Relationships beyond borders

It is no secret that AEGEE is a very good place where to meet not only your future best friends, colleagues and simply great people, but even your future spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend. There are loads of stories about happy marriages between AEGEE members from the same and even different countries. But how does it work to have long-distance relationships in AEGEE?

Klaudia and Jonas

The AEGEEan asked this question to two couples who both have been together long enough to know how it is. Klaudia (AEGEE-Krakow & AEGEE-Eindhoven) and Jonas (AEGEE-Eindhoven) have been a couple for “3 beautiful years and 2 amazing months”, while Olga (AEGEE-Dnipropetrovsk) and Alfredo (AEGEE-Salerno) have counted the months of their love story for “around 1.5 years”. We asked both couples the same questions.

Do you live together or apart?

Klaudia & Jonas (K&J): We have lived together for the last 2.5 years now.

Olga & Alfredo (O&A): For now we are not living together, but this might happen at some point soon.

Before living together, how easy was or is it to arrange meetings?

K&J: At first it was holidays and we travelled together so we saw each other in Poland, Ukraine, Turkey, Poland again… And then for half a year almost every weekend in the Netherlands or Luxembourg. Arranging meetings was not as difficult as saying goodbye every Sunday night!

O&A: We meet on average once per 1-2 months. In the first year we met even more often, a few times at AEGEE meetings. It was not hard, as due to our AEGEE obligations we both had to travel a lot and could thus see each other more often, but now that we are not so active in the organisation anymore and busy with things to do at home, it is a bit harder. But nothing is impossible and we do our best to see each other as often as possible! Now we try to always meet in different places, so that we can at least discover a bit of Europe together.

Alfredo and Olga

What are the benefits and disadvantages of long-distance relationships?

K&J: The benefits are that maybe you have more space for yourself and you can combine meetings with cool trips. Every time you meet it’s special, and a moment to look forward to. The disadvantage is definitely not being able to call each other and making an appointment for same day, not being close to each other every day.

O&A: A clear disadvantage is that the “living together” part of the story is missing, instead there are a thousand kilometers of distance. Also going to the cinema or for a pizza together is missing. On the other hand, every meeting is like a big holiday for us. No routine! There is also more time for personal life and for the job… But is this really a benefit?

Olga and Alfredo

And how is it to have another AEGEE member as your partner?

K&J: You both like the same cool trips and the same great people! You can travel together to AEGEE events and have lots of friends in common. The second one could be a disadvantage for some, not for us!

O&A: It is scaring to let your partner attend a Summer University as you know as good as  no-one else what this is, but for jealous people it’s easy to know if something happened! We are joking of course, as mostly it gives only benefits – lots of common topics to discuss, friends, sharing ideas about some projects and of course attending events together. You do not need to explain where you are going and why, it’s already clear. And can it be considered as benefit that the other is able to understand that MedCom is not Medical Committee?

What would you suggest to other couples in AEGEE who are in long-distance relationships?

K&J: If you know it can turn out into something stable and serious, the best is to try. The closer the better…

O&A: Never give up. What indeed matters are feelings and the wish to see each other. The rest – location, distance, money etc. – are just temporary attributes which can always be changed. But it helps a lot to appreciate every single moment together as extremely precious.

Jonas and Klaudia

Please, share one funny story related to long-distance relationships!

K&J: A few years ago in winter, we were flying back from our holiday in Morocco, via the United Kingdom, when we got snowed-in at the airport, no planes leaving. We both had flights to different countries, but both got cancelled. In the end we travelled in many stages, by train to the Netherlands. We did many romantic stops on the way in restaurants and bars, and spent the night in the train station in London. It ended up being a great little adventure!

O&A: Ah, mostly all stories are connected with travelling. This summer Alfredo waited for Olga at the airport in Rome (there is also a similar story with Alfredo waiting in Beograd and Olga landing in Sofia instead). While at the door with a nice paper with her name in his hands, he received a phone call that she got lost and managed to get to the airport in another country… How to spoil romantic moments! It was extremely funny to try to meet again in the airport! A bit more of these and Olga will be qualified for writing a book on “How not to lose your love in airports”!

Written by Anita Kalmane, AEGEE-Ogre

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