Do ‘Long Distance Relationships’ Work?

When people ask me how long my boyfriend and I have been together, they’re often surprised by the reply.

“Eight years?! Wow, that’s a long time!”, they would say. As of 2018, we’ve been together for 9 years. When I tell someone this, they’re either surprised or shocked; especially because he’s on the other side of the globe, all the way in Texas, USA.

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We met in college in 2009. I was 22 and he had just turned 20. I went into English class thinking it would just be another day. Then I noticed a cute drawing on the desk next to me. And there sat a plump young man with glasses and wavy hair. I smiled and complimented him on the drawing, then we started talking about it and other things that interested us. And eventually on September 5, 2009, we became official. No whimsical declaration, no “proposal”, just us spending time together while in Enchanted Kingdom for my brother’s 7th birthday.

Two years later, he said he and his family were moving.

I didn’t know how to react. Of course, I knew it wasn’t as difficult to keep in touch as it used to be decades ago, but I wished we could’ve spent a little more time together. The last event we went to was an anime themed Christmas party in an old maid cafe. I’d heard about couples who had a hard time keeping the relationship due to distance. Some even breaking up before the other left.

Photo Credit: ABS-CBN Lifestyle

He and I didn’t want that. We were determined to make things work, even with distance and time differences. Our relationship continued through interactions on Facebook and things grew from there. There were ups and downs. Petty arguments, wanting his attention when he was too busy with digital art and playing online games. There was pagtatampo and ignoring each other for days until the other apologized. Then there was learning to give him space and letting him do his thing. We’re not perfect. He’s not perfect and neither am I. But we love each other all the same. And I’m happy that we’re still together. Here’s to hoping we’ll meet again soon.

Photo Credit: Vanessa Chan

Photo Credit: Vanessa Chan

Vanessa Chan

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