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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Bok, ja sam Jaime or hello, my name is Jaime in English 🙂 Yes, the same Maja writes about. I moved to Croatia, and after a while, I decided to write something about my experiences here in my new hometown Zagreb! So I was writing my first post when I realized… Hey, nobody knows me, so how to write new things on this blog when nobody knows anything about me, it is like to arrive at a hotel and take a room without check in, so I will give you a quick intro. So I am Jaime Martínez, a Mexican from Oaxaca de Juarez, a very beautiful city located in the south of Mexico. As you know, now I am living in Zagreb, Croatia with Maja, my wife.
We ready for the take off in CD MX © Mexatia
After spending a great summer in Mexico, it was time to leave. It was September 4 and it was our last night in Mexico City. We decided to leave with style so we booked a room for in amazing Gran Hotel de la Ciudad de Mexico (if you saw Spectre, you could see James Bond staying in this hotel as well!). We booked a flight through British Airways so to reach our final destination we had a long, overnight layover in London. On the bright side, since we arrived in London in the afternoon, we had some time to go to the city and visit some of its iconic landmarks. In London, we stayed at Hilton’s Garden Inn Heathrow Hotel which was excellent for a layover. I had a very good rest but Maja did not even close her eye because of the jet lag. Super early next morning, we were already on the way to Heathrow again. Grabbed an expensive breakfast, crossed the security control and in a blink of an eye we were in the airplane again, ready for the takeoff.
The flight from London to Zagreb was amazing because you cross over the Swiss Alps and you have an amazing view. I told to Maja that we need to come here next time to ski, but she looked me weirdly and said: “Start to work harder, even normal Swiss people do not ski here.”. When we were somewhere over Austria, I thought how maybe we can ski here. 🙂
Crossing the Alps © Mexatia
Occupied by thoughts like that and after short 3 hours, we were in Croatia. Maja was excited and she started to talk about Zagreb, showing me where city center and the hill Medvednica are. The plane landed and I immediately started to worry about three things:
- Did our luggage arrive in Zagreb and did it survive the flight? In Mexico we got lots of different information prior the flight and, even the lady claimed she checked in the luggage until Zagreb, we were not 100% sure the luggage was not stuck somewhere in London or in some other part of the world.
- If the luggage was there, I was just hoping the customs would not stop us to check all the luggage, because we really had a lot. My whole life was coming with me.
- It was time to meet Maja’s parents for the very fist time!!!
Maja is already a professional in arriving back home so we were the very first ones in passport control and first ones waiting for the luggage. I saw people getting their luggage and leaving. People were leaving one by one and our bags still were not here. Suddenly I saw the first bag! I run to pick it up when I saw second, third, fourth… We were passing the customs with two cars full of baggage. Police office stopped Maja and, when I was almost ready to open all the locks on our bags, he let us go after a short chit chat with Maja.
Enjoying layover in London © Mexatia
Her dad was waiting for us. I approached him and I told him: “Don Darko it’s a pleasure to finally meet you!” while giving to him the hand and a hug like a family. Well, that was the original plan but what really happened was a handshake in a very awkward silence. I was so nervous and I think he was too. While we were driving home, I felt so weird. Everything was so different, it was a completely new city with a lot of green fields, traffic signals in a language that I couldn’t pronounce, Maja and her dad speaking a language that I couldn’t understand… and there was no traffic on the road.
We arrived at my new home. Her mom was there waiting for us with Frida, the dog. I think she read my mind because she did everything I planned to do with Maja’s dad. She told me “Welcome home, Jimmy!”, hugged me and kissed me. Frida was so excited Maja was there that she forgot to bark at me. 🙂
When I was crossing through the main door, I felt ready for this new adventure. I was not alone like when I arrived in Madrid. I was going through life holding the hand of my pretty (soon to be) wife.
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When I was a kid, Croatian tv programs were screening lots of Mexican soaps and that’s why most of people my age can understand or speak Spanish. Everybody knows at least little something about Mexico and its people, food and culture. It is always funny when somebody asks me how I learned Spanish (at least that little I know) and we always laugh when I tell them that’s mainly because of telenovelas and not the language course I recently took. Some people didn’t believe me until they met my friends who also speak Spanish like me. 🙂
Anyways, my Mexican boyfriend always has a lot of fun when I start to speak about Mexico and he cannot believe what I think about his country. So, here it goes the generalized list full of clichés describing what I have known about Mexico before I met Jaime and how he changed my perception (or at least he tried to).
Mexican soap operas
There is no Croatian who did not see at least one episode of some telenovela! When I was a kid, they were everywhere and we all watched it. By some time, we picked up some language and got some opinion about Mexican people and culture (not necessarily good). From telenovelas you can easily start to think that most of people in Mexico are rich and live very comfortable and that they are all mutually blood related or romantically involved, or both. 🙂 Also, people in Mexico are extremely loud and dramatic (mostly women). The truth is only 10% people live like those in the soaps and most of “regular” Mexican people have pretty hard life earning around US $300-500 per month. But I’m still convinced they are all extremely loud! And man, they speak fast!
