4 Indian Couples Talk About The Trials & Tribulations Of A Long Distance Relationship

(L - Disha Mangsuli; R - Anmol Sharma)
(L - Disha Mangsuli; R - Anmol Sharma)

Long distances can be incredibly tough on a budding relationship, however, many couples around the country manage to successfully hold on to their partners irrespective of the hurdles and challenges. Here are a few stories about how these couples managed to defy time and put effort into communication through thick and thin parts of their relationships.

I. Anmol Sharma & Aarushi Srivastava

Anmol Sharma & Aarushi Jain

Tell us about your relationship.

My girlfriend and I have been dating each other for almost 8 years now. Even before we started dating, we were the closest of friends for 2 years. We used to continuously text / call each other. The after dark hours were meant for long phone conversations and discussing everything under the sun. When we began dating, during the first 3 years of our relationship there wasn’t a single day that went without meeting each other. Our everyday calls turned into everyday meetings. She’s two years younger to me, so while I was working she completed her graduation from NIFT and we both decided to move to London to pursue our masters. We both got accepted but unfortunately she fell sick. Although she had to opt out, she encouraged me to go ahead. I pursued my education for 1.5 years in London. While I was pursuing my dream she was still in Delhi battling her autoimmune disorder which hadn’t gotten diagnosed at that point of time. During that duration our relation was at it’s strongest. Despite the time difference and personal battles, one thing she ensured was consistent by encouraging me was well was to maintain communication no matter what. I’m not saying there weren’t times when things got hard, it’s those times when you have to open up, and decide to choose love over petty misunderstandings everyday. She chose me everyday, and taught me to believe in myself at all times. Two years ago, I moved to Timor-leste , an island country between Indonesia and Australia, to work with Heineken. This time the roles reversed. The timezone at Timor-leste is 3.5 hrs ahead India which meant it was my turn to be up when times got tough. Where I moved to pursue my dream job she’s health worsened. The autoimmune hit hard and she had to undergo trial therapy. All I’m trying to say is long distance is not easy , it never will be because the one person who understands you the best in this world will not be around and you’ll terribly miss being with them. But long distance works one wonder, it brings you closer and the key is always healthy communication. The key is to choose each other everyday.

It’s been almost 4 years of long distance in an 8 year relationship and everyday I feel closer to her . There are days when she is unable to speak because of the pain and then are days when I get too busy or have dead lines to meet, but we make sure we dedicate 10 mins of our day to each other not because we have to , but because we want to! All in all what I m trying to say is we have seen both sides of the spectrum . One where we were inseparable and one where, currently, we are living different lives in different cities yet feel more connected than ever before. Yes, you become very independent and sometimes you feel you aren’t answerable to anyone which is true but it’s also about finding balance , it’s about finding that one person who asks you about your day and about whose day you’re equally eager to know about. It’s an everyday choice and good communication what brings you peace!

How do you manage being in a long-distance relationship?

Looking back or in the foreseeable future while in a long distance relationship has taught us patience. It has taught us to communicate better and the fact that individual growth is very important for us to grow as a couple. So to sum up: communication is everything, love is choosing each other and yourself everyday, honesty is actually the best policy, friendship trumps love, individual growth is important to grow together.

Any advice for people who are in a long-distance relationship.

Communicate. Choose love everyday. Not just loving the other person but yourself too, is the only way to enhance the love you both share. Be honest . Not just about the good things but the things that might tick you off. Most importantly, love is all about friendship!

II. Shubhangi Misra & Akshat Kumar

Tell us about your relationship.

I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend since the past 7 years, 5 of which have been long distance. We met and started dating in school and after that he went away for his graduation to Bombay (we’re from Delhi). Post graduation, he got a job in Ahmedabad has been living there for a year now.

How do you manage being in a long-distance relationship?

It is difficult. Very very difficult. Especially when the other person hates texting or speaking on the phone! Honestly, I have given up on us so many times, but we come around each time because the love and bond that we share is way too special to just let it go. There are no trust issues between us and we understand each other very well. We fight, but we know that the other person isn’t going anywhere.

Any advice for people who are in a long-distance relationship?

I have seen mostly all my friends give up on their partners as soon as even a little distance comes between them. I feel really sad that people have started undermining relationships so much that they’re ready to give up on the slightest hint of a problem. My only advice to people who really love each other is that you need to hold on, no matter how difficult things get, you need to remind yourself of the love you both share and hold on to it with all that you have.

III. Disha & Constantin

Disha Mangsuli & her husband

Tell us about your relationship.

My husband and I have known each other for 15 years now. He is from Germany and I am from Bangalore. We met each other when we were 12 in an international school in Shanghai. We spent 2 years together in middle school and went our respective ways since our dads’ jobs changed, but we always kept in touch- first through MSN messenger (ah, those were the days), and then through Skype and Facebook messenger. No matter what, we spoke at least once a year and updated each other about our lives. We were always just one message away, thanks to technology and social media. He finally made a trip to India in January 2017 which was the first time we saw each other in 11 years. We had no idea when we would see each other next, but we decided to try an international long distance relationship despite all the uncertainty. Until July 2018, we only saw each other, if at all, only once every 6 months. I moved to Germany in October 2017 for my masters and he moved back to Germany in July 2018 after his bachelors in Malaysia. We continue to be in a long distance now even though we are married- I am finishing my studies soon and he is doing his masters in the Netherlands, but this is easier. We see each other at least once a month now, which is better than what it used to be.

How do you manage being in a long-distance relationship?

