Friday, August 26, 2016

How to deal with a Long Distance Relationship

Hey lovers, this post is for you - well, all of you who live in different places and therefore have to keep up with a long distance relationship. 
My boyfriend's never been a bigger topic on this blog. You know, I mostly talk about traveling and fashion once in a while, but not so much about my private life. But I thought some of you might be interested in how I maintain my long distance relationship. My boyfriend and I are together for three years now and we pretty much spent only half of the time together. Why? We live in two different countries! You heard me, my boyfriend lives in Spain, on a beautiful island called Mallorca and me, well I still study in Germany until the end of this year. But, this phase is pretty much coming to an end. Nope, we're not about to break up, after three years we're finally gonna live together! Means, as soon as I'm done with my studies I'm gonna move to Spain to live with him. It's a really big step, I know. But after keeping up a relationship for such a long time over such a distance I can say that I'm sure I'm gonna do the right thing. How can I be truly happy and have a fulfilled life when my other half lives thousands of kilometers away from me?

So how did this all happen? 
I met my boyfriend Miguel in 2013. I spent the summer on Mallorca with my sister and met him at a club, haha a typical summer flirt. Since I was just about to start studying I never thought that we would see each other again when I went back to Germany. Wrong, after only a few weeks Miguel came visit me and my family. We also talked on skype every other day and wrote whatsapp messages. So far so good, I would have never thought that we're gonna get so far. I went back to Mallorca in November 2013 for a week, then he spent Christmas with us and so on... Since then we have been traveling back and forth between Germany and Mallorca. 
We've lived separately from the beginning on and have never been physically together for longer than two months in a row. Our vacations were the only days we spent 24 hours together with no one else around and I have to say it worked pretty well! The longest we have been separated during these years was for seven weeks and it surely was a hard time! You know, after a while you're just so tired of texting and skyping and not seeing each other that you actually start fighting because you just miss each other so much! But hey, after three long years of skyping, traveling and texting we are still together. 

The long distance relationship
That means coming home from school or work and being alone. Going out with friends but without your partner. Watching TV shows but the place next to you on the couch is empty. One's got loads of fun at an event, the other one's not part of it. Plus many skype hours, text messages and misunderstandings. One of the worst things, in three years Miguel and I have never celebrated our birthdays or our anniversary together, that's pretty sad.
BUT a long distance relationship also has its advantages. You can watch your favorite show instead of fighting over the TV program, you got lots of time to go the gym, hang out with friends and your family and get to focus on your career and hobbies. You are able to spend your time on things you like. Plus, there's always this special moment when you see your partner after weeks or months and it feels just like the first time. 

What's next? 
Since I'm gonna finish my studies soon I'm ready to take the next step, an adventurous one! I decided to move to Spain and live with Miguel. Not just because I finally want to be with my boyfriend but also because I have all my life there, except for my family but I will keep seeing them pretty often.

How do I feel about that?
The other day I organized some stuff at 'our' home on Mallorca. When I was putting my clothes into a new closet we bought for me I caught myself thinking: 'Wow, it's really gonna happen. We won't have to skype before going to bed but we'll actually be able to cuddle before sleeping. We don't have to take a flight to see each other and we can do all the exciting and boring stuff that normal couples do together'. 
I still can't really believe that all this is coming to an end, our long distance relationship will turn into a 'normal' one. But what's normal? For us it was normal to see each other every three to four weeks, to skype before going to bed, to send like a hundred texts during the day and to be apart when great but also sad things in our lives happen. And you know what, we actually got used to it! You easily get to feel like you're single when in a long distance relationship, the only difference is that there's this one person you're always in contact with, who you love and miss and who you see once in a while.
All this will change. Will we survive living together, seeing each other every day, having a routine? We don't know. The only thing we know for sure is that we don't wanna live like this anymore, we are tired of skype and whatsapp. We both need each other and want to spend our lives together. 

So here are a few tips for all of you who are in a long distance relationship or just started one and don't really know how to deal with it.

1. Trust your partner!
First of all, there's no way to keep up a long distance relationship without trust. Of course, there will always be texts like 'Where did you go?' or 'Why didn't you text me?' and 'Who else was there?'. But you know what, you gotta learn to relax a little. There's no room for doubts, you have to be sure that your partner only wants you and no one else and that he or she will wait for you! Something that Miguel has taught me over the last couple of years.

2. Put some effort into it!
Miguel once said about our relationship 'We don't live, we just fight'. And he didn't mean fighting like having a discussion or something. He meant fighting for the relationship, together. And that's true somehow. You can't really be calm, enjoy your relationship and be with your partner whenever you like. You have to fight to make the relationship work. But hey, isn't that what you have to do when you live together? I think you ALWAYS have to fight for a relationship! To keep things exciting and passionate you always have to put in some effort. So, do the same when you're in a long distance relationship. Write a love letter, plan a surprise visit, make time for each other to talk or go on vacation together.

3. Make use of the media!
And I don't mean something like posting cute photos of your love on Facebook or Instagram each day telling the rest of the world how much you miss him or her! I'm talking about personal contact. You need to feel close to each other even if you're thousands of kilometres apart. Use media like whatsapp and skype to keep in touch all day long and thus let your partner be part of your life. Even though I have to admit I'm really tired of texting and skyping it has saved our relationship, or at least made it possible to keep going. A quick message or call lets your partner know that you're thinking of him or her - despite the distance.

4. Enjoy every moment together!
Simple things like food shopping or having a siesta together are highlights for us - because we actually ARE together. And we enjoy it to the fullest! Work out with your partner, go for dinner, take a shower together, do stuff that 'normal' couples do. You'll enjoy it even more after not seeing each other for a long time.

5. Talk!
Last but not least, keep talking when having a fight... Cause otherwise you might never talk again! Don't just cut the contact when you disagree. You just feel so insecure and helpless when you just had a fight and can't talk to your partner in person. When he or she cuts the contact on top of all that, it makes you feel even worse. Because you can't just go over and talk to your partner in person whenever you like. So please, don't do it! Keep talking until the problem is solved. 

I hope I could help all of you who are in a long distance relationship! I know it's tough, and it takes patience, will power and a lot of love to keep up a long distance relationship. But just like any other relationship that comes with some problems, it's worth it! And who knows, maybe your long distance relationship will turn into a 'normal' one some day, just like mine :-)

Thanks to Tali Photography for the wonderful photos!
(And no, Miguel and I didn't get married, these photos were taken during my bridal shoot last year, haha)

All the photos are protected by copyright, pictures can only be used with prior consent. 
It is strictly forbidden to use the pictures for commercial reasons.

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