This is the third and concluding part of @daleks_exterminate and @Pifanjr 's story. Here, they tell us how they met and the things that drew them together. They reflect on love, marriage, and the great things that give humans hope. (The interviewer acknowledges that she is oozing all sorts of Fi here, lolol!) Happy Valentine's Day, @Dalek's_Exterminate and @Pifanjr .Horror-style characters in love on Halloween!
How did you meet?
Daleks- @knife randomly added me to a hangout group that Pif was in.
Pifanjr- It's a bit more complicated from my side. One day as I was browsing PerC, I noticed someone had posted a link to a tinychat room (which is actually against forum rules). Thinking it might be interesting to talk to some members in real time (this was before the chatbox even existed), I decided to click the link and had a pretty nice conversation, so I decided to bookmark the link. Some days later, I randomly decided to check it out again, which happened to coincide with the people who set it up talking about moving to a more permanent chat, which ended up being Hangouts. So it was a huge coincidence I ended up in that Hangouts chat, to which Daleks was later added.
Of course, I later learned that Daleks gets added to pretty much any chat that involves more than one PerC member, so that part wasn't as much of a coincidence :P.
What made you choose to go into an Long Distance Relationship?
Daleks- At first, I thought he was a crabby old man. Eventually we became friends and talked a lot. He told me a few times that he thought that he liked me and I was convinced that he did not actually, but just liked that we could talk about anything. Literally anything, he even gave me relationship advice, which is not ironic. So I basically said that anytime he told me he liked me. I kept telling him that I was only interested in being friends. He read some articles about being in love with someone vs. loving someone (as a friend) and then told me that he knew that he was completely in love with me. He apparently said this so that I could kind of back off, but I realized that he was literally everything I had ever wanted in a significant other. He is funny in a way that only comes from intelligence. He is clever, thoughtful, and really fun to be around or talk to.
Pifanjr- Like Daleks said, at some point I realized I had fallen in love. I had never met anyone as wonderful as Daleks in my life, so it seemed only natural to me that we would have a relationship. The idea of not having one just because of the distance didn't even occur to me. We were just too perfect for each other not to be
What were the biggest challenges at the beginning?
Pifanjr- This is my first relationship ever, I've never dated in any way before, so obviously I was very inexperienced about everything that is involved in a relationship. This caused us to have some difficult moments in the beginning, as I had to learn how to express my feelings and to communicate clearly, but luckily I'm a fast learner.
Daleks- It scared me to move so quickly with someone who had never been in a relationship before. It wasn't that it was an LDR, it was that he was so in love and bought a plane ticket and was coming so soon. He was so invested. I even suggested that he date other people for a bit just to be sure. He refused. After knowing him more and meeting his family, I've come to find out that one of the reasons they weren't freaked out, even though he was moving so quickly in his first relationship, is because he never really regrets any decisions, as he doesn't just carelessly jump into them. He's so good at weighing pros and cons and thinking ahead. Not completely knowing, or at least believing that made it really scary that he'd invest so much and regret it. This fear was kind of ridiculous though, because that can happen in any relationship with or without experience. Someone less experienced isn't automatically predisposed to that happening.
Who moved for the other and why?
Daleks- we had originally planned on Pif moving to the United States, since I was studying. Due to various circumstances outside of our control, that didn't really work out. We were actually married in April, and I flew back alone a week later. That was the most difficult part of our relationship. Goodbyes were always sad, but it wasn't as hard to be apart as it was after we were already married, for me at least. He flew to be with me in August. After that we flew back together -- well on separate planes and I had a stopover (because we're cheap ;)) but the same day.
Pifanjr- I think Daleks covered this one pretty well.
How was the transition to another country?
