Are three years a common time limit to friendships, stays etc. for TCK’s? In a recent discussion among TCK’s on a social network, a young TCK talked about her difficulty about “holding onto friendships long-term” and about tending to “start cutting bonds around 3 years into a friendship”. She thinks it could probably be a defensive mechanism on her part and supposed that it has to do with TCK’s frequent movings.
TCK’s usually do move frequently, but apparently it doesn’t matter how often you move, it seems that TCK’s reach for change on a regular basis. If they don’t have to move, they need to change something else: they assess their friendships, partnerships, the way they’re living etc. and really feel the need to change something. This inner urge to move on, to quit and restart over and over again, seems very common to TCK’s.
When I read the answers to her post, I realized that I do this too. I didn’t move so frequently during my childhood, but I’m also a TCK (well, now I’m an ATCK). But since I left my parents’ house at the age of 18, I moved every 3 years (once I did even move twice a year). Even while I lived in the same town for more than 10 years, I needed to change something every 3 years; my friendships, my jobs, my study etc. This doesn’t mean that I’m unable to have longterm relationships or that I am inconsistent (I have two very good friends since Kindergarten and did the same job for more than 10 years). but I really do evaluate my friendships and the situation I live in regularly every 3 years.
I did realize all this only a few years ago, when I felt the need to move again, but this wasn’t necessary. I really felt like if something was wrong with my life, but then I understood that it was only my inner 3-years-clock that was badgering me.
Now I happen to live at the same address since 7 years (and this is the first time since I was 18) and I am married for 18 years. But still, I feel this need to change something every three years: job, hobbies and I still do evaluate my friendships. But I don’t “quit” as much as I did in my twenties though.
If you are a TCK, did you experience something similar? Do you also feel like a perpetuum mobile that needs to change, to move on, to never rest? And does this happen to you every three years too?
(Niccolò Paganini Perpetuum Mobile Perpetual Motion, Yehudi Menuhin)
- Why „home” is not a geographical location for TCK’s (expatsincebirth.com)
- If I’d known then (tcklynette.wordpress.com)