We knew the thunderstorm was coming. A black cloud had followed us our entire honeymoon and while we tried our absolute best to ignore it, it was always there looming in the distance. The day had arrived, and despite being husband and wife now, we would have to say goodbye to each other yet again. Even though we had said countless painful goodbyes over our six year long-distance courtship, this time was different, this time seemed impossible.
However, like always, we found the strength to survive our impending indefinite separation due to the profound love we share for each other. Love truly conquers all. What also helped was knowing that this was our last goodbye. It might be months before Lucas would receive his visa that would allow him to immigrate to the United States of America, but once he did the long-distance would finally come to an end and we could begin our new life side by side. The other thing that helped were the dogs of La Suite. We had no way of knowing that they even existed when we decided to stay there. We are both huge animal lovers and nothing could have cheered us up more than a group of dogs eager to give us their attention and affection when we needed it the most.
I get daily emails from followers of My Beautiful Adventures seeking advice on how to survive a long-distance relationship. It is no secret that I am an expert when it comes to them, as I have had three great loves in my life and all three (yes, you read that correctly), were long-distance. One was 1,741 miles, another was 5,275 miles, and finally the other one was 10,355 miles. At the end of the day, milage is insignificant as being even one mile apart from the love of your life is challenging. Thus, here are some helpful tips for those that are in a long-distance relationship
Have Regular E-dates
Just because you are miles away from each other, does not mean you cannot have dates. Even though you are not in person, you should still treat your e-date as a real date. Get dressed up in your best clothes, light some candles, flirt shamelessly. It is of the utmost important to keep the romance alive.
Start a Co-journal
Pick out a journal the next time you are together and then send it back and forth when you are apart. Do not tell each other what you have written or placed inside — the element of surprise is half the fun! It is always the best feeling to come home to a package from your sweetheart.
Communication is Essential
One of the perks in being a long-distance relationship is that you are forced to communicate in a very deep and meaningful way, because when you are apart that is all you have to stay connected. Couples in long-distance relationships probably communicate better than most couples who live in the same house. Communication also strengthens trust and without it the relationship will fall apart quickly. Make Skype the third person in the couple immediately.
Become Experts in Each Others Cultures
If you are from a different culture than your partner, then there are bound to be a lot of “lost in translation” moments that can be very frustrating. Sometimes you are just not going to understand each other and that is okay. Do your best to meet in the middle and you will discover that you will both become better people because of it. The best way to have less of these moments is to do everything in your power to become acquainted with their culture. Take language classes, read books on the history of their country, befriend people in your city that are expats from their city through social media or meet-up groups.
Always Have Another Trip Together Planned
There should always be a date when you will be reunited on the calendar to look forward to. Being able to count down the days, even if it is six months away (Lucas and I went over a year once), makes a world of a difference. When the date is indefinite the situation seems hopeless.
Treasure Every Second When You Are Together
Since your time with your loved one is limited, when you are together make sure that you treat every second as sacred. Willingly choose to not fight over anything insignificant. Completely disconnect yourself from the outside world (if work allows for this) and give them 100% of your attention. Time goes by fast when you are having fun, so make it count.
Endnote: Thankfully, Lucas and I were rejoined several months later. In case you missed the post that celebrates our reunion and which I labeled The Most Important Day Of My Life, make sure to check it out, as it is one of my favorites. Long-distance relationships can seem insurmountable, but if the love is there, never give up. We celebrate our one year wedding anniversary in two weeks!
To see the accompanying post click here.
Have you ever posted the story of how you guys met?! I’d love to read that! Glad you guys are finally together after all those years of long distance. 😀
Here is a brief version of the story: https://mybeautifuladventures.com/2011/02/04/chile-argentina-uruguay-day-8-part-3/. I don’t want to tell too much, as I hope to write a book one day!!! XOXO
Beautiful post Andi!
It hasn’t even been a year for me and Gav yet and it’s already difficult — kudos to you guys on 6 years! Thank goodness for Skype. We chat several times daily and have been fortunate so far to always know when the next visit is. After the next one (I leave for London tomorrow!), we’ll probably have to wait til his visa is approved. Trying to be patient O:-)
Tomorrow!!! How exciting! I wish you the best time. Yes, thank goodness for Skype! I’m sooo excited for you two and your upcoming marriage. <3
Ah! I knew this post was coming with your honeymoon posts ending, and to be honest – I was kind of dreading it… having been in a similar situation once, it’s hard to re-live! I’m so glad that you guys made it work out ‘beautifully’!!
