to go through.
1. Say Goodbye to your Friends
If you move to a new country, just the two of you, chances are that all of your friends are his/hers too. Almost my entire friend circle are his work mates, his friends, and his friends girlfriends. This can be tough, especially if the breakup is a messy one. People will pick sides and you might find yourself left out in the cold, at a time when you need friends more than ever.
The old adage really holds true, as this is the situation where you find out who your real friends are, and losing those you thought would stand by you can be even harder than the breakup itself! I know it’s cheesy and wont help right away but you really don’t need those people in your life. It’s always better to have fewer friends, who you can really rely on, than a huge social group that would drop you in a second. Make time for those friends who stick by you, and don’t be afraid to ask them to introduce you to their other friends that you might not know in order to build a new network of support, fun and friendships.
2. Sorry, But You Failed
OK so breakups are sad in themselves. But what actually got me the most was that I felt like I had failed. We’d taken this huge chance on each other and a new country and part of that hadn’t ‘worked out’. But you know what? Fuck that! No matter if you lasted 6 months, a year, or six years, you did something brave and the fact it didn’t last forever does not make you a failure. A success is something that makes you happy, for however long or short, something you can learn from and success is trying new things and new experiences.
3. You’ll Leave
After a few days of sobbing until my eyes were raw, I actually began to accept the breakup and really got used to the whole thing quite quickly, however my first instinct was to book a trip back to the UK. The UK does not feel like home to me, but the people do. It’s important to surround yourself with those who love you, when you’re feeling at your most unlovable, so go and visit your parents and your best friends from your hometown. Take a week, chill out, moan, cry, drink, party and you’ll come back to your new country feeling refreshed and ready to face it as a single person.
4. You Wont Move On
If you moved to your new country together, chances are your entire life and routines and social circles were built together, which means you’re likely to see them around. A lot. Don’t become a hermit, but make sure to take some time for yourself until you feel ready to face them, especially if some drinks are going to be involved. Avoid places you know they are going to be if you feel like it might make you feel shit, cry, shout or generally stop you from dealing with the fact it’s over. It’s a great time to start new routines, traditions, try new places and broaden your horizons. Try that new cafe that he/she wasn’t interested in, or visit that bar they always hated and you’ll end up finding loads of awesome new places to enjoy.
5. The Real Truth Is…You’re Gonna Be Just Fine
As with all big life changes, especially ones you weren’t expecting, it’ll take time, but you’ll be OK. Look after yourself, do things for you, make time for people who treat you well and make you happy and you’ll be an improved version of yourself in no time, ready to take on the world. You do not need another person to make you who you are.