Story of the Week
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Long Distance Relationship
I bought a computer and my 13 year old son showed me how to go to chat rooms. I was overwhelmed so I found a room with 4 people in it. I talked to these 3 people for a few hours and then one of them private chatted with me. I was very interested in what he had to say. He lived in the Netherlands and I did not even know where that was untill he said Holland. I said "Oh yeah the tulips and windmills right?" He just laughed and said "yes, and wooden shoes too." We became instant friends. It was also his first time in a chatroom and I think he was as nervous as me. We talked for hours that night. Then he told me what time it was. Four in the morning actually for him although it was only 10 pm for me.
We decided to meet at 4pm (for me) the next day in the same chat room. And from that day on we have talked to each other at least once a day since then. We also E-mail each other 2 times a day. In February 2002, six months after we met online, he decided it was time to meet in person. He flew in holding all the trust that I would show up at the Airport to pick him up. We were both so scared that day, but it was love at first sight. At least I felt it right away. He stayed with me for a week. When he left I felt like my whole world fell apart. He felt it too. It was the hardest thing I had ever had to do, just letting him go like that and not knowing what the future would hold for us. After this visit things seemed harder for us. The internet chat and phone calls seemed so impersonal. It felt cold and alone, and we both felt this right away. We soon found ourselves planning another visit. This time we wanted to spend more time together to see if what we have is true.
He came here in July of 2002 and then I went back with him to the Netherlands to meet his family. He was here 4 weeks and I stayed with him and his family for 2 weeks. This was 6 weeks all together and when it was over we both fell into depression. We talk about plans of being together, with him living here. But it is not that easy to do and with the war going on in Iraq and the economy falling here in the states. Work is a big issue for him. He has to make many adjustments because he is an electrician and works with the metric system. This was the first concern we had to deal with. Then in October of 2002 he came to visit me again. Two weeks again. And it went way too fast. He went home and we both felt alone and sad again. It was like an emotional roller coaster. We are so happy together and then when we are apart it is the saddest feeling we have ever felt. We continued to stay strong and talked everyday about our future and what we both want in life. He came back again at christmas 2002 and stayed 2 weeks. It was wonderful to spend time with him again. We both needed to feel close again. Again the seperation was difficult. But we stayed close with phone calls and talking everyday.
For my Birthday in February 2003 I went to visit him again. I spent two wonderful weeks with him and his family. I would easily go live with him except for 2 reasons. One, I dont speak Dutch wich makes it hard with everyone. Two, I have a teenage son who i can not make leave the only home he has ever known for a country where he cant speak to anyone either. We both Know that He will have to be the one to sacrafice and move away from his home. About a month ago in May of 2003 his parents came to visit and meet my family. They stayed with me and we had a wonderful holiday together. His parents and I get along real well just as He gets along with my parents too. Our relationship has just grown stronger and stronger. The problem I see with long distance relationships is that there are so many doubts and so many emotions involved. Every time he leaves me I think to myself that we are no closer to being together than we were when we met. My brain does that to me. I know better because if i look at the progress we have made over the last 2 years, I realize we have never been closer.
Many couples who are together all the time dont speak to each other as often as we do. I know everyday how he is feeling, how well he slept, and what his plans for the day are. I bet many married couples could not even say that about their mates. We have to share our feelings and fears and our happiness. We enjoy each other and we are there for each other everyday. I kiss him every morning and he kisses me every night. And I know as long as we stay strong and believe in each other that we will be together some day.
We have kept things interesting and fun everyday. We send each other cards in the mail and we have exchanged pictures and videos of our families so that we can feel closer to everyone. Sometimes he sends me packages with sweets and love notes and I send similar packages to him. He keeps in contact with my son VIA e-mail too. They even planned out a surprise for me on Valentines day and making my son part of the plan made him feel special. They have a good relationship. My son respects him and he gives respect in return. I have found the perfect match for me and as long as it takes I will hold on to this love of my life. I will try to update you later when we have the wedding!
Tammie, Michigan, USA
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Essential Tips for
Use thoughtful gifts to stay connected
Communicate as often as possible
Try to see one another at least every 4 weeks
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