I love that you knew THIS post was coming, I’m touched!!! Thanks for your sweet comment. XOXO
Beautiful words. I’m so happy that it all worked out and that u and him are finally together. Now we need a list of making marriage easier haha maybe as an anniversary post? You deserve all the happiness in the world!
Hahahahaha! Okay, I will work on that post for you bonita. Thank you for all of your love and support! TQM
I forgot to say, lucas takes great pics too!!!! 🙂 the one of ur legs + the dog is great!!!! it took me a while to find u and the dog is so cute! TQM tambien!
Hahaha he’s such a good photog! I make him shoot with the DSLR now, while I stick to the iPhone!!! I will tell him what you said, he’ll be touched. 🙂
Oh I truly understand how you feel since we have been doing the longsdistance thing for almost 8 years now!!! ” It works if you work it, so work it its worth it- believe it” xoxo Mrs K
8 years!?! WOW! Is there an end in sight? Keep working it!!! XO
Such awesome tips for couples who have to be apart! I still can’t believe John and I survived on one phone call a week for three months and only plain email. We were so low-tech back then!
1 phone call a week?????? Bravo! That’s TRUE love!!!
Andi – this is a FABULOUS post with lots of great advice! Really solid! I love the dogs, a great touch to a hotel, really makes you feel at home.
Thank you sooo much darling, that means a lot coming from you! Aren’t the dogs amazing??? I believe there were 4.
Beautiful post Andi. Hard to believe it’s been a year already! I think that if it’s true that there is a “right person” out there for everyone, then chances are, the right person is not your neighbor, is not from the same town and not even from the same country… 🙂
I seriously can’t believe it’s been a year!!! Time flies when you’re having fun. And I agree about the chances of finding your “soulmate” miles away is very probable! Especially when you’re a traveler.
This is great post and many important tips you share, thanks for share important tips with us.:)
You’re welcome Wanda!
So inspiring Andi!
I’m so delighted you think that!
These pics are amaaaazing!
Thank you you so much!
I checked your blog and I like it so much.
Visit my fashion blog and if you want we can follow each other via GFC!
Have a great day!
So glad that you like it! 🙂
These are great tips! All of my meaningful relationships have been long distance too, and it’s taken me years to learn some of these (and actually, the edate one I’m going to apply as of tonight). I’m so happy you guys are together again now!
Oooooh enjoy your e-date!!! Wear a sexy little black dress for me! 😉
Awesome post chiquita bonita! Very thoughtful and helpful advice. While long distance can be so heart wrenching, I whole heartedly believe that it makes relationships so much stronger. It makes you not take for granted your partner and learn to appreciate every single second with them. I agree that it forces (in a good way) communication to be more meaningful and deeper. Knowing that you can be physically separated for 6 months, 1 year, etc. and still be head over heels in love is a great testament to the strength of a relationship!
All that being said, I am SO glad that you never, ever have to experience that again! Been there, done that! 🙂
Seriously, I loved every single word you said and you nailed the positives about being in an LDR perfectly!!! I’m glad that the distance is over, but at the same time I’m not sure that I would have changed a thing about our past. We are the couple we are today because of it. Love you!
I wouldn’t change any of Juan and my experiences to have had an “easier relationship.” Did you notice I came out of comment retirement to weigh in on this one? 😉
Yes!!!! I LOVE it! My goal is to get you to comment on every single post haha.
Great post! My 7 years long distance relationship ended with a gorgeous wedding two years ago! 🙂
Oh wow you beat us! Incredible!!! 🙂
This post makes me tear up! You guys are such an inspiration for making it work and I am SO happy that you are now together forever, no miles apart!
We can truly see fromt these honeymoon posts that you two are in heaven together 🙂
Awww and your comment makes me tear up! Thanks for your sweet words darling!!! Cheers to no more miles apart wahoooooooooo! XO
This is really beautiful. It’s my first time on your blog and I found it on a great day. #1 Congrats on your marriage! This is always good news to me! #2 You are so encouraging…I am dating a French man and although I am living in France now, we have been in a long-distance dealio before and may have to again…I love how you stuck through it and to not see your lover for an entire year! If you made that possible then I can’t complain about months…EVER!
