Long Distance Lover

The topic of today's post is long distance relationships. This is not my first time to the rodeo, but it has been a few years since I was in a serious relationship with someone from across the pond and I felt the need to voice my opinions on the subject and share what I've learned from my relationship and from others that are in the same position.

1. Long distance relationships are no joke because they test you in ways you never thought possible. They often fill your heart with joy or sadness, as with any other kind of relationship, but LDRs also might make you question your sanity. All of a sudden you are faced with very serious choices that other couples might not make until years down the road. Do you want kids? How many kids do you want? Where do you want to live? Will you buy a house? What are the career prospects if you move? What kind of wedding will you have? How easy is it to get a visa? Do you want to change citizenship? The list is endless and for a worry-wart, planning expert like me, you can see that these are no simple questions.

2. LDRs require lots of thought and planning (as shown above), time and money. Maybe there are some people who are fine with Skyping or FaceTiming for months at a time and not seeing their partner, but I am NOT one of those people. I also realize not everyone has the choice either, but this ties into the money component. In order for an LDR to function properly, either you have to be able to finance trips to see each other or have the incredible fortune of a enjoying connection to the airlines. In my current situation it is the latter and I must thank the amazing Miss Ashley Meuleman, who has me signed up as her companion so I can fly for next to nothing and with relative ease. I am so fortunate to have the luxury of paying less than $300 round trip for a first class flight to Germany. I have zero problems, financial or otherwise, flying for 8 hours to visit my boyfriend now!

3. A nice aspect of an LDR is that they certainly make you cherish every moment you have with your partner when you are together. If you know your time is limited, you tend to use it to the fullest. In my case we literally spend every minute we can together because we know that at some point, we will not have the luxury of seeing each other, even if only for a few weeks.

4. An LDR tends to progress quicker because of the logistics, as mentioned above. But they also make you figure out quickly if things will work. Since you basically plan your lives together, hopefully as a team, you know that there is a future or not.

5. I hate to say it, but LDRs are not for everyone. I am very happy with my situation because I know eventually I will make the "permanent" move and I will see my boyfriend often until that happens. I also feel privileged to say I have lived in Germany for years and obviously in the States a lot of my life, so the languages and the cultures are not a problem for me. I am not daunted by living in Germany, except for the missing my friends, family and pets part.

6. You should be prepared to talk every day! It is important to make sure you stay connected with your significant other. Robert and I talk multiple times a day and even though we are not together, I still feel very much a part of his life and his daily routine. That might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I really do think communication is essential for the times apart. So hopefully you have a good ISP or mobile provider and the capability to chat for free. Even though Apple products make me want to punch a hole in the wall at times, iMessage and FaceTime are clutch for us.

7. I also think it is important to have things that remind you of your partner in your residence. I have lots of pictures of him and of us, one of his shirts and other little mementos. Again I think it helps keep you connected. And it's just nice to see them!

I do not want to discourage anyone from embarking on the exciting adventure that is a long distance relationship, but I hope what I shared with you is enlightening (or maybe you already knew these things or have similar experiences and hopefully you will agree) if you happen to be in one. After 2 months, I already have a lot figured out (and a lot is yet TBD) and am so happy that he and I are on the same page in terms of all of the points outlined above. It makes a world of difference. If you work as a team, nothing is impossible!

This post is dedicated with love to my family and friends who have always supported me on my journey through this thing we call life, listened to me, cheered me up, offered their shoulders and advice and encouraged me to follow my heart. I love you very much and thank you for everything! 
My birthday surprise via FaceTime from our Berlin apartment!
A few of the cute pictures in my Chicago apartment.

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