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Relationships, Long Distance etc
« on: August 20, 2014, 03:37:35 pm »
Hello all. I have a question. For anyone who is currently has a long distance relationship while in South Korea, Japan, China or any other country can you explain how you keep it going? How do you keep it successful? For any responses just private message me. Thank you. Just asking for advice  ;D


  • ciannagh
  • Super Waygook

    • 275

    • March 03, 2014, 06:34:16 pm
    • Korea
Re: Relationships, Long Distance etc
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2014, 03:46:53 pm »
Anything I have to say isn't too personal so I'm just posting it here.

Skype, and an overall willingness to make things work. An understanding that you both are busy and most likely won't get to talk everyday, especially with the time difference. Lots and lots of patience, and trying not to be insecure and letting your brain jump to conclusions about things. Sounds simple, but it's not that easy when there's an ocean and you can frequently see the person.

A bit of realism knowing that long distance relationships will sometimes work, and sometimes fail.

It takes a lot of work, but it's honestly worth it. 

Good luck and be strong!


Re: Relationships, Long Distance etc
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2014, 03:53:33 pm »
Kind of the reverse of your situation but...

I met my girlfriend (Korean) in Ireland. She lived there for 2 years but had to come back to Korea to finish university. So I followed her here a few months after she left (to do the hagwon thing). At the end of my first contract, I went home for what turned into 6 months. So in our 4 and a half year relationship, we've lived in different countries for about 9 months. Next year, I'm planning to return to Ireland to do my English masters, so we'll be apart for the majority of the year.

The advice is simple, really. You need to keep in touch. If you arrange to Skype/call, stick to it religiously. Treat it like a date, even if it's at an inconvenient time for you. That said, you'll also need patience. The time difference can feel frustrating if you're used to more spontaneous communication. We used to send letters, which may seem old fashioned, but to have something tactile from the person you're apart from gives you a completely different feeling from hearing an alert message on your phone. Any excuse to send a small present or token should be taken.

You just need to be vigilant and remind yourself that your still with someone, if not with them. If you both want it to work, you can make it work.



  • MJHanson
  • Expert Waygook

    • 502

    • May 02, 2011, 09:42:58 am
    • Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Re: Relationships, Long Distance etc
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2014, 05:37:44 pm »
In my experience, you also need to have a solid plan of when you will be together again in the future.  It can't be indefinite.  You and your SO need to be planning your futures together with long-term goals in mind.

As others have said, Skype chatting needs to be frequent.  It needs to be a priority for both of you.  The one who is abroad will be changing in ways that the other may not understand.  You need to communicate these feelings so your SO can keep up with you. 

My experience:
I was in a LTR many years ago when my gf moved to Paris for grad school with the goal of returning to the US after one year to work on her thesis.  I was very critical of how expensive it was, and I think she resented me for not being more supportive. 

It started off fine.  But after a few months the video chats were getting canceled or cut short.  Sometimes it was clearly a nuisance for her to video chat with me.  Then she decided to go to India for a short internship instead of coming home for Christmas.  Then she decided she would stay in France a second year to work on her thesis.  The relationship fell apart after about 8 months.

Summary of why we split:
1)  I was not supportive enough of her decision to study abroad.
2)  She did not keep me as a priority. 
3)  Her goals changed while she was abroad and I didn't necessarily fit into her new future plans. 

The last reason was probably inevitable.  That's just how it goes sometimes.  But the first two were our own faults. 





  • nzer-in-gyeongnam
  • Moderator - LVL 3

    • 781

    • August 07, 2010, 01:23:29 pm
    • Gyeongnam-do
    more
Re: Relationships, Long Distance etc
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2014, 08:28:33 pm »
My now husband and I were long distance for 3 1/2 years. We had met online, I had traveled from my home country to his and stayed with him and his family 6 weeks, before returning home to complete my secondary teaching diploma.

While apart, we called and spoke on the phone every week, had an hour each day for chatting online on skype or yahoo chat, and wrote letters to one another once to twice a month.

When I was done with my diploma, he was still looking for a job in order for us to move to live somewhere together. I was working, but then got very sick, so lost all the money I had earned. I got a job in Korea, and then had him move over to live with me. 6 months later we were married.
"It's better to have tried and failed, than never to have tried at all!"
Teach this to your students... they'll thank you for it later!


Re: Relationships, Long Distance etc
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2014, 08:55:20 pm »
My now husband and I were long distance for 3 1/2 years. We had met online, I had traveled from my home country to his and stayed with him and his family 6 weeks, before returning home to complete my secondary teaching diploma.

While apart, we called and spoke on the phone every week, had an hour each day for chatting online on skype or yahoo chat, and wrote letters to one another once to twice a month.

When I was done with my diploma, he was still looking for a job in order for us to move to live somewhere together. I was working, but then got very sick, so lost all the money I had earned. I got a job in Korea, and then had him move over to live with me. 6 months later we were married.

