Woohoo! I am getting married after a long distance relationship that has lasted for 3 years. Yep that’s right – 3 years. My girlfriend lives in Bangkok Thailand, and I live in Washington state. As far as long distance is concerned, you can’t get much farther away than that. Anyway, after countless plane flights back and forth to see her, and after finally meeting her family, I am happy to say we are getting married this February.

How it started.
Three years ago, Nim and I met on a pen-pal site. I had just gotten my passport, and I wanted to travel around the world. She and I formed a friendship, and she was a wealth of information about travelling in South East Asia. We emailed each other for about 6 months, and we both thought it would be fun to meet each other for her birthday. So I hopped on a plane to Thailand to go see her three years ago in April. Needless to say, I fell in love with her the moment I looked into her eyes when she looked up and smiled at me. Not only did I fall in love with this amazing lady, I fell in love with her country. She showed me her Buddhist culture, and it was the best vacation I have ever been on in my life. It was very hard to go back home and we both still wanted very much to see each other. Our biggest dilemma is we both have good jobs that we didn’t want to leave. And so we have been in a long distance relationship ever since.

For three years now, I have been flying back and forth twice a year to see her, and she has been flying over here to see me a few times as well.

How did we last so long in a long distance relationship?
I tell Nim I love her every day. I have known from the beginning deep in my heart I wanted to marry her. And I believe this is what has kept us together so long. We both knew someday we would get married. If you know you love someone, tell them. And if you love them enough to marry them, then by all means talk about it soon before the feeling fades away. This is especially true with long distance relationships.

In the past, I would be afraid to express my love too much for a girlfriend, because I had been hurt so many times before. And where did that get me? Well, I have been single my whole life. That’s what being afraid of sharing your feelings gets you – a life of being single. The person you are dating hasn’t been waiting their whole life for someone to halfway love them. I will stand on a rooftop and sing out of tune to my girlfriend and embarrass myself just to show her I love her.

If you see the light at the end of a tunnel, then you can make any long distance relationship work.

Tools you can use to help stay connected
Lucky for us, we live in a world of amazing technology. Nim and I Skype with each other every single day, and we chat by using an app called Line on our phones. Line is very popular in Asia, and someday it’s going to be popular here in the states. If you can’t be beside your sweetheart and give her a hug, these tools are a good substitute until you can give each other a hug again.

What to do if you have an argument in a long distance relationship
Nim and I love each other very much, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have arguments. We have a rule, or you can call it a pact. We tell each other we love each other every night before we go to sleep, even after a fight. In a way – being in a long distance relationship has helped us when we have a disagreement. We might say some angry words on Skype, but being away helps us think about what we said and reflect on our thoughts. We always say we are sorry the next day or two. I feel if Nim and I can make it through a 3 year long distance relationship, we can make it through anything.

Fiance Visa or Marriage Visa?
Nim and I have decided to apply for a fiance visa. They generally don’t take as long to obtain, and that means she and I can be living together sooner rather than later. We applied for our visa back in August and are waiting for our I-129F forms to get approved. There shouldn’t be any issues, as we have lots of proof of an ongoing relationship for the past 3 years. If you find yourself needing a visa, I suggest you visit the webpage www.visajourney.com. They have tons of helpful information on that site and they even have a forum you can join if you have any questions about the visa process.