A couple weeks ago, I was feeling rather disconnected from Pete. I had been looking forward to spending time with him this spring, but with all the drama around the world it seemed like that was not going to happen. If I’m being completely honest, I was actually heartbroken. I have been missing him so much since I last saw him in January. Four years as a long distance relationship had finally gotten to both of us and our days of just texting and calling each other weren’t enough anymore.
After seeing a bunch of these social media challenges, I decided to start my own with him. I asked if he’d be down to do a 15 day relationship challenge. He said he was, so I started planning out what each day’s challenge would be. Then I thought, why not share them with everyone who’s possibly going through the same issues we are! So that’s how the @aloveacrosstheocean #LDRChallenge started. And it makes me so happy to see so many of you following along and sharing your results!
So for those of you reading that don’t follow our Instagram (@aloveacrosstheocean) or missed the challenge itself, here are all 15 Challenges.
Day 1 - List 5 things you love about your partner and share with them.
5 things I love about Pete. Where to start! Meeting Pete has been one of the best things that has happened to me. There’s so much I love about him I had a hard time narrowing it down to just 5, but here are the top 5 on my list;
Day 2 - Look through old photos of you and your partner together and pick 3 to share with your partner. Think of the reasons why those are your favorite.
Again, there are so many photos I love of us, but I had to narrow them down to the top 3.
The first one is from Pete’s first trip to Arizona. The night we took this photo, we met up with my siblings and best friends. We went to Top Golf in Scottsdale, then had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants and ended up bar hopping around Old Town Scottsdale. It was so much fun and it made me happy to see my best friends got along so well with him.
The second photo is from my first time visiting Pete in England. He knew how much I love ruins and architecture so he planned on stopping by Stonehenge on our way to his hometown. After doing some typical tourist things, we went out to a few pubs and had the best time.
And the third photo is from our family road trip to the Grand Canyon. Being a native of Arizona, you would think I had visited the Grand Canyon many times, but you’d be wrong. I had never stepped foot near this wonder of the world. Pete and I planned this Arizona road trip, but my family ended up joining us and it was so much fun! Pete looked so happy the entire time and I think that’s part of what makes this photo ones of my favorites.
Day 3 - Pick a song you'd like to dedicate to your partner and send the link to them.
The song I picked for Pete is Never Felt A Love Like This by Galantis. I picked this song because the title says it all. I’ve loved before, but I have never loved anyone the way I love Pete. As cheesy as it sounds, my love for him feels magical. Choosing to fall in love with him has definitely been the greatest adventure of my life. So like the title of the song says, I’ve never felt a love like this before.
Day 4 - Make a small 5 song playlist for your partner and send it to them.
I made a 5 song playlist for Pete on Spotify that included the following songs;
Each song I picked had lyrics that spoke to my heart and I knew Pete would understand why I sent those songs.
Day 5 - Think about 2 things that bring you the most joy in your relationship. Share with your partner.
There’s definitely more than just two things in our relationship that bring me joy, but the top two are getting to explore new places and trying new things together. As I mentioned before, my relationship with Pete has been an adventure from day one. I’ve experienced so many things for the first time with him and that includes exploring places I never thought I’d see and trying things I never even considered trying. The second biggest joy is seeing him happy and smiling. Whenever we’re out with friends and he’s telling a story or reminiscing about the good old days, laughing and singing. Just being happy in general makes my heart fill with so much joy.
Day 6 - Think about your first year together. What are 3 memories that stand out the most? Share with your partner.
Thinking back to our first year together, three of the memories that stand out the most are firstly, falling in love with him before I actually met him. Getting to know him for about 6 months before we were actually physically in the same place is pretty memorable. Definitely our first few days together. We spent 3 days in Las Vegas, where he booked us a lovely suite at the MGM and we explored so much of Vegas and drank way too much, it’s surprising we even remember those days! And the third would be one of the days we didn’t do anything. We just ordered food, watched tv and hung out at home all day. It was the first most normal day we had and it was amazing.
Day 7 - List 3 ways your partner has made a difference in your life
Three ways Pete has made a difference in my life, well for starters, he’s gotten me out of my comfort zone. He’s opened me up to new experiences and made me realize things don’t always have to be so perfect. I’ve become a more ambitious person. I find myself striving to be better not just for myself, but also for him. A better person and better partner. And he’s taught me to be more selfless. I’ve always been a giver, but I’ve always thought about what’s best for me and only me. Now all my thoughts are about the both of us. What will be best for us in the long run.
