Long distance relationships are hard. That’s not really news, is it? Six years ago when I was moving back to the US from England, Dan and I had to decide if we wanted to stay together. We had to decide if 4,000 miles was not only worth it, but possible. I spent some time searching for inspiring long distance relationship stories on the internet, but … I didn’t find anything!
But years later, we are still together. It’s not always easy, but it’s so incredibly worth it – and ultimately, that’s what it boils down to. Making a choice every day to invest in your relationship because it’s worth it to have that person in your life, even if you can’t physically be together.
With more and more people in long distance relationships these days, I decided to reach out to some of my fellow bloggers to share their inspiring long distance relationship stories. I’ve loved reading through their stories – many are now reunited after years apart, and others like myself and Dan are still pursuing long distance (with the optimism we’ll be reunited some day soon!). I hope you enjoy these stories, and unlike my unsuccessful Google searches back in 2014, I hope they bring you some comfort that you’re not alone.
Inspiring Long Distance Relationship Stories From Couples Around the World
1. Sarah & Dan’s Story
From: USA & UK
“Dan and I met in a way even romantic comedy writers would roll their eyes at (you can read more about it here). In 2013, I was studying abroad in England for a year, and he was a British student at the same university. We met through mutual friends at a Halloween party and started dating after that. That eight month time span was the only time we’ve lived in the same town, during our almost seven year relationship!
Since then, we’ve been in a long distance relationship. I’m not going to lie, it was rocky at the start, and we actually broke up for a few months. A 5 hour time difference is tough for anyone, and at 20 years old, that was a huge commitment. We weren’t very good at being broken up, though, and after only a few months we got back “together” – even though we were 4,000 miles apart.
In 2015 I moved back to England, where I lived for the next three years, but we were still long distance. With an hour’s drive between us, though, that didn’t seem bad at all. Due to visa, health, and career reasons, I decided to move back to the USA in 2018. It’s been a lot easier doing the 4,000 mile distance now that we are older and more experienced at this whole crazy thing!
There are lots of ways we make our international long distance relationship work – I’ve written about it here and here. We have tons of creative long distance “dates,” and we also visit each other every 3-4 months (it helps that we’re both obsessed with traveling). We can’t wait to reunite for good some day. Right now, we’re saving up for a round-the-world trip so we can do just that. But for the time being, we are taking it one day at a time, and just feel grateful to have each other in our lives!”
Related: 27 Long Distance Date Ideas
2. Yasmin & Abdulahi’s Story
From: North Carolina & North Dakota
3. Lauren & Octavio’s Story
From: USA & Venezuela
“Octavio and I met back when we were living and working in Santiago, Chile over two years ago now. At that point, I had been living in Chile for two and a half years working for a US based startup. Octavio, from Venezuela, had been transferred to Santiago for a work assignment.
We connected right away. Even though our conflicting international travel plans and complicated schedules worked their very hardest to keep us apart, we somehow always found time for each other. Shortly after meeting though, Octavio was informed that he was being transferred again, this time to Panama.
In those moments we weren’t really sure how to move forward with our relationship. We had both been in long-distance relationships before, and so we were no strangers to the challenges and complexities that come along with one. Still, it just seemed to be one of those cliche when you know, you know situations. And so, we decided we’d try our best to make it work.
Our long-distance relationship definitely had its ups and downs. There were times that we lived on separate continents and battled significant differences in time zones. There were times that we questioned our future together, not knowing how we’d ever be able to live in the same place. But throughout it all, we worked really hard to keep our relationship growing in the right direction, to organize creative Facetime date nights and continue getting to know each other. Eventually we decided to intentionally make the choices that would bring us back together.
A year and a half later, and here we are, newly living together in our beloved city of Madrid.”
4. Alysa & Jack’s Story
From: USA & UK
“The timing could not have been more perfect. I had just moved to London for a semester abroad at King’s College and Jack had just moved for work. We were both new the city and ready for all that London had to offer!
