The Hard Truth About Long Distance Relationships

Yes, it’s worth it if you also count failure as a learning experience.

Watching the scooters and cars whooshing by, I was glad to be sitting a block away in the shade. A grandpa in his wheelchair, accompanied by an Indonesian lady, was sitting a few feet from me.

An hour had passed, and we were still on the phone…

Me: I can make the sacrifice. I am willing to move for you, but I need some kind of guarantee. *thinking*

He: What kind of guarantee?

Me: If I were to follow you, you need to convince me that you can lead.

He: That makes sense. I can see that.

Me: Can you support me financially if I couldn’t get a job right away? *tone serious*

He: I want to, but let me think. I need time. *breathing into the built-in microphone on his earbuds*

Me: I’d say let’s take it one step at a time, but I also don’t want to be naively optimistic. Based on my experience, if we couldn’t make this a short-distance, the chances are we may not be together a year or two from now.

Photo by gaku on Unsplash


It had only been three weeks, but we both realized the challenges.

They are daunting.

We had sensed the mental distance separating us despite our daily communications.

It is so much easier to hide our complaints and resentment when we are not face-to-face.


The sound of a slow-moving train always provides me with a sense of comfort. Sitting across from each other, we looked around and noticed how empty it was despite it being a Sunday.

Looking out the window, I wanted to savour this moment but my mind drifted…

Me: I think we were living parallel lives. Even though we had spend a few days together every month, we would still do our own things. We hung out with different groups of friends. I know I did try to share my life with him on the phone, but I just felt that he wasn’t interested. But, maybe I didn’t listen to him either… *a long sigh*

He sat quietly, but eyes fixed on mine, encouraging me to go on.

Me: We just didn’t realize it. We thought, “Oh wow, we haven’t fought in years. That’s a sign of how stable our relationship is.” *fake chuckle*

Still listening, he leaned forward and held my hands.

He: You both did what you thought was right. We each go through our own set of experiences to learn and grow. Accept your past. Accept yourself.

Photo by Nelson Eulalio on Unsplash

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