Surviving a Long Distance Relationship with your Turkish Partner

By | on 22nd October 2013 | 16 Comments

longdistancerelationshipSurviving a Long Distance Relationship with your Turkish Partner may seem a huge mountain to climb.  Being back home in Scotland has brought back memories of when I was dating hubby and trying to survive a long distance relationship with him. We have now been together for 7 years and 5 of those including the 1st year of our marriage, we were living apart, me in Scotland and hubby in Turkey.

You would never choose to have a long distance relationship but love has no rules and you can’t help who you fall for and that can mean they are a few thousand miles away.

During the time we were dating if I added up all the time were where physically in the same place together, it would probably add up to about 1 year altogether. Not much time at all to spend with each other before taking the plunge.

The rest of the time we spent apart. Using the Internet as a way to stay in touch with Skype, the now obsolete MSN Messenger, email and phone to chat each day. We were one of those couples who spoke every day for an hour or so, catching up on the day and just hanging out online together, sharing music, talking about the News and any other topic that came up.

During our long distance relationship we spent a lot of time talking to each other and this helped us learn a lot about each other, that I think otherwise we would still be learning or may never know. You find yourself telling more about your past and connecting on another level you may miss otherwise.

In lots of ways I was very glad to have the distance and also for the time it took us to tie the knot. We didn’t just say we are in love and have to be with each and just jump in and hope for the best. I hear many stories like this where it didn’t work out and I think mainly its to do with not getting to know each other first.

The problem being is one of you has to move to that persons country and try and make a life there and if your relationship isn’t strong enough first, it can put a lot of strain on your relationship and end up ending. Its good to slow down and not rush in blind, your not in an ordinary relationship where if you break up, you just move on there is a lot of commitment when you have to move countries to be together.

We built a very strong foundation through our crazy long distance relationship and now we feel we can survive just about anything that is thrown our way. This past year has shown that, despite the problems we have had, our strong foundation and dedication to each is proving to make this relationship a strong and lasting one.

Surviving a long distance relationship is not easy it takes a lot of work from both sides. You have to be dedicated to each other and have a huge amount of Trust in each other. Trust has to be there in any relationship but you can’t have any doubts in a long distance relationship or its almost doomed from the start.

If you don’t have the Trust in each other you mind can start spiralling out of control with questions like, Where is he? Who’s he with? Whats he doing? Can I trust him? Does he really love me? And so on. Once these thoughts get going it can be hard to rein them back and can cause a lot of conflict that can’t be healed with a hug or a kiss because your so far apart.

Communication is the next key thing, again another key ingredient in any relationship but this becomes one of the most important in a long distance relationship. He can’t see if your in a huff or sense your mood (most men can’t even tell if they are right next to you) so you can imagine how hard it is for him being a few thousands miles and only chatting on Skype or through email.

A lot of miscommunication happens especially with the written word, you write something as a joke but because they can’t see your facial expressions and body language they might not get it and the next thing you know your in the middle of an argument. This happened a few times with us till we figured out where we were going wrong. You kind of need to shout “Bazinger” (hope your Big Bang fans) and let them know its a joke before you send it.

The other issue is of course the language barrier when something you say doesn’t translate the way you hoped it would and it can cause a lot of upset.

It so easy to get yourself in a bit of tangle when you are not there in person to express yourself, not only in your words but in your body language as well. As you get to know each other better you will start to understand each other and the easier it all becomes.

Doing little things the same as each other or together, like watching the same movie or reading the same book at the same time can be fun and gives you things to talk about and helps to build a strong connection and that feeling of togetherness. We liked to play backgammon online together, shared music and books we were reading. Though hubby never did read Harry Potter!!

I used to keep a note of important holiday dates, birthdays and special days in Turkey and send little text messages on those days and found ways to celebrate the days with him even though we were apart. These were nice little gestures that helped us along our way.

To stop the time apart feeling endless plan your next meet up, deciding where you will go and do it helps to give you focus on when you will see each other next and helps make the time apart easier knowing you will see each other soon.

Try not to be to negative when ever you chat, its good to be able to tell your other half about your day and get your problems off your chest, but its also important to be as up beat and positive as you can. Remember you mostly likely only have a short time together each day or week and you want those times to be enjoyable and light, so you don’t both feel weighed down with each others problems every time you end your chat.

