Singaporean Vincent and Hong Konger Cheryl embarked on their long-distance relationship before they had even met once in person. He had popped the question over whatsapp on their iPhones.
Vincent tells their story:
"I am Vincent, a 27-year-old Singaporean. Her name is Cheryl, and she is a 21-year-old Hong Konger.
'We first got to know each other through facebook, three years ago in Jan 2008. It started with a friend request and we started communicating via facebook private messages.
"We tried to add each other on MSN but it got stuck at the 'pending approval' stage so we never chatted on MSN.
"Months later on June 2008, we started chatting again on facebook only to find out that our MSN was still stuck at pending approval.
"My MSN is online whenever my computer is switched on and Cheryl claimed that she is frequently online on MSN too, but we never saw each other online. It was only after we got together then I know that Cheryl was attached in 2008, hence she did not reply to me very promptly in facebook.
"Then on Oct 24 2011, while surfing facebook, I noticed Cheryl was online on facebook chat, and I decided to restart the conversation with her, with a simple 'hihi'.
"To my surprise, Cheryl replied and asked 'how r u'. I felt very happy and excited, I replied: 'hi! I am fine. u?' Cheryl replied 'good, let me bath first ttyl'. So I waited for Cheryl’s return from her bath and found out that we both are using iPhone and had whatsapp installed so I asked for her number.
"Love happened overnight after chatting on whatsapp and finding that we were both looking for a permanent, serious relationship that would lead to marriage.
"It started with me saying 'I wonder how it would be like to have a HK girlfriend' and unexpectedly Cheryl agreed by saying “haha I think it would be exciting. My pleasure. I'd love to'.
"Before going to bed, both of us felt happy about what happened but nevertheless we had mixed feelings too, worrying that the other party might be just saying things for fun, after all it had happened pretty fast.
"The next morning, Cheryl asked me whether she was my girlfriend as whatever happened last night was too dreamy, I gave her the assurance that I am serious and this is how we officially started our relationship on 25 Oct, 2011, after knowing each other for three years, 2569km apart.
"Our relationship is pretty much like any other couple's except that we never met up in person, and we had very frequent communication through whatsapp, which was very cost effective as it utilized our iphone’s internet connection. We sincerely thank the creator of whatsapp!
"And because of this, we ensured our iPhones always had enough power when we are out so that we would be able to keep in touch with each other.
"Thankfully Singapore and Hong Kong did not have any time difference and we met no problems in communication as we both converse well in English and Mandarin.
"Soon, we started sending audio notes to each other to enhance our communication and to bring our relationship to another level. It was very much similar to talking on the phone as we are able to hear each other’s voices.
"Next I suddenly remembered that iPhone also had this video call function called Facetime and we tried it for the first time ever, as we had both never used this function before after months of using iPhone. Actually I was the one who introduced Facetime to her as she had no knowledge of it, haha!
'Our first facetime call was not at all awkward because we had already chatted so much on whatsapp and we know how each other look like based on our facebook photos, we have heard each other’s voices through audio notes, and most importantly we are very in love with each other!
"We were so addicted to facetime that we looked forward to it everyday! But due to our school commitments, we scheduled our facetime sessions on weekend nights.
"Weeks passed and it was nearing the December school holidays. Cheryl suddenly said that it would be great if we could spend Christmas together. It meant one of us would have to travel to either Singapore or Hong Kong in order for this to be possible. I quickly searched for air tickets and accommodations in Hong Kong but I found that the hotel rates were quite expensive and I could only stay over in Hong Kong for maximum of 4 nights.
"Then Cheryl made a shocking decision and said that she would be flying to Singapore to spend Christmas and New Year with me despite her parents’ objections!
"Immediately I felt very touched, excited and shocked to hear that there was someone who was willing to travel thousands of miles just to see me! I felt very honoured and happy that I had Cheryl as my girlfriend! As Cheryl would be staying over at my place during her stay, I had a hard time trying to explain to my parents that I have an overseas girlfriend and how Cheryl and I started off, after all our parents did not grow up with the internet.
"Her 12-day visit from Dec 26, 2011, was the happiest time of our lives. Our first meet up at the airport was a little awkward initially but things got on pretty well quickly as we had already have ‘met’ each other via facetime for many times!
'We also experienced many first times, dating for the first time, buying our very first couple rings, watching a movie together for the first time and visiting many places, including places I, as a Singaporean, had not been to like the MBS Skypark.
"Having Cheryl by my side was like having an angel sent from above to love me, and of course I loved her very much too! At times she will claim that she loves me more than I love her and in return I will say I love her more than she do haha!
"And we went to East Coast Park on New Year’s Eve to count down to 2012, a very romantic place where we sat on a huge rock by the beach.
"It was a rare sight to see the ships firing their flares, usually only used during emergencies as a form of celebration to welcome the new year. All in all, it is just great to simply have her by my side even though we are doing nothing, because we treasured every moment spent together with each other due to the fact that we both lived in different countries and even a simple thing like being able to sit next to each other is not easy to come by.
"Most importantly I finally have the chance to taste her cooking. She made spaghetti on New Year’s Day, when we bought ingredients after the countdown outing! I felt very loved to have someone whom we mutually love, to cook a meal specially for me and to top it up, the spaghetti tasted heavenly!
'On New Year’s Day, Cheryl finally agreed that we announce our status as engaged to show our commitment, loyalty and faithfulness to each other on facebook. It drew many likes from our friends, especially her homepage which received 55 likes and many comments, including some from her relatives.
"But the status update led to an international phone call from her mum the next day asking Cheryl to remove the status update. She said that by putting up such a status, it would deny the chances of other guys trying to woo her. This hurt my feelings very much but I guess I had to live with it till the day I got to meet her parents in person.
"The 12-day-trip ended but we already had plans for our next meeting, this time I was going over to Hong Kong in April to visit her and her parents and we are so looking forward to it!
"Just two weeks after Cheryl went home, I decided to fly over to Hong Kong during the Lunar New Year period and spend five days with her because we simply missed each other so much!
"Before my trip, I bought a pair of G-Shock watches as our Valentines’ Day present for each of us. She is a pretty careless person and the shock-resistant watches would be able to ‘survive’ her carelessness haha!
'My stay in Hong Kong at Cheryl’s place was blissful, even simple activities like taking the MTR, shopping, and having our meals together were very precious to us! I was very excited and nervous the moment I touched down at Hong Kong airport and we gave each other a big hug the moment we saw each other at the arrival hall!
"I met Cheryl’s parents soon after as they picked us up from the airport and we had dinner together! Hong Kong was very cold during my visit but I felt very warm in my heart because my lovely angel was just beside me! At times she complained that it was cold but I did not feel cold at all hehe!
"My Hong Kong trip ended too soon but we both knew we will see each other soon! Now that our parents had seen each of us, I guess it is healthier for both of us and our relationship now has been recognized! I know we can make it work together and a sweet journey is waiting for us!
"To sum it all, having Cheryl in my life is like adding vibrant colors and pleasing music to my monotone world and I now look forward to each new day.
"Thank you for accepting me! Thank you for loving me with all your heart! Thank you for flying over to Singapore first on your own! Thank you for understanding me when I was busy preparing for assignments and exams!
"I can’t wait to see you again (in May hopefully) and I love you Cheryl, from the bottom of my heart!
"Although I can’t be with you on Valentines’ Day, I’m sure we are always in each other’s hearts and we will see each other on facetime on that day as promised!! Loving you always JuJu LP, from Vincent LG =)"
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