Drug cartels and trafficking
Unfortunately, everything we hear about Mexico in Croatian media is about drug cartels, drug trafficking, murders and kidnappings. I started to notice it more lately and not even one article I could find was written in positive context. Reading the news it seems like the whole Mexico is dangerous place filled with criminals and drug dealers, where you are going to get murdered or kidnapped in a moment. In a reality, none of this will happen if you act wisely and don’t go to the parts of the country and cities that are known by drugs. Also, most of the “bad people” are not going to be interested in you if you don’t plan to mess up with their trade. The level of safety is far from European, but it is not even close to that they are trying to display in the media. But from the other side, Jaime told me numerous times to be very careful when I will be there so I’m not completely sure what to think now…
We all tried tequila, but we don’t know almost anything about it (my mom thought it’s made from corn :D). I talked something about it with Jaime and I started to read something more about that drink. So, tequila is one of national drinks which is made from blue agava plant and originates from city named Tequila in Mexican state Jalisco, near Guadalajara. The production started in 16th century, while mass production began during the 17th century. Only in Mexico, there is more than 1300 brands of tequila and the law states that all Mexican tequilas need to be bottled before exporting!
Besides tequila, there is one drink that some Mexicans like better than tequila – mezcal. Mezcal is also made from one type of agava and produced mostly in state of Oaxaca. Some bottles may contain a worm. Some people says it makes mezcal taste better, some that it indicates mezcal is ready to drink, when some people think that is only marketing ploy. I asked to Jaime does he know how much liters of alcohol can I take with me to Europe and he was very happy when he heard I plan to bring mezcal and not tequila (of course, if I’m going to like it).
I love mariachi! I thought you can see them playing everywhere, in places like bars or squares, but it seems you can’t. I recently find out that you need to pay them if you want them to play for you if you see them for example at some square because they are there for the tourists. Paying tourists. Not to make people happy like I thought! Also, if you want to hire mariachi band, one hour of that pleasure will cost you around 120€. I must say I’m little bit disappointed and that I will consider the idea of paying them to play just for me (not on this trip though).
Mexican beaches and touristic cities
Beaches, beaches, beaches! Kilometers of sandy beaches (which we don’t really like, but still) with big hotels and clubs located in the perfect bays. Whenever I thought about beach in Mexico, I thought about Acapulco or Cancun. In my mind Acapulco was a paradise, in reality – everybody hates Acapulco. Too much (poor) people, dirty beach and rising amount of drug-related violence and murders. Ironically, the most of danger for an average tourist in Acapulco comes from the local police because there is lots of bribery and extortion.
Basically, all of that big and famous resort cities are too commercialized and americanized. I would like to see cities like Acapulco and Cancun because of my education, but now I know that Mexico has much more to offer in smaller and not so internationally popular touristic places (like Isla Mujeres).
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
For me, Mexican food were tortillas, chili and spicy sauces (salsas). I have been to a Mexican restaurant in Croatia, but the food they are serving here has no much connection with real Mexican food. They eat things so spicy that not much Europeans could eat it so the restaurants here are adapted to our cultures. Also, the tortillas are only the base for hundreds of various meals. Depending what you do with the tortilla, you can get tacos, burritos, flautas, tostadas, enchiladas, chips… with hot salsa! I recently tried my first tacos and I loved them. Also, I got a Mexican cookbook as a Christmas present and I’m looking forward to making something (or at least trying to make…). Even more, I’m looking forward to trying the original food in Mexico this spring. I just hope they are not going to kill me with the spices. 😀
When I think about typical Mexican man, I picture the little man with mustaches, funny colorful clothes and huge sombrero (and because of that Jaime told me I’m a racist). In my mind all the Mexican wear sombreros (or at least some smaller hats) all the time. Why? Because of sun, doh! In reality, they don’t wear it at all. I cannot say how disappointed I was when I found out that. The only people who wear big hats are mariachi and tourists (so I have an excuse hehe and I’m pretty sure I will come back home with at least one of them), but Jaime promised he will wear it one day for me. In the other way he will never be the real Mexican for me!
As a geographist, I know much about pre-columbian cultures in Mexico and rest of Americas. I’m not sure how much average person knows about exact location of Mayans, Aztecs or Zapotecs ruins, but I was happy like a baby when Jaime told me we will have enough time to visit Teotihuacán (ruins with the pyramids close to Mexico City which once were the most famous city in the Aztec’s empire) AND Monte Albán (archeological site near Oaxaca where lived Zapotecs). Mayan riviera will need to wait until the next visit.
That’s basically it what I have known about Mexico. Now I know much more about the country and it will be interesting to see how my opinions will change after my visit to Mexico in May.
And what do you know about Mexico?
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