If you have been reading my post or following my Instagram, you’ll see I tell our LDR story from my perspective.
That’s why I wanted to write this article from Tuomas’ perspective
It was hard, after doing all my hours of research to make sure we closed the distance without any extra fears or worries.
I realized there was nothing out there for the partners that were receiving their partners in their home country.
So even know I am writing this article, these are all the tips that Tuomas wished he had before we closed the distance.
What to Do When Your Partner Is Moving to You LDR
When Tuomas and I closed the distance he was busy preparing the apartment for my arrival.
For him, that meant getting rid of some extra furniture that would literally be in the way of our new lives together.
I mean Tuomas had a dining room table that took up half the space of his apartment.
Part of me felt terrible for delegating what he needed to do to prepare for my arrival, at the same time neither one of us had a baseline for what we should do.
Here are some tips Tuomas wished he had for preparing for my arrival when we closed the distance.
Figure Out What You Need to Do to Help Your Partner’s Arrival
When Tuomas and I first prepared for closing the distance he helped me a lot in researching his countries immigration policies and on the things we needed to do for me to live with him.
Tuomas and I also decided to close the distance during a global pandemic, so he was constantly checking the laws and making sure I could still come to live with him.
“As the receiving one in the relationship, you will have to have all the knowledge about the country that you live in.
It will be your responsibility to bring the knowledge and experience of your country’s ways to the relationship”.
Yes, both couples especially the person on the receiving end should be providing your partner with the knowledge they need to have a successful immigration process.
Take Time to Prepare the Space For Your Partner
Tuomas and I talked a lot about what he needed to do in order to get his apartment ready for my arrival to Finland.
One of the main things he had to do was get rid of some of his excess furniture.
His apartment is too small (19 sq meters) to have his bulky furniture and myself to move into the apartment.
This was an emotional and stressful process for Tuomas, so he suggests:
“Don’t stress about what you’re getting rid of. You will always be able to get new stuff.
Moving to a bigger apartment is going to be a future goal for you as a couple. The first milestone is going to simply move in together.”
Both you and your partner will be downsizing all of their stuff, it’s going to be a time where you’ll have to say goodbye to things you’ve had for a while.
If you find it hard to say goodbye to some items, see if your friends or parents could take some.
I gave a lot of my favorite glasses and plants to my family and friends that way they all had a piece of me in their homes, and I knew “my stuff” was safe.
Clear All Your Clutter
One of the main clutters Tuomas and I had, was the notes from our schools and childhood.
We both had to say goodbye to a lot of things. For me, it was textbooks and notes from my therapy program.
Even though those notes are very beneficial to me, they were only extra clutter to our apartment in Finland.
Not to mention extra valuable space in my suitcase.
Tuomas also had to get rid of stuff that he was hanging on to since his high school and childhood.
We decided to keep the most important ones for him in a box and the ones he felt were less important to him went to the trash.
It’s hard but that is a part of life. The ability to say goodbye to things that no longer give your purpose is one you attain through experiences.
This was one of those experiences for him, what helped him was knowing that:
“Having your partner move in with you is going to make up for getting rid of your stuff.
That and you will be able to create more amazing memories together”.
It’s hard to say goodbye to the things you love but remember that you are saying goodbye to old things so you create a new life with your partner.
Be Sure to Take Some Breathers, This Process is Emotional
There were many of times throughout this process where Tuomas and I both had to take some steps back.
I hate to inform you but the process for closing the distance is super emotional, you are going to see different sides of your partner during this experience.
This is essentially the point where you and you partner are totally accepting the fact that the long distance portion of your relationship is ending.
Now you are actually about to start living with each other.
There are a lot of emotions to be had during this process ❤
Tuomas practice some self-care during this time by making sure he:
“Stuck to his pastime routines such as playing pool.
There was no point in trying to shift your habits beforehand. Only after your partner has arrived you will be able to adjust to the new routine.”
Tuomas and I actually waited a month after we closed the distance to try to finally get settled into a routine together.
Might as well have fun the first month reunited right?
Get Ready to Have All Your Flaws Exposed
There is a HUGE difference between Meet-Ups and Closing the Distance.
I have said this before but closing the distance is a huge beast that I was not prepared for.
It was like going to the final boss under-leveled 🤦♀️
Not prepared in the slightest.
Your partner will now be able to see all your awkward habits, and even the gross ones you wished they never knew about.
They will also really see how you handle conflict in person.
Both of y’all need to give yourself some grace during this transition.
Things aren’t going to go perfectly. So when confrontation arises Tuomas suggests:
“Use the skills you have gained during the long distance relationship.
Even though the nature of your relationship is about to change, the fundamental dynamics are still the same.
The communication has held you this far. You will still have to empower it.”
Have faith in the communication skills your relationship has built so far, and understand it will take time to redefine your long distance relationship into a regular relationship.
