I was in a long distance relationship with an American…

…for 6 years in my ‘20s. We met at a party and hit it off instantly, but the distance meant that we only thought it was a bit of fun.  I thought it would be fun to go to the US and spend some time with this fun guy.

The more we spoke, the more we fell for each other.  It was a serious and respectful relationship, with lots that was good about it.  He was the kindest person I had ever met and I felt so loved and secure with him.  We spent time trying to work out how it might work in the long term but ultimately, neither of us wanted to make the final move; I wanted to be near my family and he wanted to continue working overseas as a soldier.

It is hard to break up when it is not because of the person being wrong, but just because the distance makes it difficult.  Had we both had lives in the same country, who knows what would have happened?

When it finished, I felt really sad to have lost someone I had come to love speaking with every day.  Among the array of emotions I felt, was the worry that I might have ‘wasted’ five years on a relationship (with all the sacrifices that being in a long distance relationship entails) which ultimately didn’t last.  When I moved on to dating new people I was always trying to assess whether the person I was currently dating was someone I could be with for the long term – were the feelings strong enough, how did it compare to my long distance relationship etc. It was hard just to relax and have fun.

But then I met the man who is now my husband, and with whom I have three wonderful children. When I met him I didn’t find myself assessing quite as hard. Now I’m with him, I can look back on my earlier long distance relationship as an experience I was really lucky to have, which shaped me and brought me to where I am now.

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