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A writer for CLM Magazine and CLM Social Pages, Achelle is also an independent blogger, giving her two cents on personal and social issues from an educated Filipina's point of view, especially those relating to love and relationships. She has a knack for tackling issues from unique angles that are often left unexplored, posing questions that move and challenge readers to view a certain issue from a wholly different perspective. Achelle is happily engaged to her childhood sweetheart and is currently based in the Philippines. Achelle's writing is a delight to read and highly enlightening, entertaining and thought provoking. You're going to see lots of her on our Emagazine, Blogs, Social Pages and Hubs. Enjoy
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A Long-Overdue Long-Distance Relationship    

By Achelle Vinzon
5636 Views | 15 Comments | 4/8/2013 6:47:00 PM

It was one of those rare second chances and, I would like to believe, also one of those rare occasions when some of the good I threw out there found its way back around to me. My fiancé and I have been together for nearly two years now, and engaged for more than a year. We were separated for 16 years before a serendipitous sequence of events caused our divergent paths to somehow change courses and cross again.

Maybe it was fate or simply a random combination of choices that inadvertently brought us back together. But while the dream has finally come true for us, we have yet to completely live it; it still isn't completely fulfilled. Our long-overdue, long-distance relationship has been the perfect illustration of having one's cake but not being able to take a bite of it. But the realization that we can really live the dream, some day, and that we are closer to living it than we have ever been, has made the frustrations of being in such a challenging setup more bearable. While being given the slightest taste of how good the dream can be may seem cruel, we would still rather take that than to grab the existent reality and the other possibilities it offers, but without each other.

Our first chance together, seventeen years ago now, was one of those love-at-the-wrong-time stories. I was not even sixteen and he just turned twenty. The time really was not right and we both knew it. Fast forward sixteen years and our individual circumstances finally allowed us to rekindle that special connection we always had. When we started again, we had very high hopes for the future; we relished the excitement and joy of making plans for when we could really be together.

We took full advantage of all the tools available to us to spend as much time as we could with each other. In fact, we spend every single minute of our free time, every single day, together online. We established a really good routine so that we did not get in each other's way when we had to work; the difference in time zones made it possible. In so many ways, the technology available today has made being in a long-distance relationship a more realistic endeavor and the hopes of lasting happiness for the future seem more achievable.

But as is the case with long-distance relationships, sooner or later, the wait becomes disheartening. In our case, circumstances started to make the realization of our plans more difficult; the reality of us finally being together and getting married kept getting pushed farther and farther away. Days when the situation seemed hopeless kept coming, piling up higher and higher until they got higher than the high hopes I had. The possibility that I had to wait longer brought me down more times than the reality of our virtual time together cheered me up.

Of course, I understood the situation and the obstacles that lay in our combined paths even before I decided to walk the same path with him. I knew, from the very beginning, that the journey was not going to be easy, that making our dream real may take a long time. I also knew, and have always known, that he has been doing all that he can to make it happen, despite his limitations and the hurdles that often get thrown in our way. In fact, he has always been the more hopeful between the two of us; while I have always been the more pragmatic.

For him, the glass has always been half-full; we were finally together again and it was only a matter of time until we can get married. From my point of view, it hasn't been about the glass being half-full or half-empty; the glass has just always had water. We were finally together again, but the hard facts of reality have not been getting us any closer to our goals.

Right now, we are on the verge of completely abandoning Plan A and moving on to Plan B. Plan A involved me flying to him on a fiancée visa, which was supposed to be the fastest route for us to be together. With how things have been going, taking that route has been looking like the longer route that would lead to us being married. In a few months, if nothing changes, we would move on to plan B, which would involve us getting married here next year. It would mean that my immigration process would take longer, but at least while we both wait, we would already be married; at least we would have that.

For all the other couples here in long-distance relationships, do not lose hope; keep forging ahead. Times may get really tough, but finally living the dream is worth the wait, especially when you know, without a shred of doubt, that what you have is the real thing. Always remember that the saying "What goes around, comes around" also applies to the good things you throw out there, not just the bad. Sooner or later, your patience and continued hope will pay off.

