I Took My Chance on a Long Distance Relationship

I took a chance on a long distance relationship.
We (read: I) often diminish menial things that we think may not amount to anything but everything is connected in the universe. That meaningless small talk you had once may lead you to love of a lifetime.
I love this tea wisdom.
 
We (read: I) often diminish menial things that we think may not amount to anything but everything is connected in the universe. That meaningless small talk you had once may lead you to love of a lifetime.
 
That’s how I found love, actually. There was a series of small events over the span of 20 years that lead me to Steven. I could trace back the relationship back to the start of elementary school. Long story short, I knew a boy who had an older brother who in the end was my senior at an extracurricular group in college who told me about the art website DeviantArt. There I befriended a few guys online who lead me to a website called Manga Revolution that Steven was also a member of.
 
Let me tell you my story on how I took a chance on love, on a long-distance relationship.
How monumental is the 10 year challenge for your business?

Kharisma & Steven made that long-distance relationship work. You can too!

A little background story:

I grew up in a fairly normal, middle-class family in Indonesia, raised by a couple of loving parents who are slightly over-protective upon their daughters. It’s been implied that they didn’t want us to have any romantic relationships before we finished high-school. Fine, nobody wanted me anyway… Or so I thought.
 
I grew up a tomboy as I recognized from an early age that boys had all the fun. Although I grew up without a brother, from my limited observations, I believed that boys had fewer restrictions, forgiven easier as “boys will be boys”, they didn’t have to wear skirts and sit with their legs closed.

Short hair rules

My hair was never long but still, I asked the family friend hairdresser to cut my hair short like a boy. I hated it when my boobies started to grow and for the longest time refused to wear a proper bra but a bralette that made me look flat-chested. I was happy when people mistook me for a boy. I was mistaken as a boy many times in the ladies room during 5th or 6th grade, even by my parents’ friends.
 
But then hormones started to kick in and I developed feelings for a classmate, a boy. I suppose I had my first crush when I was in 6th grade. I watched as my friends started to pair up in junior high while my crushes remained just… that, a crush. I watched those boys fall for the other girls in school.
boy crush
sad embarrassed anime girl

Grow your hair out! Be more feminine.

Who else got these kinds of non-constructive advices from your friends and extended family? *eyeroll*
 
But despite not being able to move past the friend zones, I was an outgoing and confident person. So I basically told them kindly…
 
“F* you all, I’ll find someone who loves me for who I am, who loves my short hair, my boyishness, all of me. I’m not changing myself nor my appearance for a boy!”
 
It became a sort of a promise I made to myself with my take it or leave it attitude.
middle finger raised

I’m not a trophy

By college, I had style, I had skills, many friends but no boyfriend. And it wasn’t from a lack of socializing either. “Am I not pretty enough? Is my hair too short? Am I not charming enough? Maybe I should’ve asked them out?” These questions ran into my heads countless times. I was forever stuck in the friend zone no matter how close I became to a guy friend. The society told me boys didn’t like girls who were “aggressive”, *ehem*, assertive.
 
I think I made my family worry when I still hadn’t had a boyfriend all through college. My sister was already in a serious relationship at that time, my younger cousins already broke up a few times with their girl/boyfriends. All of that money putting me in the top college how come I’m not someone’s trophy wife yet? Hahaha… Just kidding…
 
The older I got the more I felt like I didn’t belong in Surabaya. The conservative ways of thinking, I didn’t agree with many of them. I preferred the western way of thinking. So I began to look for a match at Match dot com and a few other dating websites out of curiosity but unfortunately, only older men twice my age hitting on me. Eww.
seduce asian girl

How they think I would react to their messages.

DeviantArt was my window to the world

Fresh out of college, still no boyfriend. Working in an office wasn’t for me so I took a chance to work from home and took up freelancing. An old friend told me about a website called DeviantArt. It was an art website.
 
I uploaded my art regularly and became fast friends with a few guys there. One of them launched his own website called the Manga Revolution and asked me to join. I sort of refused at first but eventually gave in. It was a nice small community of artists. Most if not all of them had a DeviantArt account as well and DeviantArt had chatrooms so we would regularly chat as a group of young aspiring artists.
cat chat keyboard pink hair

Silly chat games

One day, a member of the chat created a silly game where we would pair up and become pretend husbands and wives. I picked this long-haired white kid as my pretend husband, his online ID was Zeratanus. We have previously seen everyone’s pictures. I liked long hair on men, sue me.
 
