There comes a time in every couple’s life when they may find themselves apart, whether it be a few miles or a whole state away. But even that doesn’t seem so bad compared to the miles upon miles of ocean and land that can stretch between many couples.
At Emporia State, where many students hail from all across the globe, campus abounds with students in this very situation, separated from their loved ones by sea.
Dongli Zhang, graduate English student, is one of these students. She and her husband, Li Jianwei, were married at the end of July 2012, she said, after a seven year relationship that began after the two met in high school.
“It was hard to come here without him,” Zhang said. “Living without him can be very difficult.”
The last time they were together was Aug. 3, 2012 – the day she left for ESU. They keep in contact frequently through a Chinese chatting network called QQ, and Zhang said she hopes they’ll be able to see each other again in the coming summer.
But for Ruiyan Li, senior accounting major, it wasn’t as difficult. She left behind her boyfriend, Zhihao Sun, but she said it was much easier, thanks to telephones and Skype, which allows them to talk almost every day.
Still, the distance does take a toll.
“When an argument happens, you can’t really make it up,” Li said. “There’s no way to meet him or send a gift, and we can’t always reach each other (immediately) on the phone.”
Li, too, will travel home this summer, and she will be able to see Sun.
Others students are luckier and don’t have to worry about distance at all. One couple, Tongyu Wang, junior marketing major, and her boyfriend Chi Che, junior accounting major, brought their relationship with them when they came to ESU from China.
Wang said the two of them were in the same class and also traveled here through the same agency. Although they are together, they still left a lot behind.
“We don’t have any friends or family here in America,” Wang said. “We can get lonely, but when we get together, it’s better.”
Wang and Che said they both have a full schedule this Valentine’s Day and won’t be able to do much to celebrate.
But Wang said it won’t matter much.
“I think that if a couple loves each other deeply, then every day is Valentine’s Day,” Wang said.