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long distance relationship 2005/8/2 22:46
As many others from this board I'm in a longdistance relationship. My boyfriend is back in Japan since half a year. He has to take over the family buisness. We email and call each ohter. Though I wasn't so confident about it at first I think it works out pretty well by now. I feel save he doesn't forget me or wants a new girlfriend or something. Next year I'll go to Japan as a college student. We are both happy we will meet again. But we won't be living anywhere near together. It will take 4 hours by train or so. So maybe we will not be able to meet often. Now I am upset and unhappy. Meeting once in a year doesen't seem enough. If there is someone in a similar situation it is greatly appriciated if you'd share your experiences with me.
by Amelie  

Long distance relationship 2005/8/4 20:58
Dear Amelie

My son had been in a long distance relationship with a Japanese girl for 5 years. Now they are married and living in Japan. So it can work! He is from the UK and she is from Tokyo. They emailed and telephoned regularly, but the best thing of all was setting up a Webcam so that they could see and speak to each other often. They were able to spend at least a few weeks/months together each year, either him visiting Japan or the other way round. After 5 years, my son moved out to Japan and they married a few weeks ago and are both very happy. I am sure you will be able to work something out when you get to Japan. 4 hours travelling is not so long. In the meantime, get a Webcam set up on your computers if you donft already have one. Itfs great. I speak to my son often and it is a great help. I wish you all the best.
by Gill rate this post as useful

I'm in the same situation 2005/8/6 00:00
Hi Amelie,
I've known my boyfriend for 7 years, and he's in Japan while I'm in Singapore. My situation is simlar to Gill's son's. I've been talking to him almost everyday on the phone and sometimes through web chatting using Yahoo or MSN.
It's been a rewarding yet painful experience for me, that we are apart. We had been thinking whether we want to get married, but I couldn't really accept the fact that I'll lose an opportunity to have a career. As I'm not a Native English teacher, teaching is out of the question, and other jobs seem out of reach. I couldn't come to terms with being a full-time housewife, and no sense of financial security.
I'm wondering if I should continue with the relationship, but it really breaks my heart whenever I think about being separated from my boyfriend. No matter what, we've been together for 7 years.
Whenever I do some research, I end up finding many people divorced or unfairly treated, as they are 'Foreign' spouses. In addition, being from Asia, I wonder whether I'll be equated as as a 3rd class citizen.
I'm still very lost as what to do now, but I think we may eventually have to split up.
Well..that's my story. I wish to hear any comments or suggestions too.
by Orchid rate this post as useful

making it work 2005/8/8 10:14
4 hours by train isn't that long. If he wants to be with you, he will find a way to come see you. Sure the tickets won't be cheap but you can't put a price on time spent with a loved one.

Orchid, it sounds like you are a person who values independence. I'mm sure there are women from other Asian countries who are happily married in Japan. But would YOU be happy being a housewife anywhere? How much do you trust your boyfried? Do you think he'll stand by you no matter what? Have you met his family? Would you be living with them? Are you okay about leaving your family and friends behind?

As for teaching opportunities, if your English is fluent and you have both teaching degree and experience, I don't think getting a job as teacher is "out of question." It all depends on where you'd be living too.

You've invested a lot of time into this relationship. If you can't see yourself living in Japan and he won't or can't move to where you are, then maybe it's time to let go. If you decide to move to Japan, maybe an extended visit before getting married is a good idea.

Good luck to you both.
by Rain rate this post as useful

to Orchid 2005/8/8 15:56
Question: When two people love each other, trully, but cannot be together(for either reason) , when do they understand that is enough, that is all with their love?
And the anwer (which is said to be correct):never.

If you guessed where it is from... but it is not important where from. But maybe a true answer.
I found it comforting for me, so maybe for others it will be too...

Orchid, I am a teacher of English too, my native lan guages are others, but I can teach English in other nearby countries and in my own.
There are Japanese teachers, who teach English in Japan!
by yummi rate this post as useful

A difficult decision 2005/8/8 19:56
Thanks to Rain and Yummi for your reply.

