The Cross-Cultural Long Distance Relationship

By Raj, age 21, England, United Kingdom

So me and this guy have been good friends for a while. We "flirt" at times and we are very close. The thing is we live in different countries and have different cultures. I'm Christian and he's Muslim. At one time I said that if we ever met I would like for us to be more than friends and he brought out every reason we couldn't, and it hurt, so I said sorry for bringing it up, and he said that it was fine and he would like the same thing also but it couldn't be.

When I bring up that he is a big flirt he says that he just says those things because I enjoy them. He says that if I ever give up my religion and move to his country we could be together, but he doesn't understand that as much as I would like that I wouldn't give up my culture and religion. When we played jokes on each other I told him I was in love with him and he said that I wasn't - it's just an attraction thing.

I don't know if that was a complete joke because I do have feelings for him and he has said he cares deeply for me. I'm just confused because at times it seems as if he may love me, and then it doesn't . I can't even explain my feelings. All I know is I can't stop thinking about him. I smile non-stop when we talk. And I have this weird feeling in my stomach. Should I tell him these things, and is there a possibility we love each other more than friends should????

Alexy, 16

Hi Alexy,

I think, in this case, once was enough to tell your friend how you feel about him. You already told him you'd like to be more than friends so he's aware of the affect he has on you. There's no reason to share all the details when the chances of you guys getting together any time soon are quite slim. I know it feels like you love him because it's completely amazing when a guy is giving you that kind of attention, and it's natural to crave it all the time, but at the end of the day he's in another country, so are you sure he's not flirting with lots of other girls too? I'm glad you're not considering changing your religion and culture for him, because you're far too young to give up your life for any guy. Besides, I doubt your friend would really expect you to, or even want you to. If you turned up on his doorstep he'd probably be very badly shocked. People tend to tell you what you want to hear when there's a huge distance between you because if they never have to see you then they never have to prove anything.

It's incredibly hard when you have feelings for somebody who's so far away, and all you want is for them to be next to you, but you have to respect this guy's honesty in telling you that you could never be together. I don't think you are in love with each other, but it sounds as though he likes you and cares for you, so if the two of you have chemistry and he makes you happy then stay in contact with him. You can still enjoy flirting with him, but be open to meeting other guys and give them a chance too. You might not be able to imagine having these kind of feelings for anyone else, but trust me, you will. I'm sure there's a guy closer to home whom you'll get along great with and the distraction will be really helpful. Trying to pursue any kind of long distance relationship with your friend will be massively impractical, especially since you're only 16. If it's really meant to be perhaps you'll find each other again in 10 years time and everything will work out perfectly :)

Good luck,

* * * * *

A Guy's Regrets about His Lost Love

I can't believe I'm writing this to you girls, 'cuz obviously this is a girls website, but I want advice from the ladies.

Soo, it started out last summer on June 24th. Katie and I were a great couple - no fights, no drama, no nothing. We had our first kiss on the 2nd week of our relationship. Our parents were fine with us being together. We talked on the phone like CRAZY hahaha and we hung out every week, but it all fell apart when we went to high school.

I had a super long crush on this girl named Kayla. We were like, well, basically a couple in 8th grade. We walked around together. We flirted, but I didn't ask her out 'cuz she wasn't ready, so I waited. I felt like she was the one for me - same home city, same age, same attitude towards life, but she started to change when she joined cheer. She felt all upper-classy. I lost her to a football player this year.

Anyway, I flirted (kinda) and started hanging out with Kayla, and Katie saw this and I told her I was just a friend to her (I was a *********, I know), and btw, the relationship was going well - 2 months of no fights and stuff.

Anyway, Katie broke up with me because I was more of a "best friend," and I know that was b.s. I know what I did wrong, and that made realize how stupid I was. I lost something so priceless that can't be brought back. I want Katie back so much. I miss her. I would never lie or hurt her emotionally again. Now I'm just friends with her again. I need your help!!

Alfred, 16

Hi Alfred,

Okay, I'll tell you what I think from a female perspective ...

Yes, what you did was pretty crappy, but please give Katie some credit. Maybe she did break up with you because she genuinely thinks you are more of a best friend. If you turned out to be not-so-great boyfriend material but she still cares about you and doesn't hold any bad feelings toward you, then she was sensible to decide to be just friends, before you hurt her so badly that even friendship wouldn't be a possibility. But if you really want her back then you need to find some way of proving to her that you respect her and are capable of treating her right, like every good girl deserves. But before you do, ask yourself if it really is Katie that you want, or if you're just desperate to be with someone for the sake of your pride, after losing Kayla. Because if that's the case then getting back together would obviously be unfair to the pair of you.

But if you're sure it's Katie that you want then the best thing to do is tell her everything that you've told us: that you were stupid and wrong, what you two had was priceless, you miss her and you want her back. Be honest about the way you felt about Kayla, because the idea is to be open and start afresh. She'll probably think you've come groveling back because you don't have Kayla anymore so this is where you'll have to prove yourself. You need to regain her trust, so obviously change your behaviour and don't go around chasing other girls. It's easy enough saying you'll never hurt Katie again but be consistent in your actions. Show her how much you care for her and how well you know her by doing things that make her happiest. Show her how special she is to you. It might take some time for Katie to feel like she can trust you again, so be patient. If it doesn't work then respect her decision to not take you back and let her go. No matter what happens, you'll have her friendship and that counts for a lot :)

Good luck,

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
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- A month full of love
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- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
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- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
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- I don't care (poetry)
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