Hello! My name is Paul & my partner’s name is Elis. I live in the United Kingdom & she lives in Brazil. There are 5,939 miles between us and this is our story…
Elis and I met on Facebook, on August 29th 2014. We both belong to a fan appreciation group for a particular trilogy of films (the Before trilogy), and after we noticed each other’s comments and profile photos, I sent her a friend request. She accepted and sent me a hello message, and a few days after that we spent several hours chatting online.
Obviously we shared similarities in our tastes in films! But we soon realised that our similarities extended to our tastes in music and literature, our preferred leisure activities, our respective outlooks on the world.
We also shared previous experience of having difficulty initiating and forging connections with new people, but when we started talking we just clicked. I knew within a couple of conversations with her that I’d found someone really special. Within a fortnight of meeting her, I had fallen in love with her.
In a regular relationship communication is important – in an LDR that goes double, or treble!!! Thankfully another thing we share in common is that we always love to be talking to each other. From the moment we wake up in the morning, to when we go to bed at night, and at every point in between, we love to be connected to each other in some way, so we’re always, always talking. Even if it’s just to say we love to be connected to each other!
Even with all the miles between us, there hasn’t been a moment since I met Elis when I’ve felt lonely, because I know she’s looking after my heart, just as I’m looking after hers.
Long distance also profoundly affects the time you actually spend with each other. After over 8 months of contact solely over the internet, I traveled to Brazil in May 2015 to spend 7 and a half days with Elis. The first thing to say was that it was wonderful. We both had slight worries that in person it would be different to how it had been online, but those worries quickly evaporated as it became clear that the intimacy we had built together would translate effortlessly to our new circumstances!
I’m sure plenty of other LDR couples will be able to relate to the feeling of every single second with your SO feeling incredibly precious, and we were no different. We were totally inseparable during our week together, soaking up every moment, savouring and storing the memories for the inevitable time when we’d be apart again. Being long distance affects the intensity of all of these moments – the meetings and the partings and everything in the middle is more immediate because they mean so much more.
Q: What are the obstacles you face being LDR & how do you overcome them?
The short answer to this is, through each other.
Of course, not being able to hold each other or kiss each other is a difficulty each day, every week there are experiences we wish we could share in the flesh, and every month there are special occasions that we wish we could celebrate together. But since we both feel these desires, we can share in them together.
As long as we have each other, even at a distance, we can just move on to the next day together. Our hearts and our minds are in the same place, and focused on the same destination. The hope is that whatever new difficulty presents itself in the future, we will find in each other the strength to face it and overcome it. With her (virtual) hand in mine, we can, and will, accomplish anything we want.
Q: What are the things you love about being in an LDR?
The things I love aren’t necessarily LDR specific! I love having found this amazing person who brings so much love and beauty into my life! And I love that whether I’m having a good or a bad day, she’ll share in it with me and make everything brighter.
More specifically to us being in an LDR; I love that the days we’ve had in each other’s company so far have felt so heightened, and so special, and that we have more days like that to look forward to, when she visits me in the UK in September.
I love that we have special daily countdowns to the days when we’ll next see each other (at the time of writing we’re 86 days away!). And I love that we’re forced to find different ways to express our love to each other.
Q: How do you stay connected while you’re apart?
Every minute we’re awake we speak on Facebook Messenger!!! We supplement this by speaking over the phone (again on Messenger), and we have Skyped. Every now and again we record videos with us singing songs to each other (I sent her about ten Christmas songs in December!), and we send each other packages in the mail!!
Most recently we received from each other the first packages we’d sent each other after my visit to Brazil, and we’d coincidentally both sent each other framed photos of us together!! We’ve sent cards for special occasions, letters, chocolates and gifts.
But really the most important thing is our contact through Messenger. Our connection never wavers because we can always send each other a message, day or night, whenever we need to, and we’re always there for each other, for mental if not physical support.
Q: What helpful advice would you give to other LDR couples?
The most important advice I can give is to have faith in your partner. Find your own balance between the two of you, be honest, be open with each other, make sure you communicate with these things in mind. And have faith. Enjoy and cherish the moments in the short term, be they together or apart; and keep an eye together on the moments to come, the next visits, and the life you’re planning together beyond them. Remain focused on the destination, whilst savouring every step of the journey together.