But all of the complications that come alongside dating are only multiplied when you throw in love across borders! Whether you’re looking for “the one” because you’re lonely in a new location, or you’re looking for ways to finally bring your existing partner to wherever it is that you are, there are so many complications that most people never have to think about.
Finding love in a new city
Moving to the UK can be lonely. Even if you’re surrounded by friends, colleagues or even family, it’s still an adjustment and sometimes it’s nice to have somebody there by your side to support you through it. After all, a partner is often there for you in so many more ways than a friend would be!
Obviously, having a partner shouldn’t be used as a crutch and you should never rely on someone else for everything in order to settle in – just imagine what could go wrong if the relationship breaks up and then you realise it’s all you know in your new home!
However, once you’ve had a shot at independent living, it can be quite nice to look for someone else. There are many different ways to find someone these days and thankfully they don’t involve you having a lot of knowledge about an area. Dating sites like Badoo can be a godsend – you can find someone looking for commitment and you can actually outline what you’re looking for. Plus, you can explain your Aussie accent, which is always a plus (apparently Brits find that exotic). Failing that, the bigger cities do have singles nights, or you could always ask to be set up by a colleague or friend. Finally, don’t forget – bars and pubs do exist!
There are so many benefits to relationships in a new place – not least because if you find an actual British person to go out with, they can show you all the coolest stuff that’s off the beaten path!
If you’re dating across continents, there are bound to be some cultural differences in the way that you and your partner behave, as well as different expectations that come along with that. Of course, this might not apply to everyone – perhaps your partner that you met over here is also Australian!
However, if your partner is British and you’re Australian, you may well notice some small differences! Of course, the UK population is not homogenous, so there may be cultural or religious differences that you note as well.
But many Aussies living in London mostly will just notice the little day-to-day things – Brits will look at you strangely if you ask “how you going”, for example, or ask to have a durry – and, in turn, they have funny words as well!
Why long distance?
So, you’re legally living in the UK, but for whatever reason, your partner isn’t. Perhaps the above advice just doesn’t apply to you! If your love is already eligible to come and live with you, the likelihood is that you’ve got a valid reason – such as their work – for them not being there right now.
However, for thousands of others, the reasons for having to love long distance boil down to visas. It’s an awful thing to have to deal with – a government that’s literally telling you that you can’t be with the love of your life!
No matter the reasons for being apart, there are things that you’ll have to be better at than most couples who see each other on a regular basis. Sadly, long distance relationships really aren’t for everyone, and you have to be as honest with yourself as you can be.
Long distance considerations
Commitment, communication and trust are three key aspects of a long distance relationship, because you will have to rely on each other to get the right balance of contact in the time that you are apart.
Financial matters are important to think about. Australia and the UK couldn’t be further apart, so if your partner is still back home, those visits are going to be expensive. Perhaps one of you is able to work remotely, making longer visits possible without losing money? Or perhaps instead of one or two visits back to Australia each year, you could compromise with three or four smaller trips each to Thailand or Dubai. It’s a lot of time and a lot of money, but worth it!
Open relationships could also be a surprising solution for people in long distance relationships. These are now increasingly popular and some people even say that the levels of communication required for these types of relationship make couples happier!
Finally, you should consider an end goal. Depending on the type of person that you are, long-distance relationships can definitely work, but not really on a permanent basis. Most people want to settle, and so you need to decide if that’s the case and when that is. Two years long distance knowing that you’ll be living together after that is a lot easier than something infinite that’ll seemingly never end. It’s exhausting!
Bringing your partner to the UK
That old joke about “marrying someone for a visa” really isn’t a joke (it’s totally against the law), and the reality is that it’s such a long process to bring someone over by way of sponsoring them that it’s doubtful that anyone would ever want to fake it. There is a lot of cost involved, and criteria that the two of you must meet.
Obviously, each individual case will be different, and so there’s no point in going into that here. However, with the help of an immigration lawyer, a partner visa (whether married or not) is something that you can discuss. Remember that many Australians will be eligible to come here on an ancestry visa or even the youth mobility scheme, so this can be a good start until you start thinking of sorting something more permanent out.
Consider whether it’s more practical for you to return to Australia, or for them to come to the UK. Often this very much boils down to things like job security, visas, family and those all-important hopes and dreams.
Dating can be enough of a minefield as it is, but it’s even more difficult when you factor in “little” things like 10,000 miles!