Widescreen blog

Juuuuuust a little heads up… I saw a comment on my last post about International LDRs, replied to it, and thought, ‘well, this looks bad. The comment is squished so thin it takes up an entire page.’ So I changed the theme to make the blog expand to fit your screen. I do tend to write a lot, after all…

Tips on International Long Distance Relationships (LDRs)

After a long and mostly happy 1 year 5 month long distance relationship between me and my Filipino girlfriend, things turned south at a pretty fast rate after we met and finally we left each other last week, neither of us really fully knowing what had happened (several months later, I can guess, but unfortunately it will always be just a guess at this point). Despite this, I am open to the idea of future LDRs, even international LDRs, as long as we do a better job of communicating. I still think they’re indeed possible to pull off, and I wish the best of luck to anyone who might be in one. Here I want to share some tips so that other couples in similar situations may avoid this. This is primarily written for people in international relationships, but people in same-country relationships can learn something here too.

Anything to add to any of these? Tips, warnings, date ideas for those who the Internet is a rare treasure? Comment and I’ll add to the post.

– Communicate. You are both coming from different cultures. Depending on where you are coming from, the rules of dating, personal values, and etiquette may be very different. Do not underestimate this or it will come to kick both of you in the butt. This is the major reason why our relationship failed. Filipino women are raised to believe they should play hard-to-get, to challenge their boyfriends to see if they are worthy. Our relationship was already on the rocks, but she wanted to me to read her mind and decipher her conflicting statements on top of that. As a fairly direct person (an American), I really didn’t appreciate that. To me, that made her seem dishonest, and made her appear like she didn’t know what she wanted. I heartily believe if we were able to talk about this sooner, nail down shared expectations, and draw some boundaries on the relationship, we would still be happy together today. This will most likely take heavy lifting for both of you. You should actively do some research online to figure out as much as you can about each other’s culture. And, hey, it’s a pleasant surprise to the other person if you can demonstrate that you did do your research. Assume the other person knows absolutely nothing about your culture to start off with (unless they prove otherwise)
This can also be tricky – some things are hard to learn. One of my ‘mistakes’ in the Philippines was tossing a backpack onto a chair. In America, this is acceptable, and everyone I got opinions from (probably about 10 people at this point) questions what the problem with that was. My girlfriend and her parents, however, were shocked and appalled. I did not learn this until much later, which leads me to another point here: PLEASE alert your significant other IMMEDIATELY if they do something on accident that is not considered good in your culture. They may┬ánot know what it is, and if so they will be confused when you aggressively maintain┬átheir behavior was inappropriate while they think they didn’t do anything wrong. And if you’re silently fuming at them, not revealing the reasons behind it, the greater the chances of a tense relationship. Continue reading Tips on International Long Distance Relationships (LDRs)

Mind the gap

Hey, it’s been nearly two months since my last blog post, so I’m overdue for one. I have definitely been working on stuff, but I have been busier than ever (I took a trip to the Philippines the second half of January which you might hear more about, I’ve also been angling for a full-time job which I am going to start very soon, and some personal issues I’m not ready to put out into the open because it’s still a stressful, rapidly changing situation). I do want to do a few blog posts (about the trip, about the two website-material things I’ve been working on, and some other things). But, you know, I haven’t been too active on the blog, so who knows when those things will come.

One thing for now: Yeah, the OSU Dining Map has kinda fallen through now. Trying to remake two apps while maintaining a third is… well, I think I have more important things to do. Branching the map out into apps, while a great experience for me, kinda doomed the project by multiplying the work (and yes, trying to unify the three systems so they would be easier to manage was my goal, but that’s still a lot of work). Sorry about that. If it’s any consolation, the hours from Fall semester barely changed for Winter/Spring.