Being in a relationship with a Cuban has few stages. And it doesn’t really matter where are you from. For some folks some stages may be little longer and rockier (US guys for example) but in the end we all go through the same.
1. The holiday fase.
It was so many years ago I went to Cuba for the first time. But I still remember this “I have go back” feeling. And I did. 2 months after my first trip I was back. And no, I did not know Fidel at that point. Cuba was my paradise. Where else could have I been happier? Beautiful landscapes, magical Havana, Caribbean beaches. I was at home. Meeting Fidel made my dream complete. Here I was living life at this Caribbean island and had my own inside guide to it. At that point I looked at Cuba with pink glasses. And all I wanted was to be there. The only thing stopping me from doing so every 2 – 3 months was my wallet. At that time flights to Cuba were more less 800EUR -1000EUR.
2. Long distance relationship fase.
Still cool at some point. You still go to Cuba often but now you are not a regular tourist anymore. You have a boyfriend there who waits for you. You talk almost if not every day so it’s not that bad. Again, few years ago it was a bit more dificult to connect because of lack of Internet and its price so I’m glad these days are over. When I went to Cuba for the first time 1 hour of Internet was still 6CUC. It got to 2 CUC when I met Fidel. Still a lot for a hotel worker. Also the time difference sucks a bit. If you’re in Europe you have to wait for your boyfriend to wake up which makes some days unbearable. It’s all good until you can travel to Cuba every few weeks, but we all know it’s not always posible.
What else changes? Instead of 5 pairs of bikini you bring some gifts for the family. And food. And instead of having 5 mojitos in Cayo Coco you drink rum on the streets of Holguin or Pinar del Rio. And the real Cuban life starts to hit you.
3. The decision
At some point ( for some sooner, for some later) you make the decision. Of course I know some people who don’t want to change anything. They have flexible jobs and can afford to live few months home and few months in Cuba. But most of us can’t do so and most of us don’t want to live apart from their love ones. And some like me will decide to drop everything, go to Cuba for few months, get to know their love better, get marrried and once sick and tired of Cuban reality move together out.
But most of the people can’t just leave everything on a stanby. So they decide to invite their so to their countries. And here you also have two option. You can either get married in Cuba ( it’s really sad for me to think I would get married and then go home alone) or invite your so and get married in your country.
And here, oh boy. It’s so much different for some countries. For the guys in US it takes over a year to invite their so. The paper work is so long (even longer for spouse visa) and expensive so some couple even split along the way 😦 For the UE citizens it’s bit easier however lately I have heard an lot of people get denied. Reason? Potential immigrant.
That only means that even if you make a decision it doesn’t mean you LDR will and you may spend another months going back and forward to Cuba before you love even touches your homeland.
4. He is here! And what’s next?
And the day is finally here. Your so arrives. Sometimes with you. Sometimes without. First days may be so good and so bad at the same time.
A lot of Cubans dream about living abroad and once they get there, they realize it’s nothing like they thought it would be. The shops have it all -yes. But you need money to buy it. And it’s not like Cuba – “money goes, money comes”. You actually have to work hard to save some money. And to be able to work you need all new permission. And that’s a whole new story.
Again a lot of couples split at that point. For some it’s actually the very first time they lived together 24/7. Some of us (especially women) have a hard time paying for everything for the first months. And some Cubans don’t rush that much to leave the house 🙂 even if back in Cuba they promissed thay can colect trash if necessary.
Also a lot of cultural differences will come up within the first months. And you have two options: try to make him change or accept you are married to someone who was born and raised in a country different to anything you know. And accpeting this will be the best you can do for… yourself. Because why change someone and make him the same as other if the reason he was different was the one that made you fell in love with him. Becasue, don’t we love them for all this? For being a bit childish. For not worrying about tomorrow? For not being stressed all the time? For taking life as it is?
5. Happily ever after
And once you survived it all, brought him home and made up all new rules for your relationship welcome to a real life 🙂