One more tip is to remember your not there you don’t know what’s happening in the then and now, you can’t berate him if he is late for call and then not listen to his reason. You can’t say he has to be online to talk to you and not go out with his friends to play Okey. Its hard not to become controlling when you can’t see your other half and if the doubts creep in it can be hard to relax. But its important you keep living your life, hanging out with friends, working and so on and the same for him. You will both be happier people.

You can read lots of information online about long distance relationships the good and the bad, you can read my article and find ways forward but at the end of the day you have to build your own relationship together your way. You don’t have to chat everyday, you don’t have to be constantly texting. But you have to do the things that are right for you both.

In this day and age we are very lucky with the way in which we communicate, I admire those that had to do all this when there wasn’t such things as Skype and only snail mail and the phone. That must have been a real test of a relationship and I take my hat off to any of you out there that survived a long distance relationship in the communication dark age 😉

Overall a I think a long distance relationship is a real test on a couple and find outs if you are really meant to be. If that person is your destiny then you will last and build a life together in the future. Always remember you must communicate well and trust each other without doubt. Find things in common you can do together while a part and plan the time when you will next meet.

We tested our relationship and we have gone full circle again with me in the UK and hubby in Turkey. Chatting online and reliving our early days, but it has shown us we are resilient and have a lasting love that hopefully can survive anything.

I hope all those in a long distance relationship the best of luck.


Are you trying to Surviving a Long Distance Relationship with your Turkish Partner? or have you Survivied? I would love to hear from you if your in a long distance relationship, survived one or one that failed and tell us your experiences.

© 2013 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.

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16 Responses to “Surviving a Long Distance Relationship with your Turkish Partner”

  1. 24th October 2013

    Carole Gardiner Reply

    Very good and honest post.
    I’m married to a Turk, we are separated now because while I was in the UK trying to get back to work and paving the way for him to get his visa, he was sleeping with his ex girlfriend. I put all my trust in him while I was in the UK, I went back to Turkey whenever I could get annual leave and he pretended to still love me for over a year.
    I never saw it coming and now he has become someone I don’t recognise, he is nasty and vile.
    I’m not painting all Turks with the same brush, just want to share my experience.

    • 24th October 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Oh Carole, I really feel for you it must have been so heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing your experience, its good to have the real side of life and not the one through rose tinted glasses.

  2. 25th October 2013

    Carry My Style Reply

    Thanks for sharing your experience and I will definitely keep it in mind, when it is my turn – soon I will be away for 2 months from my Turkish boyfriend, so it will be a challenge, but I will look at it in a positive way like a way of testing your relationsship and hopefully it will grow stronger by the experience.

  3. 23rd April 2015

    cemre Reply

    Hi Kerry, this post resonates with me alot. I met my Turkish boyfriend last year and we have been apart for only about 4 months but the time difference and the language barrier is taking a toll on our relationship. I know basic turkish and he knows basic english but it’s not sufficient most of the times. We used to be communicating everyday via whatsapp (which is easier for us than skype cause we can just google translate words we dont understand), but recently, he seems distant in his replies and he doesnt bother trying to understand what i wrote in English. I know your husband was already good in English when you met, but i was wondering if you could share any communication challenges that you had in your LDR? Also, how did you pick up the language (i am thinking if i can learn the language quickly we would have less of an issue)

    I am trying to be less negative when talking to him but i find it so hard to not bring up things i am upset with him with, such as not replying, saying that he doesnt understand the translation, or asking me to translate and type in turkish instead. I am becoming someone i dont even like

    Another worry i have is that he seems to be unwilling to discuss issues.I on the other hand like to talk things out so i can understand him better. Anything goes wrong he doesnt want to talk about it and work out a comprise, so he just ignores the problem. He said that Turkish men are not used to talking about issues. Did you find this a problem as well?

    Hope you can give us some advice cause the goal of being together seems more distant and impossible to reach now 🙁

    • 5th May 2015

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Cemre

      First off, you Boyfriend is a Man, and a lot of men hate to talk about issues and problems. And yes in a way he is correct, because you have little time to chat its good to try and be positive with each other. Also even if you learn the language written words can be understood differently when read and especially as you are trying to translate etc the meaning can get lost completely and cause arguments. We had so many silly arguments because of this. And it is also very easy to switch of the phone/pc and walk away!

      Learn the language is doing what you are doing, talking to your partner. Most the people I know who are completely fluent, are fluent because they had to learn to speak to their partner. Unlike couples like me and my husband, I am not what you would call fluent because his English is so good. The other things to do are get a good lanaugage book, Teach Yourself Turkish is a great book you can get on Amazon and listen to music and watch Turkish films and TV are good help. The more you can surround yourself with Turkish the quicker you will learn. But speak is the best and quickest way to do it.

