Dear all,

Last Friday, Davide and I celebrated our three-year anniversary. From the day that we first met, and had an instant connection, until now. Of course we’re in a light lockdown situation, so we just decided to stay home and celebrate with a nice bottle of champagne and good food. Davide brought along a small present for me (beautiful orchids that came from the Netherlands, so I would have a little bit of the Netherlands in Italy).

When we first met we actually lived quite close to each other. I lived in Heerlen and he lived in Aachen, which is our neighbour city in Germany. Visiting and seeing each other was easy and I think we had a very relaxed and comfortable time getting to know each other better and better. Then Davide heard that he was able to get a job in Stockstadt, which is the north of Bavaria and near Frankfurt. Of course this meant that we had to start planning really well and make much more of an effort to see each other on a regular basis. But we managed, and I have to say, we managed well. Simply because we made each other a priority. If you want a long distance relationship to work you need to make each other a priority, otherwise there’s very little chance of success. I’m sure that not everybody understood this, but people who (had) found themselves in similar situations, knew why we put so much effort into commiting to each other. And in the end, it didn’t feel like much of an effort at all. It just felt like the right thing to do.

We did this for about 8 months when Davide heard that he was going to have to move to a different plant within his company. This is the moment when we decided to move to Italy and I decided to come with him. That decision never scared me and it never really felt like a big decision, even though it is. But I assumed that I would anyway be travelling a lot to the Netherlands (this was my aim, I was unaware of Covid at that time) and I was just looking forward to quit my job and make a change together with Davide.

This new start was not as easy as I had expected due to basically some bad luck, but it did tell me a lot about Davide and the fact that he is the person I should spend the rest of my life with. It was a very hectic summer when we moved to Italy, because Davide needed a small surgery, we needed to move twice and I fell down the stairs while we were moving. I honestly couldn’t walk anymore. It was impossible, which meant that Davide had to do everything on his own, while still working fulltime, just having had a surgery and having to deal with typically Italian bureaucracy. He did not complain once. Even though we didn’t have water in our new apartment for four days and I complained a ton, he didn’t complain at all. He used his lunch breaks to call a sea of companies to get the water issue solved, while I was still lying in bed (we didn’t have a proper couch back then) most of the days, unable to move around much. Davide is one of the most stable people I’ve ever met. He’s confident, without feeling the need to become arrogant, he stays calm when faced with issues (unless someone damages his car) and his main goal is to put a smile on my face. I sometimes think that he might be superhuman, but nobody’s perfect, it’s just that to me, he is.

Even during the lockdown he always kept his cool and that made me calm as well, so we’ve sincerely had no problems being locked in with each other and were also surpised to hear how many other people were struggling with sharing a small space with their partners 24/7. I simply think we’re an amazing match and we understand each other really well and we genuinely get excited every time we get to spend a full day together. We make an effort for each other because it comes naturally to the both of us and I think the fact that we do not take each other for granted, is one of the reasons we’re staying strong.

I’ve not always found it incredibly easy to be far away from family and friends, especially last year in November and the beginning of December and again this year, this particular week. I miss my family and my closest friends every day, but Davide has always supported me through this, understanding these feelings very well, since he lived abroad for quite some time.
It’s a nice thought to have found someone you wouldn’t want to let go of for the rest of your life and who wouldn’t want to let go of you either.

I think I could write three more posts on why and how much I love him, but I think you get the gist and anyway in this case there are not enough words in any language that would do him enough justice.

From Italy with love,

Merel