10 years of long-distance #wtf?!

The day Ali popped the question was our 10th anniversary, Dec. 4th, 2015. Ten years of permanent long distance relationship, only interrupted by shorther or longer stays at his places in Venezuela and Barcelona and my places in Hannover, Karlsruhe and Berlin.

10 years! Whenever I tell people how long we have been together their jaws drop open, especially when they hear that all this time was spent in LDR. Why the hell would you do that?

Well, Ali and I met when we were faily young. We became a couple when I was only 16 years old, years away from finishing school, Ali, 21 at the time, still in university. I cannot remember if we have ever really talked about it in specific, but we must have – as we have always talked about pretty much everything (which by the way has sure been one key factor to why we are still together): But in my mind it was always pretty clear that we both should not let this relationship come between us and our education and dreams. After school it would have been much easier for us if I had started an apprenticeship. I would have earned a little money, gained experience on the job and a foothold in some company while after 3 years max I would have been trained and set for a permanent full-time position. That would have been the easy way.

But I did not want to look back years later regretting my decision. A decision I would have made for a relationship that by that time might not even exist anymore. I know many people in LDR are head over heels, and I sure was as well at some point, but when it came to life-changing decisions I have always been a stone-cold realist (maybe another reason why our relationship is so bold). Some people might think it’s egoistic not to step back for your relationship. I don’t think so, I call it survival. I have never been a risk-taker. So whatever decisions I have made in my life, they were always played on the safe side. It’s also healthy self-reference not to forget your own life, your own dreams, your hobbies, your friends, your family. Don’t give up what you cherish in your life apart from your relationship. I always knew that our relationship would benefit if I was at ease and peace with myself because I would channel this balance into it. In the end a relationship consists of two individuals with individual needs and personalities that need to be taken care of.

And Ali never pushed me. On the contrary he always backed me when it came to pursuing my dreams. He was happy when I was happy. Selflessness -another key factor to the survival of LDRs.

So after school (almost 5 years had passed) I studied public relations – a career very close to my dream job journalist/author but better paid  ;)  and afterwards did my M.A. in communication management. Not taking any unnecessary breaks, not going abroad, gaining job experience with suited internships and student jobs on the side but still performing above average *shoulder pat*. It wasn’t easy, it was exhausting and at times I felt like I knew nothing of this “student life” involving fun and parties that everyone talked about. This was my compromise, my sacrifice for our relationship: Getting done as soon as possible. Because if I got my way I should at least not waste any time. And still my university career took 5 years until I finally graduated last summer. And that is how easily 10 years sum up. The love for each other has maybe cooled down a little in terms of “settled” as it happens with every long-term relationship but it has become deeper and deeper. In fact, when I look at the two of us it reminds me of those old couples you somtimes see on the street, still holding hands. Isnt that what many people’s relationsip goals are?

And in a way all the decisions I have made have created a solid basis for our life together. I am finally full-time employed with a permanent contract, not earning very much but well enough to support us both. Not being able to do that was always my biggest fear but I have fought it with all I had. We are getting married on Sep 30th, 2016 and although I look back on the past 10 years with a warm feeling in my belly I cannot wait to call this LDR past.

Funnily this post was supposed to describe the day of our engagement. I guess, I’ll postpone that for another time  ;-)

TLDR – Don’t forget about yourself in a LDR. Your self-confidence will bring balance to your relationship and make passing time much easier.

 

 

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13 thoughts on “10 years of long-distance #wtf?!

  1. congratulations! I have been in a LDR for 3 years now and it already seem like forever hahaha… still going strong though, hope to close the distance next year! :) all the best for both of you in the future! x

    • Hi Christa, thanks for stopping by to read my blog :) I wish you both good luck and hope you succeed next year. Keep us updated on how it’s going!

  2. TEN YEARS! Wow! Congratulations in advance for your wedding too. I am so excited to read all about it, I simply cannot wait for mine and to finally close the distance. 😍

    • Haha, you prove the reaction I described in my post ;) but thank you so much! I hope I will find enough time to write everything down. I will keep following your story as well :)

    • Hehe, yes, sometimes I cannot believe it myself but after 10 years it’s difficult to imagine life without one another. Marrying itself is actually not even so important to us. We simply finally want to be together in person – and marrying has turned out to be the easiest way.

      • That’s great for you guys, to finally close the distance! 😃 Hopefully you plan to keep blogging it would be great to follow up on how life is like to finally be with your significant other after years of doing long distance :)

      • Yes, that might be even the more exciting story – but in 2015 we have actually spent about 6 months together in person so that was already a huge improvement and move torwards normality. It’s silly how fast you get used to it – and it was good to see that we work perfectly in an everyday setting.

      • Oh that’s great, really looking forward to those posts! 😄 it’s really good that you guys have already experienced an everyday interaction in the same living space, will definitely help for when you guys close the distance. My best wishes to you guys! 😃

  3. Congratulations! I think you’re post is spot in. Doing what you need to do for yourself, and for your own peace and happiness is always better for the relationship. And to have a supportive partner by your side the whole time without pressuring you to do what THEY want you to do is great. I see some LDR posts written about the crying, the lonely nights, how you should communicate every single day, have an “end date,” etc. All of that isn’t necessary. It depends on the two people and it’s more important to get aligned with yourself and the relationship you really want. Everything else will fall into place. I have no end date and I’m perfectly fine with that because I know that things are unfolding and we are becoming closer and more sure, and more ready emotionally, etc. (1.5 years)

    • Hey, thank you for that refreshing opinion :) It always depends on the people in the relationship, I guess. Being so young I knew it would be foolish to be all set on closing the distance. In fact I think we wouldn’t be together anymore if we hadn’t done a few things for ourselves as I noticed big personality developments after some events we had both gone through on our own and that our relationship benefitted soo much from. But this realization came with time.

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