Featured Image is by Melanie Robin Photographie
Months ago, I asked one of my dearest friends—Katy, who is a colleague of mine— and her boyfriend Frantz to write about their long distance relationship and what it’s like from both of their perspectives.
We often get to hear about what it’s like being a flight attendant in love or trying to navigate a relationship when your life is lived in the sky, but how often do we ask those that we date, love, and pursue a relationship with what it’s like when we leave them behind?
Here is a glimpse from Frantz, a French/Dane currently living in Copenhagen and his flight attendant love, Katy, who is currently based in Florida.
(Editor’s Note: Rarely have I ever witnessed such a beautiful, respectful, and incredible love as that between Frantz and Katy. It’s quite amazing and absolutely inspiring).
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The sideline view of the “FlightAttendantLife:” the perspective of a man in love with a flight attendant.
As the flight attendant continues her life among the clouds, flying over countries, continents, oceans and amazing landscapes to shortly settle in her different destination cities; some of us that she carries in her heart are staying on the ground. Our feet are solidly planted on earth, heavy hearted.
I have now been dating a flight attendant for about six months [editor’s note: at time of writing]. Her job brought her to me, but it also takes her away from me quite frequently. This creates a very complex feeling! I have much respect for her job. It requires a lot of strength, but it is a constant reminder of how limited our time together is and this can be very difficult at times.
Between us is an enormous and powerful vehicle with wings, taking her physically away from me, very far away! My heart bleeds every time it happens.
The world might seem smaller today than for forty or fifty years ago. The internet connects the whole planet in real time. We travel more frequently, faster, longer, further away, and much cheaper today, which has made this “small world” more accessible for the large majority. The American and European continents seem to have moved much closer since we so easily get across the Atlantic Ocean in just the length of time of a good night’s sleep, but we must remember that it’s just our perception. The distances are the same as they ever were and we are reminded of that biologically; through the change of timezone, landscape, culture or climate. When it comes to feelings, you can not fool the heart. The heart feels the distance.
As our relationship has grown with time, one would have thought it would become easier to say “goodbye,” but sometimes is forgotten that with time, feelings grow stronger. The closer we are mentally, sentimentally, spiritually; the more difficult it feels to be physically separated.
The most difficult thing for me is the feeling of being “left behind,” even though I know she is always carrying me in her heart everywhere she goes. She keeps telling me I am in her heart, but she still moves in time and space, further and further away from me, while I am “standing static.” How many times have I had to drive from an airport, tears in my eyes, or facing a crowded train with a heavy heart and empty feeling in my stomach? I am telling myself that it is not reasonable to feel like that when there is so much worse pain and suffering in this world, and it makes me almost feel guilty when I put it in this perspective. The guilt makes one not want to show it to anyone for they might not understand. With that being said, if there is one thing I have learned during this period, it is that there are no rules nor reason when it comes to love.
Another thing is to feel that your partner has “another life” that you might never be a part of, and that can be frustrating. I am lucky that my partner shares a lot of that life with me by every means possible (messages, pictures, videos, phone calls), so I almost never feel this way. Loving is sharing. You share the good times and bad too. The pain of missing someone is lessened when it is shared by the one you miss. We have made the choice to prioritize our relationship and follow our loving hearts, therefore we try to see each other whenever possible, wherever it might be.
If I finally have to come away with something positive, it would be that we do grow stronger and closer from every period we are apart. It is during that time where we do miss each other so badly that we realize how much we mean to each other.
“Feeling and longing are the motive forces behind all human endeavors and human creations.” — Albert Einstein
The Story Of Our Love
I believe that we all have our own destiny— our own path written in the stars. Mine was to become a flight attendant. In the beginning, I thought that it was solely because of my love for travel— that euphoric feeling in my heart when I was exploring a new city.
But that was before I fell totally and completely and intensely in love.
Little did I know it at the time, but it was my passion for travel that would guide me down the path to finding my one true love.
When I started flying, I was single. This made this lifestyle very easy. I never had to consider anyone but myself. My layovers were spent being spontaneous, meeting people, and going on adventures, half of the time without a working cell phone. When I took off on a trip, I sort of switched to my “other life.” My friends at home knew that they would hear from me again only on Facebook or when my trip ended and I was home again. I never really considered what it would be like to live this life with someone waiting at home for me. But let me tell you, it completely changes everything.
When you’re a hopeless romantic at heart, all you really want to do is find love—true, undeniable, passionate, consuming, “can’t live without each other” love. This was always my greatest desire in life. Well—finding love and traveling. So, you would think that my life would be perfect, right? I’m an international flight attendant, who has found the love of her life. Suddenly going to work and living this life of travel means so much more to me. Each time I start a trip, there’s a chance that I will get to see him again. But the key word there is “chance.”
Before I fell completely head-over-heels in love, I hoped that my roster would take me to every destination that our planes fly to. It didn’t matter exactly where and for how long the layover was. But after meeting Frantz, I found myself hoping and wishing for just one destination in particular: Copenhagen. It’s all just the luck of the draw and anyone who has ever gambled before knows that you don’t always win.
When I see that I’ve been blessed with the roster I’m praying for, the moments that follow are just incredible. We are both ecstatic, reassured that this unconventional love really CAN exist. The countdown begins for when we’ll be together again. When Copenhagen is absent from my roster, it’s not just an “oh well,” like it was before this city had any real significance to me. When Copenhagen is not there, this is heartbreaking. Devastating. We’re both left feeling helpless and frustrated; on the verge of tears. We know we have to be resilient and before too long, one of us is already reassuring the other. “We’ll find a way to make it work. We’ll get through this. We can get through anything…” Since we know that this relationship can not survive without optimism, we console each other, knowing that we’ll just have to work a little bit harder, be a little more creative and above all, never lose faith.
Our relationship is built on faith, on trust, on determination, and a shared mentality that every single day together is a gift. Unlike other “normal” couples, my boyfriend and I don’t have the luxury of seeing each other every day and going to sleep with each other every night, but we’ve turned this unfortunate truth into something beautiful. Our time together is always limited, and therefore, we truly appreciate the time that we do have together. We put great emphasize on making every single moment special. I stop checking my phone. I lose track of time. He and I focus solely on each other. I forget all about the jetlag from the night before or that this is the only day I’ll see him for the next two and a half weeks. In some ways, I feel blessed for this unique relationship that we have. We never take each other or the love that we share for granted. When we’re together, it feels like heaven and nothing else matters.
Then it’s departure day. And no matter how perfect each moment is or how much time we’ve just spent together, the pain of saying “goodbye” is never subdued. I always hope it will be different this time, but it never gets easier. I cry every single time. I beg him to be strong for both of us. To look into my eyes and tell me that everything will be okay. That the time will pass quickly before we see each other again. I pry myself away from him. The second that I let go is agonizingly painful, like I’ve ripped myself down the middle and only half of me is standing there, tears streaming down my cheeks. I must wipe my tears away, reapply my lipstick, straighten out my uniform and get on the plane.
The guilt then sets in. My job is what always forces us apart. But not one minute after I leave him, he’s already sent me a text— “Every day that we’re not together is one less day until we’re together again…These past two days have felt like heaven… I can’t express how lucky I am to have found you. I’ll never let you go… You’re the one.”
And then I know that it’s all worth it.
I am a hopeless romantic who followed her heart, became a flight attendant, and traveled halfway around the world to find the love of her life. The story of our love really is like one from a romance film. From the moment we met, we were inextricably bound to one another. We will stop at nothing to be together.