Long distance relationships: how love can conquer anything (even SH1)!

Happy New Zealand couple

At EliteSingles, one of the highlights of our working week is when we get to hear about happy couples finding love through our website. We put a lot of work into matchmaking and our biggest reward is celebrating the resulting love stories alongside our members.

This is one of our homegrown success stories – a tale involving long distance relationships, true chemistry and real love – right here in New Zealand!

A very New Zealand love story

When a Kiwi woman called Challen came across a Facebook advert for EliteSingles, she had no idea that joining the site would change her life. She also had no idea that this change would involve two languages, a nine hour drive and one epic love story.

Challen had been an EliteSingles member for about five months when she was contacted by a German-Kiwi man named Stefan. Straight away, Challen was impressed, finding herself drawn to Stefan’s upfront profile. She says ‘’there was just something really honest about what Stefan had written…and because I’m pretty honest on my page I found this really appealing.’’ Stefan was likewise attracted to Challen and so the two began sending some very promising messages.

There was just one snag to this prospective romance – the distance. Due to a generous location search, Stefan (who was based in Auckland) ended up being matched with Challen, although she was based about 650km away, at the other end of the North Island in Wellington! Challen admits that she and Stefan did have initial misgivings about the practicality of long distance relationships, yet she just couldn’t shake the overwhelming feeling that something about Stefan felt right.

READ MORE: Yet to crack the Wellington dating scene? Meet great singles and find wonderful date ideas here.

Can long distance relationships work?

That feeling turned out to be right on the money. It wasn’t long before EliteSingles messages turned into Facebook messages and then into phone calls. It also wasn’t long before these calls turned into a longing to meet in person and see if real-life chemistry could match their online spark.

The two had been planning this meeting for late September, but, excitingly, Challen found herself being sent to Auckland for business in early August. She was a little nervous about seeing if Stefan ‘’was ready to meet up for a coffee a lot sooner than what we had planned’’ but, she really needn’t have been. Stefan agreed and that first meeting was the moment when all the long distance relationship doubts dissolved. As Challen puts it: ‘’cheesy enough, it was like love at first sight, no exaggeration, just like the movies.’’

READ MORE: Are you longing for a first meeting like this one? Read our tips for better first dates.

It all starts with that first date

Their first date sounds pretty cinematic, too. As Challen happily admits, ‘’the date lasted the entire weekend!’’ It started with a long walks through the Auckland CBD and involved many highlights, such as ‘’sharing a cup of chamomile tea on a park bench, waking early in the morning to get coffee, watching The Late Night Breakfast Show and laughing until it hurt, sitting for four hours looking over the Auckland Harbour saying barely a word.’’

Challen notes that, with Stefan, letting go of long distance relationship nerves felt so natural: ‘’from the first moment it was like we already knew each other, like meeting with an old friend…we talked about so much [and] not a single moment passed where we didn’t understand each other.’’

READ MORE: Want your own cinematically perfect date night? Try our tips for a romantic evening – in winter or in summer!

‘’It was like we had always loved each other’’

Fast-forward a couple of months, and one of the best ways to describe Challen and Stefan is love-struck. It’s clear when they say that ‘’We both knew immediately that this was something really beautiful, it was like we had always loved each other, gone away from one another (although we had never met before this) and then stumbled upon each other by chance to rekindle a deep love.’’

They talk every day, often by video and phone – anything to make that long-distance-relationship-feeling smaller. As Challen says ‘’our relationship is communicative, both verbally and with our hearts. We intrinsically know how each other is feeling about something in each other’s environment and we are able to talk about this with one another.’’

These phone calls might not have to last too much longer though, as the couple are planning a very exciting development. Challen smiles ‘’Stefan has decided to move to Wellington, so we are planning when and what that looks like. It is hard, but we both have our minds set on the target – to be together, to share our lives together in one space.’’ Their happiness is inspirational – proof that even long distance relationships involving State Highway 1 are no barrier to finding love in New Zealand.

Are you ready to find a partner that suits your lifestyle? Join EliteSingles today!

EliteSingles editorial, November 2014

Do you have questions about finding love in New Zealand? Let us know below or email us at [email protected].


All quotes and photos from a series of EliteSingles interviews throughout October 2014.

About the author: Sophie Watson

See more articles written by Sophie Watson