Friday, September 11, 2015

What a Bi-continental Relationship Teaches You

Photo from www.ponandzi.com
We write…

When you live in two different continents from courtship to the first nine months of marriage, the time that you’re finally together is invaluable.

The 7,000 miles of distance between Southeast Asia and North America made the absence from each other difficult to deal with.  Our time apart was filled with longing simply from missing each other when we weren’t “together” on FaceTime or Viber.


There were also periods of restlessness because we just wanted to start our lives together right away. So when we were finally together, we learned…

To be grateful

We learned to be thankful for the little things like finally sharing the same time zone, eating lunch together and taking long walks around the neighborhood in the afternoons.

Although the ability to text via phone can bridge any distance, something as small as being able to turn to your loved one to say something and not need to type a message or connect online to do so makes a world of difference.

To cherish every moment

The time that we were apart taught us how to cope with each other’s absence. It also taught us to treasure time and cherish each other more. Sure, we got creative in expressing our love but there is no substitute for the benefits of physical presence such as falling asleep and waking up together. 

To appreciate the differences

There are many advantages and disadvantages of living in the US compared to residing in the
Photo from www.ponandzi.com



Philippines. You tend to miss the affordable home services such as leisurely massages but also appreciate the convenience of hot showers in the US; you miss the different modes of transportation but are grateful that you don’t need to push and shove your way to get into a bus or a train because it’s relatively spacious.

The use of technology, gadgets, and apps by the masses is similar in both countries, with the only differences being found in the availability of popular devices and quality of service. While apart, we texted, used FaceTime, and spoke on Viber frequently, but now that we’re together, we use our devices much less. The irony behind this is in the latest discussions about how technology may or may not be interfering with human interaction, but the bottom line is that there is no substitute for personal contact.

(Also read 5 Pros and Cons of Living in the US)

To compromise to live together

Finally living together can be a major adjustment depending on how different your tastes and preferences actually are and how much you are willing to compromise. It was a smooth adjustment for us because we always found it so easy to be around each other. We also share the same values, constantly communicate even uncomfortable truths and are honest with each other so it was just easy to work around minor hitches such as sleeping habits and tolerance level for spicy cuisine.

To discover together

Back when we lived in separate continents, experiencing new places was always a virtual for one of us. An out of town trip for either of us was always a “wish you were here” moment followed by a series of photos about what we liked best about a place and elaborate descriptions on what we could not capture on camera.

It’s funny how much you notice about the world around you when you see it through another’s eyes. While touring around Los Angeles and the Valley, we discovered that there are things one can take for granted where one lives. We once found a delightful bakery in our neighborhood that is apparently on a common street, the kind of location that you would miss if you blinked. And when we used public transportation, we discovered that many commuters rarely use it, but the ease of use has apparently always been there for over 25 years.


Photo from www.ponandzi.com
Finally being together has allowed us to be curious together and try new things together--whether it’s a Ramen place with great reviews or an over-hyped hiking trail. We can finally draw our conclusions together and create our very own favorite places.

Being together is an exciting moment when you’ve waited for a while not only to find the one but to be with that one person you want to commit the rest of your life with. Immigrating for love could be a challenge- it’s a major adjustment for the transplant (immigration petition beneficiary) and a big responsibility for the petitioner. We once read that for immigration, the hardest part was not the minutia of detail needed on immigration forms, but the departure itself from one’s homeland.

But there’s always a silver lining and for us, these are the lessons we learned and continue to learn from our (formerly bi-continental) relationship.#

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