Skip Nav
The Photos From This Mermaidy Sandbar Wedding Will Make Your Jaw Drop
Even Football Heads Will Love This '90s Nickelodeon Clothing Line at Macy's
This Courthouse Elopement in Maui Proves a Destination Wedding Can Be Small

DearSugar Needs Your Help: I'm Homesick!

DearSugar Needs Your Help: I'm Homesick!

DearSugar and Homesick Hayden need your help. She moved to Canada to be with the man she loves, but is having a hard time adjusting to her new life. She's unable to work until her visa is granted and she feels alienated at home while her boyfriend's gone all day working hard to support them both. If you've ever picked up and moved someplace where you didn't know anyone, go ahead and tell Hayden what worked for you while you got settled.

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend and I have been together for sometime now. We had been doing the whole long distance thing but it just wasn't working anymore, so we decided that one of us had to move so we could be together. He has a house and a great, well-paying job so it didn't take long to decide that I was the one who had to relocate. Our relationship couldn't be any better, but the homesickness has hit me pretty hard. I've been here a month already but my visa hasn't been approved, so I haven't been able to get into the groove quite yet. Our place is a decent distance away from everything and since I have no mode of transportation, I'm stuck at home every day. I try to keep busy with dishes and laundry, cleaning all that I can and redecorating our home, but we've hit a snag financially so my design projects are currently placed on hold.

When I'm not busy, I feel lonely. I miss my family a lot and the homesickness has been getting worse and worse. Do you have any suggestions or insightful advice as to what I should do during this awkward adjustment period? — Homesick Hayden


