True Story: We’ve Had An International Long-Distance Relationship For The Last 3.5 Years

This is one of many True Story interviews in which we talk to people who have experienced interesting/challenging/amazing things. This is the story of Ashley and Peter and how they’ve made their Canada/Texas relationship work for the past 3.5 years.


Tell us a bit about yourself!

Ashley: Hi, I’m Ashley, a 29 year old life coach and I currently split my time between Texas and Canada. When I’m not helping women figure out what the heck they want to do with their lives + find the confidence and courage to actually go through with it, I’m training for marathons, obsessing over The Voice, and experimenting with new green smoothies recipes (apple cinnamon is my fav, so far).

Peter: I’m Peter. I’m from Canada. I’m a writer. And you should never ask a gentleman his age.

How did you two meet?

Ashley: Back in 2008, I had a personal blog where I mostly wrote about bad dates and fun nights out with friends. I remembered finding Peter’s blog through a mutual friend and thinking he was “so popular.” It took almost 6 moths for either of us to leave a comment on each other’s blogs (he had so many readers and I thought he was too cool for me). After a few years of commenting, we began emailing and gchatting as friends.

Peter: A mutual friend had linked to Ashley’s (long ago) blog and called her “my blog crush.” And since I think I should be everyone’s blog crush, I went to check out this Ashley person. It wasn’t long before I understood the crush. I loved how open and honest she is with her writing. I actually heard her speaking voice on her blog before ever seeing her pretty face. I had a voice crush!

What was your first thought when you realized how far apart you were? And when did you think that it might be worth it to make a go of it?

Ashley: I knew he lived in Canada from the beginning, but I didn’t think about it too much. Although I did make him ask for my phone number twice, just to make sure he was serious. After a few months I was all-in. It helped that I love to travel and I wasn’t committed to staying in Texas forever, so I always assumed I’d be the one to move eventually.

Peter: Early on the distance didn’t seem like a big deal to me. I felt the connection and I just needed to get to know her better. I had to find out if we’d hit it off. It was only once I was completely smitten that I realized how far away Texas is. Our feelings grew quickly and grew big. She was always worth taking a chance on.

Tell us about your first in-person meeting!

Ashley: I went up to Canada for a few days to stay with him. It was strange because we had been friends for 3 years and dating (via Skype and the phone) for a while, but I was still so nervous. My stomach was in knots and I was shaking. We hugged for a while and then kissed. It was better than I had ever imagined. After about 30 minutes, the nervousness went away and it was like we had always been together.

Peter: I was mildly surprised at how composed she was in the face of my spectacular good looks. Actually my feelings went like this:

“Wow. She’s gorgeous.”

“I get to make out with her soon!”

“My heart is beating really fast.”

“I should make out with her right now.”

How often do you talk/write/skype each other? And how do you stay ‘present’ in your day-to-day life when you’re apart – instead of just thinking about your far-away partner all the time?

Ashley: We talk every day, and probably a lot more than most couples. Since we both work from home, we’re able to be on Skype as much as we want, whenever we want. Sometimes we’ll have to go longer periods of time without talking, if one of us has guests or is out of town, but we try to talk at least once a day. It was a struggle for me to be present in the beginning, but now I’ve relaxed a bit and I know he’ll always be there, so it’s easier to enjoy the moment when I’m out doing things and not talking to him every five seconds, ha.

Peter: We’re on Skype as much as humanly possible. And when we’re not, we’re on gchat/google hangout, Whatsapp or the phone. With the technology at our disposal, there is no excuse for not keeping in touch. Sure it’s not nearly as good as in person, touching, but we do our best to feel like we’re in the same room.

I’m sure a lot of people would struggle with trust issues having their partner so far away. How have you dealt with that?

Ashley: It’s crazy- this hasn’t really been a big issue for us. From the beginning, we made it clear that we were in this together and on the same team. When we go out with friends, we’ll send each other a text and try to keep them in the loop as much as possible. I want him to feel like he’s important and part of my life, even if he can’t physically be here with me all the time.

Peter: We trust each other. We’ve never given each other any reason not to. We communicate well. We check in. We have had jealous moments. But we’ve done our best to make sure they are small and infrequent. And we’ve allowed each other to be jealous, and feel comfortable admitting it. It’s all about communication.

How do you deal with the, um, intimate aspect of your relationship when you go three months without seeing each other?

Ashley: With so much technology, we find ways to make it work, if you know what I mean. It’s not the same as being in the same room, but it works for the times when we’re apart.

Peter: Yes and Yes girl, you’re naughty! My word. I wonder if I type “SKYPE BOOTY!” if Ashley is going to delete it before emailing you. We’ll see. I guess I would sum it up by saying that I am a writer who is very good at describing details, and Skype does nothing to take away from Ashley’s remarkable hotness.

What’s keeping you from being together full-time? Do you think that will be resolved anytime soon? How long are you willing to keep up the 3 months together/3 months apart arrangement?

