The Truth About Being in a Long Distance Relationship

By Christina Kim - March 28, 2015

What, you mean you are apart from each other, like most of the time?

Well, yes, I guess that would be the very basics of definition of a long distance relationship.
It is the question that I get most of the time when I tell people that I am, well, apart from my partner.
Raised eyebrows, gaping mouths, loud exclamations and shocked expressions are all just greetings that I have grown accustomed with.
It becomes worse when we acknowledge that it was by choice; that we were both conscious and sane when we made the decision.

Reactions were less dramatic back before we were married, and now after we are married, most of them reacted (yes, not responded) to that revelation as though we were in need of psychotherapy or fugitives on the run, from the asylum.
There seems to be really a big difference compared to before and after marriage, especially when it comes to the long distance relationships part though for both my husband and me, we did not see that much of a difference.
Maybe we just got used to it (or maybe we really do need therapy?  - That, was a joke)

As far as I can remember, our relationship has somewhat or somehow, one way or another, turned out in the direction apart from each other.
We met in the same workplace; that was how we met of course – we were both in the same place at the same time and things just turned out well and we ended up together.
Back then I was working away from home, and hailing from the capital city; a metropolis if I may, I was just so used to the lifestyle that it made sense that I wanted to return to my hometown; and to familiar grounds albeit it being one of the most hectic ones in the country.
He was really supportive of me; because it was not just the hometown that I was after, it was the need to strive and search for a more challenging path in my career.
It was a time where my career took a turning point, and it was an offer that may just be able to spearhead my career into a different direction.
Knowing all about my ambitious side, he gave me his full support and that was when we started our first milestone of being apart in our relationship.
We traveled constantly, and communicated through the phone and Skype (thank God for technology!)

I will admit that it was really difficult, and takes a lot of commitment and effort from both parties to keep that spark alive.
Then somehow fate interfered and by a stroke of luck (or perhaps an opportunity), I was sent on an assignment back to where we began and it seemed like a temporary relocation; at least for half a year that it.
We were back in the same place again, and it seemed like it was a happy ending (a relief for most of our friends and families rooting for us anyway).
A couple of months later, it was his turn as he was scheduled on an assignment to the States for a quarter.
Again, the long distance phone/ Skype calls returned and this time, taking the time zone difference in to consideration and calculation.
It was more than meets the eye, we had to make our schedules meet in between our waking and sleeping hours and also our before and after working hours.

It was difficult of course, I will be really honest about it.
From the keeping in touch through the different timings and the farewells at airport, it required more than just persistence.
It was like a custom cycle; whereby he would be required to travel out of the country from time to time, and myself, also running around from one place to another for work.
It seemed like when I was here, he was there and vice versa.

When we were finally back in the same place, we joked and he decided that it was time we tie the knot and just settle down.
It took him a lot of work to convince me – me, the one who never thought of getting married
(Yes, I am not kidding, I really have this thought, and not just a spur of a moment but something that I have always thought of ever since I was just a little girl. I will probably write another post on that someday)

Well, it took him year; yes, he proposed more than once, and somehow, I just never saw that it was right, yet.
Finally, I don’t know, I said yes *laughs*
It’s still funny but I married the guy.
(There’s nothing wrong with him, he is really great, and I am blessed to have him in my life and as my partner. There’s nothing wrong with me either, in case you’re wondering)

After we were married, it was just a matter of time when a job offer came along, to me.
I took it; after all, it only required traveling and I was still based in the same place (where my husband is).
My husband was also sent on his usual business trip again; for 2 months while I was traveling within the country (yeah, one out of the country and one within the country).
Then when he got back, it was my turn to be presented with that assignment to relocate back to the city.

Well, it was more of an assignment, but rather an opportunity to be based back in the capital where the head office is.
It will be beneficial for my career growth, and we were again at crossroads, but being the supportive guy he is, he told me to go ahead.

It is like a vicious cycle, really, that we are giving up on as somehow, it is like we will always be apart from each other.
It is a funny statement to even make, and we laughed at ourselves when we say things like that to other people.
“We are in a long distance relationship”
Gasps* Shock*  Dilated pupils*

(To trigger more reaction, just for the fun of it)
“Oh, we are married too!”
Jaw drops, Big O formed on the mouth and transfixed gaze

“No, we are not crazy”
Shakes head, frowns of disapproval

We are used to it, is what we often say when everyone asks how we manage it.
It is not easy, as you can imagine.
It is more than difficult but it is a choice we made, and yes, we know the challenges that came with it yet we choose to live apart from each other.
We don’t hate each other.
We don’t yearn to be away from each other (though it can do us some good sometime too, *grins*)
We are still married, if that’s your next question.

The truth is, we are both still striving people, like almost everyone else in the world.
Perhaps I am the one who is often chasing my dreams and ambitions, furiously, intent on making myself really useful in the world.
He is also focused on the career, though I would say, he would choose to prioritize me first.
I was told that a man who prioritizes his woman, is a man to keep, and I could not agree less.
Just, this woman would ask that he prioritizes his career, simply because I love men who are focused on their career because this is someone who knows what he wants and who he wants to be in life and to me, that’s far more important.
Someone like that would know how to organize and be better focused in his life, and that would be a strong character I would want in my partner, simply because, I am always someone like that myself.
Maybe that sounds individualistic, but we are both still very in tune with each other and we still share our hopes and dreams of building our lives together; spinning both of our priorities together.

Long distance relationships are not impossible, but it requires a lot of faith, trust, and commitment.
It is often the lack of these elements which brings the downfall in any relationship.
A relationship is a relationship; long distance or even if you are next to each other.
Even if you are with each other 24/7, you still need to have that faith, trust and commitment in each other.

We strive to keep the spark alive, but it was not as difficult as we thought.
Yes, it’s not as easy as it sounds because there are times when you need someone by your side and he just seems so far away. We all go through times like these; strong as we are, we are just still human beings vulnerable to our feelings and we still have our times of weaknesses.
There are times when we could experience breakdowns in communications when our schedules just clash, and there is no way we could contact each other.
We have gone through days without talking to each other; but judging from how we could go by months of not seeing each other in person, I say we can live with that.

We survived our long distance from each other, and will still continue to survive, despite the many concerns raised by all around us.
We appreciate how everyone loved us and cared enough to highlight their opinions on how we should consider breaking that barrier and settle down in one place.
Perhaps the time will come when we will heed the advice, or not, but either way, we are still happy with each other despite the distance.

In fact, I think the distance even made our relationship stronger and fonder of each other.
We may not be with each other all the time, but that’s what makes us cherish the times when we are together.

In all, it is all about faith, trust, commitment, and most of all, love.

Distance, is just a number and a barrier, depending on one's perception~
(Or at least that's how We, look at it )


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