Rain, you are right. I have always been quite an independent person, and I value my independence. I cannot imagine myself without any sense of financial security for myself. Especially when I'm alone without any family or friends, in a foreign country. I've met up with my boyfriend's parents, and they're quite nice and polite to me. And he's not staying with them as he works in another city, so conflicts between me and them would not be a problem.

Yes, one of the issue is meeting and making friends. If I stay with him, I won't be in Tokyo, or any of the other big cities. He's staying in the suburbs just outside of Tokyo. I've asked him what I could do, and he answered that I'll probably have to be a housewife, as there are no opportunities for jobs in his place. I've tried and lived in Japan for a few weeks doing the same mundane 'housewifery' duties daily. And being alone without any friends, I was always glad when I came home to my country.

Rain, would you be able to share any experience of getting to meet people and make friends, while being a housewife in the suburbs?

Yummy, I couldn't really understand your post. I guess you were asking me to question my heart(?) and thinking through before I get an answer, so that I would know how to proceed with my life?

I believe that it is easier for others who have a degree in English and teaching, and also possibly some relevant experience before they could become a teacher. But I have none in that field, thus making it more difficult for me.

Yummi, could you share your experience of getting a teaching job in Japan?

Thanks to all!
by Orchid rate this post as useful

LDR's are tough - be tough and focused! 2005/8/9 10:41
long distance relationships are tough - they'll kill a relationship faster than almost anything else out there, if you are not focused and tough about it.

You really have to ask - is this someone I want to marry later on? someone I'd like to spend forever with? worth the effort? etc.

You'll have to weigh the good and bads, then look at the long-term plan (you both have to come up with one) and see if it's just a few years of commuting before you're together, or if it's a multi-year/decade hump out to the far aways for both of you.

If you think a few years apart outweighs the future, be strong and focused, and communicate. You can still send each other little things daily by cell phone that'll keep you two together.

If not, no fair dragging him along when there's no future together and no plan. Headache's too big to do it. And you can easily find other 'nice guys' in the area.
by David =) rate this post as useful

housewife 2005/8/9 17:01
Hello Orchid,

I've always worked so I can't comment on being a housewife personally at this point but my sister moved to a country where she didn't understand the language to be with her husband. It's been really hard on her to be away from her old life and also to not have her own income. She's very social but making friends hasn't been easy.

If he lives close to Tokyo, you could commute to work too. Is he encouraging you to explore different career options or does he actually prefer that you stay home?

It is a difficult decision but if you truly see yourself spending the rest of your life with him and raising children together, then I think you should start exploring job openings there. It's a lot easier to make friends through work place as well.

I myself am moving to a country where I don't speak the language to be with my fiance soon. I don't plan on seeking employment there (I'd be going to graduate school, etc) but I only agreed to moving there after living there for three months and discussing with him about EVERTHING and coming to an agreement.

Would I move to Japan if I were in your situation? To be completely honest, no. We are all different though in what we are willing to give up and live with.

Best wishes,

by Rain rate this post as useful

thank you 2005/8/9 21:35
Thank you all for your answers. I'm happy to read your comments.
Dear Orchid, our situations are really similar. I hestitaded to permanently move with him for the same reasons. His parting came so sudden. We were still in process of getting to know each other. There was no time to think things throuh. I don't have any degree yet, nor any working experience. Though my boyfriend loves kids raising children and being a housewife has never been my plan. Do I fit this role? Can I be happy this way? I wonder. Maybe we don't have a future. "Then break up" is easy to say. "It's not fair dragging him along" that's what came to my mind too. This feeling of guild woun't go away. But my heart doesn't listen to any reasoning. It's so painful I can't think.
Maybe I can decide after being in Japan. I want to meet his family too. You gave me courage. I can think more positiv now. 5 or 7 years on long distance I never imagined this can happen. You are strong personalities. I hope I can be a little like you. Thank you. Please write again.
by Amelie rate this post as useful

Dear Amelie 2005/8/9 23:29
I'm a JM grad student, and have sort of entered a long-distance relationship yesterday when I took my gf of 2 months (and friend for 4 months) to Narita as she flew back to her home country half-way around the world. I wrote about this on this forum a month ago, but it ended up in the "Customs" section, so it didn't get many responses.

