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Obianuju Ndaguba: 5 Things I Have Learned From My Long Distance Relationship



dreamstime_s_37945321I recently started a long-distance relationship. Although, we have been together over a year, I am overwhelmed at how much goes into long-distance relationships and relationships in general. Do not get me wrong, it’s not like we didn’t know or ‘I’ believed it could be easy, but it’s one thing to be aware of something and another to experience it firsthand.
Still, there are lessons I have learnt and would keep learning and even though we hear the same rules over and over again. It would make sense to tell you things that I think we know but still fall short of.

Let me also say at this point, that my partner and I began this ‘distance thing’ three months ago. While many might argue that I should wait a little longer before sharing my experience, others (me inclusive) believe that you can learn a lot in such a period of time. You will fail most times, but the process really isn’t dependent on how long you guys have been together but the quality of time.

Without further delay, I have highlighted 5 lessons I have learnt from being in a long distance relationship.

Out of Sight is Not Necessarily Out of Mind
The mind is a very powerful tool for remembrance, even though we can decided or drill our mind to accept and/or reject some memories whether good or bad. The fact still remains that we can trust our minds to take us back to all the good times. We can also deliberately preserve these memories. These memories often make us appreciate our partners, convince us of the things we miss the most about our partners and even give us more things to look forward to like the next time you would see your partner.

Be Realistic. Talk About it. Decide if You’re Both Prepared for It
It is important to discuss the issue because people have various thoughts about long-distance, while some believe it ‘cannot work’, others might argue to differ.
In talking about it, you both should be realistic and talk about the possible things that can happen. It would even help to discuss how you both would handle this period of your lives. More or less, plan for the best, but also have the worst at mind.

Define How Long You Plan to Be Apart
Although this may be hard to determine because most times things may not go according to plans, but it is better to discuss how long the distance should be for and even the reason for the distance. It is not heathy for either of you to be kept in the dark.

Communication is Very Important
A friend once told me, ‘if you want your partner do something, just say it’. Talk about any and everything, especially if it is important to you. The moment there is a vacuum, either or both of you are likely to bring in someone else to fill up the gap, Still talk about things that interest you, talk about new experiences, how you both are adapting to the new change, what you both should do better, reminisce on things you both enjoy together, appreciate each other, still send those love text messages. Involve your partner in the things that are happening in your life.

Be Understanding
Understand that either of you may be not be able to talk when just one person is available (especially in a time zone situation). Understand that your exposures and experiences are going to be different. Uunderstand that new people may come into your individual lives but don’t let them change who you both are.
Understand that being apart requires even more sacrifices than being together. Understand the new changes that may happen in your partner.
Understand that you would have even tougher arguments, but it is important to settle every dispute so it does not linger and spoil the relationship.
Understand you and your partner may not get it right most times but the determined to learn to grow and be better for each other.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Obianuju has growing experience in Communications and PR. She has worked in communication across different industries. In 2017, Obianuju delivered a TED talk on "how communities can improve through radio". She writes about business, communication and gender-related issues.