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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#2013-04-09 07:47:18 by RobertB @RobertB

I am quite convinced that this story is a story of both human struggle to achieve goals and then story of fate. Fate is a strange thing.
Sometimes it seems like works in our favor, then we feel betrayed.
The fact is that fate is a way of describing a situation where factors like your own liking, preferences, meet reality. Where that reality is conducive or otherwise towards your goals. It is really hard to say a lot about fate. It just seems to be. Like in my case I never started wanting to have a Chinese wife. Still whatever I was doing I could never find a girlfriend in my country. Sometimes it was that I had a plan to see that girl and then I fell seriously ill. Or she had to travel away.
On the other hand, since I was small I was sensitive to fact that there was a country like China.
Once I watched a movie, Chinese movie, where a young man was trying to find some street. So he was asking a way. I remember that I was thinking then: " I need to know that phrase, if I am in Beijing, how will I know how to get to place I need to go to?" I was like 10 years old, or whatever.
Later I got more interested in China because of Bruce Lee and other things. Only years later I realized that finding a wife could be right thing. Especially that I watched once a movie about an American raised in China. His parents then moved back to US. When he grew up he decided to go to China to get married. It seemed like natural thing to do.
I just seem to bump easily into things Chinese, even when I have no that intention. That I may call some sort of fate.
Actually fate , your own decisions and the environment you live in is a very important topic as we all want to know how much we are free to do what we want and how we can achieve more freedom, also when that might be not the best thing for us.
Still as this article is concerned I believe that you have chosen a better plan. Nowadays it is more important than before to visit China especially if you want to live outside this country. Man might not be able to understand you fully without having good idea of living there.
It is part of partnership if you like. Otherwise you would be the stronger one and he would treat you less personally.
I mean you would have known more about life than him and he would see only part of you. That is maybe not the best.
So, I think that fate is taking care of you and that looks good.
I wish you the very best.

#2013-04-10 18:32:03 by AchelleVinzons @AchelleVinzons

@RobertB Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your thoughts and experiences, as well. My fiance' and I go through phases when one is more hopeful than the other, but we always, always, find strength in each other. After more than a decade of separation, we have proven, without a shadow of a doubt, that we belong together and want to spend the rest of our lives with each other. That is our shared goal. Fate has done it's job; the rest is up to us. :)

#2013-04-10 22:17:02 by Grace172 @Grace172

Hi, Achelle, I am moved by your story... It makes me feel how strong of the power of love. I appreciate your encouraging words. What you said operated as an incitement on me. I believe your dream will come true soon. Best wish to you!

#2013-04-11 18:05:16 by dongmei883 @dongmei883

真是帅哥美女相伴,天生的一对,看着这张照片好开心,祝福你们!

#2013-04-11 19:10:39 by AchelleVinzons @AchelleVinzons

@dongmei883 Xie xie! Thank you!

#2013-04-15 08:27:28 by dramazing @dramazing

Such a beautiful and moving story, and of course, one that should give hope to so many who are, for one reason or another stuck for the moment in-between the reality of Now and blissful happiness. I can feel the heart-ache, and yet feel happiness for you both knowing that it is near and almost palpable now. It's lovely to see you both grasping and savouring ever spare moment of your time online together.
I would have to say there's at least a book to be written about this, or possibly even a movie!!...yes, there have been many movies themed in this way, but yours is especially touching.
May I wish you every happiness for your future together, may it come soon for you both and, thank you, so much, for sharing something so very beautiful.

#2013-04-15 15:32:14 by AchelleVinzons @AchelleVinzons

@dramazing, @Grace172

Thank you so much for your lovely thoughts. It always amazes me and makes me very glad when I realize how our story and the exchanges my fiance and i have on social networks can inspire hope, warm someone's heart, or simply put a smile on someone's face. It is always a great reminder that, despite the many frustrations, we do have something very precious.