We met on a dating app called Hinge (one of my favorites because you can filter by height!) and decided to go out for drinks. The date must have lasted seven or eight hours and ended with a magical kiss by the Thames.
We continued dating and drank and ate our way through London’s vegan food scene and amazing nightlife. I should have known that I was a goner when on our second date he took an Uber across town during his lunch break to find me a vegan Boston cream donut. This was all because I had mentioned that I hadn’t had one in years. Somehow, he managed to get the bouncer to let him into the ping pong bar we were meet at with the the donut.
It was only a few dates in that we were both head over heels for each other. In May, we decided to take a weekend trip to the Lake District. This was just before I was scheduled to leave. We hadn’t discussed what would happen but after a magical weekend, a few drinks, and a lot of gushy talks we decided that it was worth giving long distance a shot.
Flash forward two years and we’ve conquered long distance. Nothing beats the feeling of seeing him after a matter of months apart but I’m happy to say that we’re done with that part of our lives. Now, we’re full time travelers who focus on ethical, sustainable, and plant-based travel!”
5. Cat & Kev’s Story
From: Taiwan & Canada
“People say love will find you when you least expect it. That’s exactly what happened to me and Kev. Our story started all the way back in 2011 in my home country, Taiwan.
At that time, I just started on my first job and like many other fresh graduates, I put my heart and soul into work. Getting into a relationship wasn’t really my priority. That summer, however, a Canadian friend with whom I went to school in Vancouver paid me a visit. Along with her were her fellow classmates who came for a summer exchange. Among them was my now-husband, Kev.
No, we didn’t hit it off right away. Actually, it was quite the contrary. I had no impression of him whatsoever; he just wasn’t my type. The turning point actually happened when his friend misdialed my number and invited me out.
His witty and caring personality attracted me, and the fact that he doesn’t speak Mandarin, won him several “dates” later on. I became his tour guide during his time in Taiwan. From the trendy XiMenDing district to the old town of Jiufen, we explored many parts of the country and made new memories together.
One month had passed and inevitably it was time to say goodbye. I decided to give it a shot even though I was not a big fan of long-distance relationships. To a 23-year-old, there wasn’t much to lose, was there?
Thanks to modern technology, we were able to fight through 15 hours of time difference. Emails and Skype kept our relationship alive for two solid years.
In 2013, I made the bold move to relocate in Calgary, Canada – a city I had never visited before. Despite having to deal with some serious culture shock, I am glad we could finally put an end to our long-distance relationship.”
6. Nina & Jose’s Story
From: UK & Spain
“I’m British and I met the love of my life, a Spaniard, in Belgium. It was rather fitting to meet in Brussels, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.
I got tired of my job in the European Parliament, perhaps I out grew it, or it was never right for me. So I took off for an adventure in Lebanon.
Since then we lived apart on and off for years. I volunteered in Syria, my then boyfriend completed his MBA in Spain, I worked in London while he lived in China. Our paths never seemed to cross over. We had no plan for maintaining our long distance relationship. And it fell apart.
After one break up and one make up, we eventually took the plunge and got married. We vowed any long distance between us would be temporary only, with a start and an end date.”
7. Carolann & Nick’s Story
From: USA (separated in Hawaii & a submarine!)
“I met my husband, Nick, in college. After graduation, we spent 5 years in a long distance relationship. I stayed in New York to work and go to grad school while he went to Washington state to work on a submarine for the US Navy. He was deployed five times.
This was the hardest point in our relationship. We could write emails occasionally, but other than that, there’s no communication on a submarine. But, I knew that if we could get through that, we could get through anything. And we did.
We finally got married, and the Navy moved us to Hawaii. I called this our “two year honeymoon” because we were finally together, and in paradise of all places! We got to make up for lost time. I was worried it would be difficult for us to go from hardly ever seeing each other to living together, in a new place where neither of us knew anyone. But starting over like that really helped us bond.
