Anckie & Felipe

Anckie & Felipe
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They’ve lived apart for 3 years, but their long-distance relationship in COVID has brand-new challenges. They’re hoping Felipe makes it in time for the baby.  

Anckie met Felipe when she traveled to Costa Rica for a holiday in June 2017. A friend of hers, who is half Costa Rican, was visiting there and Anckie decided to go along. Felipe was a friend of the family Anckie stayed with. And that’s how they met!

“We quickly fell in love. It wasn’t a hard decision to start our long-distance relationship. I knew that I wanted to be with him and couldn’t just let him disappear from my life.”

How Their Relationship Progressed, Long-Distance Style

“The only cultural difficulty we’ve had has been our perception of time. In Germany, everything is very punctual, but in Costa Rica, there is a mañana style. 

He once told me that he needed to go out and that he would be back soon. ‘Soon’ is for me 5 to 10 minutes but for him, it is 5 minutes plus. I think I waited for him for 2 hours. But that is the only difficulty I can think of. 

Since 2017, I have traveled to Costa Rica 3 times per year to be with him. So I have spent all my holidays and money to visit him as much I can. 

In September 2019, he was finally able to come to Germany for the first time and stayed for 3 months. During this time, we decided we would get married in Costa Rica in December of that year. And we did!

We got married on the 18th of December. I flew back to Germany on the 6th of January but the goodbye was not as heartbreaking as usual; we knew that 2020 would be a different year than before. And it has been different, just not in the way we had planned.” 

What Their Long Distance Relationship in COVID Looks Like

“When I got back to Germany in January, we received a delayed little marriage gift. I’m pregnant! We were extremely happy and started to change our plans accordingly for the new family member. Then Corona came and destroyed all those plans. Right now the process of a family reunion visa is not possible.

We have not seen each other for 6 months and I’ve gone through most of the pregnancy alone. In 8 weeks, our baby boy Jeremy will come to the world. We have always hoped and had faith that the travel ban would be eased so he could travel here. I just hope that we can experience this together as a family. 

Now, the faith starts to disappear and I fear that I will have to give birth without him by my side. My husband won’t get the chance to hold his newborn baby in his arms. Unfortunately, I can’t put the birth on hold. Time is running out and Little Jeremy is coming when he’s ready, regardless of Corona.

But I haven’t given up hope yet. 

I booked a flight for Felipe to come to Germany on August 8th. I’m really hoping they will let him board the flight and enter Germany due to urgent family reasons. But there’s no way of knowing until it happens. It’s now just 8 weeks until the birth and I really need him with me.”

The Difficulties of Being Apart During a Pregnancy

“Everything is a struggle now. Our son’s birth is only 8 weeks away and we should be organizing and preparing together to have everything ready for him. Meanwhile, other people have these privileges and take them for granted. 

It is absolutely unbelievable that we are denied to have this time together when thousands of people are traveling for their holiday and squeezing up on crowded beaches.”

How to Deal With a Long Distance Relationship in COVID

Long-distance relationships in 2020 are different than they were in the past. Before, couples could book tickets and be 99% sure they’d actually make the trip. Now, we book tickets on blind faith, hoping we’ll be able to fly but never knowing if it will happen. 

Some couples, like Cheryl and Cyril, aren’t even trying to visit this year. The challenge of finding time off work AND working around the travel bans and quarantine would be impossible. 

I met Anckie, like many of our contributors, through the Love Is Not Tourism Facebook group. She was eager to share her story because she and Felipe feel the injustice of being unable to see each other, while countries are opening up, allowing parties and big gatherings. 

If you’re one of these couples feeling the unfairness of it too, you can join the online travel ban protest. Get on Twitter and Instagram. Start tweeting your country’s officials and appeal to their sense of empathy. Ask them to allow unmarried couples to be reunited. 

Other Resources to Get Through This Pandemic

In the meantime, we’ve compiled advice from many of our contributors. They share tips to help your emotional state and practical things to do, to build connection with your partner. 

We also offer advice on how to sext better during quarantine! If you haven’t seen each other in months, try to spice things up, making your long-distance relationship in COVID more bearable. 

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