Long distance relationship
By Mari for TrueLoveJapan
Long distance relationship, not easy but it is worth for the name of love. This is my story…
I met him, who was staying in Tokyo for a few months those days, in an international party/language exchange sort of event. We had some things in common that we both used to live in England and Spain, which made us keep talking… I even found out that he actually was based in my neighborhood in Tokyo; about 10 minutes walking from my house. After the event we started seeing each other pretty frequently. We met every few days when we had a bit of spare time.
I don’t know what it was but he had something that attracted me. We were so different in ways of thinking and personality, but I remember that I got some sort of gut feeling at an early stage; ‘I may spend a lot of time with this guy from now on…’
The strongest impact that I had in the first 2 months we spent together in Tokyo was that he seriously/sincerely told me off for my laziness and being too easy on myself. At that time I was not taking advantage of the languages that I’d learnt (English and Spanish) for my carrier life at all and was reconciled to the low salary. He told me ‘You do not fulfill your potential. You have no respect for your parents that you don’t even try to use the languages you learned with the opportunities your parents gave you. You are just being too easy on yourself, very lazy and spoiled. It is your defect.’ I’d never met somebody like him that scolded me so straightforward before. The sincere advice really got to my heart and that was an absolutely positive ‘shock’ that I felt thankful for.
It is not too much to say that we were totally different in ways of thinking/personality. In other words, we have different strengths each. We steadily build our relationship finding ways to compensate each other for personal traits/strength that I or he did not have. We indeed had a quality time together for 2 months… but finally the time came that he had to leave Japan for Europe. Then our long distance relationship with 9 hours time difference started.
I cannot imagine how hard it was to have long distance relationship in the past when there was no Internet. There must have been so much pain, fear, anxiety and uneasiness. Nowadays we feel that the world is getting smaller and smaller, thanks to the development of IT. You can catch up virtually via SNS with your friends/family that live far away so you do not probably feel that you haven’t seen the person for a long time.
We were in touch with the help of the IT; we used to contact each other via Skype or send pictures/videos using email or mobile apps so that we could share little things in everyday life. We mainly used Skype for text messaging and did not usually decide/make any appointment for calls/video calls (occasionally planned in advance). We basically had video calls when we both happened to be online and have some time. (I will talk more about this later on.) While we were having the distance relationship, we managed to survive visiting each other every 2 to 6 months…It was pretty challenging when we could not see each other for 6 months though.
Even though the IT, which helps us a lot with remote communication, has developed, I am sure that there is nobody that prefers distance relationship to regular relationship. You may have not only the physical distance, but also fear that you do not know what is going to happen or when to see him/her next.. You look a bit further in the future and you will realize that at least one of you has to leave their country (where they currently live) and move to be together at the end of the day; you need to think about the possibility, and you need to make up your mind someday. I believe that there is a kind of strong determination or feeling between couples who can decide to start/keep going with the long distance relationship after thinking of the possible risks in the future. (In other words, your relationship probably won’t go well if you don’t have any of these strong feelings.) As I mentioned above, I had a sort of feeling/intuition, the nicely ‘shocking’ experience, and the confidence that we are different in a positive way where I can find a good balance with him. With all these thoughts I could make up my mind and I never regret the decision that I made. We had to go through the long distance relationship for a long period of time, but we are happy now that we could eventually get married and be together.