I believe I have earned my bragging rights to talk about long distance relationships and if you are someone like me who craves meaning and deep connection, it is not a bad thing to try. However, with my limited experience I will only recommend it with caution. The heart is very tricky as it will have you believing the best of situations when it comes to love, but I believe it is best to balance out emotions with logic, practicality, and sustainability. One thing I struggle with though, is the accurate definition of a long distance relationship. Can we say Yemi who lives about 2 hours away from Le Boo is in a long distance relationship? If you asked me, I would not categorise a relationship between two people living 1 or 2 hours apart as long distance, maybe 3 hours and above can make the mark i.e Lagos to Abuja, London to Cardiff, Birmingham to Swansea, Nigeria to U.K, U.K to America, U.K to Australia e.t.c. I’ll let you be the judge of that. I think those involved in relationships spanning across multiple time zones are the realest MVPs.
To jump right at the cliché that says ‘long distance relationships do not work’ is simply an overgeneralisation as there are ‘few’ exceptions to the rule. Looking at those exceptions, you will notice one key ingredient, ‘Commitment’. Those who make it, do because they have a tunnel vision and are committed to making it work. I could preach commitment from today till tomorrow but you and I know that only a few people get what commitment really is. In this generation of side chics and side men, you actually begin to wonder what use a long distance relationship is, in the absence of 100 percent faithfulness. I think it works better for those who were forced into the situation (school or work purposes) but have spent some time together at the initial stage of the relationship, and those who have a predefined or set time frame for the length of their relationship. I would not advice anyone to go into a long distance relationship with a mindset of ‘let’s see how it goes’. Go hard or go home.
Though, most reports suggest that long distance relationships are headed for doom but there are some wonderful privileges attached to it. A long distance relationship teaches you self-control. Self-control is one of the most beautiful gifts anyone can possess and there is a quote that says ‘If you can master self-control, you can master anything’. We all know that the temptation is real when you have two people close together, so if you are looking for a way to be chaste; this is your easiest option. It also builds friendship and emotional connection. All the old school people will agree with me that constant communication creates a strong bond because you don’t really have that choice of doing something different. For busy people, free spirits and those who like compartmentalized living, I also see it as a safe option that complements their lifestyle.
Now let’s tell ourselves the dark and scary part of long distance relationships. It creates an illusion of love. It is an illusion because it is harder to love someone you see constantly than it is to love someone who lives miles apart from you. This is where people miss out on the signs and red flags, because flaws can easily be masked in a long distance relationship. I am a believer that love is a journey, and you cannot arrive at your destination if you don’t know what it means to love someone flaws and all. Secondly, ‘love’ does not conquer all. You can love someone from the moon and back and they can still be all shades of wrong for you. In the case of a long distance relationship, you need to think, SUSTAINABILITY!
If you are a jealous lover, I hate to break this news to you… a long distance relationship is not your calling, because Le Boo will definitely be spending a lot of time with other people, hotties included. Think again, sustainability! To be a honest, anyone who is really committed to you will not give you reasons to doubt them. If you find yourself constantly battling with trust and insecurities in the relationship, you are better off without it.
Lastly, you need money! Please, don’t try a long distance relationship without thinking about its economic/financial implications. If you are a ‘garri and groundnut student’, my sister/brother ain’t no shame in your game. Don’t go bankrupt because of bus, train or flight tickets. Don’t worry, in God’s time, he’d sort you out… but in the meantime, swallow your pride and cut your coat according to your cloth! Ultimately, I believe long distance relationships are not applicable to everybody. If you are considering one, make sure you know yourself inside out and you are truly convinced that the other person is worth the stress.
Please do share your opinion about long distance relationships: the good, the bad and its ugly sides.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Michael Zhang