      I think you may be putting to much pressure on yourself and him. If you are turning into someone you don’t like you need to ask yourself some questions as to, what you don’t like about yourself just now? What is making you this way? and what changes can you make?

      You have to be you and you can’t change for anyone but yourself. I don’t know what issues you are having but often in long distance relationships, we make a lot of problems up in our head because we have to much space and thinking time. You need to get on with your life at home and keep yourself busy. And that way you will spend less time thinking up problems.

      Long distance relationships test you and if you make it through you will make it through much worst. If you need to talk more let me know and we can talk in private. x

    • 22nd August 2015

      Lin_da Reply

      Hi Cemre, thank you for sharng your experience! I am in similar situation with my Turkish BF, I am living in Czech Republic,.. he promissed come to see me, but he didnt even try to make a plan. He is not replying to my messages on whatsapp immediatly, it usually takes one day for him to reply. We also dont discuss anything important to each other. I am so jealous when I see he is somewhere out but I dont want to act angry to him when we are chatting,..and just, its too complicated. You have more experiences, tell me, does it worth for it?How is it going with your relationship?

  4. 10th July 2015

    Jeaneth Reply

    It’s NOT easy. In these 3 years I can say we’ve spent a total of around 6 months together in the same place. I’ve felt like giving up, because I’ve thought “I’m having a hard time now without him, and when I finally have him, I won’t have ANY of the other people I love”. No family or friends with me… I guess I’m supposed to learn something from this relationship (and he is too) but I hope in the end it’ll all be worth it. It’s been so far, rough patches and all.

    • 12th July 2015

      Kerry Arslan Reply


      We were 5 years together before we lived together, it was hard, we spent probably at the most 6 or more months physically together. What I then didn’t appreciate how hard it would be living together. You do all the talking while apart, then when you get together you are just making memories to last till the next visit. Once you are together you start find all his quirks and really his true personality. But if you survive the long distance, then you fight harder to make the marriage work. You know you fought hard to get where you are now and that you know you love each other and I find we work through things rather than just throw away our relationship because we know how much we mean to each other from the years of living apart.

  5. 15th July 2015

    Maria Reply

    Hi Kerry,

    I’ve been with my Turkish partner for 6 months, 4 of which we’ve spent together, though even then part of it was long distance since he had to move to a different city for work.The long distance phase doesn’t seem too hard right now, but I have a feeling once I start work and we have less time to talk it will become more difficult. I think the hardest part is missing out on the feeling of shared experiences and spending time together. But I am certain of his commitment and loyalty. We even got engaged (technically promised/sözlü) a short while before I had to return to Canada. To add another layer of complexity, I am now trying to convince my slightly conservative Pakistani parents to agree to a proper engagement. Understandably, they’ve asked me to take more time talking to him to better understand/learn more about him to be sure we can have a good future together.

    What I’ve found helpful in bridging the distance is occasionally talking with his friends and relatives. It makes me feel like I’m involved in his daily life. He is itching to speak with my family but unfortunately they aren’t open to that yet. He puts in a lot of effort to keep our communication fun and finds things to share. Time to time he’ll share clips, songs and pictures that we can enjoy or laugh at together. We talk everyday on whatsapp and call whenever we get the chance. Skyping is a bit harder to do but we try to squeeze it in there. The one thing I’ve learned in the past few months of doing this and what I’ve come to accept is that you may not talk so much some days and talk tons on others. We both have separate lives, sometimes we can get very busy, the 9 hour time difference doesn’t help either. But knowing that we each try our best to talk to each other whenever possible is a very reassuring and comforting feeling.

    I think another tough part about a long distance relationship is constantly hearing other people tell you that those kinds of relationships don’t last. They say it out of concern but it is very frustrating. I no longer get annoyed when I hear it. Instead, I now listen to any advice or criticism about our relationship and consider it, but don’t act on any of it unless I think it would help our relationship in some way. Something else difficult during long distance is only being able to comfort your partner with words when they are having a difficult time. When my partner has a particularly stressful day at work I can’t do anything to lighten his load.When he gets flight anxiety I can’t hold his hand to make him feel better.

    Ideally we would like this long distance period to only last a year. I hope at the end of it we will have an even stronger bond and my parents will be in full agreement.

