“My story has been going on for about two years now, so I consider myself (in my modest opinion) capable of giving you a view into my experience of a long-distance relationship.
After my studies at the Antwerp University, I decided to add an extra year at a business school in Belgium. This “master-after-master” degree is a management program taking you around the world, with courses spread over three continents. We’d be travelling with a group of international students.
We started in Antwerp, where I actually hardly ever talked with the guy that is now my boyfriend. When we went to India for our second trimester, though, I came to understand the Indian culture a lot better.
My boyfriend owns a motorbike, as I had never been on a bike before, of course, I had to go for a ride! For a second, though, I’d forgotten I’d have to face the busy, chaotic streets of Bhubaneswar, India…
Nevertheless, I did feel quite safe sitting behind my boyfriend, not sure if I could wrap my arms around him to hold on or not. Even though the plan was to just drive from the restaurant we’d gone to with the whole class for a birthday dinner back to the hostel, he took me all around the city. So, you guessed it! I was SOLD.
But even though I had a lot of doubts then, I decided to start investigating. I started talking to him and we never stopped.
Of course, the school year ended at the end of June. We had lived closely together for almost half a year, studied together, been on adventures together in India and New York, and we’d never been more than a month apart in that period. I got into this thing knowing that it would end at some point, but I wasn’t ready to say goodbye just yet!
That’s why I went back to India the following September, while my boyfriend continued the second year of his MBA. It was the right decision for our relationship. The three months between our graduation in New York and our reunion in India were tough, to say the least.
The only thing I can say is that I have a lot of faith in my boyfriend. I do believe he is serious about me and that he (nor I) should see any reason to shut down our relationship for something other than the fact that we don’t love each other any more. Religion, culture, distance, people’s opinions… are not enough.
But still, how the hell do you keep it up? Like I said: trust is key. As is transparency. I tell my boyfriend everything. He does too.
The timezone isn’t a problem either. During the summer there is a 3.5h difference and in the winter it’s an hour more. My boyfriend stays up late though, so more often than not we turn in for the night around the same time. It’s become a ritual to call each other before we go to sleep and tell each other about our day.
Something I learned from being in a relationship with someone I haven’t seen more than I have seen him is that you enjoy the little things a lot more intensely. Our short calls every morning to wish each other a great day at work do wonders! And the moments we are together we really cherish.
Indeed, it’s not at all easy being in an LDR. Sometimes I feel lonely and alone. You’re together with someone you love, but they’re not there. You do live your relationship in a more intense way. The ups and downs can be quite extreme.
I’m keeping the faith that trust, transparency and commitment are all it takes to unlock a successful LDR. And countdowns. I seriously can’t wait to see him again!”