Three months, ten months…that is how many months me and my boyfriend’s LDR gaps have been within the last year and a half. During my recent trip back Korea me and my boyfriend had not seen one another for nearly ten months prior. What seemed liked a passing dream for me and my boyfriend looking back now felt like a nerve-aching predicament throughout most of 2016.
Early last year me and my boyfriend entered into a long-term LDR, which is a typical type of LDR that a majority of international couples experience. Prior to long-term we were actually in a semi-LDR, which tested the waters of our relationship. I remember so clearly how neither of us wanted to enter into long-distance and yet we our relationship began as satellite city lovers.
Back in 2014 when I met my current boyfriend he was living in Bucheon, Korea and I was living in Seoul. For those not familiar with Korea’s cities Bucheon is a satellite suburb city twenty minutes outside of Seoul’s city-central and nearly one hour and twenty minutes from my former residence by Korea University. At that time my boyfriend and I would meet somewhere half-way or my boyfriend would commute all the way up to my neighborhood. It certainly earned him brownie-points for his show of effort. For three months we had commuted one hour almost to meet until I moved out of Seoul and relocated to another city Yongin for work. The move increased our distance to nearly two hours.
While living in Yongin my boyfriend and I went from seeing each other 2-3 times a week to seeing one another 1-3 times a month. It was not an ideal situation, however, we knew that distance was never viewed as a hindrance since the start of our relationship. So, once again we tried to meet in the middle or my boyfriend traveled from Bucheon to Yongin. For five to six months we dated while living cities apart from one another, never viewing distance as an inhibitor in our relationship. In fact, surprisingly, the extended distance only further strengthened our resolve and commitment to one another.
After nearly six months of living in Yongin I quit my English teaching position and with my boyfriend’s help moved back to Seoul. This time, I moved to the border area of Seoul and Bucheon in order to live closer to my boyfriend and finally end our long commutes. Living just twenty minutes apart brought us not only closer, but provided us with the opportunity to see each other more than ever before in our relationship. Though my boyfriend did not officially move-in with me he certainly was my most frequent guest.
Maybe our sudden closeness in proximity during that period made us forget for a brief moment that we experienced a distance in the past. Looking back now, at a time when we were nearly inseparable I can understand how my boyfriend would feel to have to go through distance again on a grander scale. But, disliking distance did not dissuade his feelings when I told him I would be returning to New York after we were experiencing a period of bliss in our relationship. For him, the moments together outweighed the distance apart.
Not a day goes by that we do not feel guilty in lengthening the streak of our LDR. While I was the one to propel us into a semi-LDR, we together chose to maintain a long-term LDR until we settle down. Personally, I do not regret the past decisions made that began our LDR. Those decisions in turn have motivated both me and my boyfriend to become better people for ourselves, as well as, better people for each other.
Often times LDR is viewed negatively or people do not widely support it no matter what stage of LDR you may be in. But, those people do not and can not comprehend what couples experience in LDRs. The experiences are individual and unique. They also can be beautiful depending on your outlook. For me and my boyfriend our LDR has been an enlightening experience on love. It has helped us confront growing pains, confirm commitments, and cherish our budding relationship that brought us together three years ago. Through our one year plus of long distance we still remain constantly engaged in each others lives providing support, solace, and companionship.
Overcoming our ten month long distance gap as mentioned was a nerve-aching experience for the two of us. But, it pushed us to work harder on career paths that will help us be closer together in near future. With that said we hope that we do not experience another ten months apart, we hope that we do not experience another one year plus apart, we hope that we will work out closing the distance yet again and by that time close it for good.
For all those who share LDR woes know that distance makes the heart grow stronger, and distance can not break the relationship only changing feelings can. Never give up on the spark that started your flame, cherish it and it will only grow.