I say "sort of" entered because while we actually said "I love you" to each other and have travelled all over Japan together in the short 2 months I've dated her, realistically looking at the situation, it seems hopeless. I've only had one relationship in the past that was as satisfying as this one, and that one I would consider as true love, but the timing and my immaturity killed it. I have 3.5 years til I finish my PhD, and she is pondering whether to get a job or go for a PhD when she finishes university. She's not a Japanophile, so she doesn't want to live here (and can't as she will not be able to get a job in her field here, and she seems to hate the food :( ) and I'm not rich enough to fly to Europe more than once a year. 3.5 years of internet chatting just doesn't seem humanly possible to me or her, so we just decided to keep it going but be free to pursue whatever options may come our respective ways.

From what I see, I really love everything about her, and I want to keep it going for as long as possible, but the execution of this just seems impractical. I am very very sad right now.

by J grad student rate this post as useful

My experience 2005/8/23 21:47
Hello Orchid and hello to the other participants of this discussion!

Some months ago, there was a discussion in this forum, called "What do I do about my Japanese boyfriend" or something like that. As I am non-Japanese and never been in love with a Japanese I first hesitated to react on this question. But I did it anyway and it helped me quite a lot with my own relationship. I didn't think that a discussion online with people I did not know could be helpful, but it was. The reason why I tell you this is not only because it was a help for me, but the sentence a participant used. It was like "Everyonce in a while you feel so alone, left in your country with the knowledge the person you really love is thousands of kilometers away from you. Then a little message reaches you, the content is not always of great importance. But what counts the most is the fact that the person who sent you this message was thinking of you for a short moment. It feels so good to know that he/she thinks of you. Of course these small moments aren't always enough but if you give yourself a try and count all the small moments, they become a big one."

My opinion is similar to Rain's. I'm also of the opinion that you should try to find out if you want and can manage somehow in a foreign country and move there. Of course a long-distance relationship is possible as you said, but personally I think one should decide one day, if it is possible to keep it going through e-mails, SMS, letters etc. or not. If you decide, that your relationship is worth it, give it a try and spend some months in the country of your partner (Japan in your case, right?). After a while, you will realize if you can manage everything with your partner when you see each other every day. Then, you can decide, if you always want to be together with him. Spend time together.

You seem to be a clever woman and I hope you will find a solution which satisfies you.
by imouto rate this post as useful

hmmm question 2005/8/25 18:39
How are you supposed to live and work in Japan if u cant speak Japanese!!!
by Ntensity rate this post as useful

Frustration 2005/8/27 00:46
Its been about 2.5 weeks since my long distance relationship started, and I'd like to know how its done. I bought a webcam only to find out that the connection is really slow. Does anybody else do Japan-Europe webcam chats? With headphones, conversation is no where near as responsive as a phone.

And how do you find stuff to talk about? Or how do you express yourself on keyboard? I never understood how people manage to find love online, its so impersonal!

What are some tricks people use to keep things fresh online?
by J Grad Student rate this post as useful

technical matter 2005/8/27 08:35
Regarding online chat, the speed depends a lot on your and your partner's internet connection. If you both have ADSL or faster and use a good chat program, conversation can be as smooth as on the phone plus you get a video picture.

