For the most part of my courtship with my husband, we were in different states. Actually, we have both drank of and swam in the waters of long distance relationship.
When we started our relationship, we planned to see each other every month. But guess what? That resolve was tested every step of the way.
In fact, at one time, we were apart for nine months! A long stretch of nine months! It wasn’t intentional and we didn’t plan for it.
Life just happened and took us miles apart and we tried our best to see but it never worked out.
We prayed everyday to be together in the same state but that didn’t happen until after we were married. So somehow, we learned to live with the distance while it lasted.
But guess what? In those 9 months, there was never a day we didn’t talk. We talked for a minimum of one hour every day and never kept things from each other.
Was it easy? Never! It was one of the greatest trial phases of our relationship, only God helped us survive it. There were times we got tired, but we still talked. There were times we annoyed and hurt each other, but we still talked.
It was a phase that looked like it would never end until one day, God made a way and he showed up at my doorstep after we had just finished speaking over the phone. Gosh! I was over the moon.
There have been a lot of heartbreaking stories about long distance relationships; my opinion is that there is no hard and fast rule about it. Some times we don’t choose it, life happens and we have to make some tough decisions; either to let go or hold on.
Whichever you are choosing, I need you to know that the outcome of a long distance relationship depends on what the two parties make out of it. Emphasis on THE TWO PARTIES!
I’ll quickly share 5 things I believe will help you as you make the decision of whether or not to be in one:
Allow God to guide you
There were many times we both got exhausted and gave up, but God was and is still that third cord that wouldn’t break or bulge. He held us strongly even when we were at our wits end. Only God can do this.
Build and earn trust
This is one deal breaker you can’t overlook. It’s no use being paranoid and having no peace of mind when you are away from each other.
I believe strongly in Exclusivity and Faithfulness in a relationship. You two must be in it together; hook, line and sinker. Nothing is more satisfying than knowing that he/she is committed to you and you alone even when you are not there.
There’s no time for mounting surveillance cameras to watch your partner, you already have so much work to do; no extras please.
Does your relationship have an elderly overseer? Someone who you both are accountable to and constantly gleaning wisdom from? You will need this big time! Please, have a neutral party preferably one who is older and happily married and is willing to teach and guide you two on your journey to marriage.
Just like I said, we talked and talked and talked and… talked. Communication is a lot of work, hard work for that matter. That’s just the truth and I’m not gonna sugar coat it.
You must be intentional about communicating with each other because a lot of other legitimate things will be seeking for your attention and if you are not careful, you two will drift away from each other.
Don’t ever get too busy to communicate with the one you love. On those extremely busy days, a text will go a long way to keep the lines from being clogged. Talk about every thing, as much as you can. Once again, it’s a lot of work but it’s more than worth it.
Many people think that you won’t get tempted just because you are far from each other.
Let me just tell you plainly; you will be tempted both internally and externally and the internal fire is worse because when you are apart, there will be a build up of emotions, thoughts and desires waiting to explode when you finally see the one you love.
Your body will just be vibrating like someone who is convulsing and at this point, you need all the self control in the world!
However, it’s very important that you two know and keep your boundaries.
As for the external temptations, there will be lots of mouth-watering offers from other people around you who will appear to always be there to meet the need your partner is not meeting. It always starts emotionally before it gets physical, don’t fall for it.
Always discuss your temptations and how you are coping with them with your partner and never develop an unhealthy closeness with an external party.
Now, you can agree with me that long distance relationship is a lot of work – Are you ready to pay the price for effective communication (involves both time and money)? Can you trust him/her? Do you have someone you two can be accountable to? Are you willing to stick it out with each other despite the storms that would come?
Commitment and Faithfulness are rare in our days but they are not impossible.
By God’s grace, I pray that you have relationship and marriage the way God intended no matter the distance. I am sure you want that too.
Hoping to hear from you.
Have a blessed week!