Over the past several months on Instagram, I have watched my friend Rich develop a relationship with a beautiful woman from Australia. They seem so dedicated to one another and seeing their relationship persevere has made me curious about what it’s like to date someone who lives on another continent. For many, dating in Los Angeles is a desolate scene and these two have a relationship that’s like bright yellow flowers breaking through cracks in the concrete.
I asked Rich how he met his girlfriend, Simone, and if she still lives in Australia. I asked how many times they have each flow back and forth and how they stay close when there are oceans between them.
“We met at my work,” Rich said. “I’m a bartender at a hotel in DTLA so I meet lots of people but she definitely stuck out of the crowd. She was in town for a convention, but we actually only spoke like 2 sentences to each other. She flew back to Australia and ended up finding me on Instagram then sent me a DM like, ‘You probably don’t remember me, and this is probably kind of creepy, but I stayed at the hotel you work at and haven’t been able to get you out of my head since.’ I was completely blown away. I definitely remembered her but couldn’t believe she had gone out of her way to find me.”
Next they began texting back and forth on WhatsApp and hit it off. Within a few days, they were talking almost constantly despite the 19 hour time difference. Rich said that sometimes he’d wake up in the middle of the night just to Skype Simone or say hi to her. After about a month and a half of talking on WhatsApp, Simone flew back to Los Angeles to see Rich and find out if there was chemistry in person.
“She was only supposed to come for a week but we extended her flight twice and one week turned into one month,” Rich said. “I’m 37 now and I’ve been single in LA and New York for the past 10 years. Not once have I instantly felt so comfortable with someone.”
In the past 7 months, Simone has been to Los Angeles twice for a month at a time and Rich went to Australia for 3 weeks to meet her family and friends. He said that the longest they have been apart was 8 weeks and it was really difficult. Skype and WhatsApp have helped with the distance.
From what I have experienced with my own relationships, friends of mine and friends of friends, this level of dedication is pretty rare. Their story seems like something out of a movie. It’s inspiring to see a love like this and I hope to encounter more couples like these two. They seem lucky to have found each other!
I asked, “So what happens next?”
For now, Simone is living in Los Angeles and Rich proposed to her! He said they plan to get married in late January or early February. I wish these two the best! Cheers to them and cheers to love!