Studying Abroad With a Boyfriend/Girlfriend at Home. Good or Bad?

While I’m here in Spain, I have a boyfriend whom I love and adore more than anything in the world back in Virginia. We both study at Virginia Tech and for his spring break which just ended today, he was supposed to come visit me here in Spain. I had the whole trip planned out, and we were both ecstatic about it. Around Valentine’s day things between us were a bit rocky, mainly because we both missed each other, but also because since he is graduating this semester he is having a life crisis, what is he going to do with his life, where will he be in a year, what roll do I play, and so on. He began to cut me out of his life and started treating me like a I was a burden to talk to which of course brought up should he come to Spain or are things only going to get worse. 2 weeks before he was supposed to come he decided he wasn’t coming. I deleted all of our reservations for Valencia but lost about 130 euros in plane tickets. He immediately planned a vacation for Miami beach with his 5which to my dismay he was maybe more excited about than coming to Spain. Things with us got worse, he wasn’t himself and I wasn’t really sure what to do. I finally gave him a ultimatum and told him that if he loves me as much as he claims then it shouldn’t be a challenge to show some affection even if it’s just through messages and skype and if he can’t then I can’t be in this relationship anymore. He changed immediately. For 1 week things were amazing, possibly better than ever and getting better everyday. I was so happy, and I could tell he roomates  was too, until the day he left for Miami Beach. The first night he was there, he spent the night in the ER because he got in a fight with one of his good friends who is much bigger than him, and was knocked to the cement and split open the back of his head, after 14 staples and a lot of blood loss, I was able to get a hold of him to find out what happened. He had no interest in talking to me, he only wanted my sympathy. I myself am a reasonable person, and I cannot give but so much sympathy when it is something that I feel could have been easily prevented with maybe a little less alcohol. My boyfriend refuses to take any blame for the situation because is friend is the one who hit him to the ground. Was he not fighting back? So in reality, just because he threw the big blow, doesn’t make the entire hospital trip his fault. My boyfriend was very angry at me and refused to talk to me when I couldn’t say ‘poor baby.’ I couldn’t say much only because I was thinking about how I could have lost him that night from a brain injury or even just brain damage. I was terrified and felt awful that I couldn’t be there to take care of him. I thought that hopefully this would be a wake up call for him, to start getting his stuff together, however, Friday evening while in South Miami Beach, he was arrested. I found out through a family friend of his on facebook but still don’t know what exactly happened. All I know is he once again refuses to take blame and says the cops set him up. His behavior is strange and is up and down, drastically. I don’t want to believe it but I feel drugs have to be involved in his life recently to explain why he has been this way. The only thing that keeps tearing us apart his him feeling sorry for himself that I’m not there, because it is tough for him he is pushing me away, but what he can’t open his eyes and realize is that I am in Spain which, I know is much more difficult for me but when it comes to love, if you know you love someone and you feel that they love you back it is easy, you can do anything. The problem is he will not show the love in return because he is too scared to, and this is too difficult for him. I know him very well, and he has never been a selfish person, nor a person to be arrested, or fight. It isn’t the man I fell in love with, and I’m just waiting and hoping that he will come around. whenever it may be, I’m stupid enough and in love enough to wait.

Why not to have a boyfriend abroad

1. communication- the time difference makes it really difficult to find convenient times for both of you to talk on a regular basis, unless you want to pay for an international phone, but I just use skype to call his cell and see him when he is available.

2. As much as you may trust the person and as much as you trust yourself, 4 months with no physical contact with another human being is not easy, and it is much more difficult for guys than it is for girls. Although he may love you with all his heart, sometimes guys may do something meaningless just to feel better. Hopefully you will never know about it or it never happens, but it will always be on your mind.

3. when you get in a fight, phone reconciliation is not enough, and it makes tensions high and everything more difficult. Learn more patients and forgiveness than you ever thought could be possible.

4. If your boyfriend loves you and has a high strung personality, like mine, expect something crazy to happen often, expect mistakes, and expect to be placed at blame, but no matter what they will always apologize which I guess is a good thing

5. It is never as easy as you think it is going to be. No matter how in love you are.

I love my boyfriend too much, that I am willing to put up with these things. But if you feel that you will be okay, and survive without them, then do yourself and him a favor and enjoy your experience abroad without having something that brings you down at least once a week. It affects everything, your decisions, your experiences, and you cannot enjoy wherever you are to the fullest. I can take the sacrifice and if you can do then do it because in the end true love is worth it and nothing worth having is easy.

I have only said negative things about him so let me take a minute to express the good that has come out of me being abroad. As everyone knows a good relationship also has to have a good physical connection so obviously being 4000 miles away that is impossible to achieve. What I have noticed, when things are good, is that we have connected on a much higher level emotionally than I think would have been possible if we were together. I have loved him more everyday I have been here, and while missing him is so painful, it’s a type of pain that is bearable because I know that it means something good. One of my favorite moments that we shared while I have been abroad is one night when I couldn’t sleep, we got on skype and he played the guitar for me until i fell asleep. It was the happiest moment, and I never wanted to be next to him so badly before, but it mean so much being apart at the same time. It’s difficult to explain. But we have grown closer and further apart, it’s very up and down, and no matter what I feel that the good outweighs the bad, only if you are a strong enough person to handle it.

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Saucy Creativity

Today I would like to share a recipe I tried out last night while cooking dinner for some friends of mine from Saudi Arabia. They cooked on Wednesday and it was the first time I had tried Saudi food and it was incredible. It was quite spicy but that didn’t stop them from adding a few tablespoons of hot sauce to each of their plates, I followed suite and never felt my sinuses so clear.

What I was originally planning to make was a recipe from http://www.eatingwell.com/, one of my favorite websites, and it was a chicken orzo dish with a homemade tomato sauce. Spaniards have never heard of orzo nor do any supermarkets carry it, so I had to settle for a small pasta instead. The spice marjoram was also nonexistent here so I had to be much more inventive with this recipe than I was expecting.

Sauce:

  1. Sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)
  2. Plum tomatoes
  3. Water
  4. Red wine vinegar
  5. Chopped garlic
  6. Basil
  7. Italian seasoning
  8. *Artichoke hearts (add in when cooking)

These ingredients don’t need measurements it’s always best to do it to taste. Use a blender or food processor but leave some chunks.

Boil small pasta, I used very mini shells that are usually used in soup but they absorbed the flavor of the sauce well.

To finish up the sauce, heat in a pot and add artichoke hearts, Romano cheese, and a few more sundried tomatoes to taste. let it bowl and keep stirring. When all the cheese is melted and the sauce is bowling, add in the pasta mix well and take off heat.

Simply season boneless skinless chicken breasts with salt and pepper and cook in a sauce pan with olive oil until cooked all the way through (no pink).

Serve the pasta on the bottom and chicken breasts sliced on top. It was pretty simple to make but had so much flavor. Serve with extra Romano Cheese on the side to add on top. I hopefully will be able to try the original orzo recipe when I return to the U.S.

*To my surprise my Saudi friends added hot sauce to this dish as well, can you imagine?