I remember one beautiful evening in Bayelsa when my good friend, Yvonne came to me. Yvonne was my closest friend in that environment at that time. She sat close me to me, and after some time she asked, “Chuka, what do you think about long distance relationships.”
I paused for a while, then I said, “The only distance in a relationship is the distance between two hearts, and it’s not measured in Kilometers.”
“Hmmm…” She said. She always said that whenever I say something she felt she needed some time to assimilate.
Now, this conversation happened just about two years ago, or thereabout, and with growth in my knowledge and experience, I’ve found that even though what I told my now happily married friend, Yvonne, is true, I’ve also found out that it is dangerous to mistake ‘a truth’ for ‘the truth’.
My view on this matter, is very personal, but it’s very true, and it’s out of experience having been in a long distance relationship. Now, one very important ingredient in any relationship is communication. It tightens the bond and breeds intimacy. It’s more like the grease that oils the engine of the relationship. So let’s assume, Peter met Joyce at a conference they both attended, and you know, the whole love at first sight thing, they fall in love. Let’s say the conference lasted for a week, and after the conference, they needed to go back to their respective locations. So they kiss, and uhm, promise to call each other every single second, and uhm… you know, visit each other as often as possible.
Peter believes she’s the one, and Joyce could swear that God had just visited her condition. So they part ways, and they’re calling each other every other time, and texting, you know, checking up on the other person as often as possible, saying all the sweet little nothings, and all that. And let’s say this goes on for another four months. They now believe they know everything about the other person, their trust is one hundred percent, and they are ready to tie the knot.
Then, for some reason, Joyce relocates to where Peter lives, so they now stay in the same location. Weeks along the line, Joyce is beginning to feel shaky, she’s no longer sure. Peter feels the same. But then, they try to work things out. Peter begins to wonder, ‘I used to be all over this lady, why did it change when she moved here?’
Now, I know this doesn’t perhaps apply to everyone, but there’s something that a relationship that began as long distance does to the relationship. Yes, there’d be a lot of communication on phone and social media which is supposed to build trust and intimacy, but the trust that follows is a false sense of trust and intimacy. You think you are really getting close to know this person, actually, you believe you have, but then it’s false. It’s like dreaming, and thinking the events of the dream are happening live and real.
Personally, I believe a relationship should at least begin with the two parties residing in the same location. The physical presence helps build a very solid foundation for the relationship. If for any reason both parties have to leave temporarily for different places, a solid foundation has already been built, and the relationship can continue to thrive irrespective of distance.
Long distance may be good, but it is better when the love is not so far.