Tinder actually works


Re: Relationships, Long Distance etc
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2014, 09:58:59 am »
I'm in one now and it's absolutely wonderful.

I was in one once before and it was the worst experience of my life.

The difference: communication, and, obviously, the guy. My current boyfriend is wonderful--supportive, we communicate extremely well, and we have the same interests and goals for our relationship. The previous LDR dude was jealous, controlling, and our communication was crap.

It's totally doable, you just have to work at it. What everyone has said has been spot on: communicate, make it a priority, and have a plan for when you'll next meet.

You can do it!


Re: Relationships, Long Distance etc
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2014, 10:21:00 am »
I'm six months in and have had an overall good experience. I agree with everything I've read so far. I will say that it's challenging and you have to be committed.

My situation is probably different from most in that we weren't together very long before I left and we didn't plan on doing long distance. But we remained friends and continued to e-mail each other regularly. After a few weeks over here I decided it's something I wanted to try and we talked about it on Skype. Since then, we've grown a lot closer. She recently visited for 2 weeks and we had a great time. Honestly, the hardest part has been recently after she left.

Here's what's helped us stay close and grow closer:

1. Skype as often as possible. We have a routine that we both stick to. If one of our internet isn't working or if something unexpected comes up, we compensate by going to a coffee shop or doing a Kakaotalk. She's an art major so she spends a lot of time in the studio, and at this time we might only talk for 5 minutes, which doesn't sound like much but even such a short call can mean a whole lot.
2. Find activities - We play a lot of computer games together and sometimes watch TV shows together. It really helps to have something to do because talking to a computer screen can get a little old and it's challenging to keep the conversation fresh.
3. Visit - Her visit here gave us both something to look forward to. We did a countdown and when feeling lonely, I think we both felt encouraged that there was something to look forward to.
4. Communicate - Let each other know how you feel. The fact is, you're taking on a big challenge and it won't always be easy. Be supportive of each other. Also, talk about future plans. If you're doing long distance, this should be someone who expect to have a future with, otherwise, what's the point? It also makes it easier to know you're on the same page.
5. Maintain friends and seek out activities - While you need to dedicate time to each other, you also need to dedicate time to yourself. Find distractions and build friendships. Really, this is good advice for any relationship.
6. Feel good - A lot of people will cringe when you tell them what you're doing. I've gotten lots of "ldr never work" and more often "that seems so terrible" with pained expressions. Feel good for taking on the challenge and working for commitment.

I know there's more to say, but this is getting long.

TL:DR be dedicated to making it work and feel confident in your decision to try.
But how do I know what to lick and what not to lick?


  • mikeD
  • Super Waygook

    • 417

    • March 31, 2013, 07:46:49 pm
    • Geoje, South Korea
Re: Relationships, Long Distance etc
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2014, 01:08:45 pm »
I've been with my girlfriend for 9 years. We done quite a bit of long distance. This is my second year in Korea and will be my last because of it. I would stay longer but I have my babe that wants me back. This is actually the 3rd time I do long distance with her. What can I say, I am a travelling man. The other two times were for school. Once in Singapore and the other in my home country. We have always lived together but the we get these breaks which are fine. Things are still great between us and we are both moving forward with our life apart but together. I don't have to think about meeting girls so my mind is on other things. Its kind of great. Long distance can work but ones my has to be in the right place and they have to be committed. It all depends what you want.


  • nzer-in-gyeongnam
  • Moderator - LVL 3

    • 781

    • August 07, 2010, 01:23:29 pm
    • Gyeongnam-do
    more
Re: Relationships, Long Distance etc
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2014, 01:40:31 pm »
My now husband and I were long distance for 3 1/2 years. We had met online, I had traveled from my home country to his and stayed with him and his family 6 weeks, before returning home to complete my secondary teaching diploma.

While apart, we called and spoke on the phone every week, had an hour each day for chatting online on skype or yahoo chat, and wrote letters to one another once to twice a month.

When I was done with my diploma, he was still looking for a job in order for us to move to live somewhere together. I was working, but then got very sick, so lost all the money I had earned. I got a job in Korea, and then had him move over to live with me. 6 months later we were married.

Tinder actually works

Tinder? Er, We didn't meet on a website. I should be more specific, a friend of mine at university had been introduced to my husband by a friend of hers. She and I were talking one night, and she wanted me to relay my story to her 'friend' in America, so I started chatting to him, and we hit it off right a way. We began chatting daily, and soon my friend was jealous of the relationship that was building between my husband and I.

I guess... if you are in a place, mentally, where you feel you can survive a long distance relationship, where you feel you can trust the person you're in a relationship with, and where you can be completely honest and open with that person, then you'll be able to stick out the distance and time. If you feel that you can't trust that person, can't trust yourself not to look or fool around (and it's not okay'd by your significant other) or you aren't ready, then any attempt at a long distance relationship is not going to work.

