This experience affects both partners, as they leave their home country and network of friends, family, colleagues and long established habits behind.
However, moving countries also often means that one partner has to give up, at least temporarily, his or her career, professional identity and colleagues without a clear perspective of what is next.
The risk that often faces couples is that in the first few months after a move, the stay-at-home partner lives mostly in isolation and looks forward to their spouse coming home. This may strain the relationship, as you start looking at your partner as your only rescue from social isolation.
What can I do if I’m struggling to make new friends?
Don’t view it as a struggle. First, find activities you enjoy and start doing them. Also, use the time for self-care by doing the things that you never had the time to do back home. Then, get moving at a yoga or Pilates class, tennis, walking or Zumba – chances are you will meet people like yourself.
Another option is to expand your network and find local friends who will help you explore and learn about the local culture. One unique benefit of having local friends is that they do not move away every two years, and will introduce you to the subtleties and nuances of your new home faster than anyone. They may also have insider contacts when it comes to speed-dialing the best doctor, florist, hairdresser, dentist, handy man, frame shop, D-I-Y store, cake shop or counsellor.
Don’t forget to take advantage of technology and schedule Skype or FaceTime calls with friends back home so you can stay connected. If, after the initial period of trying to settle in and adjust, you notice that you are still struggling with your new home and environment, don’t hesitate to reach out and speak to a counsellor, life coach or support group.
402 Orchard Rd, Delfi Orchard, #06-01, 238876
Tel: 9101 9313
From The Finder (Issue 292), June 2018
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