When They First Met at the Airport

This Valentine’s Day we want to show love conquers all by featuring couples who are in long-distance relationships. Today’s story is about Danna and Nick from China, in love but separated.

When they first met at the airport, she had the feeling that something was there between them.

“I did not know that we were going to the same school. When we saw each other on campus, we could not believe that this was true,” She said with her eyes smiling, “we meant to be together.”

Danna and Nick both were international students attending George Fox University in Oregon for the first time. They were both from China, but from different regions. They started dating the spring of 2014 after they had known each other for six months. For them that was a year full of love and caring for each other. They were like peas and carrots, Danna and Nick, inseparables. Bits and pieces of daily memories congest over time; no matter what happened, homesickness or stress by school work, they went through it all together. After not a very long time, they became each other’s indispensable part.

I wish their story just ended here…

“I know it will come one day,” she had said. “I just want to give myself some more time to face the reality of being apart with him.”

Nick graduated from school the summer of 2015, but Danna has one more year to finish school. This is a big problem for most couples. What do they do next? Nick was trying to find a job closer to her. The closest one he could find was in Seattle, a four hour drive from where Danna lives.

Danna and Nick 2 international student voice magazineSome people will think that it is not something to worry about and Nick always can come back and visit her. That is true, however, they have been together almost every single day for a year and half and all of a sudden they have to be apart.

“Everywhere I go in or outside of campus, I could see him, see us,” She remembered. “That was the place we used to study together; that was the restaurant we used to eat together, but now there is only me.”

Danna cried almost every night for a month and she didn’t want to be the one who stayed and was surrounded by their memories.

Nick left reluctantly, but he tries his best to come back and visit Danna at least once a month. The few days comparing with every day apparently is not enough, but they treasure every moment they spend together.

“He is making a lot of efforts in this relationship. I am really thankful that I met him,” Danna said.

Danna gradually getting used to the long distance relationship. She realized that she relied on him a lot for the past year: “I used to be a very independent person, but after I met him, he took care of everything, kind of treated me like my dad, ” she laughed. “I felt like I found myself again. For me, I guess, it’s a good thing.”

At 8 o’clock in the morning, Nick showed up outside of Danna’s classroom. It was her birthday, and he had to wake up at 4:00 am and drive four hours to come. She thought that was a dream for a second, then she cried.Danna and Nick 3 international student voice magazine

“If we were not long distance I would probably never have had a surprise like this,” Danna said.

Not a couple, I guess, on this planet would like to have a long distance relationship. However, when things are planned like that we have to accept it. For Danna and Nick it is really hard to get used to the transition and keep going on their journey, but at the same time they are learning from their experience and how to be able to run this relationship better and more smoothly.

By the way, Danna told me that understanding and trusting are the most important things in their relationship and she hopes all couples who are in long distance relationships can finish their journey together.

Happy Valentines Day!

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 maidina@internationalstudentvoice.org

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