Over the past few months since me and my boyfriend entered into a LDR or 롱디(long-di in Korean) I started watching YouTube channels about different types of international couples. At first my interest started out as simple curiosity. I wanted to know the love stories behind the couples. Mind bottling questions such as ‘How did they meet?’ ‘Did they date for a long time?’ ‘Was the relationship special?’ continuously crossed my mind for each and every couple.
Before my move back to NY I could care less about what other international or LDR couples were doing. However, in search of an outlet for comfort I wanted to find more couples who were in or had been in a relationship similar to my own. I searched and searched and quickly learned that none really matched mine.
Accepting that my relationship is unique I continued to follow some of these other international couples to better understand why they chose to openly share their relationships via vlogging. Vlogging is a recent norm that has become quite a popular past time or even professional career for some people. International couples are no exception. The amount of curious and interested viewers who watch some of these couples YouTube channels is amazing.
After following a number of YouTube channels, hosted by international couples, I started to wonder if publicly sharing one’s relationship was advantageous or disruptive to the core relationship. My concern was about whether these couples cared about being too public with their personal relationship. From sharing stories related to relationship quarrels, wedding experiences, child raising, and cultural differences – these couples divulged on their lives to an unknown audience behind the screen.
Thoughts of vlogging about my own personal relationship crossed my mind after watching some of these other brave couples. However, I prefer to maintain some privacy about my personal relationship. My reasoning simply is because my relationship isn’t mine alone. It is mine and my boyfriends. We mutually respect each others wishes and respect each others concerns. Being private with our lives is one of those concerns. In addition, being in an international relationship and LDR is not easy. No matter how simple it may look on-screen by other international couples it isn’t.
While I choose to shy away from making personal relationship vlogs, I continue to watch videos of other international couples, but more specifically Western women and their personal relationships and/or marriages to Asian men. These couples pique my curiosity the most since I try to better understand their experiences; and sometimes witness experiences that I can relate to. However, I started to notice that these women’s personal relationships were more one-sided in their vlogs. It made me question whether or not both parties in the relationship equally if not mutually enjoyed opening up their lives to an unknown audience.
Realizing that sharing a relationship openly is not easy, I understood instances when these women would either choose to vlog alone in videos, or simply vlog with their partner, but let their partner remain mute in the background. Not openly expressing interest in vlogging the male counterpart’s views, ideas, opinions, feelings, and emotions are not be fully shown. With only one partner vlogging I wondered what was advantageous about vlogging. Wasn’t vlogging something that both partners in the relationship should enjoy? Ultimately my answer to my own question was simply: yes and no. While vlogging can be enjoyable it can also be irritating.
In my opinion, many couples who vlog want to promote their personal relationship in a positive light. Promoting personal relationships via vlogging is a great way to share your relationship with others. However, being too open and public can also be disruptive to any relationship. That being said I hope that international and LDR couples who vlog are able to balance the advantageous or disruptive aspects of vlogging and maintain a well-balanced personal relationship.