To kick off our new series on Real World LDRs, we reached out to our friends Kirra and Michael. These two met in 2009, and have been dealing with distance on and off ever since. Kirra and Michael are now married but are once again dealing with distance due to unexpected career opportunities. They’ve been gracious enough to give us some insight into how they make it work.
1. How did you two meet?
Michael and I met on an Adventure tour through Central Australia. The first day we met the tour guide held up a snake to surprise me. I jumped back (not liking snakes AT ALL) and literally fell onto Michael. As it turned out him and his best friend were on the same tour as my best friend and I. We all really hit it off from the beginning – and the rest is history I guess.
We met on a tour starting in Alice Spring going to Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon, etc. September 2009. We got booked on the same tour and were together with our best friends the only young people. We four spent the whole tour together and went after the tour finished out for dinner and drinks.
2. For how long has your relationship been long distance-based?
It seems a little bit like our relationship has always been plagued by long distance for whatever reason. At first, I stayed in Australia while Michael finished his Masters in Germany, and then when Michael finally migrated to Australia, for financial reasons he was forced to take a job interstate. Since migrating to Germany I have had to do much the same thing. – BUT we always seem to make it work.
Our relationship was distance-based with interruptions for a whole of 29 months.
3. How did you initially approach having a long distance relationship?
Nothing about having a long-distance relationship is easy. I think the concept of living on opposite sides of the world for the first (and most exciting) part of our relationship was always too daunting for me to really think about in any real detail or completeness. I just took each day as it came and was thankful for the daily email I had in my inbox every morning and the weekly phone call we could have. I knew very early on that Michael was a keeper and the more I fell in love with him, the more I would endure to stay ‘together’ with him and continue to make our relationship work despite the unconventional circumstances.
When we decided to start a relationship we knew we would have to do it long distance-based for quite some time. We agreed on writing emails to each other every day to keep us involved and be part of the other one's life. We also sent photos and pictures additionally to emails. At the beginning, we called via Skype or phone once a week, later then the circumstances allowed it twice or more often per week. Additionally, we sent each other packages relatively often with cards, sweets, and gifts.
4. Are there any unexpected benefits to having a long distance relationship?
I really don’t think there is an awful lot you could say that is positive about having a long distance relationship. The only thing is that you do tend to value the time you have together and don’t take it for granted.
No, there are no benefits of a long distance relationship. The only “advantage” was that I was able to invest all my time into finishing my university degrees earlier which allowed me to be together with Kirra.
5. How do you keep the intimacy alive in your relationship?
It was basically impossible to keep the physical intimacy alive during our time apart. BUT I feel we maintained a certain level of intimacy through sharing little events that we would schedule (like watching a moving at the same time together), sending surprise care packages and making sure that we continued to email or message (everyday) even if it was just a short note to say ‘I love you.’
In regards to the distance based part of the relationship, we could not maintain any intimacy.
5. What’s your favorite way to spend time together when you’re apart?
For me, it was our long Sunday phone calls. We would spend a few hours just chatting with each other about nothing special – but it meant everything to me.
My favorite way was our weekly Sunday midday call (German time zone). We talked about our future plans together, what we did last week, everyday things and any news. When I closed my eyes it felt like we were together in the same room having a totally normal talk in a totally normal relationship on a normal Sunday.
6. What’s the most challenging aspect of being in a long distance relationship? What about the most rewarding aspect?
The most challenging part of a long distance relationship is being disciplined enough to keep the other person involved in your life. It’s easy when things get busy and they aren’t there to forget to tell them things and say ‘oh, we’ll have a call tomorrow instead’. It just doesn’t work like that, because inevitably the other person feels pushed to the side. It’s also really hard at special family and friend events to be ‘dateless’ when you’re not even single. Sometimes friends and family can also be your worst enemies, suggesting that it would just be ‘easier’ to have a relationship with someone local – so why would we go through all the heartache. So yes, sometimes it was hard to remain strong and keep reminding yourself why it’s all worth it and why the other person is better than any other.
The most rewarding aspects were the times together after long times apart. The build-up to meeting again was always filled with so much excitement and anticipation – it was almost like the beginning of the relationship all over again.
The most challenging part is to keep the other person a part of one’s daily life. The only way to keep the distance relationship going is if there is a daily routine that ties the partner to yours even when being apart. The challenging part is to do it daily with only a few exceptions. If not done daily the partners grow apart by missing too much of each other’s lives.
7. Do you think having a set of Cyberdildonic devices that enable real-time intimacy for adults – like KIIROO Onyx and Pearl – would have a positive impact on your relationship?
Absolutely! I think that is the one thing that can really drive a wedge between some couples who are enduring long-distance relationships. Michael and I were strong enough without the physical intimacy for the periods that we were apart, but given the opportunity to have such a product on hand would have certainly added another dimension to our relationship, and made the relationship more ‘real’ so to speak.
Of course, I do. Unfortunately, there is was no way of maintaining intimacy in our long distance-based relationship.
I would have been very happy and thankful for anything that I could have shared with Kirra. To be honest, we were very desperate on many occasions and would have done anything to “be together”.
Thank you so much, Kirra and Michael!
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