Daleks- When I moved here, it was late fall, very gray and cold. I couldn't really sign up or plan for anything because I had to wait exactly 89 days for my visa application to go through and be accepted... I know this because I literally had one day left to stay in the country without it. It was nice at first to not do much, sleep in and play video games. As time dragged on, it became less fun and I was getting angsty. Now that I have permanent residence and the fear of having to leave and reapply is gone, we can actually begin to plan life. I signed up for a Dutch course immediately. I'll look for a job after I finish it. I can also finish my study here. We can look for housing. The language is proving difficult. I'm kind of bored with a lot of the food choices. For a country that once owned the East India Trading Company, they sure don't like using what they supplied. Dutch food is either boiled, mashed, or deep fried. It took some getting used to. I've only been here slightly over three months so I'm still transitioning as a whole. The easiest part was finding friends. I just adopted Pif's.
Pifanjr- For me, it was not that hard obviously. I did notice it was really hard on Daleks to not be able to be as independent as she was used to. I don't have my own car and, while it's possible to get pretty much everywhere you want to with public transportation, it's very different than in the United States. Of course, it just took some getting used to, and I think it has gotten a lot easier for her.
I think it would've been a lot easier for me to transition to the United States, since I already speak the language, and I'm not an extrovert and am perfectly happy sitting in my room all day
Do you have any advice for others that might be in a similar position?
Pifanjr- For the person who's not transitioning, you should keep in mind how hard it is to be somewhere where you aren't sure how anything works. Also, make sure you have a solid plan on getting your own apartment as soon as possible. It really is important, because I don't think it's possible for anyone to be really at ease living in someone else's home, no matter how great your parents are.
Daleks- Basically what Pif said. Also if you have just made a huge lifestyle transition, expect it to be challenging and difficult. For me, it was really easy to idealize moving to Europe, but the reality is less exciting (although it is absolutely wonderful) and much more difficult. I also think it's really important to get out early on, explore the area you live in and the country as a whole. With or without your significant other (provided that's why you've moved). Get a data plan (even small prepaid) with a new sim card early on. Make friends. Study the language as early as you can (if different then your own). Also if you've moved for an SO, communicate to them what's difficult for you and why. Since this is their home, they'd obviously know it better and most likely be able to help find solutions as well as offer moral support.
When did you know it was time to get married?
Pifanjr- The first time I said I was ready to get married was when we'd been in a relationship for seven weeks. I realized that I had never been in a relationship before, so I wasn't speaking out of experience, but I knew that was how I felt. I just knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her and I couldn't imagine anything that could change my mind. And it turns out I was completely right
Daleks- Being around Pif was so easy. When we met in person, it didn't really seem like a first meeting or anything like that. He was exactly what I expected him to be and he's said the same about me. Even mannerisms, maybe that's due to video calling a lot, I'm not sure. Regardless, being around each other since we've been friends has been chill. We get along so well. We have somewhat similar senses of humor. We can talk about anything. I find him incredibly funny and smart. That makes him the most attractive man that I've ever known. So, for me, if I were to make a list of everything I would have wanted in someone, it would have looked a lot like him. I wouldn't say seven weeks- I'm not sure of exact time, but I know I wanted to be with him. One of us needed to move, and it was so much easier to be married to be able to live in each other's countries. That's the practicality of it. We didn't mostly get married for that reason though, but because it was clear we were such a good fit and because we do love each other so much. He proposed by waking me up really early and asking if I wanted to play Skyrim. He had restarted the game with a new character named after him that looked like him and he edited an NPC to look like me and have my name. I didn't know any of this until the screen loaded in the Temple of Mara (which is where you can get married in the game) and it asked if I was sure I wanted to marry him.
Tell us about the wedding.
Pifanjr- We didn't have a lot of money and we spent a lot already on plane tickets, so we decided to have a free marriage in my home town. Daleks did find a beautiful wedding dress for a huge discount and I already had a suit, so we looked the part. We could only have six people there though, so it was just my parents, siblings and my brother in law there for the wedding itself. We married in city hall, we didn't have a wedding in the church. The person who led the wedding wasn't very good at English, so most of it was in Dutch, with her doing her best to translate it in English, with some help from me.
Afterwards, we had brunch, which was pretty good, after which Daleks and I went to Amsterdam, in a train, still in wedding clothes. We booked a hotel there, where we first changed clothes, because a wedding dress is apparently not the most comfortable, and then played tourist for the rest of the day.
All in all, it was a pretty good day.
