Permanence and TCK Relationships

Kenady and Kylie at Cairo American College in Cairo, Egypt

There comes a time in everyone’s life when you seek to discover how another human will fit into your life, if you want that, and how you might intertwine your future with theirs.


There are a lot of articles in the global community discussing relationships and love with TCKs. But it wasn’t until I was listening to a conversation between my mother and the Merry Widows, that I realized the temporary nature of my attachments.


My mom was explaining the nature of friendships in an expat community. In an expatriate community people move into your life, and you create fast and strong bonds. All the while knowing that every relationship you engage in has an end date. And sure enough within the next couple of years either you leave or they do.


Hopefully we aren’t hurt by this loss because we always knew that it was coming, and it’s a natural progression of our relationships. We accept that they are leaving and that there is always a possibility that we may see them again.


The expat community is a very unique one, and I have met some of the friendliest people within this community. But I recently realized that because I have always accepted an expiration date for all of my relationships, I have never allowed anyone to be permanent.


For a long time I had just thought that I wasn’t meeting the right people, and that still may be a part of it, but I now realize that I wasn’t allowing anyone to be a permanent fixture in my life and I need to open myself up to the possibility of permanence.


I think that within nomadic cultures there is often a culture of seeing people for who they are in your life and creating paradoxically strong and easily severed bonds. By building a strong bond with another person we know that we can give who we currently are to them.


And it is easy to give your current state to one person. It is much harder to give someone all that you are and will be. People are ever changing creatures and our experiences change us, and how we choose to see the world.


And so, it’s very easy to create a strong bond with someone when you know that you only have to be bonded with who you are right now, and not throughout all of the changes you will experience.


It is far more common to experience the loss of a friend because one of you has moved to another posting rather than letting go of that friendship because you have grown apart.



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