Hello, my name is Mina and my partner’s name is Rian. I live in Australia & he lives in America. There are 10,500 miles between us and this is our long distance story…
I met Rian through a mutual friend, online. A girl in my class made a Whatsapp group with a boy in his class. She added me, and her friend added Rian.
At the time, Rian was studying in Israel, in a very small and random village, which just so happened to be my hometown. When I learned of this, I grew very nostalgic, and asked if any of the guys in Israel could send me a video of themselves walking to the local convenience store, just so I could see the streets, the people, and the scenery.
No one was bothered to do it, except Rian, who seemed to jump at the opportunity. Although he told me he had to go to the store anyway, a few months later he admitted that his sole purpose of going, was so that he had an excuse to send me a private message. At the time, I simply thought he was an exceptionally nice guy.
After he sent me the video of Israel, I decided to take a video of my walk to school, to show him the streets of Melbourne. He loved it and we continued chatting. A few days later we exchanged skype, and started speaking for hours a day. One month later, at exactly 3:06 pm, on the 25th of December, 2014, Rian mustered up the courage to tell me that he liked me, and I admitted to liking him as well, and thus our long distant relationship began.
I face a lot of difficulties being in a LDR, the most significant one being, that I am constantly missing Rian. Even when we spend time together, I still miss him because I can only imagine his touch, and his physical presence.
Another obstacle I face is time differences. Rian and I are either 7 or 14 hours apart, and it becomes really hard. Fortunately for me, Rian barely sleeps, and is currently on vacation. This means that while I am awake and not at school, there is usually only about 3-6 hours that I cant talk to him, because he is asleep. Unfortunately for him though, I sleep 6-7 hours a night, and I have full days of school.
We overcome these obstacles by staying on the call with each other even while the other person is busy. We have only started doing this recently but it is an amazing feeling to know that Rian is always there for me, even when I’m in class, or he’s playing video games, or working.
For example, right now, as I am writing this, Rian is asleep, but he’s still on the call. This means that in a few hours, I can be the thing he wakes up to, as though I am actually there with him. This is possible because we use WiFi to call each other, so it doesn’t cost us anything at all, (our parents pay for WiFi hehe).
However, as both Rian and I are observant Jews, we keep the Sabbath, which forbids us from using our phones for 25 hours. In addition to this, the time difference means that I cannot speak to Rian from Friday evening until Sunday morning. Although this may seem like a short time, it is actually incredible painful. Any second that we are not talking is painful, because I am reminded that I miss him. We do our best to cope with this by speaking as much as we can on Friday afternoon, (Rian just does not sleep), and by sending each other heaps of messages, pictures, videos, and audio notes while we wait.
Yet another obstacle we face is friends and family who are unsupportive, and who believe that our relationship is not real, just because Rian and I haven’t met. While I know it is probably best to ignore that type of attitude, and the people who have it, I am actually unable to do this, because of how much it irks me. I usually say something along the lines of,
“Once you have spoken to your S/O for 7 hours straight, and not once gotten bored or ran out of things to say, then you can come back and tell me that my relationship is not real.
Once you have put yourself through 8 months of pain just to be with your S/O, then you can tell me that my relationship is not real.
Once you have cried yourself to sleep several times simply because you miss the one person you love the most in this world, then you can tell me that my relationship is not real. Until then, shut the — up.”
Q: How has being long distance shaped your relationship?
Since Rian and I have not yet met, I don’t have anything to compare the long distant relationship with, yet I feel as though the distance has definitely made us both stronger, and has helped as grow individually, as well as together. We have learned that you don’t need to meet someone irl, to fall in love with them, something neither of us have thought was possible until it happened.
Our relationship is completely based off of love, trust, and communication. I also feel as though getting through long distance now will help us overcome future challenges that may arise in our relationship. I know that I will never take Rian for granted, and that I will not give him up for anything in this world.
We have (so far) gone through almost 8 months of long distance, and that gives me confidence, knowing that nothing can separate us, not even the fact that we are physically separated.
Q: What are the things you love about being in an LDR?
Though we are dying to meet each other, (3 more months!!!) there are aspects to the long distant relationship that make it better, in some respect, than non LDR. Things like, how we can send each other surprise gifts and letters in the mail, and how it is obvious that we clearly love each other and that we are not in this relationship because we have an ulterior motive, or just because of the sexual aspect of it.
I also love that we both have such completely different lives, different schedules, different short-term goals, and different social groups, but we can still share every detail of our life with each other. Another up-side to LDR is that when we talk early in the morning, we can’t smell each others morning breath (a delightful thought).
Q: How do you stay connected while you’re apart?
Rian and I talk as often as possible, almost all day. We skype very often, send pictures, videos, audio notes, and poems. We also update each other on our day when we are unable to talk. We have sent each other letters and packages, and a few times, Rian has randomly told girls in my class to give me a hug from him. Just seeing Rian smile is a reminder of why I’m going through the torture of LDR
Q: What helpful advice would you give to other LDR couples?
Make time for each other, no matter how busy you are. Communication is the key. The more often you talk, the more you will have to talk about. Send each other lots of pictures and videos, and video call whenever you can. TRUST EACH OTHER. Sometimes it is hard to trust your S/O because you are not with them, but it is so so important to trust each other and to be trustworthy yourself.
Try avoid situations which could make your S/O nervous, such parties with alcohol, night clubs, bars, and similar sorts of places. Your S/O may seem jealous and over-protective but please remember that they could trust you, and still worry, so do your best to not give them a reason to.
It helps a lot to set a goal, a date on which you will meet up with your S/O, and have a countdown to that date. This will help to put things into perspective, and give you something to look forward to. Rian and I, for example, always say the words “One Day Closer” when we are missing each other, because it reminds us that we are going to see each other soon.