Dating Abroad (국제 데이팅): Living A Life Apart – Part 7

As me and my BF enter into 10 months of being in a year-long LDR I’ve started to look back at some missed moments of our lives. For those who know the LDR struggle and can relate, know that once you’ve entered into this type of relationship it can hurt at times. A major reason for why it can hurt is largely due to the fact that you and your significant other will miss out on important moments in your life sometime during the LDR period. In me and my BF’s case we have had our share of career transitions, international trips, and family welcoming & losses since our LDR began. For each of these experiences we have been joyful, supportive, worried, and occasionally anxious about each other.

Since spring and summer both my BF and I have gone through career transitions in hopes to prepare for our next career pursuits and interests. For me this was moving back home to New York(*which started our LDR). Not wanting to go into further details – see my Dating Abroad (국제 데이팅): Expanding the Distance – Part 5 blog, me and my BF decided to use our LDR time to re-start career explorations and pursue better opportunities. As I began my new international education career position back home my BF left his university office position in order to gain more experience in his degree field in tourism & management. Each supporting each other, I have been focused on gaining further experience in supporting my international student program while my BF traveled to a new country, participated in an international cultural exchange for Korea, and has been working diligently to save up money for his future. By keeping busy with work we have found ourselves content with working in different locations, each on one side of the world. However, every so often while at work we try and connect with one another and offer our support even if only for a short period.

My BF and I like any couple are very close in all personal affairs ranging from work, health, family, dreams, etc. In regards to work we respect each others decisions and goals. However, we also understand that sometimes our goals can be forgotten or may change, and so we offer support to one another. Working hard in different locations has proved somewhat hard in providing physically-intimate support to one another. But, through frequent conversations (over the phone, FaceTime, or messaging apps), snail mail letters, and more we try to make up for any absence that might be felt.  This also goes for emotional events that have taken place as of last year.

From family births, birthdays, and deaths we have provided support for one another. But, in these instances sometimes physical support can not be replaced. Last year when my nephew was born my family was elated and there was so much joy. Everyone could not wait to meet the new family member. While my BF was not obligated to meet my nephew he already in my eyes was family and I wanted him to experience this new joy alongside me. But, due to being in Korea and unable to travel he could not. Similarly, on both of our birthdays this year, neither of us could travel to see one another, which made our days somewhat less brighter. However, we held on to the prospect of seeing each other when time permitted. Finally, in regards to family losses no one can know for certain when their final day may be. Neither can pets. Unfortunately, less than one week ago my 12-year old dog passed away. While the age of my dog may foresight his time ending his senior years were short-lived due to suffering from a recently diagnosed illness.  The loss of my pet was devastating, and has shifted my prospective on things as of late. My boyfriend, off course gave his condolences, but condolences alone can not provide comfort sometimes needed physically.

ku spring 2013.jpg
Korea University – Grove path –  Spring 2013

What hurts the most about being in LDR as stated is experiencing (life-altering) moments without your significant other. Without them by your side you sometimes may feel more lonely, more solemn, and more jaded when dealing with what can be daily, weekly, or monthly sensitive stresses in your life. However, when in a LDR, one must be a stronger person. What this means is that one must be a frequent supporter and positive motivator and believer.  This role can be solely one partners, both partners, or split 50-50. In my LDR I would like to say that our roles as supporters is 50-50, but truthfully my BF provides the most support. No matter what time of day he is my sunshine in a storm and the positive motivator pushing me to smile & not worry about uncontrollable things.

Having support throughout the time that the LDR takes place is not only needed, but necessary. Sometimes our absence in our significant others lives may feel greater than our presence if support in their lives is not largely given. But, this is an unspoken truth. Throughout my semi-LDR my BF and I learned that we had become each others biggest supporters, more so than friends and even our own family. This, however, did not happen overnight. Upon mutually deciding at our own times that we wanted to make our LDR work out we started providing unwavering support to one another. From the time of unemployment, preg scares, travel cancellations, and even break-up worries we have placed an importance on showing our long-term support for one another.

When living lives apart LDR couples will undoubtedly go through unstable periods in their life, some tied to their relationship and some matters related to other areas (i.e. family, work, etc.) Whatever they face they must remember that the LDR they had started will eventually end. They must remember that their life apart from their significant other will not last forever. Keeping this mindset will provide some comfort, but only some. In order to overcome their lives apart LDR couples must continuously work to keep their BF/GF a part of their other life. Staying as much involved in their partner’s lives by any means will help an LDR couple’s relationship remain strong and help LDR couples maintain their closeness connection.

Feeling connected and a part of each others lives is of upmost importance.  For me and my BF.  Sharing new experiences, updates, dreams, goals, and random thoughts all are  significant. With that said missing out on some important moments in our lives brings to light a stronger desire of support. As the new year approaches I am content with knowing that all new moments I experience will be shared with my BF and vice-versa. Though me and my BF can not determine how many important moments we will both miss in each others lives we can be positive believers that some day soon we will experience new moments, whether happy or sad, bad or good, joyful or devastating, physically together once again.







*Note: All  pictures posted are owned by the Yeppunshikan author, usage of these pictures without the owners consent is strictly prohibited.

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