The best advice I can give:

COMMUNICATION, TRUST, DEDICATION and PLANNING are the most important things to a long distance relationship.
"It's better to have tried and failed, than never to have tried at all!"
Teach this to your students... they'll thank you for it later!


  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2468

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
Re: Relationships, Long Distance etc
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2014, 02:20:42 pm »
Tie the knot seemed to work for me. My wife and I got married last month and we are very much in a long-distance relationship. A few months after we started dating in Korea, she accepted a job in Dubai. She works there, and has been there two years this month. We meet each other as often as possible, but our most important communication lines are skype and kakao talk. We won't be together for another year, but we will honeymoon for a month in Hawaii as well as me spending a month in Dubai in January and her coming for two weeks at the end of November. She already came to Korea twice this year and I spent almost a month in Dubai this past January.

We trust each other and would do anyting for each other. We probably have skype on for a minimum of three hours a day, whether we are talking, watching videoes, taking a nap, eating, or studying. We are both also in masters programs, so that keeps us slighty busy, but making goals on how we can be together and making each goal more meaningful than the last has really made our relationship as strong as a mountain.


Re: Relationships, Long Distance etc
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2014, 02:47:42 pm »
If it's a really strong relationship, it won't be that hard. I had a great girlfriend in the States before I left for Korea. Originally I was planning on staying here for two years, and the thought of our relationship surviving seemed idealistic to say the least. So I kind of used that as an excuse to breakup, but the real reason was just that I wasn't ready to settle down. Now, almost two years in, I realized it could have easily been done. She's visited me, I've visited her, and we still stay in touch almost daily.

You just do everything you can. If your significant other can visit you, make it happen. If you can visit them, make it happen. Skype, kakao calls, whatever. All those things help but I think ultimately the strength of the relationship and the confidence you both have are what's most important. Stay busy and the time will go by quickly. 



  • ashe1590
  • Super Waygook

    • 428

    • August 27, 2013, 01:07:13 pm
Re: Relationships, Long Distance etc
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2014, 03:05:25 pm »
This is not meant to be a rude or antagonistic question, but I am genuinely curious how peoples partners have reacted when they've decided to come to Korea and/ or be the one 'leaving', and how you have felt if you were the one left behind.

I ask this because personally, I think I would have a very hard time being left behind in a situation where my partner is actively choosing to spend a year or more away from me. Unlike if they're forced to move, you're essentially choosing to leave your partner and not be with them. Was that a hard decision to make, and did they feel angry towards you for it?


  • MJHanson
  • Expert Waygook

    • 502

    • May 02, 2011, 09:42:58 am
    • Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Re: Relationships, Long Distance etc
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2014, 07:09:44 pm »
This is not meant to be a rude or antagonistic question, but I am genuinely curious how peoples partners have reacted when they've decided to come to Korea and/ or be the one 'leaving', and how you have felt if you were the one left behind.

I ask this because personally, I think I would have a very hard time being left behind in a situation where my partner is actively choosing to spend a year or more away from me. Unlike if they're forced to move, you're essentially choosing to leave your partner and not be with them. Was that a hard decision to make, and did they feel angry towards you for it?

I had been with my gf for 2.5 years (and we were living together) when she moved away to Europe for grad school.  There were better and cheaper grad programs in the US, but she really wanted to live in Paris.  I was definitely resentful and I didn't hide it very well.  She left with the best intentions of making our relationship work, but eventually it was clear that she was moving in a new direction and I wasn't part of it.  As I posted above, we both made mistakes that led to our LDR not working.

Looking back, I don't blame her at all.  If someone has a dream, they have to pursue it.  Life is too short to have missed opportunities.  You can either go abroad together as a couple, or try to make a LDR work.  If you do it right, it will be fine. 


  • twinsaurus
  • Veteran

    • 84

    • February 22, 2014, 12:22:03 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Relationships, Long Distance etc
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2014, 04:31:52 pm »
I wouldn't advise anyone to try an LDR, basically. I have done it twice unfortunately. The first time was horrible because I was young and expected too much of my partner (US-UK). The second was great (US-Korea) but the long distance was an incredible strain. We were apart for seven months and both were going through a lot of defining life changes so at one point we were skyping twice a day just to get the assurance that we were both still the same and we would be able to pick up where we left off when we finally got together again. Happy to say I got back to Korea last week and we've never been better. Similar to what these people have been saying, I can think of two hard and fast rules for a successful LDR (and even then it might not work):

1. Communication. All the time. More than you think is necessary. Never hold back.
2. A tangible end point. If you don't have a real plan for when to get back together, your relationship will experience torture for a very long time before failing in the worst possible way.

To put it briefly, if I never had cause to use Skype again I would die a happy woman.