It's a common misconception how difficult maintaining a long-distance relationship is. There are issues of trust, dating, and being physically away from each other. But former campus heartthrob and model Daniel Velasco, who is taking his graduate studies in Accounting in Australia, and Arisse de Santos, a celebrity and social media influencer based in the Philippines, are becoming experts on the LDR life. Here are their tips on how to overcome the barrier that is the ocean!
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Where did you guys meet?
D: We met at a shoot in Enchanted Kingdom back in 2015. She was one of the other models there. I think it was three guys and two girls.
A: We shot for a clothing brand. We worked together at other shoots too after that.
Did you hit it off right away?
A: (Laughs) I liked him already. He was just genuinely nice and cute. But I didn’t think I’d see him again.
D: I thought Arisse was pretty. Actually, she seemed quite quiet. But I didn't really think too much of it ‘cause we didn't get to talk much at the time. Wasn't sure I'd see her again either cause that was the first time we'd met.
A: He was pretty straightforward in saying we most likely won’t! (Laughs)
D: I still do find her prett,y of course. (Laughs) She was definitely more talkative when I got to meet her again, which was good. I found her so easy to talk to.
What was your first date like?
A: Our first date was just like our usual hangout. We had dinner and enjoyed each other’s company but since it was “official” already, I guess we were sweeter in a sense that we didn’t have to hold back anymore.
D: (It) was comfortable cause we'd been close friends for quite a while. We actually did some errands then went out for dinner. She had always been so easy to get along with that I loved just being around her. I felt like I could just be myself.
How soon after did you become official?
A: July 27, 2016—literally before he left. Though he already dropped hints with asking me a week before that. I was so happy because I waited so long for it! (Laughs) Kidding!
D: I asked her to be my girlfriend the day before I left to take my masters in Australia. I prepared for it a bit despite last-minute packing and everything cause I still wanted it to be special. I gave her a bracelet with a heart when I asked her. I wanted to make sure that she knew I was serious despite the distance and that she'd have something tangible to remind her of us while I was away.
Is the dynamic any different from the time you started dating?
D: Not much has changed because we communicate well. If anything, we understand each other more now.
A: We knew what we were getting ourselves into before we even got together. We’ve been pretty straightforward with each other to begin with and I guess that’s one of the reasons why we work. We learned to be more patient and direct in a way that we focus more on what actually will benefit us and our relationship.
We all know that LDRs can be hard. But in the time you’ve been apart, what would you say is the best thing about yours?
A: You value everything, even the little things, more. We also get to focus on other aspects of our relationship where we get to build or make them stronger.
D: It's always genuine in the sense that it focuses on your communication with your partner. You also look forward to being with each other so much more that you treasure all the time you spend together.
And the worst?
D: Not being able to hug or kiss your partner whenever you want to, especially during arguments. But I still think it's easy when you're doing it with the right person.
A: It’s hard to reach each other—literally! It’s like when you crave for someone’s presence you really have to wait it out and be patient.
Speaking of, how long do you go without being physically together?
D: Usually every three months or so. The most we've gone is not seeing each other for 5 months.
A: We spend weeks three to seven weeks together though when we see each other depending on the schedule.
What’s a typical date like for you guys?
A: We have monthly movie dates that are scheduled but we also have days where it’s all spontaneous and we’d just end up watching movies/series. We’re mostly Facetiming though. Australia’s time difference isn’t much of a problem.
D: Also, I always send her videos of things that I like here in Australia that I want her and I to experience.
Any tips you have for couples who are going through or will soon be experiencing an LDR?
D: Both of you have to want it bad enough. It takes patience and communication but it's not as hard as it seems when both of you want the relationship to work. It's something that also gets easier as time passes. At first people always say they can't imagine being in a long distance relationship and that it must be so difficult but the distance is usually temporary and in the bigger scheme of things it's just one of the challenges a couple may face as they grow and build their relationship.
A: Make sure you’re both on the same page. Long distance relationships aren’t common here but it’s really up to you guys in order for it to work well. Also, value your quality time more and be more open and loving to each other. That’s all you have for now so make do.
What’s next for you lovebirds?
D: We plan to explore more of Australia when she visits. Hopefully, Arisse can take her masters here too when I graduate.
A: Well, (in) the past years Daniel and I have been flying back and forth to each other. But since he has school and (is) about to finish we thought it was best for me to fly more to him this year. We plan on flying back home together this December as soon as he’s done with his masters.
-Text by Nikki Quiambao. Interview by Angela Sy
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