I’m in the Philippines, he’s in Seattle. I met him through Instagram, he saw me first on Tinder.
During the first week of chatting, I made it clear that I was not open to being in a long-distance relationship. He responded with ‘Let’s not hold back. There’s something special about this.’
And so I crossed oceans and lands to see him. We first laid eyes on each other at Seattle-Tacoma airport and had our first date in Portage Bay, Seattle. While eating donuts and holding hands downtown, we officially became a couple.
Now we communicate everyday through text messages and 1–2 video calls. EVERY SINGLE DAY. By the time he wakes up, I’m getting ready for bed. He calls while he’s on his way to the gym or work while on my side of the world, it’s past 9 PM and the city is starting to slow down.
Has it been easy? No. Am I excited to get on a 40- to 60-minute call with him every day? Not always. Do I like this relationship? Yes, I do. Do I feel it’s worth the hours of talking and booking flights and travel planning? HELL YES.
I tell our story and I can feel people’s skepticism. It’s too good to be true, after all. But, aren’t a lot of things in life?
You must have read about a corporate junkie leaving her jobs to travel the world for years, telling us it’s the best decision they’ve made, like Kach of Two Monkeys. Or a writer who gets paid thousands of dollars for writing pieces they truly care about like Trisha of PS I’m On My Way. Or a boy and a girl meeting online ending up together with the whole ‘happy ever after’ type of wedding to finish things off.
These stories are real but it doesn’t mean they are perfect. These are the ones who decided to push through the obstacles and managed to come out as winners in the end.
While we all have our opinion on whether LDRs work or not (my boyfriend’s grandma doesn’t think so!), I’ve spent some time thinking about my own. This is not a piece of advice but merely my own observations, and possible reasons why LDRs work.
First, individual lives move forward much faster. We are not tied to each other’s schedules and wants and needs. We openly talk about our dreams and update each other about how we are doing with them.
Sometimes, being in a relationship with someone you live with doesn’t allow this to happen. I was in a 7-year on-off relationship and my career never took off, I had low self-esteem and leaving everything up to the ‘center of our relationship, God’ and waited for that relationship to rescue me. It never happened. I had to leave.
Next, because of the distance between us, we communicate so much better than couples who are geographically close to one another. With constant and respectful communication comes connection. It doesn’t feel like we’re apart.
One common challenge for couples who are always together is someone losing his or her identity. It’s a separate topic to discuss and here’s a good resource tackling that.
Lastly, we strive to understand and give of ourselves more. The relationship is kind and respectful. Every person deserves this.
I’ve read a good bunch of advice online on making LDRs work. My favorite article is from Mark Manson who was in an LDR before he was married. Viral content creator Jay Shetty offers useful advice in this Youtube video. I enjoyed listening to this podcast by Tom and Lisa Bilyeu about staying committed while in an LDR.
I am not encouraging you to leave your partner and move to the other side of the world. I wrote this for someone seriously considering trying things out. Do you have questions at the back of your head whether it can work or not? Should you give it a try? If this guy or girl has the values that you value, is treating you in all the good ways you want to be treated, and your pretty little heart is saying ‘This feels good, I want this!’, I’m telling you now that it can work, and yes, give it a try.
Who knows, you might just end up holding hands at a wonderful park, both dreaming of the same future, in each other’s arms.