Day 8 - Hand write a poem or a love letter to your partner, take a photo and send it to them.
I will admit I cheated a little bit. I got inspiration from a poem I had read a while ago, but stuck to me. I guess the universe knew it would be the perfect words I’d need one day. Here’s a photo of my writing to Pete.
Day 9 - Plan a vacation together. Anywhere in the world you two would like to go. Research the logistics, budget, and set a date for a year from now.
Since we always plan at least one trip each time we see each other we decided to skip this challenge. Instead, we had a movie date. We watched a movie together on Netflix and just talked about places we’d like to go once this whole pandemic calms it’s tits down and lets us get back to seeing each other. But some of the places we’d like to visit are Greece & Croatia. We’re hoping we can go to either one sometime next year.
Day 10 - Share a goal you have for your relationship.
At the moment, we both have the same goal; To see each other as soon as possible. It’s been 3 months since the last time we spent time together. It might not be the longest we’ve gone without seeing each other, but it’s been 4 years of this and we’re ready to close the distance as soon as possible. (More on this closing the distance in a new post coming soon!)
Day 11 - Send your partner a romantic good morning text and a selfie of you.
I am a romantic at heart, so I’m always sending Pete romantic good morning texts and mailing him cards. So it wasn’t hard for me to write him a long text wishing him a good morning and letting him know how much I miss waking up next to him and blah blah blah...I can get super cheesy. And he knows it. :) Pete on the other hand, he’s a Gemini. Gemini aren’t known for being romantic. So when I woke up to the loveliest good morning text from him, it literally made me tear up a bit. He completely surprised me.
Day 12 - What is one thing about your partner, you've discovered that you absolutely love about them? One thing you dislike?
I love so many things about Pete, but I absolutely love that he’s more than just my boyfriend. He’s become my best friend. The only one I want to share literally everything with. I want to enjoy all the things the world has to offer by his side. I want to fight, make up and sit quietly on the couch and do nothing with him. He’s my person.
However, the one thing I dislike about him is his lack of patience. He can get frustrated and annoyed with things pretty quickly and instead of talking them through he tends to “walk away”. And that’s been really hard on me because he will go to sleep after a fight and I get to wait up another 6-8 hours overthinking about why things went the way they did. Second guessing things I said and assuming things. Which let me tell ya, is the worst. Never assume! You’ll only give yourself anxiety.
Day 13 - Future thoughts: Imagine 40 years have gone by, what do you see you and your partner doing?
Imagining us together 40 years from now made me really happy. I’m glad I can imagine a future with Pete. In 40 years, we’ll be in our mid 70s. Retired and living in a nice little house/cottage by the sea with a big garden for our 3 dogs. God willing, we’ll have a couple kids and we’ll be in good enough health to still travel around and explore more places together.
Day 14 - Surprise your partner with a small, but significant gift.
I actually sent him a little something a few days before our Day 14 challenge. He had been home for a week and was starting to go a big crazy so I decided to sweeten his day by having a cheesecake delivered to him. Something small but significant.
Day 15 - Choose your favorite photo of your partner, think about the reasons you're grateful to have them in your life and dedicate a social media post to them.
I have a lot of photos of Pete by himself, and I love all of them, but one of my favorite ones is one I took of him the day I had to drop him off at the airport to head back to England after his first trip to visit me. It was New Years Eve and we spent 7 hours driving from Phoenix to Santa Monica, had a meal at Bubba Gumps and walked on the pier. I can’t remember what I said but it made him smile and look down which gave me this perfect shot. I actually have this photo framed and on my nightstand. I get to look at it every day when I wake up and when I go to bed. It reminds me of how grateful I am to have found such an amazing man to share my life with. Even if we’re temporarily separated.
So now, how do I feel after 15 days of doing the relationship challenge? In all honesty, I didn’t really think the challenge was going to do much to help us reconnect, especially because a lot of the challenges seemed a bit repetitive, but I think it’s actually what helped the most. Constantly making us think about why we fell in love with each other in the first place and why we continue to choose each other despite all the challenges and obstacles we face on a daily basis. I think if the love wasn’t real, we would have given up a long time ago. Who wants to feel lonely 80% of the time? Who wants to constantly feel like a part of them is missing? No one really, right? But I think that when you really truly love someone, you try and look for ways to make it work. You don’t easily give up on the opportunity of having that happily ever after.
Follow us on Instagram @aloveacrosstheocean for daily updates on #LongDistanceRelationships and ways to keep connected!