After a few years, he had to go back on a submarine. We spent a lot of time apart during those years even though we “lived” in the same place.
In the military, similar to long distance relationships, the lows can be low but the highs are so high. For me, the high was visiting Nick on a port call in Guam. And there is no better feeling than that homecoming hug. I wouldn’t have had these amazing experiences without the hard parts that came with them.
Now we live near Washington, DC, with our baby girl, and Nick has no plans to deploy again!”
8. Justine & Dom’s Story
From: Canada & UK
“Dom and I met back in 2014, long before we became a couple. We met traveling around Banff, Alberta, Canada. Dom told me he was moving to Toronto for a few months, which is where I live, and I said I’d show him around. We met up a few times as friends but nothing more happened. He moved back to the UK and we stayed friends.
Fast forward to 2017 and Dom came back to Canada for a two-week visit, and that’s when our romance really started. He asked if he could “crash on my couch” (ha!) and we ended up spending every second of his vacation together. We were head over
heels in love with each other!
To complicate matters, Dom wasn’t just headed back to the UK after his vacation, he was on his way to Vietnam where he planned to teach English for the next little while. We made no promises to each other after he left Toronto because we would just be so far apart. I thought maybe it was just a really incredible fling!
But of course, it didn’t end that way. When he left, we ended up talking all day every day, until one day, we decided to give our relationship a real shot. And the rest is history! We ended up in a long-distance relationship for two years taking turns visiting each other in Toronto and Saigon, and going on vacations in his home in the UK and my home in the Philippines.
We finally closed the gap last July and we’ve been living together in Toronto ever since. We’ve been enjoying this new phase of our relationship – discovering new parts of each other and navigating shared space. I keep thinking about how wild it is that we went from almost never seeing each other to being the only person we see 24/7. But I wouldn’t have it any other way!”
9. Tara & Luke’s Story
From: USA & UK
“I met Luke in 2015 in Luang Prabang, Laos, while we were both volunteering. I had a boyfriend at the time, and neither of us were interested in each other as anything more than friends. A year passed and we fell out of touch. In 2016, I got a job as a Women’s Empowerment Project Coordinator back in Luang Prabang. I arrived ready to start my new job amongst the dense Laotian jungle, fresh from a breakup. After finding out my baggage had been misplaced, a very sweaty me walked through the arrivals doors to a wide-eyed Luke waiting to pick me up and take me to my new digs.
It turns out he had been working in Luang Prabang with the same organization who had hired me. We worked closely together, living in the same house and sharing dinners late at night with one another. Our friendship turned into a relationship. Then, I returned to the U.S. because my contract was up.
We continued to be close friends while we were apart. We confided in one another and grew closer despite the physical distance between us. One day, Luke sent me a text that said plainly, “Let’s travel the world together.” That was the only sign I needed. I booked a ticket and we were off to Myanmar, Indonesia, and 28 other countries.
Even after that we have had long bouts of distance: me in China and him in the U.K., me in the U.K. and him in Laos. For months at a time we were separated and relied on FaceTime dates to keep us feeling connected.
Finally, last October, he decided he didn’t want to do distance any longer. He proposed.
During the beginning of lockdown, I was in New Zealand. My 3-week trip became a two-month stay. We were once again separated because Luke was at home in the U.K.. I know the distance has only made us stronger, but I cannot wait to share more adventures together when the world opens back up.”
In a long distance relationship? You’re not alone!
All those years ago, Dan and I felt super alone in our decision to pursue a cross continental long distance relationship. But now, we know that definitely wasn’t the case! More and more, I see my friends, peers, and especially fellow travel bloggers and writers share about their decision to pursue long distance relationships. I mean, the more you travel, chances get higher you’re going to fall in love with someone who doesn’t necessarily live anywhere near you.
I hope you found these long distance relationship stories inspiring and comforting. If you want to read more about how to actually make a long distance relationship work, head over to my post on our top tips for doing just that. And if you want some really actionable advice, also check out our 27 favorite long distance date ideas.
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