I’m so glad you found my blog, welcome darling!!! Long-distance is SO hard, but at the same time it can really deepen a relationship in a lot of ways! So try to look at it as a positive thing if it happens. Think about all of the time you will get to yourself. You can accomplish so much in that time!!! Bisous!
You two are clearly doing something right!
Awww!!! I think so too 😉
I wish you and Lucas all the best in life!
Thank you so much Isa!!!!!
Andi, I love the suggestions you give for all those on long distance relationships… really. I’ve had a few of my own, although never that far away… and what always kept us motivated was planning the next time and place we would see each other!
YES! That’s so so so important!!! I’m glad you liked the post dear.
What a beautiful story!
the colors of the first few photos blow me away!!! amazing!
but mostly im jealous of your tan. one more reason i should escape norway asap and soak up some vitamin d!
Thank you so much for your sweet words and I must say it was the BEST tan of my life!!!
Wow those orchids are insanely beautiful, I love how you’ve captured them! It’s encouraging to hear when people survive long distance romances 🙂 Happy Anniversary! <3
Thank you!!!!!!! I can’t believe it’s been a year! And those orchids were really something else in person! XOXO
ugh so jealous I want a vacay! This looks like a good one!
It was special alright!
i just realized i pressed submit without writing the rest of what i was going to write!!!!
i can really resonate with a post like this since my relationship was long distance for nearly a year! and you’re sooo right about becoming experts in each others cultures. it is sooo important when growing an appreciation for that person’s values and habits! it also goes a long way with family 😉
but obviously, communication is far superior than anything else in those type of relationships!!! 🙂
Yes, communication is the key! And thank goodness you can text, email, FB, tweet, Skype, IM now!!! It really opens the door to AMAZING communication. I’m sooo happy you made your LDR work darling!!! <3
Beautiful words and pics!
Thank you Erin!!!
thank you for sharing this info, it’s sooo helpful!
I’m so glad to help!
Sooo glad you guys are together now!
Que vida bonita!
this post was really awesome, congratulations and thank you very much for sharing it with us.
Thank you and you’re welcome!
Thank you so much!!!
Thank you Maria!
I’m restating everything above, but truly a lovely post Andi. Long distance is hard. But trans-continental long distance, they should give out medals for that. My husband and I have done long distance several times in our marriage, most recently when I unexpectedly ended up back in the states, and he was still in Bangladesh. I truly believe all of our time spent apart has made us a stronger couple. Its cliche but true. We’ve been back in the same place for a couple of months now but I’m still so grateful to go to sleep next to him every night. Besides communication, I think that’s the other thing long distance teaches you- to be grateful. I’m in love with my husband and I get to see him everyday. That’s pretty amazing.
Renee, thank you so much for this thoughtful comment!!! I’m so sorry that you and your husband had to be separated. But, I agree completely, I think distance (if the couple is strong) will only strengthen the relationship. Give your hubby a huge hug for me tonight!!! <3
Wow, I can’t even imagine doing long distance…you are a brave girl! Congrats on the upcoming wedding anniversary, how exciting! 🙂
THANK YOU SWEETHEART!!! XO
thanks to you i think my bf and I can survive the distance!!!!!
That is music to my ears!
What great advice, I wish my ex-boyfriend had read (and acted on) these tips! I guess one of the main things that keeps a long distance relationship working is commitment because it takes a lot of work! I absolutely LOVE the co-journal idea. Brilliant! and Congrats on your anniversary!
Thank you sooo much! Hey, as I mentioned I had 2 other LDR’s and obviously they failed. So, you lose some, you win some haha. Sometimes men suck at communication and if that’s the case they are definitely not made for a LDR. The co-journal is sooo much fun. I have couple that I absolutely cherish. There are poems, drawing, stories, small objects, etc inside.
Beautiful and inspiring post, Andi. I agree with all the points you mentioned… love the journal idea! However, I cannot believe you and Lucas were once separated for an entire year! What caused that? It must have been awful. The longest I was separated in a long distance relationship was 3 months… awful!