Daleks- It was certainly interesting having a wedding in a language that I didn't know. They made sure--multiple times, that I knew what I was agreeing to. It happened at 9 a.m. That was quite early. It was also free, which is amazing, so 9 a.m. was not bad for free. I liked that it was small. The only thing I would have changed would have been my family being able to be present. My mother just had surgery and couldn't travel, so that wasn't a possibility. We sent them a video. It was also quite funny to stay in our wedding clothes and go on the train to Amsterdam. A group of construction workers started humming wedding songs. I absolutely loved everything about the day... mostly that it was Pif that I was marrying and get to have a life with.
Where was your honeymoon?
Pifanjr- We actually did our honeymoon before we got married, because you have to request the wedding two weeks in advance in the Netherlands and Daleks couldn't get off work for too long, so we decided to do the honeymoon in those two weeks. We went to Prague, where we booked three different places via Airbnb. The first was advertised as a yacht, but turned out to be a tiny sail boat, with no heating and no bathroom. The closest bathroom was on the golf course, which was only two minutes away from the boat, but was closed between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., after which the closest was a McDonalds about 10 minutes driving. It was... an interesting experience.
The second apartment was luckily a lot better, in a very spacious apartment in a flat, near a metro station, while the last apartment, where we only stayed one night, was beautiful and within walking distance of Prague Castle.
We pretty much just played tourist for the entire time there, going to every tourist attraction we could.
Daleks- We road tripped to Prague! It was amazing. Driving through Germany was nice. We took turns reading Roger Zelazny's The Chronicles of Amber. Prague was so old and so beautiful. We took a tour under the city and walked on streets from the 13th century. I love history and there was so much to take in, everywhere we went. It's also incredibly strange because it’s the only place I've ever traveled where we were able to ask "Do we want to splurge and buy water or be cheap and drink beer?" As Pif described, the boat was a hilarious situation. We were also docked in a yacht club. When we left we had to open a gate with a key each time and then relock it. That made the bathroom situation even funnier. We had a really wonderful time together.
How did your family feel about it?
Pifanjr- They were very supportive. My parents even offered to pay for half of the plane ticket so Daleks could spend Christmas at our house, which I of course immediately accepted. We're currently living in my parents' attic until we find an apartment. I don't think I've could've wished for anything better.
Daleks- My mom talked to Pif on the phone before he ever visited and mentioned that he sounded like Stephen Hawking's computer. I found that hilarious. They really love Pif. I don't think they're thrilled about the distance, but they're very supportive and love both of us.
Do you think that knowing about personality types helps you get along better as a couple?
Pifanjr- Yes, I do. I think I would have had less patience for the bursts of Ne if I didn't understand it as well
Daleks- yes. I think it's helpful to have a general idea of HOW Pif makes decisions, as in the actual process. I love how his brain works. Intps are officially my favorite. :p
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Pifanjr- There is so much more I could say, but we're already late with sending this in, in typical perceiving type style . I'm just eternally grateful that I've met someone as wonderful as Daleks, and that we were lucky enough that we were able to move in together so soon. I didn't think I would ever meet someone who was so perfect for me as Daleks is. I love her so much
Daleks- I'm so happy to be with Pif and to be a part of his wonderful family. I love and appreciate him so much. It's really late. I promised I would turn this in by Wednesday. I'm just pretending by staying up until its finished it's still one day for me, so it's fiiiiiine.
I've always heard this idea that people should be with people very complementary to them. I think I even bought into that. But I've dated and clashed with people who fit that. I married someone who isn't very "complementary" to me. Pif and I have so many similarities and our strengths and weaknesses are mostly alike. It works though. I think that's because we enjoy each other, respect each other and have fun together. We would both have to deal with the same weaknesses apart, anyway so as long as we realize that and don't become angry or annoyed at the other for not doing something that we wouldn't have as well (and I think we're good with that about 90 percent of the time) it works out great. We're both more likely to use free time to play video games, or read random articles and shrink responsibilities but at least we have fun and appreciate each other while doing that. Then we also have the possible random bonus of sometimes finishing something on time that we wouldn't have because there are two of us.
Give us your parting words.