Ashley: Being from different countries makes it challenging. With just a passport, we’re only allowed to visit for 3 months at a time. Plus, we’re both building our own businesses, so that’s our top priority at the moment. Within the next year, I’m planning on applying for a visa so that we can spend more than 3 months at a time together.

Peter: Citizenship stuff. Work stuff. We’ll resolve it soon enough. Then I’ll continue my Canadianifying of a Texas girl. Eh, y’all?

What are the benefits of a long-term, long-distance relationship? The drawbacks?

Ashley: The benefits are that you really get to know the person on a deeper level, because there aren’t as many distractions like superficial dates watching Iron Man. Plus, it allows you more freedom to live you life how you want, without always accounting for your partner. I can eat s’mores and watch The Holiday on Saturday night and he won’t care. And I don’t have to shave my legs as often! The drawbacks are that it’s hard being apart for so long. Your family asks questions, especially around the holidays. You don’t get hugs whenever you want. Plane tickets are expensive. And you can’t curl up in bed with your love after a long day.

Peter: I think the drawbacks are obvious. No touching. No kissing. No hugging. Benefits are harder to find. I think in the beginning, it made us have to get to know each other. We couldn’t just hop in the sack. We talked. We shared. I courted her.

What’s one thing you’ve learned from this that any of us could apply to our day-to-day live?

Ashley: Everything worth having is worth fighting for.

Peter: You gotta work hard to make any relationship work. LDRs are no different. But if it’s the right person, it’s worth it.Thanks so much for sharing your story, guys! Are any of you in long-term, long-distance relationships? How have you made them work?

P.S. How to date a younger man and 4 little ways to show people you love them

34 Comments

Naomi

I'm marrying my fiance this summer, but we've been in a long-distance relationship for four and a half years…I'm from the US, he's from the Czech Republic!

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Kaisa M.

This was such a fun interview to read! While I haven't been in a long distance relationship I have noticed one thing with my long distance friends – if it's worth it it'll last regardless the distance and obstacles.

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Anonymous

I follow Ashley's blog and it was so interesting to know her on this level. Wow! this was so interesting

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jill

I was in an LDR (me = Canada, him = USA) for 6 years. What Ashley and Peter say about getting to know each other on a much deeper level is very true. It's funny, because it's something people tend to assume *doesn't* happen in an LDR – after it ended, I used to get a lot of comments to the extent of "Well, you two must not have known each other very well." I would then have to correct them that, in fact, I knew more about him than anyone I've met in my entire life (including friends I've had since I was in diapers), and have never felt closer to anyone, either (six years of talking for 3 – 6 hours every day = no time for superficial time spent, indeed!). Even though it's been 4 years since it ended and I've since found myself in another relationship, this still holds true.

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Sarah Von Bargen

Yeah, that totally makes sense! A few years ago I left on a six week trip after I'd just started dating a guy. As strange as it sounds, it was actually really nice. It taught us how to miss each other and gave us a chance to do silly, cute things like postcards and care packages.

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Anonymous

Chile – England, almost one year. We make it work with Google Chat & Whatsapp & Facebook messaging. We should actually work harder but with him in school, me working full time, our social lives + the time difference, we don't talk as much as we should.

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Catherine

This is such a sweet story! I don't think I could survive a long distance relationship, I need too many hugs! Good on you guys for doing it though 🙂

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Dawn

I did long distance for a year when I lived in the Middle East and my boyfriend lived in Ireland. We had been dating for 4 months before I moved to Dubai. We made it work with GChat & Skype, and long emails. You get to know each other so well after hours of talking and Skyping but you can end up so frustrated that you can't see them whenever you want!

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Sharon Ogugu

My boyfriend and I have been in a long distance relationship since September of 2009. He came back to Kenya for a month on 2011 and for another 5 weeks in 2013. I have plans to visit him in Germany, where he studies, sometime this year. Meanwhile, Skype and Whatsapp help keep us in touch everyday. Reading this blog post has given me such hope for the future because it turns out that Paul and I are not alone.

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Athena

What a great love story! I've just recently started a LDR with someone who lives all the way across the country and we are trying to make it work. I'm not sure what the future exactly holds ( school, moving, other commitments, etc) but I'm open to seeing how things progress. It's so refreshing to see a couple committed.

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jackie peaslee

I am also in a long distance international relationship (I live in Canada and my boyfriend lives in PA). We have been dating 3 years this up coming summer. I really relate to what these guys were saying and love seeing that others can have such a positive attitude on a not always easy relationship.
Much love!
Jackie.

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Anonymous

I wish you good luck.. My relationship just broke up today.. 🙁 My wife is leaving me tomorrow with my little lovely one year old girl to Turkey.. Which is pretty far away. When she told me that she already got ticket and I should play with my daughter for last time, my heart was smashed on bilion little peaces, my whole life fly in front of my eyes. Now, only thing i have got left is my cat and bike – which I will ride on to the end of the world and back. Life is not fair.. ;(

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Stephanie

My name is Stephanie Lewis and I am a casting director in NYC. I am developing a docu-series around couples in inter-country long distance relationships, so I would love to chat with anyone on this page who would like to share their stories. Please feel free to reach out for more information on the project. Thanks so much!