What caused it was me. I was too overwhelmed that specific year with my studies to fly down to Argentina to see him. My graduate program was year-round and it was difficult to find the time to take off and he couldn’t get a visa to the USA (he tried 3X and 1.5 years before successfully getting one!). I’m so glad that you liked the post. That means the world to me!!!
This is such a sweet post, Andi! I can’t compare your relationship, but we too were separated for 18 months straight and we survived with only a lousy internet connection and that was only 2 months after we had met. It was complicated, but we survived it. Love indeed conquers all.
When that happens that means it’s true love! After Lucas and I met we didn’t see each other again for 8 months (and when we eventually saw each other it was for 2.5 days!) and only emailed each other maybe once-a-week. At that time he was in the Secret Service and his email access was very limited. We survived too! I think if it’s true love you can survive just about anything, but these tips definitely help. 🙂
I can’t believe it has already been a year, wow time flies.
You and me both darling! It really, really does!!!
i want to thank you for the pleasure of reading this inspiring post!!!
Awww you’re so welcome!
thanks for share these helpful tips!!!
You’re so welcome EGS!
that is a fantastic story! congratulations!!!
Thank you Corina!
Never I could do 6 years, nope!
If you found the right girl???
I can’t believe it’s been a year already. I am sure you have big plans 🙂
Yes!!! We’re headed to Puerto Rico and Dominica! 🙂
I love this post!
You and Lucas are definitely an amazing couple! True love it is ♥ I salute you both for being strong despite your long distance relationship, it paid off well and now you are together. I hope to read your book one day. Thanks for always inspiring me. 🙂
OMG what an amaaaaazing comment, you rock! Thank you so much for your heartfelt words that truly made my heart smile!!! Cheers to true ♥! XOXO
I went thru a similar situation some years ago. It is really heartbreaking to say goodbye so many times. However, the time that seemed like an eternity when you are separated just flies by when you are together.
I would also say that you have to be sure that the other person is committed before getting into a long distance relationship (of course, you should be committed too). I know this sounds like reading another’s person mind but I think you can really feel when someone loves you and wants to have a life with you. I have been married four years and I believe you can give a shot to long distance relationships and end up being happy.
Yes, time totally flies when you’re having fun together for sure!!! I’m sorry that you had to go through this as well, but it seems that it worked out well for you in the end, yes? And before agreeing to an LDR I couldn’t agree with you more, you have to make sure that the other person is 100% committed.
Sigh. My husband (of almost 6 years) is getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. He’s “only” going to be gone for 4 months, which is almost nothing compared to what other military spouses deal with, but yeah. It’s never any fun.
You’re right though – the one thing couples who have to deal with distance have that other couples don’t is the chance to miss each other. And I think, in the end, that makes us more appreciative. 🙂
Oh gosh, 4 months in Afghanistan most feel like an eternity though!?! I’m so sorry and I hope he comes back to you safe and sound darling. And I think there is definitely something to be said about missing someone from time to time. Makes you appreciate them 100X more!!!
So much love here! Seriously, I cannot imagine being separated from my love for that long. Great tips.
Sooo much love! 🙂 Separation is really hard. Glad you liked my tips dear!
So glad you guys have been reunited! I can’t imagine how heart-wrenching it must have been to say goodbye at the end of your honeymoon.
Ahhhhhh it was the most awful thing. We cried for hours. But, at the same time going through that pain was really powerful, because it just proved how deep our love for each other is!!! 🙂
I love the co-journal idea! Such a good way to surprise each other! Great tips 🙂
So glad you resonated with that tip! XO
Thank you for the wonderful tips! My fiance is leaving for the summer to go fishing in Alaska, so i’m dreading our 10 weeks apart…but I will definitely keep your tips in mind/ I love the co-journal idea!
Oh no! But 10 weeks will pass quickly I promise!!! Definitely start a co-journal if you can. XO
this post really touched me.. 1. because my hubs and i were long distance for a year when we were dating and also because he’s in germany now and i’m in the US visiting with my family.. even just a month seems a long time to be apart now.. haha.. and 2. because my hubs name is lucas too tehehe!!!! i feel for you chica! i’m so glad to hear that you guys are reunited now :)!! love def conquers all!
