For those who have started relations with someone in another country, the idea of meeting someone new can be both scary and exciting. The adrenaline of meeting someone that you’ve been talking to daily over message and video chat is a unique experience to long-distance relationships.
Here are ten expert tips on reducing anxiety and ensuring you’re prepared to meet your long-distance partner internationally.
1. Plan Your Itinerary Beforehand
Before you even buy your plane tickets, accommodations, or pay for attractions, it’s essential to make an itinerary.
Your plan will make sure you have a general idea of what you’ll be doing, where you’ll be staying, and what you still need to do. It should include:
- The hotel or vacation rental you’ll be staying at, or the address of your partner
- Any attractions you want to see in the area
- Any resources, such as emergency numbers and embassy information
2. Create a Packing Checklist
Packing checklists can relieve fear and anxiety about traveling very quickly. Work on the list throughout two weeks, being sure to include new items as you think of them. A few days before your flight, make sure everything on your list is available to pack. When you’re ready to pack, all you have to do is organize everything and check it off your list.
3. Learn Your Partner’s Language
If you are traveling to a foreign country that doesn’t speak your language, it will help you to learn their language. Even if your partner speaks your language, it’s essential to understand a few basic things, such as:
- How to greet others
- How to order food and drinks
- How to talk to a taxi driver
- How to say please and thank you
- How to ask for help at the airport
Many apps and services are available to help you learn another language for free or at a small cost.
4. Watch Videos About the Destination
Before you go, familiarize yourself with the city and country you’re traveling to. There may be cultural differences. For example, in some countries, people cannot flush toilet paper and throw it away in a bathroom trash can. In other places, there are customs about how to eat food or how to sit at the table.
You can ask your partner about these customs as well.
5. Make Your Partner a Gift
This is an optional step, but it can also help relieve fear and nerves. Bringing a small present for your partner gives you both something to talk about and is a kind gesture that shows how excited you are to meet them for the first time.
6. Check in About Expectations
Communication is vital in any relationship. Asking your partner about their expectations for your time together will help you both know what you’re looking for. You may want to ask:
- What are you hoping to do each day we’re together?
- What is your love language in person?
- How do you feel about moving quickly with physical affection?
- What are your boundaries in your home? (If you are visiting their home)
- What are your limits in general?
Asking questions can help you determine precisely what will work for you both when you arrive.
7. Address Your Nerves
Telling your partner that you’re nervous and admitting your feelings is actually a great way to connect and show vulnerability. In fact, your partner is probably feeling the same way.
8. Buy Your Plane Tickets and Accommodations Ahead of Time
It is no secret that plane tickets and hotels/vacation rentals are cheaper if you purchase them a few months before your trip. If you end up buying your tickets the same week you leave, you may find that they’ve gone up a few hundred dollars.
9. Give Yourself Time to Adjust
Meeting someone you love but have never met is a strange feeling. You may feel stressed, anxious, shy, nervous, or disappointed. All of these feelings are normal. Let yourself have the space and time to adjust when you arrive. It may be a good idea to stay in a separate hotel or rental for a few days or for the duration of your trip to allow yourself the space to process your new relationship dynamic.
10. Overall, Enjoy!
Meeting someone you love is a fun and exciting thing! With these ten tips, you’re sure to reduce nerves and enjoy your time with your partner.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.