“Dating” over long distance?


not sure what exactly I am expecting from writing here, but still thought I’d give it a shot if anyone around here has been in a similar situation and/or has some advise for me maybe.

So here’s my story:

Beginning of last year, I went to Taiwan for about one month on an exchange program through university. There, I met this girl (let’s call her Rachel) who was assigned to me as a buddy. During my time in Taiwan, we met up many times and she showed me around the city together with her friends basically. She was generally very friendly towards me, but at that time, I didn’t really see more than friendship between us (which I think was a mutual feeling).

Anyway, the time went up fast and we kept in contact via FB messenger afterwards sporadically (exchanging some texts every couple of weeks). After learning that she would also take part in the exchange towards my home country, texts became more frequently until her arrival (she came here with a group of friends / classmates).

Seeing again after a couple of months, she greeted me with a hug (which I would call a bit longer than a friendly hug if I wasn’t reading too much into it). As she really gave lots of effort back in Taiwan showing me around, I returned the favour and also showed her (and her friends) around the city. During this time, we somehow grew closer together. Halfway through the exchange, I thought to “try my luck” somehow and invited her over for dinner. That evening ended with us kissing and afterwards spending every possible minute together when she didn’t have class or other activities.

We agreed to “just stay friends”, and she mentioned that she enjoyed the feeling of not automatically being in a relationship just because we were - well, more than friends - which does not seem to be that common in Taiwan.

So for me it was actually a bit difficult to act normal around her with her friends / classmates being around too, because I didn’t want them to think badly about her in any way (not being sure about Taiwanese norms in that situation). I had the feeling that she actually worried less than me about this and actually spent the last night before her departure over at my place (later telling her friends that we were playing videogames and watching movies all night).

Again, we stayed in touch over text, but as I was really busy with university (and did not really realistically expect to see her again in the future), I let our conversations slowly fading away over the next months. I have to admit that I still kept thinking about her, wondering how she’s doing and thinking back about our time together.

So after (I think) around four months of no contact, I reach out to her again to congratulate to her birthday. Our conversation basically starts back were we left off and she tells me that she has waited the entire time to receive another message from me.

At that time, I was nearing my graduation (similar to her) and was planning to do a couple of weeks of travel between finishing my studies and starting to work. Not really expecting any sort of response (I was feeling really bad because of not texting her for so long), I playfully introduced the idea of travelling together for some time. She said yes and we planned a two week vacation in Japan together.

She told me that she had to inform her parents about her travel (as she’s still living at home) and they weren’t happy about her going alone to another country meeting a friend, but she somehow managed to get their approval before leaving (slightly misinterpreting what they said in a literal way as she mentioned). Also, she agreed to splitting the costs between the two of us saying that she had some savings and also wanted to travel.

So about two months after “reconnecting”, we met again at the airport. We did not immediately kiss, but slowly started getting closer again during the bus ride from the airport (first holding hands, then short kisses, then longer ones) - and I started crying a bit.

We spent two really unforgettable weeks together. Somehow, the time felt a bit unreal for both of us and we did not really think or speak about what would happen afterwards. In fact, she also told a friend of hers we met up with in Japan that we were “just friends” (after said friend commented to her how cute we look together).

Of course, all good things come to an end and so did our time together.
The goodbye at the airport went quite fast - we sat at in the waiting area just hugging and holding each other close, before I had to leave through security.

That was almost four months ago now. Since then, we have kept in touch via messenger again - sometimes daily short messages, sometimes hour-long conversations over text, sometimes 4-5 days with no message at all and then again longer ones. I have dropped hints a couple of times during those conversations that I would like to see her again soon - maybe even this year. She agreed, but currently is in the process of looking for a job in Taiwan, so she can’t really plan another vacation yet and thinks it might not be possible that we see each other again this year.

Now, this suspense is somehow killing me a bit - I would really like to see her again. Even if it’s just a couple of days.

But at the same time, I am wondering if I am just making the two of us miserable: Realistically speaking, there are not too many chances of “us” really having a future together, I think. We’re both not native English speakers, she doesn’t speak my language and I don’t speak hers. She’s still looking for a first job after graduating as mentioned and I just started my job back here. So it’s not like I could just take some months off and fly to Taiwan and take some random job (no native English speaker, so not sure if there would actually be some good options for me) - especially not without seriously impacting my career.

For her - it might be possible in theory to do a Master’s degree in my homecountry maybe - but again, she doesn’t speak the language, international programs are hard to find (especially in her field), so I think that would somehow be too much to expect from her (especially as we have spent less than one month “together” in total).

So I am really wondering how I should proceed: Being realistic (?) and “breaking up” with her (well, it’s not like we’re together anyway…) or naively hoping that there might be some sort of possibility for us to actually become “more than friends” in the future.

At one hand, I don’t want to lose her.
On the other side, this uncertainty is somehow killing me - I am not sure how naive I am actually are when I am hoping for some sort of shared future together.

Thanks for reading so far (not sure where else to post this or who else to ask - none of my friends have been in a similar situation, so their advice is also limited).
Maybe someone has some thoughts to share with me. Or just some comments how naive I am actually are.
Everything is appreciated.

