Close and Apart
Being in a relationship shouldn’t be difficult. If we are sharing our life with the right person things should be natural and every piece should go easily into the right place.
When I am with my boyfriend I feel completely at ease, I feel I can say something stupid, I can be clumsy and totally awkward and ridiculous and he would still be proud of me and supportive in all my crazy ideas (well, most of them). He likes me when I wake up in the morning and he says I am beautiful even when I am tired and sweaty after climbing all Fushimi Inari steps. He even sincerely thinks I look better with no make up. I never feel inadequate when I am with him, even if I am too loud (for Japanese standards) or if I do something totally wrong, like walking on a tatami mat with my shoes on, he does not judge me, he teaches me kindly, even when I am doing the same mistake over and over again. That’s just how it should be, right? Unfortunately, on the opposite side of our happy times together there are the sad times when we are apart.
Sometimes I think I want to hug him but he is not there, sometimes I realize I don’t remember the smell of his freshly washed hair and I feel bad, some other times I just need so badly to hear his voice but in Japan it’s 3 am and I don’t want to wake him up (even if he probably wouldn’t complain).
A few weeks ago he caught a very bad cold and he was sick in bed with a high fever in his lonely Tokyo apartment. I felt so frustrated and useless because I couldn’t be there to help him and cheer him up. We try our best to stay in touch, we use instant messaging and Skype to tell each other how our day was and we send pictures all through the day but obviously it is not the same as being also physically close.
Every three months I take at least one week off and invest my savings into a plane ticket to Japan, we spend our days together discovering Japan like tourists but also sharing our daily life pretending we are an ordinary couple living together.
Saying goodbye at the airport tears me apart every single time. At the beginning I thought I would get used to it but it has not become easier at all.
I deeply think I found the right person but despite being a well assorted couple and love and care for each other being apart and maintaining a relationship can be challenging, especially if there are not only 10.000 kilometers but also 8 hours time difference like from Europe to Japan.
My friends keep on asking how we do it and, to say the truth, I don’t really know. I genuinely think that there is no special recipe, no secret magic or trick. It is just about two people who like so much to be together that they overcome the distance. I found the right person, I was just very lucky.
Only one thing I know for sure cannot be missing in a long distance relationship and it is trust. If one of the two starts having doubts about the other things might become really difficult for both. It is tough to build trust even for couples not leaving apart and, as you can imagine, it is twice as difficult when living so far away one from the other.
I am not an expert in relationships, what I learned though, and I feel like sharing, is that it is worth making some sacrifice for a person who makes you feel happy, beautiful and loved, a person you can easily trust and that, no matter what, always supports you and is there for you.
I am not saying it is easy, I would lie if I did, but, at least for us, it is totally worth it.
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