If you found yourself being in a long distance relationship, you must be a maniac, masochist, and completely crazy person. Long distance relationships are crazy hard and you don’t want them. Believe us, you don’t want them. But once you realize how hard it is going to be, it is often too late and you are already in love. The only thing you can do now is give your best and make that relationship work.
Since we spend almost 2 years in a relationship like that, we like to think we are competent enough to give you some advice how to make a long distance relationship work. The following quote from the movie “The Notebook” describes it best.
“It’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be really hard. We’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day.” The Notebook
How it works.
Define your goals and make clear what you want
Since the beginning, you need to make totally clear what you want from each other and which are your mutual goals. It can be pretty tricky and uncomfortable talking about those things because it might seem too serious at the beginning, but it is essential. You need to know what your feelings are and if the both feel the same about being in this kind of relationship and, eventually, about your future. Soon you will need to define your goals too. When are you going to be together? First maybe for a weekend, then vacation you are going to spend together and, ultimately, do you want to be together forever. You need to have the goal, but you also need to be patient. Best things happen to those who wait so don’t rush the things too much, but also – don’t forget that long distance relationships are meant to be temporary.
Now when you made sure you both want to be in this relationship, you need to be aware it is going to be very hard. Are you willing to do what it takes for the relationship? There will be days when you will miss the other person so much you just want to scream, leave everything and take the first plane to visit him or her. There will be days when you will just want to hug your better half and he or she will be 10 000 km away. You will need to remember yourself why do you want to be in this relationship and what do you like about a person every day. The only reason why you should be in this type of relationship is if you believe he or she might be the one and you want to work in your future.
As we said before, you need to keep in mind it is going to be hard. This kind of relationships are not for everyone and you need to make it clear is it for you or not. Can you deal with lonely nights? Can you trust your partner enough? Can you live with the fact Skype video call is the most similar to face to face contact you can get? You have the right to decide you don’t want this. That you want a real relationship in which you can actually kiss another person. But if you decide you want is, don’t forget that you are going to fight and sometimes the trigger is going to be just the fact you are not together. You can get very cranky because you can’t be with the person you love and in those situations, you will also need to be reasonable and remind yourself why you are in that relationship.
Communication is a key
Since you are far from each other, communication is the most important thing in your relationship. You need to talk a lot – but really talk – and you always need to find time for each other. You need to make the other person feel important just like you would if you were together. In order to get close to each other you need to share your lives, know some details about each other, talk about your friends, things you are doing, people you’ve met, talk about how your day was, … Also, don’t forget about the “little things” – good morning and good night messages and so on. Use the benefits of nowadays technology! All I can say is, we are sooo lucky to have the internet today.
Do things together
Even if he is in Mexico and she is in Europe, you can do some things together. Watch the same movie and talk about it, read the same book, work on some mutual project, make a web page (hehe) or just spend some time planning your future. Also, you can use the mobile applications for couples and upload different notes, pictures, important dates etc. There are so many things you can do together no matter how many kilometers are between you!
Cherish the moments
The moments you spend together in the long distance relationship are priceless. Don’t fight, enjoy others company in person or just during the Skype call. When you two are together, do the things you can’t do otherwise, no matter how banal and simple they are – watch a movie, go to the cinema, make a dinner together. “Normal” couples have no idea how lucky they are they can just drink a coffee together! Enjoy your relationship as much as possible and don’t forget to dream about the day you are finally going to be together. It is going to be worth it.
Saturday Night Fever © Mexatia
There are million of things you will need to face with while being in a distance relationship. But we only want to tell you one. Everything is possible. It will pass through. You can do it. 🙂
Do you have any other advice?
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Last year I spent the whole winter in Dubai. The temperature of 20 – 25°C, different culture, and no family around made me feel like Grinch really did steal Christmas. I spent the holidays working because I could not stand the idea of being locked in the room alone, without presents, tree, cakes and anyone to share the joy with. I basically did not have Christmas at all, as well as winter.
I thought warm weather all year long would make me happy, but when I saw pictures of snow in Zagreb right after Christmas, I realized I missed so many winter related things. That’s why this year I am particularly looking forward to holidays and winter in total. This are also first holidays together for Jaime and me! I am planning to do as much as holiday-ish things with him and we are trying to establish some of the traditions. We already bought some decorations and I cannot wait for the smell of cakes to be felt all around the house.