Say Goodbye to Your Bachelor/Bachelorette Pad
There are going to be some “hard no” decor pieces that you and your partner will have.
Tuomas had to say goodbye to his Iron Maiden poster and I had to get rid of a lot of my Motivational Quotes poster.
Do your best to compromise when it comes to decor pieces. As the person that was moving to Finland, it felt important to me to bring those touches of home to help me feel less homesick.
This is also a fun part of closing the distance, talk to your partner about what color schemes you what in your new apartment and the colors of the home decor you already have.
Once you get a good idea of how you can incorporate each other aesthetics talk about pieces you want to add together in the long term.
Tuomas and I had a lot of fun decorating our apartment together his favorite part was “Seeing how functionally the small living area I had could have been used if I had planned properly.
It was an amazing way to start living together by going through that creative process and executing it.”
It’s exciting to see how you and your partner’s different upbringings are able to create a new foundation for what the idea of home is to y’all.
Know When To Compromise Your Space
Tuomas had to say goodbye to an old bookshelf because we needed more storage space for our clothes.
If you wondered what marriage vows felt like, understand when your partner moves in what space you had are now y’all’s space.
Y’all need to create an equal and separate space for each other.
There are going to be some spaces that overlap. Like some clothing and books, but for the spaces, you can’t compromise, be sure to talk to your partner about why you can’t.
For me, I needed a private space for all my electronics, and Tuomas needed his own space for his art.
We also created work areas in our small space so we can both work from home.
Something that helped us negotiate our spaces better was talking about things we valued in our previous homes as well as our daily life, one area Tuomas had to stand firm on his space was
They represent my entire teenage years and hold a lot of memories and meanings.
It is important to understand which things are too inseparable. Things that are part of your home and identity. They are too important to throw away.”
I had some things like that too coming from the US. This is the area that you and your partner need a lot of empathy for each other.
There are some things that can’t be condensed or replaced.
Know That Your Space Isn’t Your Own Anymore
If I haven’t already emphasized it enough I just wanted to say one more time to be extra dramatic.
Your space isn’t your own anymore 👏
You are not only accepting your partner’s stuff but their entire being into your space.
This is when you will see them for who they are in their own space.
Sometimes giving them their own space also means you leaving the apartment.
Talk to each other about the space you are living in. It is okay to tell your partner you need more space or if you need less space.
Tuomas and I are trying to find ways to give each other more personal time to do the things we love to do.
We give each other personal time by exploring our own personal interests by ourselves, for me, that’s going to the gym and for Tuomas, it’s playing pool.
We also give each other time to be by themselves at the apartment, this usually happens when we are hanging out with our own friends.
Tuomas loves having that alone time because:
“I am an introvert and will get tired after being too social after a time. I feel that alone time is needed so I can recharge myself and feel more refreshed to being together again.”
It is important for you to provide that space for your partner when y’all need it.
If you need some ideas on what you can to try getting to know the area you live in better by going for a walk.
Or scheduling alone time to read when you or your partner go out for a solo adventure.
This time is also great for you to reflect on your thoughts after closing the distance as well as calling back home to family and friends.
Be Supportive Of Your Partner and Let Them Know When You Need Support
There were times I needed to support Tuomas after closing the distance.
One night was in the parking lot talking about the things we needed from each other, you know, trying to figure out our new relationship together.
Everything seemed fine for a while but once we got home, I could see how upset he was. He was afraid of not being enough for me during this time.
Closing the distance is rough stuff, y’all are both putting in the work to make the relationship work.
Now you have to figure out how to do your normal lives on top of that, not to mention figuring out how your partner will comfortably live with you.
Tuomas and I both had to be supportive of each other during this transition. We had to have deep discussions while expressing our respective love languages. We did this in order to feel more comfortable in our new space together.
If there is one thing you need to do to support yourself and your partner during this transition, it’s Tuomas suggests:
“When you are feeling down or you are facing a challenge, know that you can physically be there for each other. You can now use the physical presence of your partner to feel safer and loved.”
You and your partner are closing the distance for a reason, trust in the relationship and support systems y’all have in place.
They will be sure to carry over once you close the distance.
Is Your Partner Coming to You When Y’all Close the Distance?
If your partner is coming to you when y’all close the distance make sure you take some time to mentally prepare yourself and to practice self-care.
Before we closed the distance I wanted to make sure Tuomas spent as much time with his friends as possible because I knew once I got there it would be harder for him.
Part of me wanted to catch up on all the lost time we had, the other part of me knew that we had a lot more wedding planning to do and we needed to get all the important documents ready for my life in Finland.
If you find you or your partner needing extra prep for closing the distance be sure to check out the Closing the Distance Binder Set to help y’all finally feel prepared for closing the distance.