Weekly Featured Couple: Val & Keith

Val and Keith in Chicago

Our latest featured couple are Val and Keith. This wonderful pair met in 2014, when Val was staying in the USA. Now, two years on, they are finally able to plan their wedding and prepare to close the distance for good.

Val and Keith, like many long distance couples, find airport goodbyes one of the most difficult aspects of long distance. Combined with a 7 hour time difference, it’s safe to say they are very much looking forward to putting the distance behind them. Read their full, inspiring story below.

How Did You Meet?

Keith and I met in 2014 while I was being an AuPair in the States. His parents lived in my neighborhood and we started talking during a block party in August. I told them I had not had the chance to meet many people my age during the first year of my stay and I guess they felt bad for me =) cause they suggested to exchange numbers so their son (who was just a couple years older than me) could show me around.

Val and Keith's First Meeting

Val and Keith Revisiting Where They First Met

We clicked the first time we hung out and started dating shortly after for the last two months of my stay. I left for Germany end of October and we were long distance ever since.

What Is Your Situation Now?

In March 2016 Keith flew to Germany without telling me and surprised me with a proposal at the Farmers Market where I worked Saturdays. We started the K1 Visa process and got the first approval while I was visiting him this summer.

The Proposal Captured on Camera

The Proposal Captured on Camera

The medical and interview at the consulate followed and just now in October I finally hold my Visa and One-Way-Ticket in hand. We couldn’t be more excited to close the distance early November, when I move to the states and we get married in court.

What Do You Find Difficult About the Distance?

For us airport goodbyes are probably one of the most painful parts about long distance. You might think it would get easier but it actually gets harder every time you have to do it. On the other hand: seeing each other after a long time apart is one of the most rewarding and glorious feelings there is.

We have a seven hour time difference which makes it hard to communicate sometimes and when we do find time to Skype the bad internet connection is the worst. But the hardest part is of course the missing each other on special occasions like anniversaries, birthdays etc. and on a daily basis. It always feels like you are missing half of yourself. And it doesn’t help that most people and couples around you don’t understand your situation and what you are going through.

Airport Goodbye's Are the Hardest

Airport Goodbye’s Are the Hardest

It’s hard having to explain your relationship status to people that don’t believe long distance can actually work or even counts as a “real relationship.” But in the end non of this matters, because he is the love of my life and worth every mile between us. Our journey so far was hard but I wouldn’t wanna have it any other way!!

What Is Your Advice for Other Long Distance Couples?

We always try and make time to talk as much as possible and take part of each others lives. Communication is key for a solid and healthy relationship – especially cause that’s all you can do really.

Also we tried to see each other at least twice a year even though flight tickets are crazy expensive – it is always good to have something to look forward to. And it helps your family and friends to get on board – getting to know your partner in person is helping them to understand why long distance is the path you are taking.

And don’t compare yourself to other couples, don’t let anyone make you feel bad or insecure about your choice to love someone far away. I think long distance builds a couple and strengthens it, cause if you survive long distance what else would there be to not make it through?! Believe in your love, fight for it and make it work against all odds.

What Are Your Plans for the Future?

First is closing the distance and getting married this year in the states, then we actually plan on having a church wedding in Germany end of 2017. Other than that we will be taking everyday as a gift: because we have fought so long for this and are now rewarded as being together is the only thing we care about!

Val and Keith in the USA

Val and Keith in the USA

I have found my soulmate and best friend and everything that lies ahead is going to be the greatest adventure cause I get to spend the rest of my life with him!

See more of Val & Keith’s LDR journey on Val’s Instagram page – @valkoenich.

To see all of our featured couples click here.Want to be a featured couple?  To submit your own story visit our submissions page.

-Chelsea

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Chelsea Martin

Chelsea Martin is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI). She has been training dogs professionally since 2007, and is the Head Coach for Dogs Trust Dog School Nottinghamshire. She met Chris on a trip to England in 2013, Married him on New Year's Eve - celebrating 2016 as husband and wife!