Sunday, February 1, 2015

How to Make an Extremely Long Distance Relationship Work

 A modern fairytale

If you type the words “long distance relationship” into Google, you will find an endless list of articles on how to make your long distance relationship work. The problem with articles such as “How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work (with Pictures),” “21 Tips on Making a Long Distance Relationship Work,” and “22 Things No One Tells You about a Long Distance Relationship” is that they give general advice on things a rational person already knows: communication is imperative to the success of a long distance relationship.

For some, a long distance relationship can mean that their significant other is a few hours or a few states away. In my case, the distance spanned the entire United States and the Pacific Ocean or approximately 8,389 miles (13,500km). By using simple, made up math, I would need to increase normal communication by 800% in order for my 8.5–year relationship to stand the “Long Distance Relationship Test.”

 If communication is vital then I have all the tools: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Skype, MagicJack, WhatsApp, Line, SnapChat, Vine, Pinterest, Blogger, Gmail, and OoVoo. However, what is the point of all these social media outlets of your significant other doesn’t make time for you? Despite the challenges of moving to a new country, the first year of my extremely long distance relationship went by smoothly. Nevertheless, communication soon became scarce entering my second year. I was seemingly pushed down the priority list in favor for a new group of single friends and a budding obsession with CrossFit. I protested the issue of his indifference several times, but I was met with both eye rolling and wording that suggested that I was doing the typical “crazy girl” thing. 

You see, these “helpful” articles never discuss what happens when you fight in a long distance relationship. In a normal relationship, whoever was in the wrong would apologize with both words and action. In a long distance relationship, you can only apologize via text or Skype and since there is no physical/emotional feeling of remorse, something that would have only upset me for two hours now pisses me off for two days! Do you see the problem here? Therefore, unresolved fights and weak communication are the happenings of a disaster but add temptation and the allure of the single life into the mix, and you have the start of World War (E)X. 

In short, extremely long distance relationships are difficult, but it’s important to communicate your feelings even if they result in the end of that relationship. It is better to save face than to have your girlfriend find out in the midst of a vacation that you’ve been secretly seeing another woman, taking her out on dates, meeting her family and, unbelievably, messaging her right in front of your girlfriend. And then have that, now, ex-girlfriend write about it in her blog. 

Although my relationship ended, I know many couples who have persevered through long distance relationships. Therefore, my relationship should not be indicative to the success or failure of other relationships. Also,  there is clearly so much more to the story that I won't discuss. これから頑張ります! (From now on, I'll do my best!)


  1. This sucks, I don't want to share any words of support that I know will fall empty, "it is probably for the best" and that kind of stuff, but I can't help to send you my best wishes and a huge hug!

    My girlfriend also decided to move. She is currently in Margarita, which is pretty close to my location, but things have been difficult nonetheless. We were in a pretty rocky situation to begin with, but we both tried our best. But as of now, we went from seeing each other every other weekend to mostly just in vacations, if any.

    I support her moving away, looking for her own happiness and fulfillment, but I can't avoid feeling like I've been put aside in a emotional level. Not that I want to be the center of her life, but I want to be a part of it as much as she is a part of mine.

    If I don't text her, or engage in any other form of communications, I wont heard from her in days. She must be busy, I say to myself...

    I believe in honesty, but sometimes I just tend to hide my true emotions from her. Although harsh, given the economics around here, she seems to be having a nice time enjoying herself and I don't want to be the focus of what went wrong with her day.

    I try to do my best, and I know I could do more. And I plan to do more and better this year, take risks and go out of my comfort zone. But I do wish she does the same, I need to feel that she responds to my actions.

    Thank you for sharing, it has been insightful and helpful.

    1. Thank you so much for your well wishes and virtual hug, primo. It saddens me to hear of your similar situation. I completely relate to the part you said that you did not want to be the bad part of her day, because I also held in emotions to seem like the “cool, non-crazy girlfriend.” The problems is that those unexpressed emotions sought escape in the form of anxiety, stress, and sickness.

      Despite the distance, you deserve someone who will be attentive to both your physical and emotional needs. Never forget this!

      I wish the best for you both! TQM!

  2. Sorry to read about your experience, Gabriela. I've been there, too. My first two serious relationships both eventually became long-distance and didn't survive that. Both people really have to be super committed, and in my case each of those girlfriends decided that their careers needed more of their time and energy than the relationship.

    I think it takes a certain kind of couple to do well in a long distance relationship. Both people have to be independent enough not to fall into an emotional sinkhole, yet committed and thoughtful enough to make their partner still feel wanted and loved. Even then it still doesn't always work out. I'm not good at long distance and I hope I never have to do it again. But I guess we're often forced into those kinds of decisions, with two undesirable choices. =/

    It'll hurt for a while, but you'll hopefully come out of this stronger. Write more if you need/want to!

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts and words of encouragement! It really means a lot! I had a "YES!" moment when I read "Even then it still doesn't always work." It really does depend on both the couple and the individual - and not just some crazy articles telling you what to do.

      Thank you again! In the future, I'm sure when I look back at this, it will all make sense and I will be wiser and stronger from it. :o)

  3. Hi Gabriela,

    I've been creeping on your blog all morning as I finish up my JET Application. I put Okinawa as my second choice (under Wakayama, actually!!) and would absolutely love to be placed there.

    Your article is an extremely important read for me as well as others. It takes two people making an effort to make it work. Your ex-bf sounds like an asshat, but based on reading your newer posts, you are doing quite alright (nay, amazingly) without him. I love my boyfriend and he already knows I'm crazy, so hopefully he means it when he says that he will be 100% committed to me if I get accepted to JET. Either way, I'm not one to scrimp on telling the truth and I agree with you that being completely honest throughout the LDR is key, whether or not that means the end of the relationship. Anyway, this was a wonderful read. Thank you so much for having your blog.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment and for creeping haha! Long distance relationships are tough, but honesty is definitely the key. Moreover, you should also recognize when your relationship is negatively affecting your experience in Japan. I realized things were off since the summer (when I visited back home) and things just kept getting worse until the final blow up in December. Mind you, I know plenty of people were successful in their LDR, so don't get too caught it with it. If you're selected, go to Japan with a positive and open mind and make the experience amazing!