Our featured couple this week is Marie and Dave, whose mutual love of the virtual rock/ electronic band Gorillaz led to them meeting. Currently they are fortunate enough to be in the position to be living together for a few months. However, soon they will have to return to their LDR and everything that brings with it. We wish them the best of luck, and hope they will not be apart again for long!
How Did You Meet?
Marie: We were fans of the same band, Gorillaz. There used to be quite a lively online community around the band, so a lot of people from all over the world came together. The guy behind the band has several side projects, and he did an opera in Manchester. So a lot of us decided to meet up there and get to know each other in real life, and that is where I met Dave! We talked online and a few months later I flew to the UK to see him again.
Dave: We both like the same musician, and he has many side projects. There is/was a community run forum for the band Gorillaz and there was a meet up planned for the lead singers opera in Manchester. We met at the Opera but actually didn’t hit it off! She was just like any of the people I was hanging out with, but after the Opera we talked a lot on social media sites and I was sending ridiculously cheeky, flirty messages – very hit or miss haha. But in this period while we were talking I had a trip to New York planned and said she should join me. She declined but did offer to visit me in the UK and after a day or two together we were dating.
What Is Your Situation Now?
Marie: We are still travelling back and forth, although places have changed a little. I used to live in Germany when we became a couple, then moved to the Netherlands, and now I am going to Poland for a while. Thank God for low-fair airlines! Luckily we get to see each other fairly often, usually about every 6 weeks. And we have a special luxury at the moment: because I am switching universities, I have a whole 3 months in the UK!! It’s lovely to experience what it is like to not think about leaving for ages, and get a sense of how our relationship will be when we finally close the distance (pretty great, from what I can tell!).
Dave: Currently Marie’s over for 3 months while she’s on her Summer holidays from university. We’re half way through now and it’s a pretty telling experience. Usually the length of time we spend together is 3-5 days every 6 weeks on average so this was always going to tell us a lot about each other. So of course a few arguments here and there but they just help us learn about each other more. It’s so nice and refreshing to have her here to support me, come home to a smile and hear how her day at work was over tea, hopefully a demo of our future.
What Do You Find Difficult About the Distance?
Marie: I always find it strange when people say “I could never do long distance!!” Of course you can if you love someone. What are my options? Either I am with Dave – long distance – or we are not together at all, and I could never give up on him. If the distance is the only way to be together, then that is okay with me, and so most of the time I am okay with it. But I would be lying if I said there were no difficult moments. Goodbyes are always horrible, and I hate hate hate the stupid arguments that only happen because you are not speaking face-to-face, things that come across differently in typing than in speaking and such.
Dave: Well the most difficult is saying goodbye, that’s a real heart tugger. Second to that is coming home to my bed and there’s not a smiling head reading a book just appearing out of the duvet, I feel very empty in those moments. It feels a lot worse the longer you’re together (like these 3 months) and she leaves here. The process when I leave wherever she is at that point (Germany, Netherlands or Poland) is never as bad (for me) as when she leaves here. For me I always have enough to keep me busy like catching the bus on time or the whole airport process to keep my mind off it. But we keep in touch with Couple and Skype, very necessary to keep sanity in case anything you’ve sent came across wrong and you can explain, plus it’s good to hear her voice.
What Is Your Advice for Other Long Distance Couples?
Marie: Because we have such a small distance compared to others I always feel that I am not really in the position to give advice. But I think it is important to make sure the other is part of your every day life, by telling them the small things that happened today, tell them about your friends, just the normal things you would do with a normal partner too, don’t make everything about the fact that you are not together (that just makes you miserable). We also love the Couple app, and I love the little artworks Dave often sends me on that. Don’t get worried if you feel like you are running out of things to talk about – it happens to everyone. We love to play games together online in these cases, for example Scrabble. Little misunderstandings will always happen when you are messaging, de-escalating a situation is much easier on Skype than with text messages.
Dave: Make sure to try and keep in contact as often as possible. I need her good morning messages and I need to know she has seen my goodnight message. Its just so important to let your partner know they’re important and you’re trying to keep up to date with them as much as possible, because it is important. Even flicking the message open and acknowledging the message so you know nothing bad has happened. If you can’t visit them as often as we see each other, Skype (sometimes it will be only 2 weeks til we see other but sometimes in might be 2 months) and just support each other. At times you might not feel like you miss them as much and so the conversations dither, but it doesn’t mean your partner isn’t missing you more and vice versa. Its a balancing act.
What Are Your Plans For the Future?
Marie: In about 2 years I will have finished university, so then I will move to the UK. Because Dave does not speak German (yet, he is learning!), moving back to my home country is not really an option for us at the moment. It’s a great feeling to be halfway through the distance, 2 years done, 2 to go! And our little “test phase” of the three months I am spending here at the moment has made me really optimistic and even more excited for our future together.
Dave: Well in 2 years we’re probably going to close the distance and Marie will come here. Learning German is quite difficult so we probably won’t move out there (unfortunately, I would love to!) That’s about it really. It all depends on her education and her job prospects as I’ll follow her wherever, til she’s where she needs to be, we’ll probably live in or near a city and (I know she has this occasion marked in her diary) we will have a day dedicated to buying stuff from Ikea for our flat/house.
– Chris & Chelsea