Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Long Distance Relationships After Marriage Suck!

Being back home has also reminded me just how much long distance relationships suck. You have to find a freaking phone and service that can text internationally and pray it works like it's supposed to. You need instant messaging and webcams and all that crap. Ugh. I hate technology at these moments. Picture it, laptop on my lap and cell phone in my hand. I'm using both at the same time. Grr! All this reminds me how much I dislike texting, chat and IM.

So I thought I would do a refresher post to help you all out since I seem to be a sort of test dummy on all this crap at the moment. You can read that as - I'm too stubborn and lazy to google first and so I just pick something up, it doesn't work and then I have to go back out and get something else. I blame the addiction to shopping.

Phones:
  • AT&T has discontinued IM services on their non-smartphone prepaid phones.
  • US Cellular is cheaper and IM is not available on all phones.
  • MetroPCS offers both services...when they want to work.
  • Vodafone from India is supposed to work here but for some reason AT&T nor T-Mobile seem to want to let the services work very often. Nor do any of your messages come through. I wasn't about to pay 165 INR a minute to make a call and so finally I just turned off my phone instead.
  • Verizon thinks their stuff doesn't stink and thus wants $80 a month for a prepaid smartphone account. Um...no thank you. That's $30 more than any other prepaid service. 

Cheap Calls to India:
I personally swear by Jaxtr and Rebtel. I used both successfully for years and only rarely had minor problems. Both are party lines (I don't know how to explain this...it's phone terminology. The best thing I can think of is that it's like one of those dating lines you call into where you can talk to just one person or the whole group. These two services are set up that you only talk to the one person you're dialing). Sometimes the lines get crossed and it connects you to the wrong person. Both have low dialing rates.

IM
Yahoo and Skype seem to work the best to me. I've never cared much for MSN Live and it may work just as good. I also left ICQ behind years ago and maybe a few other IM services. I'm just not that into this IM stuff to being with lol.

I know Skype has horrible connections far too often. Especially if I'm using the tablet. It takes minutes to send an IM (wouldn't bother me if IM didn't mean INSTANT messenger). Sometimes it's so slow that I send several messages and they show up on my screen. Then I get a tone indicating I have new IMs there but I can't see them. It's because it put them before my messages and so I have to scroll up and find them or figure out which ones were the new messages.

I tried Yahoo on my AT&T phone before they discontinued the service on June 28. It was slow too. Now I have no IM on my phone lol. It's better this way really. A cell phone feels like a leash to me with all those beeps and tones going off. It might not be so bad if I didn't have the foster sisters, my niece, my dad and half the other ppl I know all wanting to text me. Whatever happened to good, old fashioned phone calls? I much prefer those.

Hubby and I do still talk and chat often regardless of all of this but it's just not the same. Being here without him just feels like something is missing in my life. Talking over the computer isn't the same as picking on him in person. He's also lost. He says there's no one there to drive him crazy and drag him shopping. He misses me just as much as I miss him. Probably more actually. I haven't had much time to sit down and think about it and he has.

13 comments:

  1. Been there too many times, I was the one staying in India waiting for DH to get a local cell phone connection when abroad in all cases. He never activated the international roaming on Vodaphone because it just cost way to much money.
    I'm really not a fan of those IM service and Skype, I have Skype to chit chat with my dad from time to time, but half the time he has a crappy connection (he is travelling on his boat around the world) and the camera is makign things really slow.
    When DH is away we keep it to phone calls, we met on ICQ in the old days but IM is no longer our thing at all.

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  2. Try Vonage. I love it

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  3. I usually use VoIP to call my parents. It's great as long as you have good internet connection.

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  4. I, too, share your frustration! Send him a Magic Jack! Its good as long as his net is working. We Skype a lot and use IM only on our phones as its cheaper to text through IM....I personally have T-Mobile service with an International Calling/Texting Package. You have to get a phone that is GSM compatible in order to text and call him. In my area only T-Mobile and AT&T are GSM capable.... so I'm kind of stuck. And yea, the $80 bill totally sucks.
    I did try a cheaper option but its not completely reliable: H20 Wireless (powered by AT&T). We can IM through this service still and also get $20 a month of free International Calling for $50 a month.  Its worth a try!

    Good luck, its a crap shoot :(

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  5. Hi Kristy! 

    Have been reading for a while, thought first time commenting :)

    I am reading your post with eager anticipation as my wonderful partner just last week has moved 4500km away to the other side of the country for a 2 year contract due to work/visas.  It's only been a week and I feel so lost already! Thinking of you and I definitely understand that feeling of loss that hits you when a relationship that always was just 'there' moves away! 

    Take care xo
    Miss Jess. 

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  6. As my husband works offshore he is away three weeks at a time. Not so bad now but it used to be months at a time. Sometimes he would work three months and then only have a couple of weeks off before he did another three months. We are mainly limited to VoIP when he is on ships. But he has a calling service to call family in India it's very clear and generally reliable. Reliance is what he uses. It's a sort of rechargeable calling card like thing but we don't have to buy cards. I think it ends up costing between 3 and 7 cents a minute depending on when you purchase the minutes. Sometimes there are deals. My niece and her husband used air tel while he was working here in Seattle for a year. On our phones we usually use Skype or tango. Nimbuzz is decent too. I don't know what kind of tablet you have but tango is both iOS and android compatible.

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  7. I have heard good things about Vonage but where I'm at you can't get internet good enough to use it. I'm in one of those 'jungle' areas in the middle of nowhere lol. I bet it would be great for someone living in a city though.

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  8. VoIP is definitely great if you have a good internet connection. Some of the services have issues but since it's free it's still good. :D

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  9. I've never thought of that! I've heard of them but didn't realize you could send it to India. I wonder how it would work on our internet over there. It might be worth a test since it's so inexpensive.

    I will look into the H20. The only reason I even need or want a phone is to keep in touch and I have yet to become loyal to anyone. Thanks for the tip!

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  10. Thank you so much for your support. These times are difficult and having people who understand really helps.

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  11. The Magic Jack should work in India if it does in Pakistan... he would need a good internet service with at least a broadband connection. Its been a lifesaver on my long distance calling! Good luck!

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  12. Kristy,

    I used a calling card to talk to DH when I lived in the US, from this site https://www.relianceglobalcall.com/index.aspx I paid about 5 cents a minute and was really convenient and reliable. :-)

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  13. That's great! I'll keep that in mind. So cheap and easy too, I like both of those!

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