I hope you are also thrilled about winter and, please, don’t allow yourself to stay locked in the house when the temperature goes down. Here are some cool winter activities for couples, all those cute things you can do with your better half in order to make this winter warmer.
Cute winter activities for couples
Make angels in snow
This year (hopefully) is going to be the first time Jaime is going to see snow falling! He went snowboarding and saw snow on the ground, but he never saw it falling from the sky. I can’t wait for it to happen so I can take him out to make angels in snow and start a snowball fight. You can do the same with your love, just get well dressed before. 🙂
Write letter to Santa and send Christmas cards
No, you are never too old! Sit and write down your wishes. After opening the presents, you can read each other’s letter and see if you guessed any of your partner’s wishes. Also, buy (or make – even better!) Christmas cards and send it to the close family and friends. This year we bought some cute cards as we want to bring back the tradition of sending them. Last time I did it when I was a kid and I think it is a nicer way to wish all the best than SMS or What’s App. The cards are already on their way and we hope they will put smiles on people’s faces.
Watch a Christmas movie
Or lots of them! Every year Croatian TV houses show Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York movies and I can’t imagine holidays without seeing them. This year we were faster and we already watched both. Is there anything better than cuddling with your better half under a warm blanket, with a cup of hot cocoa in your hand? I can’t wait to watch all Christmas movies I can remember all December long!
Decorate the house for Christmas
December is here and you can finally decorate all around! I bought the material and made two advent wreaths, we bought new Christmas lights and some other lighting decoration. There are lots of things you can do together. Put on the lights and beautiful snowflake decorations, make Christmas stockings or make paper Christmas trees.
Go window shopping
Cities are beautiful in this period! Of course, we cannot afford to shop all the time, but we can stroll around the city and enjoy all those lovely decorated windows. Even just a walk around the shopping mall can lift your mood in a second. Golden and red decorations, Christmas songs playing all around and the delicious smell of sausages. Ideal to give a hug to your couple and share your ideas about dream presents, vacations and holiday traditions. You can also search for some winter accessories like gloves for smartphones or warm scarves to heat up yourselves while strolling around.
Go ice skating
Zagreb has a wonderful and huge ice skating rink in the heart of the city. Right in the middle of the main train station and Art Pavilion, you can practice your skating skills, surrounded by lots of people, popular music, and lovely decoration. Almost every city has a rink (even Dubai hehe) so for the small amount of money you can rent out the skates and have a great amount of fun! In order not to fall down, hold your darling’s hand strongly. 🙂
Make homemade mulled wine
Mulled wine wins out when it comes to best winter drink. Aromatic, fragrant and delicious wine spiced up with all kinds of spices can warm you up in a second. Almost every Sunday, my dad used to cook the wine and soon it became our winter trademark. You can have fun with your couple adding up different spices and trying different kinds of wine. And of course, who says you need to stop after a glass or two. 🙂
Visit Christmas markets
December is an excellent month to visit the most of the European cities! Almost every city has a Christmas market and lots of things going on around the city. You can spend a nice evening with your better half, walk around and enjoy decorated city centers. Grab a glass of mulled wine and some winter food to heat up yourself. You can attend some concert, go ice skating or just enjoy the company of your loved one. And while some cities like Vienna or Berlin have well-known Christmas markets, Zagreb is getting better and better each year. With lots of innovations, it is for sure a great place to visit in December.
See a hockey game
Is there any more winter-ish sport than hockey that you can enjoy like a spectator? If your city has a hockey club, the lazy weekend afternoon can be easily turned into super fun sports date! Grab some popcorn, beer and t-shirt of your favorite team and cheer.
Try winter sports
If you prefer to participate, not only to watch – you can also try to play hockey, go snowboarding, skiing or at least sledding. For sure you have some hill or mountain around, check their offer and plan a weekend outside. You can always rent a gear and find something you will like. What’s matter is the amount of fun you will have with your loved one.
In which winter activities for couples do you like to enjoy with your other half?
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„So, you are Croatian?“
„And your boyfriend is Mexican?“
“So how did you two met?!”
“Well… in Spain.”
That’s more or less how all the conversations about our relationship start. Allow me to tell you the story how I met Jaime from the very beginning.
