• Kimmy Pang

This is OUR story

There's always gonna be ups and downs in every relationship so embrace the rollercoaster ride

The First Encounter

We met in college here in the UK. Funny how things just worked out the way it did considering that it wasn't something we were looking for; but I'm glad we found our way to each other in the end.

The whole friendship journey was pretty cliché. It went from being friends to him being my physics tutor cause I was struggling (for real) and then being my best friend. From then on, it took a bit of time to get from the friendship phase to being a "thing". There's always gonna be the fear of dating within your friendship circle - afraid that if things don't go as planned, that part of your life would be gone completely. He and I didn't have mutual friends prior to meeting so I don't know if that even counts as dating within our friendship circle; regardless, we both took a leap of faith and he turned out to be one of the best things in my life.

How do you know if he is the one?

I don't think I knew at first either. It just hit me one day, realising how comfortable I felt and how I could be nothing other than myself around him. I was completely content with my life before I met him and it wasn't like I needed a significant other to make me feel complete; but being around him makes me that much happier. Life was already perfect as it was but he made every single moment in it more precious. And it just feels right.

Finding Our Place with Each Other

I think the most difficult part about a new relationship is finding what worked for the both of us at the start of it all. We had our fair share of quarrels over petty matters in the first few months which felt like it wasn't going to work. This phase usually makes or breaks the relationship. I'm sure many of you have been here before too.

It didn't break us. Instead, it changed us.

There's a misconception that you need to change in order for someone to like/love you. It wasn't like that for us. I think at that adolescent stage, we both had bad habits/behaviours that were affecting ourselves and each other. We gave each other time to slowly grow despite all the nagging still going on. I guess that worked for us - being honest with one another and talking it out.

The truth hurts especially coming from someone dear to you. We tried to put our pride and ego aside and accepted what the other had to say. Most of the time it ended up with tears shed (me, cause I'm a sensitive soul; he's just a tough cookie that goes into self reflection mode) but we came out stronger, knowing that we only want what's best for each other.

Don't misunderstand this point here. Don't ever feel forced into changing yourself when there's nothing wrong about you. Just be clear whether it's you or it's just your partner trying to nitpick every single one of your flaws. Remember that we're only human.

We made it pass the first hurdle cause we were always ready to listen; but then came another.

The BIG change

We were at the stage in college where we didn’t know what the future held. It was scary to think where we would end up because of the uncertainties. I think this was the most emotional stage for me cause it felt like we had to fight our way to get here finally but could possibly be torn apart.

We would talk about it repeatedly but could only hope for the best. We talked about what would happen and how we'd try to make it work if we happened to leave London (or even the UK) for good. It was going to be a struggle and I didn't really believe in LDRs but if we were both willing to try, what did we have to lose?

I've always heard of so many LDRs that didn't work out but also some that happened to survive. Every relationship has different dynamics; but I believe that if you have your heart set on it, you can make it work. It's always gonna be in the back of your mind about how he/she might find someone else. If that happens then maybe he/she wasn't the right one for you cause people change in the different environments they're in; and if they were willing to let you go then that person wouldn't be worth fighting for. Much respect to those of you surviving LDRs, he/she is definitely a keeper!

He and I didn't need to go through the LDR stage cause we happened to make it to London universities together. But being fresh out of college and in the first year of university, there were so many things to experience - making new friends, being involved in societies and events.. and I wanted to do it all with him. Though we were in London together, we were in different universities so we were mixing with different crowds which made it a little bit more difficult to do things together. It was tough having him tag along to my events and vice versa.

It wasn't that we didn't enjoy each other's company but when we barely knew the people around us, we thought it was best to get to know them a little better before bringing in our plus one.

I made the mistake of thinking we had to spend every waking second together (extremely clingy back then) and I didn’t fully appreciate the people around me. Obviously some friendships were broken and things spiralled out beyond my control.

You know those high school dramas when you felt like it was you against them? It was like that for me.

There he was at my lowest moments and I could tell it was hard on him too constantly surrounded by my negative aura. Eventually I got back out there again with a little push from him of course. Looking back, I am thankful for that push cause I was never going to feel ready; and without that push, I wouldn't have found a stronger support system in the friends I have now.

After all that mess, we agreed that maybe spending TOO much time together was becoming unhealthy on our relationship with friends and ourselves. Having our personal me time means that we could work on our own things and when we spend time together, we can properly cherish the time we have.

Giving each other space isn't a bad thing. You're giving each other time to work on yourselves so you can both grow together in the relationship. And you know what they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Would you decide your future based on your partner?

I'm grateful and blessed that he's extremely supportive in everything I do. Although it doesn't make my life decisions any easier but knowing that he truly wants me to be happy is comforting. I was in the dilemma of choosing between a possibly unhappy work life in London (but I would be with him) and starting afresh in Portsmouth to learn more, clinically. Of course he wanted me to stay but if moving away was something I needed to do for my career, he was fully supportive of it.

He has never been short of supportive in this relationship and that's one of his best qualities. Regardless of any situation, we'd try and talk it through and find a way to make it work for us. We are each other's constant reminders to do better in life and it's so endearing to be able to celebrate every milestone we've watched each other work so hard for.

So I moved to Portsmouth.

And we see each other most weekends now except when I'm working or when it's too tiring to travel. The hardest parts are always the goodbyes even though we'd see each other soon. There's no easy way to get around this. All we try to do is talk every day via text and a short video call session before bed to tell each other about the highlights of our day. It does help to have plans for the weekend so we always had something to look forward to.

He's the reason London always feels like my second home and one day I'd make it there again.

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