Join The Conversation
katiedid0985 katiedid0985 8 years
Wow I'm surprised at how many people are in the same situation, since I am too! First I think you need to get your transportation situation fixed. Maybe a few days a week you can drop your bf at work if possible so you can go places. I don't think its particularly fair for you to be totally stranded at home. Or since his job is paying well maybe you can get a cheap-ish used car or even a bike if that would help. Then I'd do what everyone else suggests, take a class, join a gym, explore the city. I like the idea of the ex-pat group if it's available. Also see if there are any alums from your college (if you went) in the city (a lot of schools have networking websites to find other alums). Or see if your bf has any female friends you can hang out with at least occasionally who could maybe show you around and get you out of the house. I've been living with my bf in a new place for about 6 months now and I'm still trying to settle in and I don't have a job either. I am taking classes at a local college though and that really helps to get me out of the house and interact with people! However, I disagree about living with in-laws (although that doesn't seem to be part of your problem), my bf and I live with his parents and its fine. They respect our privacy and while it's hard that it's not my family they do provide a good support structure. Is his mom around? Maybe you could spend some time with her (if you get along) even, just to be social. Eventually your visa will come through you'll be working and in the groove and be settled. It'll take time but you'll get there!
angelbaby2 angelbaby2 8 years
start a gossip blog
cotedazur cotedazur 8 years
I'm in the same situation, and I have one piece of advice... never, EVER, under any circumstances, move in with your in-laws. This may not even be an option for you, but if by some freak chance you decide to do some work on your house and he says you can crash at his parents' place, don't do it. Your feelings of homesickness and alienation will increase hundredfold. Sorry, that was my little rant about my situation, but I do have one constructive suggestion: try to emphasize your independence as much as possible. Not in the sense of revolting against your boyfriend, but in finding an activity or a pasttime or a group of friends that are all yours. I think one of the hardest things about moving to a new place to be with someone is that you're always introduced as "X's girlfriend," and it can really undercut your identity; find something where you can just be Hayden. Also, having something that's all your own will give you something to talk about with your bf. Let's face it, when he asks you what you did all day and every day you answer "laundry and redecorating," it's going to get old after a while. Good luck! And most of all, don't worry about the administrative/legal stuff. It's complicated and slow, but it will take care of itself. Pay attention to your relationship and to yourself everything else will follow.
lilwildone1202 lilwildone1202 8 years
i completly agree with moonwater--NEVER try to play that card to make him feel bad that you are stuck here and you moved for him. i moved 3 hours away to be with my husband (when we were still dating) and i was unemployed for about a month and was up there with all his friends and i felt really lonely. then just so happens i fell into a group of girls who hung with his group and bam, i had friends. obviously hes been there for a while...does he have a group of friends that you can kinda...i dunno get to know? i agree with some of the other advice, if you can bike somewhere, find a public transportation system, or even once a week or so go into town with your boyfriend, it might help. find a library, an spca, a gym...there are probably lots of things to help the boredom--and its only natural to feel homesick--ive been moved out for almost 2 years and i still feel it sometimes :) good luck and don't give up so easy it might turn out you love where you are
Ster Ster 8 years
I've also moved for love, and have never felt so miserable in my life as when I just arrived (especially because a couple of days after my arrival, my man had to pack up and leave for three weeks, leaving me all alone). Anyway, it will get better ... just not overnight. You have to give it time and you have to make a big effort. You're not going to make new friends by sitting at home all day (sadly, I wish it were that simple). If money's tight, it might be difficult to get involved into all sorts of courses, but maybe you can find a bookclub, volunteer somewhere, ask your man to organize a homewarming party with you, so you can get to know all of his friends ... Don't give up, it takes time, but you'll get there.
quitecontrary quitecontrary 8 years
Oooohhhhh, how I feel your pain. I moved overseas to be with my (now) husband, and it's been REALLY hard. (I also had the language barrier thing to get over). Plan to go into town with your man a couple of days a week to just go around town a get the feel of the place. Find yourself a favorite coffee shop, wander around a bookstore. You have to start to "own" our new situation. Ex-pat groups are okay, but I found them to be a little bit forced. It's better to take a course or join a group that involves something you like to do. MOONWATER said something VERY VERY important- resist that urge to blame your man- it'll be a difficult period for you, but you made this choice and you just need to take your time and settle in. It took me a full year to feel "settled", but I feel great here now. Good luck.
jessie jessie 8 years
lots of great advice from everyone! it just takes time
Advah Advah 8 years
People gave excellent advice. Take a class, volunteer somewhere, do anything you can to keep yourself busy and meet people at the same time. Maybe your bf could talk about this at work; there's no shame in arriving in a different country and not knowing anyone, and some of his coworkers might have wives/gfs/sisters/friends who might be unemployed or pregnant or have a social group, and would be happy to welcome you. As for the transport situation, maybe try to get a bike or check with a neighbour if they can give you a lift into town when they go there. :) Good luck!
otaku otaku 8 years
well, i would assume that you have a computer seeing as though you posted this to begin with, so use it! :) i am in the same situation and found that keeping in touch is the best way to curb the feelings of being homesick. chat with your family, write emails and use a web cam too. also, what really helps is if someone in your family can send you little packages every once in a while with some of your favorite snacks from home. lastly, if you don't have one, get a camcorder like the flip. you can spend time exploring your new surroundings and making films for your family. if your family back home have something like that too, encourage them to make videos for you too.
moonwater moonwater 8 years
I've been in the same situation when we had to move to South Africa just three months after we got married because of my husband's work. I have one piece of advice for you. Don't ever play the "I gave up my life and moved here for you" card with your BF. Trust me there will be times that you will feel exactly that, but don't go there.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Are you in a big enough city to have an ex-pat (displaced Americans) group available to you? Are there alumni groups from your university, or any branches of past organizations to join? These are good starting places. Try a Google search. Feeling this way after a month is 100% normal - I've moved overseas a couple of times, and across the country once, and it took months for me to adjust. Trust that you won't always feel this way. Try to busy yourself with hobbies - I knit, so I joined a knitting circle; you could try a social sport club or something like that. Taking classes is a great idea. If money's tight, that's hard too, but once your visa's approved things will get much better very fast! Barring all these other things I mentioned - you could at least teach yourself to cook new things during the day, teach yourself to knit/ crochet (though that could get pricey), learn a new language, or read the great books, etc. etc. Use Skype to communicate with family as often as you want. Good luck!!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well i think that moving anywhere new is a hard thing and to know that you're not going to work until your VISA comes through makes it harder since we all know that a lot of us make friends in new places from work. have you tried joining a gym or taking workout classes? those are some of the best ways to meet people. i've taken classes at my gym and while you're waiting for the class to start, you just naturally start talking to people. what about going online to see if there are any networking events, or just different classes that you could cooking classes or knitting or just about anything? maybe there are volunteer community projects that you could work on or offer your time at the local schools for after school programs.
bubblyw bubblyw 8 years
I'm in the exact same situation right now. I've been in the Midwest (I'm from Seattle) for like 4 months now. I guess my time is a little more filled with trying to find a job, but after 6 weeks of failure, it's pretty discouraging. I've found that the situation not only puts a strain on my self-worth and mind, but also on my relationship with my boyfriend. I have to borrow his car, which he doesn't like because his car is like his baby, and I get snappy at him because he's pretty much my only human contact and if he does something even borderline rude, it seems like a huge deal. I don't really have any advice, but I'll be watching the comments closely to see if anyone does, because I could use some too.
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
Not me. I moved back to my hometown and I can't go anywhere without seeing someone. Just today I ran into my best friend from the 7th and 8th grade! I'd love to trade places with 'Homesick Hayden'. I love to get to know new places and people. I don't like to have a lot of friends. But the conversations in passing are an awesome way to enjoy life.
gemsera gemsera 8 years
I am in the same situation. Been in the UK now for almost a year, but only working for a few months. Try and meet new people through his friendships. I know this sounds weird but having just one girlfriend (one of my beau's friends girlfriends) really helped keep me sane. Even if its just to share a bottle of wine with it helps. Volunteering will help, as will joining a gym, or anything to get out there. Catching a lift into town with your beau or even a kind friend to explore is a great way to feel as though you are part of a town. We live in a very small rural village, coming from a big town I felt out of place. I explored and found a great coffee shop which is now my favourite, and an oyster bar as well! I think finding your own little places is nice, and somewhere to go and think. But dont give up, it is worth it. Use skype if you can to see your family regularily, and keep up the emails. I'm happy to have a chit chat over PM here if you like :)
Marci Marci 8 years
I've been in your shoes. We moved to Texas for a project of my fiance's, and even though I was ablet o work with him part time, it was still really hard to ease the homesickness I felt. I missed my mother and family so much that it hurt. I took a couple of classes. That filled time, filled my brain, and I met people with a common interest. I also volunteered at a soup kitchen twice a week. And I went to visit my family every few months, which helped a lot!
sushibananas sushibananas 8 years
I'm sorry to hear you are feeling so homesick. But one month really isn't enough time to get into the groove of any new city. Hang in there! You mentioned that you are stuck at home. I think anyone would go stir crazy in that situation. How does your boyfriend get to work? Can you hitch a ride and spend some time in the city while he's at work? How about a bicycle? If you can't get out of the house, maybe you could prepare "hello" gifts to take to your neighbors, a possible way to meet new people?
How to Keep the Spark Alive in Your Relationship
Bald Bride's Wedding Photos (Video)
Auschwitz Survivor Celebrates 71st Valentine's Day
Husband's Body-Positive Message to His Curvy Wife
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds