Statistically speaking, long distance relationships do not work, 70 per cent end due to unplanned changes. Four years ago I was not aware of those numbers, but even if I had been, I would have still taken up a challenge to become part of the other 30 per cent. And in this case, I can proudly call myself a successful achiever. I am an American guy who was in a three-year long distance relationship with an amazing, smart, beautiful, funny Estonian girl until I finally packed my things and moved to Estonia to start a new chapter in my life.
After I took up the challenge, I was told countless times that such relationships do not work due to the distance, or if we did move in together, we would eventually despise each other until the point where we craved the thousands of miles of separation again. This was not the case in this love story. In 2011, I met her and we quickly became very close friends. I am a bit ashamed to admit now that before meeting her, I did not even know that Estonia was a country and that Skype was created there. However, the more our friendship progressed, the more we wanted to stay connected, and Skype calls became part of our everyday routine. Being so far apart in different time zones, can be a fatal hiccup for a long distance relationship, but Skype helped us to build and maintain our feelings for each other and without it I would probably still be single. Let alone, living in such a beautiful country and working as an intern at the company that essentially helped me be to be with the woman I loved.
Before moving to Estonia, I had different type of jobs. I had changing work schedules, lots of time off or barely any. My girlfriend was at the same time finishing her bachelor’s degree and working at a restaurant part time. On top of it all, she was 10 hours ahead of me and this required very tricky time management, if we wanted to sit down and video chat. Luckily, we live in the time of smartphones and free Wi-Fi. Love finds a way… With our changing schedules spanning over international time zones, we managed morning wake-up and evening goodnight video chats. Let me remind you again – we did this for close to four years of which three years we were dating. But, if video chat is as easy as rolling over in bed and opening Skype on your phone to see the person you love, are you really going to say no?
I am writing this to assure you that long distance relationships are possible and easier more than ever because of programs like Skype. Without compromising my social life in the United States, I was able to maintain a wonderful relationship with a girl living on the other side of the world. With Skype it did not matter that we were thousands of miles away from each other because we were able to see each other at any time. Although the time difference made things a bit more difficult, we managed to fit Skype calls into our schedules, sometimes even more than twice a day. Do not get me wrong, long distance relationships still require a lot of commitment, but it is not as difficult to stay in touch during the Information Age. Skype is not a dating app, but I would like to believe that Skype is a relationship app. When I say relationship, I say between a loved one to another, a CEO to an employee, a mother to her son and so on. Skype is for maintaining all types of relationships between people with different backgrounds and locations in this quickly globalizing world.
Distance does not have to be an end of one chapter because for me it was the beginning. We are human beings, we adapt to our environment and we learn to thrive. For whatever reason you find yourself away from your loved one, just know there is still hope and also very helpful modern technological advancements. Skype was always there for me when I needed to see my girlfriend’s face or hear her voice. Although I was not physically there for her graduation, I congratulated her on a video call afterwards. Just because you are missing someone, does not mean you are missing an opportunity to have a life together. To anyone out there thinking of call it quits on someone who is moving away, don't do it! This is 2016, there are so many ways to stay connected with your loved ones. I chose Skype, which helped me to make my relationship stronger, and now I am living with my girlfriend happily ever after in a far-away land called Estonia.