Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day! (Alla Hjärtans Dag)

Wearing my new favourite dress from Unique Vintage
Heart bag from Monki

Life is so unpredictable. I never thought I'd be sitting at a cafe in Sweden writing a blog post about how I conquered getting through a year of being long distance from my boyfriend and that we are living together here now. We've gone through a lot to get to where we are. Going through the process of obtaining a residence permit to even be allowed to live here legally was a triumph in itself. I was told when starting the process that it could take up to a year and a half before I'd find out whether or not I could move here, and that was really, really hard. I hated not knowing when I'd get answers, and the uncertainty of it all made me feel uneasy all the time. I'm a natural worry wart, so that didn't help but Max stayed extremely positive which was a great balance for me. 

Every time I saw an e-mail from the Migration Agency (e-mail was how they kept in touch with us usually), my heart would beat a thousand miles an hour. Any little piece of news we would get, or not get, would almost drive our whole day. I had a feeling very early on that we would get our decision very quickly, though. I wasn't sure why but it was just a gut feeling. I think part of it had to do with luck; we were placed with a very efficient case officer who handled our case in a timely manner. I had heard horror stories of couples who were placed with handlers who were never even in their offices. But I also have a gift for being really good at being persistent, so I often checked in to see how things were going, and since our case was pretty easy and straight forward, they pushed us forward and we managed to get the permit exactly 5 months from the day that we applied for it. I cried very hard that day (happy tears of course!)

It really does take a special person to be able to handle long distance the way we did. I thought I'd take a moment to share what we did to strengthen and keep our relationship alive during those rough times. I do actually feel lucky that we never had to go TOO long apart (3 months at the most) but it was still rough.

This is basically how often we saw each other since meeting:

Even though we matched on Tinder in January, we didn't meet until...
Max: Visited me from March 29-April 9
Me: I visited Max between May 22-June 7
We applied for my residence permit on June 9th
Max: Visited me between August 30-September 13
Me: Visited Max between October 4-October 18
Went on my interview at the Swedish Consulate on October 25th
The decision was made on November 9!
Me: Visited Max between December 23-January 9
MOVED to Sweden on January 25th!

And this was what we did to combat the distance:

This should be an obvious one, but thank god for technology. We tried to FaceTime at least once a day. Sometimes I'd show him what I got in the mail, or he would show me the weather outside his office if it was still daytime for him. Not all of our Facetime conversations were that exciting and most of the time he would get too sleepy to keep talking because it would be so late his time, but it really did help to keep us connected.


Max once suggested that we sync movies and tv shows at the same time so that it could be almost like we were in person watching the same thing together, and it was a great idea. I think we watched the entire Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series on Netflix while being 5,000 miles apart! Haha. I do believe there'a a program to sync them so that you can also chat at the same time, but we did it the old fashioned way. One of us would count down and then we'd press Start at the same time, and it worked!

These are pretty obvious, but we said good morning and good night every single day. I would always wake up to a bunch of snaps from him that he sent throughout his day so that I could see what he had been up to while I was asleep. Then we'd talk throughout the day until it was time for him to go to bed. I would send him snaps while he was asleep, and he would get to wake up to those the next morning. Trust me, sometimes I just did not feel like snapping. I actually don't really use snapchat. But I found that this was very effective for us because it didn't take very long and it was easy to keep up with. I always loved sending him weird snapchats with funny filters and then waiting until he would wake up to laugh at them.

We always made sure to check in with each other about how we were feeling. We had days here and there where we would feel sad, and we would talk about it. We had days where we would just spend the whole conversation talking about our future plans and planning a future trip that we would take. I wouldn't say it's bad to have a Countdown Calendar. Some might say that it's a bad idea to have one because it will make time feel slower, but Max had one on his computer and it was cute. I always loved whenever we'd just be a few weeks out from seeing each other. Every day after that just felt slowwww and annoying, but every day that passed, we were just one day closer to being together again.

Since this will be our first Valentine's Day together in person, we have planned a fun night which includes champagne, tacos (our favourite meal), eating princess cake, and watching movies. If you're celebrating, what are your plans? I'd love to know! And if you're going through a long distance, what do you do to help with the distance?


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