Il Mare (The Invisible Lover)

When I started this relationship I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn’t know how hard.

In honor of Valentine’s Day we’re sharing stories of international students who are in long distance relationships. Though it can be tough, we have two couples showing love conquers all!

We hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day this weekend. Please enjoy this article about Maidina and Subi. Maidina is currently studying at George Fox University in Washington and her boyfriend, Subi is back home in China.

Il Mare (The Invisible Lover) 

When I started this relationship I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn’t know how hard.

Two different worlds
We have known each other for a year and half, but the only time we were actually together was for about two months. Those two months were one of my best times in my life. Six thousand miles away from each other, with a thirteen hours time difference, is long enough to make our world totally different from each other’s. I eat breakfast when he eats dinner; I say good night as he says good morning; he comes to my mind when I am sitting at the front row in the classroom, and I emerge in his dreams during the snowy winter night.

Dating with my phone
The only way we can see and talk to each other is through technology. Without a phone, I don’t know if this long distance relationship could last, but sometimes I complain that I am dating my phone. This little devise controls my feelings. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I cry because a text message says, “I miss you.”

Please, go away, couples
It’s a nice day, so I decide to go to a coffee house and have a latte, a piece of cheese cake and read my favorite book. A couple sitting at the table next to me hold hands and looks at each other affectionately. They talk about life, family, friends and the future. I can’t stop looking at them, they seem very happy and love each other so much. I finish the coffee in five minutes and leave the coffee shop alone. The day is ruined.

Do you know how I am feeling?
“Do you know how I am feeling?” is something we repeat again and again when we argue. Speaking of arguing, it’s probably the most irritating part of a long distance relationship. When you can’t see each other and don’t know each other’s expressions, there will be more misunderstandings and miscommunications, which makes everything go down quickly.

I just realized that I made a list of how awful a long distance relationship is. You might ask me why I am still carrying on this way; it’s because I know that there is something that hurts me more than enduring this exhausting relationship, and that is losing someone who I love so much.

I admit that I admire the couples around me and also admit that having a long distance relationship is very challenging. But I have to face reality and believe we will go through this together. I see this as God testing our love. If we past the test then there will be a day that couple in the coffee shop would be us.

Watch this quick video of photos of Maidina and Subi!


Like this story? Read about Danna and Nick


Medina Tohti international student voice magazineMaidina Tuohuti is an international student from China studying journalism at George Fox University, a private Christian university in Oregon. Maidina is a journalism intern with ISV Magazine, writing about her own experiences as a Muslim student in the U.S. as well as writing feature articles on topics important to all international students. 

Maidina can be reached at

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