After like at first sight, and love shortly after that, they visited back and forth between Macedonia and Serbia. They still have creative dates, despite the separation.
Sandra and Stefan met at a conference in Serbia that Sandra organized. She noticed Stefan the moment he walked in and was determined to get his attention. He had a similar plan, to find and meet her later.
“Those were 4 whirling, crazy days of getting to know each other, spending time together, almost like in a movie. We had some doubt and fear at the end, that this experience would end up as any stereotypical travel story, where you never see each other again.
But then, after just five days, I was already on my way to Macedonia. Two days after that, he was on his way to Serbia, so I guess we were brave enough (or crazy, perhaps?) to embark on a romantic, but yet realistic adventure.
From then on, we see each other every two weeks, one travels to the other, losing 14 hours to spend that one precious day and a half with the other. Sometimes we travel to some other place, some other country.
This started only about 6 months ago, but we’ve already shared many things with each other: birthdays, important celebrations, regular days and their charms, real-life problems and struggles, ups and downs.
It’s that phase where you’re not on your best behavior every single day, where you don’t always have all your crap together (pardon my French). There are times when the distance problem kicks a bit harder than usual and you lose your cool and become a temporary jerk.
But it’s also a phase where, instead of judgment, there is concern and care, there is understanding that long-distance is a pretty messed up thing. He says, ‘Love is seeing her at her worst, and still thinking it’s okay.’
Because of the closed borders, I’m in Serbia and he’s in Macedonia. It’s the 25th day of separation. The uncertainty of whether it will be another 25, if 55 will pass…who knows how many? We’re thinking of options, possible and impossible opportunities for crossing borders in the next period…to the folly of ‘driving a truck since it is the only means of transport that crosses the border.'”
Sandra & Stefan’s Tips for Maintaining a Long-Distance Relationship
“Required video calls: sharing these little current events on a daily basis. Lately, we even have mandatory ‘dressed up’ video dates once a week.
That started a couple of days ago when I told him to be ready for a video date at 9 PM. He prepared me a surprise – well-groomed beard for the date, shirt, tie, dim light and candle, flowers, and the kindest smile that I know. Those little things of care and appreciation really mean a lot in these moments.
In an already difficult period of pandemic, isolation and changed lives, it is difficult to see young couples able to take advantage of this situation by quarantining together. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad for them, it just wakes in you a shameful feeling of jealousy.
But we should look at things on the positive side. This is a great test for individuals and for all of us. Endurance. Psyche. Hopefully, everyone will get through it, taking some things and situations more seriously, that they may have taken for granted before. Just imagine how beautiful life will be after it all.”