  6. 12th July 2016

    julie Reply

    Hi Kerry!!

    I have a same situation with cemre but were not in a month or year in a relationship. were in a days, i think 5-6 days. We always argue about sending a private photo like man d body but I don’t want to show it for him because I’m not comfortable and were in a days in a relationship.He always say that he wants to see my body because he loves me. Is it a love?? Or a desire?? we talk only on WhatsApp because he can’t talk English,he said his not good at talking english but he knows how to write in English. Now he don’t want to talk me because I didn’t grand his wish sending a photo. And were over right now. what should I do. I love him so much but he don’t want to accept my decision. Thanks Kerry hope you will help me with this. Good day. By the why I’m a filipina and sorry for my wrong grammar ✌✌

    • 15th July 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Julie

      He should show you respect, if he isn’t talking to you because you won’t send a picture that is his problem. He would not ask that of a Turkish girl that is for sure. Leave him to be upset if he really likes you he will come back if he doesn’t then you have your answer. Don’t let him manipulate you and stick to values and demand some respect from him. Hope it all works out.

  7. 12th March 2017

    Julissa Reply

    Does this forum still work? I need help. I’m in a 2-week relationship now which started pretty flirty and I knew he was physically attracted to me of course. I was not very interested at the beginning, actually he started sending me cute messages on Instagram since July 2016, which I never answered. However, today, after this 2-week relationship, I find myself thinking about him and missing him all the time. Private pics and videos were exchanged after the first week. After that he took almost a whole day to talk to me again. I thought, ok I gave him what he wanted, now it’s over. But he came back and we talked about other things until yesterday (second sex talk, pics, videos). We have talked about religion, culture, what we expect from marriage, children and how we think they should be raised. We both honestly say we’re not in love but like each other very much and want to keep this going on. We’re making plans to meet in Person. By the way, I live in Phx, AZ, USA and he is in Izmir. We even discussed more private details and both agreed to get tested before becoming intimate. He said he wants me to meet his family and friends in Izmir. Should I trust him? Believe him? I read a lot of things about Turkish men (love rats?) that I’m panicking. But when I talk to him, when I look into his eyes, when he see each other on camera and sometimes just laugh because his English is basic and I don’t speak Turkish, everything feels so right. I am scared of going there, but at the same time I feel like a hunch, I feel like I should. Any help is welcome, thank you girls!

  8. 10th September 2017

    sanah kazmi Reply

    oh my god im in the same situation

  9. 27th January 2018

    Evie Reply

    Hi… i have the same experience as Cemre had. Communication is always a problem. But in my case, i always be patient and try to understand his basic English. If i was using compllicated word, i usually google translate to Turkey.
    I am divorced with 2 kids and I have 3 months now with my Turkish BF. When i said to him that me and my friend have plan to visit Istanbul, he said he love me. So i accept his proposal. By the time my friend were not able to join me to Istanbul, he offer to joined me for my holiday. He lives and work in Antalya and willing to come to Istanbul to joined with me for hoilday. So after 2,5 months we finally met physically and spent hoilday trip in Istanbul for 9 days. During the holiday, when he want to say in English he dont understand, he is google translate and showed me the translation. Some people think this is too much efforts. But when i met him face to face and spending time with him during holiday, it gave me confidence to love him more. Because he is so gentleman, caring, loving, romantic and respect women. Some people said, Turks man are like that. So my advice to you whose having LDR, it is best you take efforts to meet each other, to gain your confidence whether you are in to him and he is in to you or not…. and i am pray to God i hope our relationship will last forever. Thanks.

  10. 14th June 2018

    Mj Grecia Reply

    Hi im with my 2months ldr in my turkish guy we meet in online dating first..all are fun we do videocalls every hour chatting..but when times by it become not that much i guess coz he know that i know what his doing everyday always doubting about his love and i always thinking what if he found someone new and better than planning to visit him in dubai where he work atm.Im doubting what if he not like me that much if we met in person my heart will be broke for sure!..and spend my money to see him is not a joke lol.i like to know what would i do so he will be into me and never leave me 🤒😔

    • 14th June 2018

      Leyla Reply

      Hi Grecia.. my advise is, just go on. Don’t think any negative thoughts will happen. As long as it is for good, God will speed your pray. It is always good thing for having LDR to finally meet face to face, because the sense would be much different than having hours of video call. If you finally spend your money for meet him, trust me….it’s worthed. Good luck

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