Love is... enduring long distance

CYBER LOVE: Moana Postlewait, 23, is in a long distance relationship with her boyfriend Thomas Morton-Jones who lives in Brisbane.
CYBER LOVE: Moana Postlewait, 23, is in a long distance relationship with her boyfriend Thomas Morton-Jones who lives in Brisbane.

Jed Misa hadn't even kissed his girlfriend Jessica Dixon before she moved from the other side of the world to be with him.

For many months the only way the couple could connect was through a computer screen after meeting in July 2010 while attending a six-month missionary training school in Townsville, Australia.

They decided to pursue a relationship when they graduated, knowing the next day Jed would be in New Zealand and Jessica back in England.

"After our school had finished, Jed asked me out and we spent one day together. We then flew home. Neither of us really knew when we would see each other again," Jessica says.

In August 2012, 21-year-old Jessica left her life in England and moved to New Zealand to be with Jed.

She now lives in Howick working as a child-minder and says going from opposite sides of the world to living in the same city is amazing.

"It is incredibly relieving to finally be together and to have a sense of normality in our relationship. There is nowhere else on this planet I'd rather be than here with him."

Waiting for Jessica to arrive at the airport was an exciting moment for 21-year-old Jed.

"I was a total mess waiting for her with my flowers in hand. The moment she came through those doors, I jumped over the railing, quite nonchalant about the keep clear area, and picked her up, spinning her around in joy."

The airport provided the perfect location for Jed and Jessica to share their first kiss.

"Most people can't believe that I hadn't kissed her till then, but it's true. I wanted it to be special and the timing to be perfect, and it was," Jed says.

Jed now lives in Eden Tce and says enduring a long distance relationship was tough.

"Communication was a big issue and not being able to hold her was hard for me. But we made sure we talked about everything we did and we made each other laugh. I sang her songs and played my guitar over Skype."

Jessica says communicating through cyberspace made interpreting feelings difficult.

"It was easy to misread words and phrases. I hated the fact we couldn't go out and experience life together, we were always looking at each other through a webcam," she says.

Moana Postlewait and Thomas Morton-Jones are familiar with making a relationship work through cyberspace.

Moana, 23, lives in Takapuna, while her Kiwi partner Thomas, also 23, lives in Brisbane, Australia.

Their relationship is a real family affair, because the pair met more than a year ago through preparations for their siblings' wedding.

"I was my sister's maid of honour and Thomas was the best man, which makes it corny and cheesy. I can't believe it. The easiest way to say it is I'm dating my sister's husband's brother," Moana says.

Thomas has been based in Brisbane for four years completing a metalwork apprenticeship, while Moana is studying for a medical degree at the University of Auckland.

She says although it helps having Thomas' family nearby in New Zealand, it's hard to get to know his characteristics.

"You can learn all about one another through emails and we talk for hours. I know his values and morals really well but it's difficult to experience his personality and the way he behaves," she says.

In the early stages of their relationship, Moana and Thomas would fly across the Pacific to see one another every two weeks.

They now stick to Skype and email.

Moana credits the fact she and Thomas live so far from each other for the strong relationship they share.

"Distance helps to really get to know the person. It's not just about what they look like," she says.

Have you ever been in a long-distance relationship? What made it work - or not - for you?

Western Leader