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Tijl Kindt

[this is good] Dear Sylvia,

I just ordered your book on Amazon like I said I would :).

It will indeed be important to keep each other in our every day lives. How we're going to do that, I don't know yet. Right now we're talking about once or twice a day on video chat. But I'm not sure how things will evolve once I'm back to my normal studying life in the Netherlands, 'cause right now I'm doing a summer job in my home country of Belgium, so timings and schedules are far from usual.

Right now I'm unsure whether we're not going to be able to keep that up in the long term because I have to get up early and she has to stay up late in order for us to talk. And can I do that on a daily basis? What about my friends at university and volleyball who expect me to go out with them from time to time? I think we'll have to find a balance that we are both comfortable with, and that still allows us to continue our studies in a normal way. We already did our first experimentations with podcasts, so that might also be a way to send "audio letters" to each other when we can't talk on a daily basis.

And then there's emailing, and sending paper letters. We haven't felt the need to send emails yet (aside from the occasional "I can't make it to video chat tonight because..." e-mail for example), because we've been talking on video chat so often till now. Is emailing something you do regardless of whether you've been able to talk? I.e. is it something that compliments your normal means of communication? Or is it just a substitute for when you don't have the time to talk?

I'm hoping to travel to Mexico in December. I could go sooner, but... wouldn't that make it even harder to then miss each other for a longer period of time? I mean... I don't have the funds to travel to Mexico every half year (assuming she would visit me every half year as well, so we'd be together every three months). I don't know... December would be a convenient time because she's free from university, and so am I. Then she could come back to Belgium in summer next year, and hopefully in 1.5 or 2 years she'll be able to find a PhD position in Europe...

Anyway... this message has gotten a bit long. Maybe I should have sent it as a private message. I apologize if you didn't want this kind of message on your blog.

I'm looking forward to reading your book, and also to reading some new posts on your blog.

Greetings from Belgium,

Sylvia J. Shipp

Hi Tijl,

I feel touched and honored that you shared with me this precious time in your life. I remember how glorious and bittersweet it felt like to be swept away in love after what was also 5 weeks in the summer for me and my partner. It's really important that you both make an effort now to keep each other in your every day life, even though your daily life is spent apart. The video chat is great for starting or ending your day with each other, but you'll need to find other ways to "breathe" each other throughout the day. I think you'll like the Cruising Altitude section, where there are a number of ideas that my partner and I used to use.

You may also want to consider demonstrating your sincerity to the love of your life by visiting her as soon as possible, even if it's for a short time. My partner visited me one month for four days after we met to show his commitment to me, which wasn't exactly necessary on my part, but made me see our relationship in a more serious light.Our distance was similar to yours, at a time when flights were very expensive and we were only students.

Please visit me anytime here on my blog, or feel free to email me if you need some moral support. What you're doing is a brave, wonderful thing, and I hope years from now you will see this as one of the most beautiful parts of your life as I do.

Thank you for considering buying my book, too. It's for romantic, fun, sincere, emotionally brave people, as well as for people who want to have those qualities and more.

Warm regards,


Tijl Kindt

Hi Sylvia!

Nice overview of your top 10 reasons for plunging into the long distance relationship waters.

A little over two months ago I met somebody in a summer school I participated in in Rome, Italy. I'm from Belgium though, and she's from Mexico. In total we spent about 5 weeks together, but two weeks ago she went back to Mexico and I stayed here in Belgium. I really love her, but like her I'm also afraid of this long ocean-crossing distance. We have been video chatting quite a lot so far, but our time zones are conflicting (7 hours apart), so time is short... Especially if you don't want to stay up too late or get up too early just to "see" your beloved.

Because I want some advice and tips on how to keep our relationship on the right track, I'm gonna order your book on Amazon as soon as I figured out which other books I want to order as well.

I'm looking forward to reading it.

Good luck with this blog!

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