Being in a long distance relationship, I quickly figured out different ways to keep in touch with Neil while I’m here teaching English in Korea. I’m not talking about calling cards and emails, but other methods of communication.This could be a double edged sword in that it could help you keep in touch with your friends and family, yet also leave you missing them even more. I want to share with you what Neil and I did to make our long distance relationship work.
One thing we used as often as possible was Facetime. It’s essentially the same thing as Skype, except for Macbooks, iPhones, and iTouches. I prefer it over Skype because it’s easier to access, there are fewer lag moments, and you have more privacy than Skype. For example, in Skype other people can call you while you’re in the middle of a call. You can use Facetime as long as you have a wifi connection.
Occasionally, Neil and I like to go on “dates.” Working at ChungDahm I have plenty of time in the day to relax. It’s nice to Facetime while I’m eating breakfast, and he’s eating dinner and we watch a movie together. We’ll rent a movie on iTunes and I’ll turn off the volume on mine and match the movie up with his sound. I think it’s nice to still have “dates” even though we’re miles apart.
One cool way of communication we use is AIM. I know for many of us AIM is a thing of the past. However, I use it to text his phone. You simply go to ‘File’ and ‘New Text’ and you insert the number with +1 in the beginning. Being able to text his phone gave our relationship some sense of normalcy.
It’s important to stay involved in each other’s lives and day to day activities. Neil and I share a Google calendar on Gmail where we put our schedules and appointments, and maybe even what we’re thinking about that day. We slowly stopped using this calendar since we Facetimed so often. However, I think it would be cool to have a calendar of pictures. Where you post pictures for each day of something that made you think of your significant other or wanted to share with them.
When I first arrived here, people heard about my boyfriend back home, and all they said was “good luck”. They said that they knew tons of people who came to Korea to teach English while trying to hold onto their relationships, and it rarely works out. A long distance relationship is possible if you are committed, willing to invest money into visiting each other, talk regularly, and love and trust each other.
Yuna Lee is a current instructor at Chung Dahm Learning. Yuna was born and raised in the D.C. metropolitan area and graduated from the University of Mary Washington. She has traveled to many different places including Honduras, Ecuador, and Nepal. However with her father being Korean, she wanted to learn more about her heritage, so she set off to Seoul, Korea to do some soul-searching. Now, she is loving the freedom and independence of her post-college life. Teaching at Chung Dahm has been such a rewarding experience. Follow her blog to read up on the interesting things she has to share!