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How to cope with long-distance relationships

Irungu says they visit each other quarterly while alternating.

In Summary
  • The cost of visit is too high, especially from his end as he lost his job during Covid-19 and is yet to secure another one. 
  • He says he was once tempted to cheat on the girlfriend when she first moved to the UK, but her constant communication made him change his mind.

Long-distance relationships are hard, and few people around the globe know how to manage and make them successful.

Samuel Irungu, 28, has been managing his long-distance relationship for over six years now.

"My girlfriend lives in the United Kingdom, she is practising nursing, and earning a living there," Irungu said. 

Despite the distance, Irungu says they visit each other quarterly while alternating. 

He however says the cost of visit is too high, especially from his end as he lost his job during Covid-19 and is yet to secure another one. 

"I am currently unemployed, I have been surviving on the stipends my girlfriend has been sending to me, at times, I find it embarrassing that she is 'taking care of me, " he said.

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As they alternate on the visits, Irungu said constant communication has been their ultimate secret, regardless of the time zone difference. 

"We video call all the time, and send random messages whenever we can, the time zone has never been a problem as I don't mind staying up late to just see her on video," he says.

Irungu says he is grateful that his girlfriend has been keeping him posted on all her days' activities and he doesn't have to worry about her talking to other people as they trust each other.

"The secret to a long-distance relationship is trust, you can't survive a day if there is no trust between the two of you. I believe my girlfriend is beautiful and she will be approached by other men every day, but trusting that she will not break our agreement keeps me going," he says.

He says he was once tempted to cheat on his girlfriend when she first moved to the UK, but her constant communication made him change his mind.

"For real, I felt lonely and wanted to look for another girlfriend as we figure out our relationship status when she moved, but her constant reassurance and loyalty made me take a step back," he says.

Irungu says he plans on marrying her as he can't get another woman who will love him better.

"She gets me, she knows when I want to be left alone, and what's bothering me before I even tell her," Irungu says.

Bernard Ochieng says his long-distance relationship 'died on arrival'

He says when the girlfriend moved to South Sudan, they tried keeping in touch for the first two months and on the third, issues started arising and that was the end of it. 

"On the third month, the foundation was shaky, texting regularly was a problem, no phone calls as we used to and she could at times ignore my messages," he says.

Ochieng decided to end the relationship via a text message as he said he had manly needs that needed to be fulfilled. 

"The long-distance relationship thing is honesty not for me, as a man, I had needs, not seeing her for over two months was a problem, I had to look for a solution," he says. 

He is now married to his new girlfriend. 

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