Today I want to talk about the time of Gus’ and my long distance relationship. There is a saying in mexican Spanish: “Amor de lejos es de pendejos” which means “Long distance love is for idiots”. When you hear this, the motivation sure gets a boost.
I just want to lay out the situation for you: Gus and me had a long distance relationship for a little more than 3 years. This was the time when I was studying in Giessen, Germany, and he was studying in Mexico. You might ask, “Why didn´t you, Hannah, study in Mexico or why didn’t Gus study in Germany?” Well, for Gus it was not possible at that moment to leave Mexico and go study somewhere else, luckily, this now has changed 🙂 And me, well I have to tell you that there are clear advantages to study in Germany – it is a lot cheaper to get a good education than in Mexico, the careers are much more flexible in the sense of internships, student exchanges etc. and a lot of careers we have in Germany, simply do not exist in Mexico or they only exist in very few universities through out the country.
So whilst we both were students, we were geographically seperated. Anyone who has had a relationship like this would always coma and ask us: “Isn’t it difficult? How do you do it?” To be honest, it never seemed very dificult to us, at least it wasn’t something impossible to do and we both new that it was worth so much to wait a little bit until we would see eachother again. On average, we saw each other every 6 months during this time. Sometimes it was just 3 or 4 months and sometimes even 7 or 8. When we saw eachother, the time together was always very intense – at least one of us was on holiday and therefore had a lot of time for the other one. Time was precious and we used it 100%. We did an awful lot of travelling during this time, especially around Europe. We spend the whole time together, just without going to the bathroom together. When we were apart, the most important thing for us was to let the other one be a part of your life even if he or she is so far away. So we communicated daily via facebook and WhatsApp, we talked on Skype once or twice a week and invented the ‘photo of the day’. By sending one picture daily of anything regarding our day, we had the feeling to be more a part of the other one’s life than with just talking and explaining. Over the years we had a lot of ‘photos of the day’ from food, our friends and family etc. Communiction is super important for a long distance relationship. So if you ever are in one – do not let all the circumstances interfere with your communication between one and the other. Gus and me also had the difficulty of the time difference. When I woke up in Germany, Gus was still sleeping (7 hours difference) and when I went to bed he still had half a day to come. We got into the habit of writing something for the other one to read when he or she woke up. I really loved to wake up and the first thing I would do was reading from Gus.
A key to surviving the time without eachother is to keep yourself busy. We both had a lot going on with our studies, work, hobbies etc. which makes time go by faster and therefore it feels like you see the other one again sooner. So since we were both pretty busy with our lifes and had a place for eachother for example when talking on skype, the only thing we both really really missed was physical contact. You might be surprised, but I don’t mean what you might think now. No, just a plain old hug, a kiss or taking the other ones hand would be totally enough. Because you know that sometimes you just need a hug and feel better immediately…
Another very important point is to know that this is just a temporary situation and that you will not be seperated geographically forever. The goal was always to have a ‘normal’ life together and you definitely need something like this to make things easier. Also it helps during the long distance time when you know when you will see the other one again. Once I or Gus had booked the flight ticket, it was always so much easier for me, because I knew the exact date when I would see him again and the countdown could began.
I have heard of a lot of long distance relationship in different situations and I have to say, that I think it helps, althoug it is not always necessary, to have a good foundation before starting this episode of your relationship. For us, it really helped, that I had already been living together with Gus for about 10 months in Mexico, before we started the long distance thing. But I also know couples who didn’t have this kind of ‘basis’ and it also worked out well. So, as always – things depend on the people who are involved and ther is not one solution for everyone.
The last thing I want to tell you about this kind of relationships is the goodbyes and the reunions. A long distance relationship is much more intense than a ‘normal’ relationship, because you are either seperated for a long time or together 24 hrs a day. So, the moment when these intense feelings reach its climax is the goodbyes and the reunions. Whenever I had to say goodbye to Gus at the airport and I knew we weren´t going to see each other again for several months, it just literally ripped my heart out. I didn’t want to go, I was weeping and wanted to stop the plane or bus or whatever. I was crying during the flight and people were looking at me like I was crazy. Then, a couple of days after, it was already a lot better, because we would both return to our daily lifes. And after a month or so I was already planning what we would do the next time we would see eachother.
Now the reunions: I have never felt so intense as in the moments before seeing Gus at the airport. It didn’t matter if I was receiving him or if was going to Mexico. During the trip to the airport/ the baggage claim/ the immigration/ etc. etc. everything was too slow, I was incredibly impatient and my heart started beating faster and faster. Until the moment when you stand in front of those doors and you know he is behind there. Whenever we saw eachother in this moment and had the first hug after months, all the tension went away and I was just crying out of happiness in his arms. This huge amount of happiness and luck and love was suddenly in my heart and I just wanted to embrace the whole world.
So, as you can see – a long distance relationship is not for wusses 😉