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Sandy Harding

Hello Stephanie:

I googled mature couple 6 years in a long distance relationship and I landed here. I be most interested in chatting with you and learning more about your project. Thanks, Sandy!

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Susan Do

I was really believe in long distance relationship .But now i don't believe anymore .Some guys make me feel this love isn't true

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sij

Do you think we will still be together after years, if we ended already our relationship? I’m from Philippines and he’s from Bangladesh but studying in china. I still love him. He’s reason of breaking up with me is that he said he’s tired and we don’t have future together, but i never believe on it, I know he broke up with me because of his studies.

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Zuki

Reading your story is very inspiring as I am now in a relation ship internationally and need inspiration to not lose my brain. Could we maybe communicate through email so i could get some advice/help on how to cope with this separation.

Thank you

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Chidi Emmanuel

Hi Stephanie, I am Chidi from Nigeria, am in lagos and my girl is in Enugu like 520km distance.
I met her when am nobody, at her hot age (19yrs) 2008 December, 8yrs now.. we have bn best of friends, for me she is tne best gal tnat I have ever meet… we are planning our wedding next yr but now, I dont know what came over her it seems like she has lost the love zhe has for me. I just forced her to social network cus I want her to be wide and exposed b4 we marry….
Her attitude just changed, and he is hurting my feeling everyday… everyday am pleading to her and and now am tired, I v bn thinking of another gal that I can settle down with but I love this girl, she has loved me unconditionally,…
what should I do?

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Catherine

Hi im catherine from phils me hubby his from england nearly 3years ldr this coming december 2016 and finally we will end the distance and we living together for our future at first its so very hard being in a longdistance relationship but somehow u realize when u love eachother u can bit the distance true patients loyalty,trust etc.

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anggy

i just broke up with my bf, i didnt felt that i made some mistakes, he left me at the end well actually he promise he gotta go to see me to my country, but i didnt know the reason he left me i feels like terrible now, the last he said is he didnt felt any feeling but at first he wants me so much more and want to married me but i thought he talkin shitty ! i was really believing with online dating but now i feel like confusing which is right or not , help me thanks

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Harith Iskandar

I’ve been searching the net for a story like this 🙂 Thank you for giving me hope. I’m in an LDR with the girl of my dreams. I’m from Singapore and she’s from the Philippines. I know it’s crazy but we’ve dated for 1.5 months and I know that she’s the one I wanna marry. After some planning we know that we’ll have to wait for 6 years+ for us to get married. We don’t know if we’ll get approval from our parents… We’re planning on migrating somewhere quiet. We skype and whatsapp call a lot so communication isn’t a problem. I just hope we’re both strong enough to go through the waiting… Well what is 6 or 7 years as compared to 50 or 70 years with the one you love most? Or anything can happen maybe I’ll be a millionaire and be able to give her the life the she deserves. What I know now is that I love her with every fibre of my being and I’m gonna marry her someday even if I have to do it in secret. Wish us luck 🙂

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amanku

very simple but meaningful to understand…..relationship in long distance sometimes hard when she is crying..she is very sensitive girl..well its all about understanding..remember love need sacrifice..when the love is too deep it will kill you soon..I mean when someone playing u so deep.

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Kathy

I too am in a LDR with a man in Nigeria. I live in Tennessee. We met on a dating site while he was in Scotland. He was expecting to be back in the US in 5 weeks but his company transferred him to Nigeria. Its now been 11 months! We are both committed to our relationship. I know him as well as any guy Ive ever dated. Probably better. We talk or text everyday. Some people have said our love can’t be real that we are not getting a true picture of life. I love him and love reading stories about others that have lived through a LDR. I know that what we are experiencing is real.

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Huehue

I’m in a long distance relationship. It’s need 3 years and I still am in love with my baby girl. All I want now is a baby with her. She is blackish btw. I love the long night we spend in person when we smoke weed and spit on each other. To be completely honest I cheated on her 6 times so far but sex with someone else is never going to be like touching that booty. We are going to see each other next week and my dirty plan is to cum in her so when she calls me daddy I feel it’s not a lie anymore.

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Rayne

Hi Stephanie,

I am just beginning a ldr my boyfriend is moving to Japan for school. We were living together, and I am now in Japan set to leave for home in Hawaii in 4 days, alone. this will be the beginning of our ldr, and I am dying.

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pratibha

Hi! My name is pratibha and I’m also in a LDR international! I’m from India and my bf is from USA ! Any suggestions

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Ananthi Mathur

(LDR) requires a lot of dedication, a spurt of imagination, creativity, and more importantly, a dedicated me-time allocated for both the partners.
The lack of a physical connection in long distance relationships is often the breeding ground for cheating, and slow brewing breakups, if you aren’t completely content in other departments.
You might not be doing anything that counts as infidelity, but the fact that you hide details can cause some major trust issues, especially when you are in a long distance relationship. No relation, romantic or not, survive without trust.

Reply

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