The main thing we instinctively knew was that we were individuals who came together, so having a strong independent life wasn’t a bad thing. We grew to respect be alright with the fact that the other person’s life was not all about the relationship. We would do dates, not the traditional kind- I would sit at my favourite little cafe in Bangalore and just talk to him over video call while he was cooking at home. We did weekend movie dates wherein we would find and start the same movie at the same time while on VC. We texted whenever we could, but didn’t have any ‘rules’ as to when we should text. We understood that if someone didn’t reply for a while or didn’t text back, it was because they were busy and not because they didn’t care. We had to be as understanding as we could, else the fights would have only widened the distance between us.

Now that we closer than ever before, we have worked on the relationship itself. You may think everything will be hunky dory once you are together but that’s another lesson we learnt- physically being around each other, making the relationship work then takes a lot of effort too. It can even be awkward sometimes but that’s just you getting used to making the relationship a bigger part of your life. It’s challenging but also ultimately rewarding.

Any advice for people who are in a long-distance relationship?

Make an effort to maintain your own life that isn’t dependent on the relationship or the other person. Have a strong identity and social life for yourself that can withstand the stress of the distance, both physical and at times emotional.

IV. Niharika Shetty & Vishnu Prasad

Niharika Shetty & Vishnu Prasad

Tell us about your relationship.

I met my husband on Yahoo public chat , & our love grew through Orkut & exchange of emails. We nourished our relationship on Facebook and then finally when I got my mobile phone, we started communicating via calls. We was in a 14 year long relationship before I got married to him . I met him for the first time 7 years into the relationship . This has been the biggest gamble of my life , but it was worth it . Vishnu is from Jabalpur and I am from Mumbai. We started chatting when we were 16 or 17 years old.

We had a beautiful 7 year long journey. The first year was beautiful . Saving up money to go to the cyber cafe to check if he had sent me any off line messages, coordinating with each other to come online so we could chat, calling each other on our home landlines when we were home alone ( this was just once or twice a week ).. it was all quite exciting! I used to patiently wait to hear the sound of his voice . After the first year , we had a reality check. Soon you start craving for the person’s presence, you want to touch and feel the person. This was a period that really tested the love, patience and trust we had for each other. Thanks to mobile phones and the internet we could stay in touch more frequently . This was a time when Vishnu and I were studying. We started involving each other in our lives by giving day to day updates on what’s happening and how had the day been & a lot of phone sex! And then finally came the day when I meet him for the first time on 23 Nov 2013 ( he came to Mumbai for studies) . He looked so handsome- broad shoulders clothed in the shirt I sent him, waiting to envelop me in his arms. To me, he was nothing less than a Greek god. All those years of waiting were finally put to an end . I was on cloud nine! I couldn’t contain my excitement when I saw him. I wanted to hug and kiss him with all my heart and pour my passion out . As PDA is looked down upon in our society, I couldn’t do any of this.

Time flew by.. we finished our studies & started working but continued to meet each other once every week, typically on Sundays . Then there came a time when my family wanted me to get married and take the next step in my life. Vishnu and I had never discussed marriage as a subject although we both knew that we wanted to get married to each other. After avoiding the marriage topic for a good 2 whole years, I had to ask him if he was ready for it . I never got an clear answer from him . My trust in him started to dwindle.

During this period I called off our relationship and started to willfully seek marriage proposals . Around this time I meet a friend who knew what’s happening in my life and we mutually decided to get married. We called our parents and introduced each at our respective homes. This was nothing but a compromise for me. With just 25 days to go for my wedding with this other guy, I got a call from Vishnu asking me to meet him for one last time and give him closure. I knew it was a bad idea to meet him but I couldn’t help myself .

I decided to meet him post work. It was raining. Vishnu was standing under my building drenched from head to toe. I have never seen someone look so helpless . He asked me for forgiveness and wished me a happy married life. I think that was the most difficult thing for Vishnu to have gone through. I cried, I cried a lot when he said those words. I never foresaw or imagined such a day . He was the first and last love of my life. I wanted to marry him, make babies with him.. I had also imagined what our babies would look like.

The day after I met Vishnu I got a call from him asking me to break off the marriage & to elope with him and leave everything behind and start afresh. I was completely against eloping, but still out of curiosity I asked him to tell me his plan. He had the cutest plan ever. He wanted to get a court marriage done and together go to his hometown in Jabalpur ( he had absolutely no idea that court marriage is a lengthy process. He was under the assumption that we just had to go to the court and they pronounce us husband and wife ) . Of course I refused to elope with him. I asked him to take me to his house the right way, with my respect intact. He was a little scared to talk to his parents. I started to contemplate breaking my engagement and get back together with Vishnu. But I wanted Vishnu on the condition that he informs his parents about me. Vishnu informed about me and they seem to be hesitant but that was manageable.

As promised I had to do my part. I informed my family that I want to break off my engagement. There was a huge commotion at my place and my family was emotionally distraught. I had to face up to everything, even the most shittiest things from my family. I had to face a lot of emotional trauma for Vishnu, but it was all worth it .

After a lot of yelling and filmy drama at my place, my family was ready to meet Vishnu. They finally meet and were okay with the idea of me marrying him & our families mutually decided on a wedding date. I married the love of my life on 27 Jan 2019. We have had major ups & downs, but it was all driven by passion and love. We trust and respect each other, that’s all that matters.

How do you manage being in a long-distance relationship?

Vishnu and I are people who need their own space and privacy and long distance relationship gave it to us. We are not clingy and needy . We wanted to study and get my career sorted and didn’t want any kind of distraction hence, long distance relationship was the best .

Any advice for people who are in a long-distance relationship?

Relationships work only with a of patience, trust & by taking a high large amount of risk. Have clear goals. Don’t doubt your partner just because you are insecure. Never fight over text messages people. It’s the most ridiculous thing ever. You will never be able to understand the person emotions through text . Try sorting things out over a call preferably. These were some of my lessons.

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