I wish everyone here who's searching for their own piece of happiness the best!

#2013-04-17 13:03:41 by destiny1 @destiny1

你们好有夫妻相啊。近年观察恩爱的夫妻都长得很相像。祝你永远幸福!

#2013-04-23 14:11:16 by Cicojuju @Cicojuju

真的好有夫妻相,谢谢你与我们分享你们的故事,很动人,祝福你!

#2013-05-10 09:15:44 by anonymous6157 @anonymous6157

Only recently have I been searching for my wife, specifically a Chinese woman. (I'm reluctant to say a "Chinese wife" because I see her as my wife first. She just happens to be Chinese.)

Having just lost my wife to cancer 3 months ago, I would probably be viewed as someone in deep mourning and inconsolable. I wish that our marriage had been such a love story, but it wasn't.

The last 10 years were very difficult, and I had gotten to the point, even after she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, where I looked into divorce. It makes me sad and angry that both she and I were in such a terrible situation. She deserved better, and I think that I did as well. We both had our reasons for staying; some noble and some not so noble.

She asked me several times if I would remarry. I did not know if I would or would not. But now that I am a widower, I know I want to get married. The opportunity to start anew, so to speak, is not often given in such a way. And I want so very much to dedicate myself completely and forever to another woman; a Chinese woman. I want to be “in love” and to “feel” again.

I have chatted with many Chinese women across several websites. Most were appealing and interesting, having many of the qualities that are important to me for my wife to have.

But just yesterday I received an e-mail from a woman (Chinese) to whom I had sent a note on a dating site. In that note I told her that she was strikingly beautiful and that I wanted her to know that if she ever would reconsider moving to the United States, where I am, to send me a note. We were not a “match” on the site and so figured that my note would simply be received, somewhat appreciated perhaps, and that that would be the end of it.

But, no. She had to write. (Color me disappointed...sorta.) So I wrote her back, telling her that while I was delighted to hear from her and that I could happily invest my time in getting to know her, I believed that there were substantial differences between us, as the “match” on the site indicated, and that she would probably agree.

But then I “have to” write her again. “What's your name in Chinese?” I ask her. Then later, “You have a beautiful name. Thank you for telling me.” And another one, telling her where I work, my family situation, asking her about where she lives, her job, her child and so on. And so on.

Now I can't stop.

I even took her photo from the dating site, printed it out and have it taped to the dashboard of my car!

I talk to her photo, telling her that this can't work, asking her why would she choose to continue conversing with me when there must be DOZENS of other men who are trying to converse with her and, at the same time, to give me a chance, to prove to her that I am trustworthy, and that if she does trust me, she will be rewarded with a lifetime of love, caring and devotion.

And while I'm doing all this, I'm listening to Alison Krauss singing “When You Say Nothing At All,” reminding the photo that she will feel that way about me...and Rebecca Howard singing “Simple Things,” again trying to convince the photo that I am THAT guy!

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is check for a message from her. I'm constantly checking my e-mail from work: did she send me an e-mail in that broken-but-I-do-not-care English of hers. The first thing I do when I get home from work is check for a message from her. The last thing I do before I turn out the light before bed is – you guessed it – check for a message from her.

We're not a MATCH! What is my problem??

(Ok, so that was a very rhetorical question.)

And don't even get me started on the cultural differences, language barrier and the great physical distance.

SIGH

So, I say all that for two reasons: 1) I REALLY needed to tell that to someone (thank you!) and, 2) maybe there is hope. And maybe, just maybe, that hope lies with me accepting that this will be a difficult-but-rewarding endeavor, despite the cultural differences, the language barrier and great physical distance, that is very worthy of everything I can muster.

Your story proves that, as is said in the movie “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

May our hope be rewarded with the love of our life, and a lifetime full of love, with her.

Thank you for sharing your story, and for allowing me to share mine.

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