Thank you!

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i think you got nearly all the chapters of a full novel. what’s missing is the ending and maybe a movie deal


Block her. Move on.


I think I counted three mistakes in that. I assume you’re from the Netherlands or a Scandinavian country.

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Assuming you got physical with her during your time together, do not mistake lust for love. Lust can’t stand the test of time it distance.

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what’s missing is the ending and maybe a movie deal

I’ll let you know when I am ready to sell the movie rights! :smile:

Block her. Move on.

Mhh, probably no movie deal then :roll_eyes:
But honestly? Just the thought of doing that makes me a bit teary…

I think I counted three mistakes in that. I assume you’re from the Netherlands or a Scandinavian country.

Thanks, I guess? Let’s just say somewhere in Europe where English is not the official language :wink:

Assuming you got physical with her during your time together, do not mistake lust for love. Lust can’t stand the test of time it distance.

I mean, I wouldn’t say that I love her already and start thinking about marriage and stuff (that takes much more time together, I think), but it definitely feels like much more than just an affair or something.

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Yellow fever. Take two pills call me in the morning.

You’re obviously not having that good a time with the situation as it is. You’ll feel better after you’ve done it.

Honestly, you’re on here asking for answers to a question you already know. You’re being jerked around, toyed with, gamed, whatever you wanna call it. It’s not worth it. Don’t even say goodbye. Just block her. :roll:

I’ve been in a similar situation before.
Long distance relationships are hard and can take a toll on you.
I’m sorry to say it, but unless you guys have plans to see each other more frequently (living in the same country helps), I’d advise to get some distance.
Sounds like you both are still young. So, don’t worry, there are other fishes in the pond.

If you have strong enough feelings for this woman enough that you’re here asking advice, she seems quite significant to you and it sounds like there is significant chemistry there.

Do you think you and her and both mature enough to handle a visit if the end outcome is ending it romantically? If so, why not visit again and let things play out how they do… maybe you can guys be in a relationship and not tie big expectations to it. Sounds like youre making it a big thing in your mind, which is something you can roll back a little.

if its making you or her feel shitty more often than not, end it ASAP tho.

…Life is short…

If you are going to stay in your respective home countries, then you should consider mutually remaining just friends or pen pals. Don’t think or hope for it to become anything more.

If both of you can accept that, then there’s no reason to block her. Build your friendship online. If you ever get a chance to meet again, don’t hug, hold hands, kiss, or have sex. Because if you do that, the feelings of lust will return, along with feeling confused.

Ha. Brutal. I like it.

There is lots of advice on long distance relationships on the net. The general wisdom is that they can survive if you have a firm plan to be together in the future (e.g. “In 2 years after working in a graduate job I will move to your country”). If there is no firm plan, the couple will usually drift apart or one will break it off after they meet someone else in real life.

From a cultural perspective:

  1. In Taiwan foreign men are seen as playboys who just want casual sex. She might be worried about being judged by her friends. She might introduce you to them after you are in a “serious” relationship but not before.
  2. Traditionally Taiwanese don’t do casual dating. You date so that you can get married, and you get married so that you can have a kid.
    This does affect your situation, as her parents can’t ever know about you - you meet her family, post pictures together on Facebook, or live together - unless you’re definitely going to get married. So don’t think moving to Taiwan unless you’re ready to commit to a lifetime together. However, if she moves to your country the rules don’t apply, anything goes.
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you sound like a wet blanket. shit or get off the pot!

as she works with foreigners i would be pretty surprised if she held this ass backwards view.

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huh? OP said she was still looking for her first job…

ok so it was an exchange thing. but the same probably applies. if shes doing an exchange why would she hold such views

It sounds like you’ve only communicated over text. If you really want to keep the relationship going I’d suggest video chats regularly - like a few times a week. You can do activities together that way, like watching a movie together, cooking, or even just working but with the video open. At the least it’ll feel like you’re seeing her a lot more often, face to face.

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not necessarily her view, I think. But why she can’t hold such view?

if she is interested in showing around foreigners and exchanging to foreign country’s then it doesn’t make much sense she would be ashamed to be dating with a foreigner. pretty basic stuff.

I like this idea. It should be “young adult” fiction (teen romance). The story is about college kids, but aimed at high school reading audience. You need to throw in a twist or surprise at the end . . . the relationship is over! But wait! In fact they are still in love and reunite to find true love before it’s too late!!

Writing the story might help you get this out of your system.

On a more serious note: I have had these types of feelings for an unattainable / lost love. It’s really unproductive. You waste time worrying about this thing that can’t be resolved. While it might feel really important to you in the moment, you have to realize that all the time and energy spent waiting for and thinking about this person, is time that you’re not living your life and meeting someone who can love you right now.

Also consider: if she really had the same feelings for you, then you’d be making plans right now to live together. But it’s not happening, is it?

My advice: don’t be rude and ghost her, or tell her it’s over. Just keep the fond memories, get on with your life and date some other women. That door may be still open in the future, but you’re just making yourself miserable about it, when you don’t even know if she cares. She might not be “playing” you intentionally. But if she doesn’t really care or think about it in the same way you do, then you are getting played.