How Gay Guys Make Long Distance Relationships Work
Many years ago, I dated a guy for about 18 months before I ended it. He was given a great opportunity that would further his career except this role would require him to move interstate. Instead of being supportive and seeing it as a test for our relationship, I decided that “long-distance is the wrong distance,” as infamously declared by Tina Fey’s character, Liz Lemon, in 30 Rock.
I was young and foolish and would probably attempt to make it work today if I could turn back time. But I’m now in a fabulous gay marriage so that chapter is officially closed.
Dating and relationships can be difficult within the gay community where toxic masculinity, ageism and sexual racism against Asians can determine whether you survive or not. So, imagine meeting a guy who could be the one, only to have your dreams shattered because you both live in different countries.
Thankfully, we live in the age where FaceTime makes distance seem like only a number and accessible flights mean seeing each other doesn’t need painful planning. However, long distance relationships still require work so I ask some members in the community why they took a chance and what they’re doing or did to keep the spark alive.
Lok Man and I met in 2009 at a gay club, Propaganda, in Hong Kong which has sadly closed down. I was on a 8-night holiday and we met each other on the last day of my trip at around 1am and my flight was at 8am. It was literally love at first sight!
We exchanged emails and promised to stay in touch via MSN. When I landed in Montreal, I checked my email and saw a message from Lok Man. This was the beginning of our long distance relationship although we didn’t officially call it a relationship until we were living in the same city. We would write each other long messages every day before we started communicating on Viber and WhatsApp.
A year later, I moved to Singapore so we could be closer to each other. I would fly to Hong Kong for a few days or Lok Man would visit me in Singapore. Sometimes, we would go away to another city. The idea was for us to live in the same city and as we considered moving to Canada, I secured a job in Hong Kong. We lived together from day one and have been happy ever since and now, we just celebrated our third wedding anniversary.
Long distance relationship can be challenging so it was important for us to meet often. That, to me, was the key to keeping each other happy.
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Three years ago, I was in NYC as I was going to one of Björk’s show in Queens. I received a message on a dating app from Eric and we hooked up for a hot steamy night. We were eating the next day and Eric suggested that I come back and visit him for a week in NYC. We fell in love and the rest, as they say, is history.
I’m fortunate that I’m a flight attendant based in Hong Kong so I fly frequently both for work and personal trips. Eric is retired so he visits me regularly in Hong Kong or wherever I fly to. It’s easy when you get travel benefits.
We make sure to speak with each other daily via video calls. Even if you’re one of those who enjoys your personal space and time, it’s important to do this as it really maintains the relationship.
Eric and I haven’t really talked much about our future except for the occasional charter about me moving to the Big Apple and working in fashion. That or he would buy an apartment somewhere in Asia of my choice and we would both live our lives like fabulous gay queens.
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I met my husband at a restaurant bar in Milan, just after Milan Fashion Week. We immediately clicked. I was heading to Paris the next day and it was also his last night in the city so we hooked up. We spent the rest of the night drinking wine and strolling through the empty streets but sadly, went our separate ways the next morning.
While in Paris, I received a Facebook request and a message from him. He found me on Facebook! He asked me if I was still in Paris as he wanted to fly here to see me again. At that moment, I knew he was the one.
He was living in Switzerland and wasn’t interested to move anywhere else as he loved his job. I had also just started my own company in Dubai so we agreed to continue the relationship and let distance be a part of it.
There wasn’t any discussion about the future during the early days. We surprised ourselves and managed to maintain a perfect long distance relationship. He had always mentioned that he wanted to be my husband someday, which I thought was a joke. However he proposed one autumn evening in Paris and, of course, I said yes!
We still live in different countries but we make sure to chat on Skype or send sweet emails or messages even when we’re busy. Travelling is also something we do together and we still get excited to be with each other as if we’re like honeymooners.
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My partner, Brian, and I met online and lived together in Toronto for around 11 years before I moved to NYC while he stayed on to run his business.
We both agreed that the move will contribute to my personal growth since I’ve never lived anywhere other than Toronto. Since the flight between both cities is only an hour, we saw each other in person every other week. Brian would fly to NYC once a month and I would return to Toronto monthly.
We called each other daily and also planned all our vacations together so that we were able to spend more time together. I also made a point to introduce Brian to all my new friends so that he felt like he was part of my New York journey. I think having a great foundation is a must so that distance doesn’t affect the relationship.
My intention was to return to Toronto after three years and continue our future plans together. That didn’t happen. The long distance relationship lasted for about two years and although I think we probably could have made it work longer term, there were many other factors that played into the end of our time together. We’re still good friends.
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These guys have managed to date and keep the spark alive while living apart. Some have ended their relationships and some have gone on to get married so there are happy ever after successes. But like most relationships, it’s clear that communication and understanding are important elements. In the case of long distance relationships, it’s just something you have to work harder on.