I was lying on a bed and chatting on Facebook while Marcela was packing some things she bought that day. It was end of the October 2012, we were in New York City and the life was absolutely awesome. The TV was turned on news. They were saying something about tropical storm in the Caribbean which might turn into a hurricane.
– Maja, did you hear that?? What if the hurricane comes to NYC? – Marcela asked.
– Ahhh, don’t bother me with unimportant things, there is noooo possibility for that. I’m doing something important here!
Two days after, the hurricane came to NYC and we were locked up in our room at 9th floor. Dying from the boredom, we chatted with two Croatian girls who were in the city too and we decided to go out with them the night the hurricane passed by. That night I met a guy from Ecuador with whom I continued to chat after going back home and I decided to start learning Spanish. I chose the language school and, suddenly, I fell in love with the language. Somewhere around that time my visa for the U.S. was denied, the thing with him fell apart and I decided to stick with my new love and spend the summer in Spain.
It was August 2013 and it was our last day together in Madrid, the following day Marija was leaving back to Switzerland. To say a proper goodbye, we decided to go out that night and we changed few clubs before we found the one with latin music. Apparently, in Spain you cannot stand in the club alone more than a minute because someone will come to you and the next thing you know – you are dancing.
He came when I really wanted to take some rest. I told him I don’t want to dance, he didn’t care much. I told him I don’t know how to dance, he said I should just follow him. I told him I don’t know how to follow (LOL) and he said… well, he started to dance. He told me he is Mexican and his name is Jamie. I thought how weird, that’s not really Mexican name, but he even confirmed it. When we decided to leave, he took my number and messaged me right after he came home. “Hey it’s Jimmy, message me when you wake up”, he wrote. Who is Jimmy?! Apparently, in the club Jamie looked to him as Jaime.
Next morning Marija left and I met him in the afternoon. Would I meet him if she stayed? Probably no. Sometimes life just connect the dots and everything makes sense later. That day I had nothing better to do and I decided to spend some time with him. We ate something in a bar and walked around Madrid for hours. I remember the moment we started to dance on the streets of Madrid, out of blue. With all the royal palaces and castles around, I felt like a real princess. The day after we met again, and the day after too, before I left for Portugal.
But for some reason, he continued to write me. A month and half after, I moved to Berlin and he came to visit me. I didn’t believe he would be crazy enough to go to another country to visit a girl he spent three days with, but he was. The moment I saw him at the Berlin’s airport is the moment when all the barriers fell off and I knew I was totally in love with him. The days in Berlin were magical, we got to know each other better and decided to take a risk and started a real relationship.
I came to see him in Madrid the very next weekend, two days before he left for Mexico. Suddenly, we were 10 000 km and 7 times zones away. Like it wasn’t bad enough when we were in different European countries, now we needed to learn how to deal with new challenges.
I’m not going to say it was easy, but we both knew what lies ahead and that we will need to put a lot of effort in this relationship to work. We made it, day by day. Once I told him, there is no good days. The good days were when we were together. When we are apart there are only bad and worse days. And we need to deal with it every single day.
The worst thing at the beginning was the fact I had no idea when I’m going to see him again. I said to my parents I would like to visit him in Mexico and one day I found the cheap ticket. The moment I pressed buy button in the website was… a moment of true happiness! We had a date! It was almost five months away, but we had it. And we were completely sure we will survive those five months. Every single night, at midnight we wrote each other messages how the date we are going to see each other again is one day closer.
And the day finally came! Oh my, I was so nervous even two – three weeks before the departure date. Finally, I was in the plane on my way to Mexico. And I was so scared. Scared that is not going to be the same and we are not going to like each other anymore, that his family is going to hate me because I come from the different world and I look different, ah I was scared about everything. I didn’t see him for almost seven months. And then there he was, holding my coffee, Red Bull and balloons. I started to run and just jumped on him. He was here and all the worries just disappeared. We made it. And we are still making it while planning the bright future that is in front of us.
Mexico City © Mexatia
Being in this relationship taught me lots of things. But the most important one definitely is – everything in the world is possible. If there is a will, there is a way. If someone told me a year ago, I would be in 10 000 km long distance relationship with Mexican guy I met dancing somewhere in Spain, I would think that person is totally crazy. But now we are the crazy ones. Crazy happy. 🙂
Note: This post was written in August 2014. In this very moment, we are happily married and together.