We talked about our interests at first but our conversation soon turned deeper (Picture: Ash Jayy)
The first time I had sex with my fiancé, we were over 3000 miles away from each other.
We’d been together for around three months but we’d never met in person.
That day, we video called on Instagram – with our phones propped up on our bedside tables so we could pretend that we were lying next to each other.
The experience of virtual sex was new to both of us and it was a little awkward at first as we navigated communication, camera angles and making sure we were both comfortable.
I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to make it enjoyable for him but we fell into a rhythm that worked for us. I can still remember how good it felt to be laughing together during that call.
It sounds cliché but the love I felt for him was instant (Picture: Ash Jayy)
I live in the UK and my fiancé lives in New York – the first year of our relationship was during the second wave of Covid lockdowns.
I met my fiancé, Asher-Reid, through TikTok in October 2020 after he commented on one of my videos. I followed him back, noticed that we had a really similar taste in books and slid into his DMs.
We talked about our interests at first but our conversation soon turned deeper. We are both trans men who came out as teenagers, so we connected over our shared experiences and compared what it was like growing up trans in the UK and the US.
We connected over the isolation of coming out as teenagers and how we were both in our first year on testosterone. It was incredible to share that experience with each other.
It sounds cliché but the love I felt for him was instant.
The distance was really tough that first year (Picture: Ash Jayy)
I vividly remember the day we video called for the first time. We planned to talk while I ate dinner and he ate lunch. He pre-warned me that he was shy and can become really quiet when he was nervous, but we clicked instantly.
That first night I stayed up talking to him until 2am and the only reason I finally went to sleep was because he promised we’d call again the next night.
We mostly talked about our day and we spent a lot of time flirting with each other. It was so fun and easy, it felt like we’d known each other forever.
We called every night from that point onwards and exactly a week after our first call he sent me a text asking if he could call me his boyfriend. I agreed immediately.
Within the first week of being a couple, we said I love you to each other. Our friends thought we were bananas for saying it so early but we both knew it was just right.
It’s now been almost three years since we became a couple, we’re engaged and we get to see each other at least twice a year
Our first virtual date came a week after we officially got together – we had a movie night and both snuggled in bed with snacks. Most of our date nights were spent either watching movies or playing virtual board games like Monopoly.
The distance was really tough that first year, especially because of Covid. I hadn’t particularly minded that he lived in New York when we first got together but the closer we got the harder the distance became.
We tried to plan a trip to visit each other five different times in the first year but the US/UK border didn’t reopen until over a year after we’d started talking.
We also faced a lot of apprehension from our families – they couldn’t understand how we were able to build a relationship without having met in person. It was really disheartening to experience such a distinct contrast between the belief I had in my relationship and the doubt that people had around me.
That first year taught us so much(Picture: Ash Jayy)
But despite this, within a few months, we both knew this was our endgame relationship. It was so reassuring to have a partner who made me feel loved in a way I’d never felt before.
We knew that we wanted our first meeting to be in New York because I’m a huge fan of Hallmark movies and I desperately wanted to see New York at Christmas.
I finally boarded a plane to meet him in person on 28 December 2021.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was more excited than nervous, because I had complete trust in our relationship.
We both bawled our eyes out – we felt this would never happen, but we were finally together in person.
That last little relationship jigsaw piece finally slotted into place.
We got engaged three days after we met in person on 31 December 2021. We’d both been planning it for a while but he managed to propose first, on the ice rink at the Rockefeller Center right under the iconic Christmas tree.
It’s now been almost three years since we became a couple, we’re engaged and we get to see each other at least twice a year. We’re aiming to travel together for at least a year once I graduate in 2025 and then we’ll move in together but we’re still deciding whether it’ll be to the US or the UK.
The months we spend apart are still difficult but the communication skills we learned during our first year together keep us connected and our families and friends are much happier about our relationship now that they’ve had time to see that it is as serious as we’ve always known it to be.
That first year taught us so much and the most important lesson we learned is that even when we’re apart, together we can get through anything.
So, How Did It Go?
We’d been long distance for year by the time we met in person for the first time.