Tatiana’s flight was canceled the day before her flight back to Nicaragua to see Juju. Now they’ve endured long-distance relationship struggles for three months and have three more to go.
“It’s definitely been hard. What we thought was going to be a week turned out to be more than six months apart. Neither of us was prepared for this long-distance relationship, as I’m guessing nobody was.”
How Tatiana Met Juju
“I am Colombian and she’s from the US. We both work in the film industry and we met in 2018 when she came down to work on a film. We met at a party of a friend of mine who’s roommate worked with her. That night, we discovered I would be starting the following week working on that same project. We never thought we would end up together.
When we started working on the film together we became really good friends with another girl from Germany. We hung out almost every day for three months but only as friends. Then around our birthdays (we both have them in June), we started feeling things towards each other.
The only thing is, neither of us wanted to say anything. She didn’t because, in her eyes, I was a straight girl. And I didn’t want to ruin the friendship. But on those days, we celebrated our birthdays and our connection was so strong. Then one day she told me, ‘Hey, I need to step back a bit from our friendship. I’m getting a lot of feelings and I don’t want to ruin this. So I think it’ll be for the best if we just stop hanging out for a bit.’
I said, ‘Nooo I need to tell you something!’ When we realized we were both feeling the same we started dating. Two months later, she had to leave the country because the project was done. We were really sad about having to split up, but we really wanted to see where this was going.
At the beginning of that year, I had made the decision of moving out of the country. I was planning on going to the states or Spain, but in the end, she convinced me to go live with her in Nicaragua. We gave it a try and well, the rest is history.
Juju has been my first lesbian relationship and I’ve never been happier. I’m not saying the relationship is perfect, but it’s been definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I didn’t let society, or tags, or anything define the feelings had for this girl. At first, I never thought the relationship would go this far. A lot of my friends told me I just wanted to have a different experience. But it turns out they were wrong.”
Corona Forced Them Into a Long-Distance Relationship
“We both live in Nicaragua, but I had to come back to Colombia for a week to do some medical tests and visit my family. Just one day before I had my return flight, they closed the borders and I had to stay here in Colombia.
Juju doesn’t like being on the phone much, and it’s been a huge challenge during this time since that’s the only way we can communicate. So every 15 days, we try to plan a nice date night where we both watch the same show or movie (just like we would when we are together).
We always send each other a nice daily message reminding each other of our love and that we will get through this.
We both are used to celebrating our birthdays together, but because of Coronavirus, we had to spend both our birthdays our 2nd anniversary apart. So that was also really hard. Communication has been difficult as well because sitting in front of a camera is absolutely not the same as being together.
But we feel so blessed because we have realized what we needed to work on in our relationship. We even have time to miss each other! Hard times like this show how strong a relationship is. At the beginning of our relationship, we agreed that neither of us wanted a long-distance relationship. So this definitely has been a challenge because we are in the middle of a situation that is out of our hands.
We’ve been trying to hold on to the hope we will be united soon again, and we have good days and bad days. By now, we’ve completed half of our long-distance relationship struggles. The borders in Colombia are supposed to open in September, so we still have three more months to go.”
Advice for Other Couples in Long-Distance Relationship Struggles
“Have communication and trust. I know this must be what everyone says, but it definitely makes a huge difference. Try to be transparent and open to your partner about your fears, your feelings, your worries, everything.
Try to find strategies to find things to do together and make the other feel like a priority: a phone call, messages, sending some delivery, watch a movie with Netflix Party, read a book together. Whatever helps to keep the relationship alive is worth it.
I’ve heard of so many couples breaking up during this lockdown because the distance is hard. It definitely is hard but it can be a good time to think and reinvent yourself, to do those things you were always putting aside.
Understand the other person’s position and try to avoid huge fights that would damage the relationship. I know sometimes it is hard but big fights over distance do more damage.
Also, if you’re like me, you might have panic attacks really often. So I’ve been trying some yoga and meditation. Don’t just share everything that’s bad. Try to deal with some of those negative feelings on your own so you can share the little time you have with your partner to talk about happy things.”
Other Ways to Manage Your Long-Distance Relationship
Long-distance relationship struggles are real. While many European borders are opening back up, it remains complicated to get flights, and other continents are still sealed shut. After many months of distance, a lot of couples are going stir-crazy. With all the pressure of missing each other and trying to stay positive, you sometimes run out of things to talk about or creative ways to spend time together over video chat.
You can read what others are doing through some advice I’ve compiled from many story submissions. If you have your own creative ideas to share, we’d love to hear them and share them with everyone else.