By the end of the day, everybody had faked a fight and broke up. But not us. It just continued on for who knows how many months. But we were just that — a pretend couple in a group chatroom. Never really thought of it to be more than that.
 
Until one fateful day after the Manga Revolution website got disbanded. I was in a private chat on MSN with one of the members from the UK. He was still a kid, 16 years old at that time. He guessed that we (Steven & I) must’ve chatted privately all the time as we got along so well in the group chat.
 
“No, I don’t even have his MSN ID,” as I told him.
cat nope

“No, I don’t even have his MSN ID.”

Cupid was hard at work

He gave me Steven’s MSN ID. By that time, Steven had just started college. His best friend was a year under him, he was an introvert, and had no one to talk to. We became close fast. We would chat any time he was on a break. There was 12 hours difference between us so the time was in our favor.
 
Months later into daily chatting with this person from the other side of the world, I had developed a strong feeling about him and I sensed that he felt the same. I don’t know what got into me that day. Maybe it was the 12 years of watching my crushes snatched away from under my nose by other girls. So I asked the golden question…
 
“Since when did you like me like that?”
 
I caught him off guard. He didn’t expect that question but he was glad I asked. He’s still saying if it was up to him to ask, we probably wouldn’t be together right now.
 
After we established our relationship, we would regularly webcam every chance we could. My internet was super slow then and the frame would move once every minute if we were lucky. It was so funny to think about it now. We got so many silly screenshots of halfway faces as a result.
cute embarrassed blush girl

“Since when did you like me like that?”

What in the world? Long-distance relationship?

His parents didn’t believe that the long-distance relationship was real. His dad, in particular, would ask if he saw any cute girls in school every time he came home for the weekend or school breaks.
 
We planned to meet on his first summer break. His parents couldn’t believe their ears when they heard of his plan visiting Indonesia in the summer. This 18-year-old, who couldn’t even physically pay for food on his own due to anxiety, going to travel alone across the world to see a girl he met online? Say what?!
 
“No, you’re not going to Indonesia alone.” — Steven’s parents.
 
“Yes, I will.” — Steven.
 
He used the money he got from his part-time job to buy the tickets. We met in Bali. He stayed for a month. 2 weeks in Bali and another 2 in my house in Surabaya. This 26-year-old girl was dating a 19-year-old. Age was never a factor for us as we both are pretty much 5 in spirit.
Steven & Kharisma first year

Steven & Kharisma’s first year.

He would come every summer to visit as I couldn’t get a visitor visa to the US and the rest of the time we webcammed. On the 4th summer of our long distance relationship, I was approved of a fiance visa and hopped my way to the US to marry him
 
Now, 9 years later, we’re still pretty much in love, we’re still mentally 5, we’re goofy and weird together. 
 
It was a long time waiting but in the end, I got everything I ever asked for. A boy who loves me for who I am, who loves my short hair, my boyishness, all of me.
Kharisma & Steven the wedding.

Our wedding day.

What’s stopping you from pursuing happiness?

I hope my experience taught you something… That it’s ok for a girl to make the first move. You don’t have to wait for your prince charming to swoop you up your feet to confess your love for him.
 
What’s the worst could happen? He/she doesn’t like you back? Sure, your pride may get hurt a little bit but what if it’s a yes? Could you be starting your happily ever after sooner?
 
Rip the band-aid! The sooner you say it, the sooner you can move on (if it’s a no). Don’t get hung up and waste your time waiting for someone who doesn’t like you back. If you’re afraid of ruining a good friendship then that friendship was never meant to be. Despite what society tells you, girls can stay friends with guys platonically. Love is not limited to a romantic one. Love comes in many forms.

My smartass and cheeky husband made this artwork after doing the edits so of course I have to include it here.

What will you take a chance on today?

Did you have a success in your own long-distance relationship? Share it in the comment section so our readers can learn from you too!
 

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long distance relationship success story
Kharisma.

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Kharisma Sommers

Kharisma Sommers

When I'm not working on improving my metalsmithing skills, I like to take macro photos of flowers (but only when the weather is warm because I'm picky like that). I spend my days watching funny animal videos on Facebook and/or glued on Netflix. It's hard to imagine that I won awards for my jewelry if you judge me by my silly pajamas.

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