SEXtember: International students’ perspectives on long-distance relationships
DO long distance relationships work and how have international students managed their own? Trinity College Foundation Studies students Samuel Richard Mart and Helmi Santoso gather students’ perspectives.
Bree, 19 from Cambodia
I had a Cambodia-USA long distance relationship and it didn’t work. I felt that distance affected both of us because there was a 12 hour time difference. So whenever we got the chance to Skype, we basically just watched each other sleep.
Expressing our feelings was hard because sometimes [I] decided to bottle up my feelings because [I didn’t] want to affect his mood. At first, I thought that long distance relationships were worth it. But, after it ended, it just wasn’t worth it anymore.
I think that communicating and expressing feelings are crucial to maintain a good long distance relationship.
Lin, 18 from Taipei
For me, long distance relationships do give a lot of challenges. I had been in a long distance relationship for three months with my girlfriend in Taipei. Distance does affect the style of my relationship.
I consider it hard for both because distractions can interrupt [the relationship] at all time. It is still common for some girls in my country to still be set up by their parents for marriage. Getting used to not being with each other is the hardest challenge for me. But, as long as communication does not break down, I am confident that long distance relationships will work.
In my opinion, long distance relationships are worth everything despite the tough challenges.
Josh, 19 from South Korea
Although my relationship didn’t work, I still see long distance relationships from a positive perspective.
Long distance relationships are incredibly hard, but [there is] a special feeling when we finally meet. I think [being in one] also made me more mature. The challenge for me was that I didn’t know what was going on with her life.
Nevertheless, being in a long distance relationship was worth it because I learned a lot of lessons for my future relationship.
Gerry, 18 from Indonesia
Long distance relationships are not too hard.
I have been in a relationship for five years now and I see no challenge [in it] except with communication and I don’t feel any changes from both of us. Long distance relationships also make moments more valuable when we finally meet each other. I am pretty sure that LDR makes relationship stronger.
The important thing is don’t forget to call, and DON’T EVER forget your anniversaries and her birthdays.
Perry, 19 from Thailand
Experience does matters but I don’t think it’s hard because I am used to being in long distance relationships. Distance affects my feelings positively — I feel more independent and more mature even though I don’t feel the same about my boyfriend.
When it comes to feelings, gender doesn’t matter. I think that being uptight and possessive is bad for a long distance relationship. However, I don’t seem to be confident about the future of my relationship.
Sophie, 19 from Russia
I agree that it is hard. I find it hard to keep my mood because I can’t help but think about my relationship and sometimes it interrupts my studies, which is not good. Whether it’s hard or not, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a boy or a girl, it depends on the person.
I think that meeting each other is the most important, and like most optimists, I think that long distance relationships are worth it.
This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.