In a Long-Distance Relationship? This Is How You Make It Work

Sacha Strebe
PHOTO:

Melodie Jeng/Contributor

When my husband and I met more than 10 years ago, it was like a scene straight out of the most romantic rom-com. I was backpacking solo through Europe and he was traveling with his brother when we first locked eyes as we checked into a hostel in Nice, France. They talk about love at first sight in fairy tales, but for us, it was real life. After two fun-filled, wine-fueled, heavenly days in the amorous beachside city, we parted ways with just an email address and a promise to keep in touch. We continued our separate journeys through Europe: I headed toward Italy and Greece, and he went to Germany, keeping in touch with random emails until we both returned home.

At that time, I was an Aussie expat residing in London, and he lived in Arizona. We enjoyed—well, endured—a long-distance relationship for more than two years, with our longest time apart being six months, and this was well before video chatting or real-time messaging apps. I'll be honest: It was really hard, and we both cried rivers, but we have one of the strongest partnerships now, which I truly believe comes down to the commitment, trust, and loyalty we developed during that time. Besides, long-distance relationships can be a whole lot of fun, too. Here are some of the creative ways we kept smiling even when we felt like crying.

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