Going to an AFL (Australian Footy League) game with my partner!
In my previous blog post, “Ending a Relationship to Study Abroad,” I talked about the difficulties of breaking up with someone special and arriving in a new country completely heartbroken. Now I’m going to talk about how I ended up dating someone new while studying abroad and how that affected my friendship with my partner that I had broken up with.
So, like I’ve said, I arrived in Australia heartbroken over my ended relationship but still remained good friends with my ex – we kept in touch via social media, talking everyday and remained very close. But being in a new country, I was feeling very lonely and sad over the break up. So I installed the Tinder dating app on my phone, (yes, Australia uses Tinder just as much as America does!) Before arriving in Australia, I really had no intention of dating or at least not seriously dating – maybe go on a casual date once in a while but I was so upset over the break up that I couldn’t imagine dating anyone else and I really planned to use this study abroad experience to just enjoy being by myself. The only reason that I joined Tinder was in an effort to survive the break up – just a gesture to push myself in the direction of getting over my ex and moving on. I wasn’t very active on Tinder and I just kind of used it as something to do when I was bored. Well have you ever heard the saying, “God laughs when you make a plan…”
After about a week of being in Australia, someone on Tinder, a local Aussie, reached out to me and I had a good feeling about them and felt comfortable enough with our conversation that I agreed to meet them for a midday coffee date. We got along extremely well and began dating right away. So I found myself with a new partner and in a new relationship within just two weeks of arriving in Australia. Now this is not like me at all; I don’t jump into relationships with just anyone so when this new person asked to establish a relationship together, of course I was apprehensive but they were unlike anyone that I had ever met before and I was curious to see where the relationship would go.
It was by no means a rebound and I did feel extremely guilty about jumping into a relationship with someone else so soon. So I did hold off on telling my ex back home that I was seeing someone – not that I was keeping this new relationship a secret, but because I wasn’t sure how serious it would really become and I didn’t want to hurt my ex if this new relationship wasn’t going to last. So it wasn’t until my new partner and I had been dating for about three weeks that I finally told me ex that I was seeing someone. Of course, my ex was crushed and told me that he couldn’t talk to me for a bit and blocked me on all social media. I’m still sad about how that turned out but my current Aussie partner and I are still together – we have been dating for a little over three months now and we’re happy.
Again, the Gilman scholarship has helped me in ways that I couldn’t have anticipated. It’s amazing what having a safety net with just an extra bit of money can do. Being awarded the Gilman scholarship has allowed me the financial relief to embrace opportunities that I probably would’ve otherwise had to pass by in an effort to scrape and save and ration. Because of the extra funds awarded to me by the Gilman scholarship, I felt comfortable enough to take a chance, to go out on a date, and to my surprise, I ended up meeting someone really amazing because of it and we’ve gotten to enjoy going out together. So I say another big thank you to the Gilman scholarship program for enhancing my study abroad experience in a way that I would’ve never imagined.