On how to survive a long distance relationship

I feel like I should start addressing the lack of posts recently. Maybe it’s only me who has noticed, who knows… but the truth is that I have been busy adapting to my new job for the past couple of weeks, and uploading more than once a week has been a bit of a challenge. I do think it’s only a phase, and that slowly work will become a bit of a second home and I won’t feel completely drained and useless afterwards.

I want to get back into working out, reading, writing and making collages, but right now it seems like all my energy goes to working, feeding myself and keeping the house somewhat clean (sometimes not even that). By the way, have you seen the new fancy “collage” tab in the menu (see here)? It only took me 2 hours and a good part of my sanity to get it there, so please do check it out.

So, with that in mind, I thought today I would tell you about my experience in a long-distance relationship, and some of the things that helped me when I was in one.

My Experience

My boyfriend and I met 4 years ago in Hamburg, when we were both studying abroad. All was fun and meaningless while we were there, and it wasn’t until after (when I was back in Spain) and that we realized we actually missed each other and weren’t ready to say goodbye just yet. So I visited him in the US, and we decided to start dating.

Queue two loooong years of long distance.

At first I didn’t make any plans. I thought of it as “I want to be with that person right now, and I am gonna wait and see what happens next”or “At least we will stay together until Christmas, since I bought the flights already”. Then, to everyone’s surprise (and mine too) the months passed, and we were still together. We were saving every penny and using every day off to see each other, and we were nowhere near a breakup… so we started planning.

What if I move to the states after I graduate? The combination of America’s immigration laws and the prices of the masters over there were my answer: Not gonna happen. What if he moves to Europe?

It was a long year of planning and failing, reading VISA policies online, applying for jobs, University programs, and spending all of our money in flights. But somehow, in September 2017 we managed. Fletcher entered a Masters in a University in Munich and I found myself a job in the same city. It all fell into place.

My advice
  1. Book your visits. Everyone will tell you this, but thats because it is true. It’s hard to keep things going without knowing when you will see each other next. We always tried to book the next trip during our visits.
  2. Split the costs?? Money is a very personal thing, and of course if you are a student and your boyfriend is making a lot of money it may make more sense for him to pay for the flights… But ideally I would recommend you both put money into the relationship. Long Distance is EXPENSIVE. By the time Fletcher and I moved together we had easily spent 8000 Euro on flights alone.
  3. If you live in countries with different currencies do the following: The person visiting pays for the whole amount of the flight with their card. When they arrive to their partners country, the partner gives them half of the flight in the local currency (in my case, dollars). TA-DAA! You avoided the exchange fees from your bank, and now you have a couple hundred dollars to spend with your partner during the precious time you have together.
  4. Call whenever you can. Because fuck texting. None of them are a replacement for actual physical contact, but calling definitely comes closer.
  5. Think of presents that will remind them of you for a longer time. For example, write them “open when” letters (letters they can open “when you are sad”, “when you had a great day , “when you want to laugh”). You can send 20 at a time, saving some money on the post, or even give them when you visit, but your partner can be reading your letters for a good two months if he/she saves them.
  6. Ultimately, of course, try to figure out an end goal. Working towards something, and having the feeling you are making progress, will make the lonely nights easier 😉

Of course there is also a lot to be said about when you finally are together, and how to adapt to living with someone you saw 5 times a year before… but that’s a story for a different day.

How are you all doing? Has anyone noticed I was gone? Or is it just my anxious brain?