Your hubs name is Lucas too??? Awwwwwwwww I LOVE that! Love is the best right??? 🙂 I hope this month passes quickly for you and him. Thanks for your sweet comment. 🙂
Andi, I have LIVED so much of what you describe and, thus, I knew this post was going to break my heart just from the first couple of lines. My love and I met during one of my projects with the UN in Egypt, when he was completing a ‘study abroad’ project there. We only had four months together before I left for Uganda and we had to part… and then I left for Sudan… then Colombia… then Guatemala. Life was conducted entirely through email and letters and those digital tokens that make you feel loved. I found two aspects of this most challenging: First, others’ skepticism about whether a love that grew, in its initial stages, mostly from afar is “real” and secondly, the challenge of spending my professional life being very fulfilled, but having my heart wish it were beating next to the person I love. My love and I have lived together for most of this year (with brief stints of mine in war zones, yet again), and I have resolved both of the above questions by realizing that distance and longing and missing someone can sometimes teach you more about you and your shared love than waking up to one another every day. And when that waking up next to one another does become a possibility, it feels like the biggest gift in the world.
I’m thrilled for you and your husband, and so grateful that you share your honesty and love here.
If I were to respond to your comment I would be silly, because you said everything that needed to be said! You are the most eloquent and succinct writer I know. I have an abundance of gratitude for you being in my life. 🙂
Oh my goodness… WOW! What a great story to have and to hold! I hope he can come home to you soon!!! xoxo
He’s lived here for a year! Check out the endnote. 🙂 XOXO
Great tips Andi and so lovely to hear how you turned a negative into making your relationship even stronger
Thanks darling!!!! 🙂
My dear Andi, I love this post so very, very much. I couldn’t stop smiling because, as you know, I identify SO strongly with everything you wrote. Skype truly is an essential third partner to build a thriving long distance relationship. 🙂 And I LOVE the communication being apart for three years built between us. It’s such a gift. 🙂 So very, very, very happy you are together at last. 🙂 XO
We’re so very happy too and I’m so very happy that you and your love are reunited as well!!!! I agree that the communication from being in a LDR is a gift. So touched that you liked this post THAT much. Much love to you dear!
A veteran of several long distance relationships, this post really got to me too! I think your attitude and advice are spot on- especially always having another trip planned!
As always, I love your travel style and willingness to treat yourself to beautiful experiences!
Thank you so much for your sweet words! The really mean a lot to me. XO
Loving your photos, Andi!
Thank you Jeremy!
Those pups are too sweet! I definitely agree with you about Skype’s role in a long-distance relationship – Rodolfo once called it Saint Skype! And I do think that while obviously I would have preferred to skip the 7 month separations, they made our relationship stronger because all we were able to do was talk and get to know each other really well without any distractions like movies or dinners or kisses 🙂 Can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we were all celebrating you and Lucas in BsAs!
Hahahaha Saint Skype, I love it, and it’s so true! If the relationship was meant to be, then the distance will only strengthen it, I’m 100% convinced. We can’t believe it’s been a year either!!!
Thanks for this post Andi! It’s really reassuring to know that there are couples out there who have really stuck it through and that LDRs do work. Congratulations on the anniversary!
Thanks sweetheart! If you go through the comments I can’t believe how many people were/are in LDRs and made/making it work!!! So inspiring! You can do it girl!!!
This is the first post I’ve ever read about the subject of long distance relationships that hasn’t annoyed the shit out of me 🙂 Your advice is actually really good!
OMG if I had annoyed the shit out of you I would have been devastated!!!!!! Glad you liked it mama!
What you wrote here is very helpful to so many couples…since the world has changed, both people in a couple work, sometimes in different places….Great Post!
Muchas gracias bonita!!!!!! Besos!
Your article is so interesting about relationships…
And the dog you’re holding reminds me so much mine!
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! And aren’t those dogs so cute???
I love this post and I think they are all great tips! I remember when my boyfriend and I had to do the long distance thing – it was only a couple of months – but it seemed that our communication improved that way! next time we are apart (even if only a week) i want to try the e-date thing! don’t know why i’ve never done it, it sounds fun! hehe
It’s so much fun!!! Hopefully, you won’t be apart for too long, but even if for a couple of days give a try! Glad these tips helped!!! XO
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