I had an incredibly busy Saturday because I spent the day cooking. Cleaning shrimps and periwinkles is the most stressful part of making seafood okro, and even if it’s absolutely tasty, the stress that goes into it is a bit of a downer. So, I determined that I was going to spend Sunday doing nothing but reading my Ted Dekker book. That plan was going right and dandy till I got a phone call from my friend:
“Come and hold your dogs, I’m at your gate”
“I’m not at home!”
“Stop lying. I can see your car”
I was about to lie that I’d gone out with someone but Funmi is a persistent rat (and she reads this column) so I knew I’d lost the battle.
Immediately she got into the house her phone rang and I noticed she kept flicking it to silent mode.
“Madam, who are you dodging? And don’t you know how to phone before you go visiting people on Sunday morning?”
She hadn’t answered me when her other phone went off! Her tone was short and clipped: “I already said all I needed to say to you last night and calling me 300 times between 7am and 11am will not make any difference. ”
Ah! I knew who that was so I said to her “Aunty fighter! What has bros done to you again? You’re always looking for a reason to fight that man” She responded that she was really tired and she felt that since he relocated to Houston for work, they were always fighting. According to her, they had been dating for 3 years and the last 7 months of his being in America was the most tedious and difficult part of the relationship. She said she thought what they had was strong and since they’d been through so much together, something as flimsy as distance wasn’t going to break them up; especially as technology aids communication a lot.
The age old issue of long distance relationships was rearing its ugly head. I’d been in a long distance relationship where I was happier when the guy was away than when he was with me. I found that in my case, we fought more when we were together than when we were apart so the distance worked perfectly for me; it was one of the 700 million things that were wrong with that ‘dalliance!’
The truth is, relationships need the oil of communication – EFFECTIVE communication to work. My friend, Mo’, argues that on the contrary, communication isn’t really the main culprit of broken down LDRs, according to him, it is the absence of intimacy and eventually the parties start gravitating towards other things. I asked if that was true even in marriages and his response was YES! Especially in marriages. “If a couple isn’t having sex, it puts a strain on their marriage.”
We find a lot of couples who share this situation: work takes wife to Abu Dhabi and husband remains in Nigeria. There’s time difference and difference in schedule which makes it extra difficult to maintain the intimacy that was pre-existent.
What do you guys think about long distance relationships? Do you think they make the relationship stronger? Do you think that they help to further exacerbate existing cracks in the union? If you’ve been in one, or you’re currently in one, please share your experiences on how you’re making it work and blossom. Are there any particularly challenging moments which you solely attribute to “distance”?
Anyway, have a fab week ahead, remember to put a smile on someone’s face this week. Keep your head up and be happy.
Love, peace and cupcakes!