by Erandi Ortiz
People usually get surprised when they find out that I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for six years. To be honest with you, I don’t really understand why. Is it really that impressive for young people to be in a long-lasting relationship? Or is it because of what you’ll read next: all those years have been long distance?
Early this year, I moved here to New Zealand from Mexico. It may not sound very exciting as people move all the time, but for me, it was a first. I moved to a new continent, a new country, a new house, and even changed currencies. I put my friends, my family, and my boyfriend on hold but our “terrifying” relationship didn’t start from there. As I mentioned before, we’ve been in this long distance relationship (let’s call it LDR for the sake of time) for years. Even back home, I only got to see him every other weekend. Somehow, we’ve managed so far.
When you don’t get to see your special someone every day, it puts everything in perspective.
I guess in a situation such as this we are lucky to live in an era where the biggest impediment to keeping in touch with your loved one is the time zone difference. We Skype, we text, and we send each other funny memes every day. We may be physically apart, but our gadgets and the internet bring us closer to each other. Nevertheless, my boyfriend and I have found that there is a huge difference between a same-country LDR and a trans-Pacific one. It’s still a little bit weird to come to the end of a long week thinking we’ll see each other for at least a couple of days only to realise, “Hey, I’m not only at the other end of the world, but I’m also 20 hours ahead… in the future.” It’s not easy, but I like to think it is worth it. It’s worth it because of the feelings, good and bad ones, are more intense and if you can go the distance, you can get through almost anything!
When you don’t get to see your special someone every day, it puts everything in perspective. You learn to be independent of that person without loving them any less and also you learn to love yourself first. Before I left home and came to New Zealand, I was faced with questions like: “What are you two gonna do?” “Have you talked about it?” “Is he going to visit you?” “Have you broken up yet?” If you ever consider getting into this kind of relationship, keep in mind that people will always have an opinion. How much you let them get to you is your choice.
I guess there is no secret formula for a successful LDR… or any relationship for that matter. Trusting and respecting each other are vital and so is remembering to have fun and keep things interesting. Every relationship is different, and all of them come with ups and downs. Whatever the length or distance of your relationship, make sure you enjoy the journey because that’s what it’s all about.