I have gotten several emails from girls asking about long distance relationships so I wanted to take some time to talk about them here. As most of you know, I have been in a long distance relationship with my soon to be husband for the past year and a half, but what you don’t know is I have been in several long distance relationships.
I’ve heard all the hype and read all the articles (mostly secular) that say DO NOT date someone long distance because it never works out. After all we are just basically animals that have instincts that we need to act on so out of sight out of mind, right? Well, I refused to believe it, and I now am sitting with a ring on my finger in the house my future husband and I will live in after we are married in 50 days.
Here are a few reasons why:
I’m just going to be practical here. Maybe you go to a big church, maybe you go to a small church, maybe you grew up in your church your whole life like I did, regardless, it’s probably the only place you would seriously look for a potential mate. You’re a Christian, not just a “Christian.” You have standards by which you view the opposite sex. Like me, there may be approximately 0 singles your age who meet those standards. So what are you going to do? Dress up every Sunday just hoping and praying the person of your dreams comes walking through the church doors? I guess it could happen, but the chances are slim, people.
You may just have to open your dating horizons up beyond your immediate circle of friends to find a potential mate. That may mean trying things outside your comfort zone: going to activities at other churches as long as they don’t conflict with your own church services, internet dating (hey, don’t knock it. I know several wonderful married couples who met on Christian dating sites), or taking that lady in your church on her word that she knows a great guy or girl at her sister’s cousin’s church out in Indiana or California or Louisiana that you would be just perfect for. You can take that chance…….. or you can continue hoping that your dreams will come true with no actual risk or effort on your part. It’s up to you.
Secondly, the pros outweigh the cons (and I’m being honest here because I have done it, successfully). Let’s see, the cons are not being able to see your significant other for lengthy periods of time. Whether they are 3 hours away or 15 hours away, both are hard. When you love someone, you want to spend all your time with them. You want to see them every day, and when you can’t, well, it’s tough. There were many times when I felt like I was dating my phone because that was the only way I could communicate with my boyfriend. My loving, wonderful, adorable, faithful, caring, supportive, always there for me, best friend boyfriend. I’m not going to tell you that I didn’t wish he was there with me all the time. I’m not going to say I didn’t count down the days til I could see him again in real life. However, as hard as it was, it made our time together that much more special. Every time I saw him, it was exciting. Every time I saw him, it felt like the first time all over again. We had gotten to know each other so well in talking, and talking, and talking, and more talking, and did I mention talking…..and still being in his presence gave me butterflies.
Don’t get me wrong. While there are so many things you can learn about a person by talking to them on the phone, there are things you can’t. You can’t watch them interact with other people, have conversations with strangers and talk about their faith naturally because it’s real. You can’t see them tip the server more than enough because they can see they were having a bad day. You can’t see them run over to help their mother carry something or help their father figure something out on the computer. You can’t see them blush and laugh when an old friend tells an embarrassing story about them. I’m not making light of these things because they are all important things about a person- little hints that you will miss on the day to day; but if you are smart and pay attention, you will know what kind of person they are, and eventually you will be able to see all those things in action.
The pros? Oh ya, you get to date that kind of person, and the hope, if not promise, that one day, you will be able to be together forever even if it’s not today or tomorrow or even the next. There is a quote, and I don’t know who it’s by, but it explains it perfectly.
“Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the bold. It’s for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It’s for those knowing a good thing when they see it, even if they don’t see it nearly enough…”
Not nearly enough. Maybe this year you won’t get to spend Valentine’s Day together, or your birthdays, or maybe even Christmas, but for the bold, and the smart who know when it’s right and know a good thing when they see it, long distance is worth it. It’s not too hard or too far. I’ll tell you that it wasn’t for me. It was just…. right. My “one day” has come, and all the hard times of being apart, well, I wouldn’t trade them for the world.