The Online Girl of Simplicity
with a Heart of a Kaleidoscope.
I’m writing this article for the purpose of sharing the value, and even worth, of putting effort and time into an online relationship. And this is not just, you’re-in-a-different-state kind of thing; this is literally the you’re-on-the-other-side-of-the-world thing. So, our online relationship that actually overlaps with a long-distance relationship. The only difference, though some may find it the most significant, is that we have not met in person. And yet, here are 5 things I’ve learned.
This just goes without saying. Being in a online relationship requires time. Even the non-ORs require waiting, more so those with thousands of miles in between. I have been in an OR for 4 years, turning 5 in October. Imagine that! When I think about it, it doesn’t seem long. Not until I realize my age and how much we’ve changed and grown even in this set-up. Yet before I even committed, I didn’t think I was a very patient girl. But, look at me now? Makes me think otherwise. And by patient, I meant it in every way. Both in the waiting for a phone call or a message, or waiting until the day we meet. And yet, here I am, still waiting.
This directly follows number 1. Everyone has lost their patience. And I can’t say that my patience in waiting for him is a bottomless pit. There were days (more like episodes) when tears would rain on my pillow, days when my nagging would be his greatest rival. But in the end, it is my choice to love him, to wait for him. And staying is a decision I make everyday. Why? For multiple reasons. For companionship, even if I can’t hold his hand. For the intellectual compatibility we have found and even developed. For love.
As every year past, we celebrate at least 3 occasions – my birthday, his birthday, and Christmas. Some days, I think we’re lucky that they kind of extend to 2 days due to the difference in time zone. Other days, I feel awful that I’m celebrating the event before he does. There are other occasions that I make up, like the anniversary of when we met. Or Valentine’s (one, he didn’t enjoy, at first). And gifts were always a limitation in an online relationship. There are only so much you can send in a package. You can’t wrap up a date or their favorite restaurant. You can’t wrap up time or kisses or sex. So it is demanded that one becomes creative. Find things you can buy and send that would represent something important to him or to your relationship. Order something he needs online and pay for it so he doesn’t have to go shopping. I swear, I have gone through a bunch of gift ideas, but they don’t always cater to my country.
I thank the heavens that we live in a world where video calls are possible. But even with technology, being in an OR is quite the challenge. We could go for hours and days just talking, but signal would fail, credit would run out, batteries would die. And so we spend some time finding the right programs for the convenience and the privacy we want. (For whatever people need privacy for.) So we keep ourselves - well, he does all of those - updated with the latest, most efficient programs and mobile plans we could use. It forced me to learn more about technology, so that’s another plus.
Caring Less (about what people said)
This one.. is a little complicated to explain. In the beginning of our relationship, I was very secretive. I didn’t tell my friends, my parents, no one. Not a lot of people would find the worth of an OR and I didn’t know if they were one of those. “Why not just be together?” As if 6 thousand miles was easily crossed. If only, then I wouldn’t be writing this article. But eventually, as I grew wiser, as our relationship blossomed, as time passed, I started to care less and less of what other people would say about it. I have realized that whether or not they judge me, it would not affect how we feel for each other. In the end, other people will never really understand what we go through without having the same experience. And I would be wasting my time concerned about those whispers. I’d rather spend my efforts finding him his birthday gift this year.
Now, you can say that all these things are developed in face-to-face, same-city relationships. Indeed. But these are often overlooked, and the simple things such as the touch of a loved one is taken for granted. So thank YOU for these and the everyday bits you teach me. Here’s a happy birthday to my special, most favorite person in the world. Thank you for sharing these last 5 years of your life with this Filipina thousands of miles away.