Libby, 25, and Colin Pedersen, 26, keep their love alive with daily FaceTime sessions, despite an eight-hour time difference. They visit each other three or four times a year
It’s good that absence makes the heart grow fonder because married Libby and Colin Pedersen live on different continents.
Libby, 25, and Colin, 26, keep their love alive with daily FaceTime sessions, despite an eight-hour time difference.
They visit each other three or four times a year, spending thousands on flights, but have no plans to move nearer to one another for several more years.
Libby lives in Gnosall, Staffs, and Colin 5,280 miles away in San Bernardino, southern California. During their near four-year romance they have spent just 781 days together and 543 apart.
During FaceTime sessions they eat meals, read books and watch films.
Libby says: “We’re currently bingeing the new Bridgerton. We count down to pressing ‘play’ so we both start the program at the same time.
“People can’t believe it when I say I have a husband on the west coast of America. Their jaws hit the floor. The distance makes our relationship stronger. You wouldn’t keep getting on transatlantic flights for someone if you didn’t really love them.”
They met in 2018 at a summer camp in San Bernardino. Libby, who had just graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with an applied psychology degree, coordinated kids’ activities and Colin was in the kitchens.
She says: “We met over mountains of macaroni cheese. I’d burned my hand on a quad bike and Colin asked if I was OK.”
Colin recalls: “It was one of those moments; our hands touched and I felt an instant connection. I thought, ‘Oh wow.’”
They began dating but Libby thought it would just be a summer romance. She says: “A week before I was due to leave, Colin told me he loved me. I didn’t know what to say, so I just said, ‘Thank you’.”
At home she realized how much she missed him and they started messaging and chatting every day.
At Christmas Colin visited Libby for a month and, with the support of Libby’s parents Denise and Robert Titterton, they decided to give long-distance love a go.
Colin says: “I tried to be really respectful and sincere. I wanted them to know how crazy I was about their daughter de ella and show them what I’d do to be with her.
Denise says: “The first thing that struck me about Colin was his huge smile. We went to pick him up at Stafford station and we just hugged really tight. I trusted my daughter and her judgment of her; and we loved Colin immediately. Now he calls me Momma Libs and he often texts me.”
The couple still live with their parents and Colin’s family is equally supportive.
In June 2019 Libby flew to California as a birthday surprise. Colin’s parents de ella hid her in their kitchen de ella then called their son de ella from his bedroom de ella.
He says: “I was blown away this amazing girl would fly across an ocean to surprise me. It showed how much she cared.”
Colin’s mum Viva says: “As soon as I met Libby I thought she was wonderful. They were crazy about each other.”
Libby admits: “A few people did think we were nuts. But I just knew Colin was the one.” On a Christmas trip in 2019 I proposed at the Albert Dock in Liverpool.
And in February 2020, after completing her masters, Libby returned to Camp America on an 18-month work visa.
Lockdown hit a month later and the couple spent all pandemic together. They tied the knot in February in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, and after a mini-moon in Bath, Colin returned to the US in March.
They will not see each other until June when Libby flies to the US for two weeks.
She has just started as an assistant psychologist, and wants to focus on her career while Colin is training to become a personal trainer.
She explains: “It’s difficult for Colin to get a visa to live in the UK. The easier option would be for me to apply for a Green Card. For now, we have no plans to do that.
“We’ve decided to have a long-distance marriage for the next few years. We’re still only in our 20s.”
In the future they hope to start a family, and aim to be living together by that point. Until then they schedule daily FaceTime “dates”.
But Libby says one thing is off the table. She laughs: “We don’t have cyber sex. I think we’d both die of embarrassment. Anticipation is a wonderful thing – our relationship never gets dull or boring. When we’re together we cherish every moment.”
They believe the distance improves their communication and trust. Colin says: “I love Libby so much, even if I only saw her one day a year, I’d still pick her over any other girl. Our FaceTimes are the best part of the day.”
Libby adds: “You really have to trust the other person. There’s a high level of commitment in our relationship because we work so hard to be together. Colin is wonderful, I’m so lucky to have met him.”
Follow the pair on Instagram @libslongdistancelife.