Personally, I am happily using the free chat software Eyeball Chat to video chat with people over the internet:

I use Eyeball Chat because it is one of the few chat programs which doesn't mind about the strict firewall of my internet access provider.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Dear J Grad Student 2005/8/30 16:11
The first weeks are the hardest. I feel with you. I checked mails 5 times a day . With webcam we have troubles too, somehow we can`t get our cams to work.
So we sent each other photos. He`s got a mobile phone and can read my email at once. Maybe you can try this too? I have no experience with phone via internet. Instead I use normal phone with a real cheap phone company. Quality is not that good but I can call from my home and it`s quite comfortable. About the conversation topics. It`s not important what you talk about. Just stay in touch. Maybe you can find a time that suits both of you. Before sleeping, during breaks, after waking up etc. Your daily lifes are different now. You could talk about your activities during the week, whom you met, your plans for the weekend.Make each other feel you care. And give yourself time getting used to the new situation. It is hard but don`t give up.
by Amelie rate this post as useful

... 2005/9/2 20:01
Orchid! Sorry to make my post unclear. Amelie, I think paraphrased what I meant.

She said: "It's not fair dragging him along" that's what came to my mind too. This feeling of guild woun't go away. But my heart doesn't listen to any reasoning. It's so painful I can't think.

That is you never want/ think/feel it is time to finish your relationship, even those without any future, because you are really in love, trully.

Orchid, you say that you have done some research and it shows that people are either divorsed or badly treaded. So, I would say, those people, who have been in long distance relationship and are together now, they seldom bother to write their story on any forum. They do of course, but they usually do not put their happy story down. Usually those who have unhappy ending do write it down somewhere.

I have been in a distance relationship too. It seemed to have no future. But somehow me and I hope him escaped the feeling of guilt. I think that we took it by day, and did not plan ahead. Now the things are changed and now there seems it has future! To be frank, those little sweet words in each email keep me thinking and dreaming about it.

Only one thing makes me confused and doubt: rare emails. Sometimes they are often. I have asked many times why are so seldom mails. I got the answer that it does not really mean anything
by yummi rate this post as useful

please do not misunderstand me 2005/9/2 22:02
p.s. I did not drag anyone with no any future.
by yummi rate this post as useful

Amazing!!! 2005/9/5 01:18
It is wonderful not to be alone on this. I just left my girl of about 5 months back in Osaka. I honestly want to marry this girl and have never had feelings like this before for a woman, she is the love of my life. My problemm was that I cannot stay in Japan and be an English teacher. I cannot support a family on the money I was making. So I decided to move back to the states and pursue graduate school, hopefully this will give me the skills and insight to get a job in Japan, after a few years hopefully move back to the states and married to my love.

Long distance relationships are a bitch, I am going to try my best to make this work, I cannot think for her but I feel she is on the same page as me.

I do have to say it is nice that I am not the only one out there.
by Rod rate this post as useful

to J Grad Student 2005/9/5 12:57
Does anybody else do Japan-Europe webcam chats? With headphones, conversation is no where near as responsive as a phone.

Hi J Grad Student,
Have you ever tried Skype?
I'm in Japan and talk with my boyfriend in Europe every weekend using Skype. The voice is very clear, and normally there's almost no delay, it is just like phone call. It works quite well, even I'm still using dial-up connection.

I think you can use the webcam with MSN, so watching the image while talking by Skype.
by usako rate this post as useful

Thanks 4 suggestions 2005/9/6 07:35
Yeah, I couldn't get eyeballchat to work (even opened IP and UDP ports as the FAQ stated), but I'll have to try skype.

On a less technical note, for those of you in long distance relationships, what kind of arrangement do you have? Do you ever sleep with anyone else while your SO is in absentia? I've discussed this with my GF, and its going to be a long time before (or if) we can ever be together. I really love this girl, but the truth is I don't expect me or her to be totally celibate for a few years. I am confident I will still love this girl no matter what, and while I'm not searching for any opportunities at the moment, I know I will be sooner or later.

Is this a recipe for disaster, or do you think it can work? My senpai had a similar relationship as me, his GF moved back to Europe, and both he and her have had some casual relationships in the last year. Next year he will be moving to the US along with his GF, so I know it can work as long both parties are mature enough. But I'd like to hear about other success/failures for such an arrangement. I'm very scared/frustrated about my current situation.
by J Grad Student rate this post as useful

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