Tag Archives: success

Why Long Distance Relationships Never Work

Well, thanks for coming over to my blog! I haven’t written anything in quite a while, but that’s because of college term papers and life in general. Now that I’ve had time to sit and contemplate life, I think I’ve found a topic worth considering. Today, I want to write about an idea near and dear to my heart, which is the thought that – on most occasions – a long distance relationship is doomed from the start.

(A disclaimer: I am not speaking directly to any individual. I have experienced nothing but love and support in my growth and my relationship, but I have seen others who weren’t as lucky. I love the people who have been around me, and my hope is that you will see both sides of this topic and come out of it with understanding.)

Sadly, long-distance relationships are doomed from the outset.

You want to know why?

It seems like it fails because people decide to make it their personal ambition to destroy the idea that two people can care for each other from a distance.

Guys.

Really?

Why the lack of faith?

Did someone do something to cause you to see distance as insurmountable?

I’m of the mind that love can work across any distance, if it is real, and the parties who are in love are willing to work their hardest to make the relationship work. It isn’t an issue of money, and it isn’t an issue of distance. It is a matter of the heart, and if it’s right, it’s right.

I have my own opinions on what it takes to make a long-distance relationship work, and I think it takes a concerted effort on the part of two different parties for a successful experience to occur:

1. Friends and family (the outsiders) that are observing the relationship develop, and

2. The people in said relationship.

First, I want to offer three concepts to understand for the person who comes from an outside perspective:

1. Yes, the people in this relationship are gluttons for punishment. They wait for days, weeks, even months, do see their significant other, and often, those visits only last but a few days. Do not think of them as childish, because it takes a great amount of composure and maturity to keep from crying like a baby every time their S.O. leaves (I know this, because I was in a long distance relationship for two years and nine months before I was able to see my S.O. consistently). These are two people who work very hard to maintain loyalty and constant contact with their S.O., so my hope is that you will honor the fact that they are doing their best to care for a person who they find to be very important.

2. No, it is not easy for your friend to bring their long-distance S.O. up for a visit at any time. This is tough, because naturally, if your friend could have their S.O. with them at all times, they would do anything they could to make it happen. Sadly, most people are in long distance relationships because they can’t find a way to shorten said distance. Not a major complaint, just something to remember.

3. Yes, this relationship does not make sense, but try to be encouraging anyway. I know it’s hard to believe that people would subject themselves to such deep hurt every time their S.O. leaves, but I promise that the person in this relationship thinks it’s worth the hurt. If this person didn’t feel like being in this relationship was right, they probably wouldn’t have ever decided to pursue it. (Another disclaimer: if your family member or friend’s S.O. is clearly hurting them and they can’t see it, just be honest. But be loving at the same time. They will never hear you if you are a jerk in your approach. Help them to understand that their relationship is damaging in a kind and gentle way. And if it isn’t, stay supportive.)

Remember, you are key in the success of this relationship! If you do not commit to encouraging and supporting this individual in his or her endeavors, then there is a chance that their relationship will not succeed. Be good to one another. That should be obvious.

Now, I want to offer three ideas to the person who is in a long distance relationship:

1. It will be okay! Remember why you are doing this. When it gets hard, just know that your S.O. is probably feeling the same way. Long distance relationships are hard, but they are tremendously rewarding. To think that this won’t work out is to hamper your chances at success. You have to either be fully committed to the relationship, or you shouldn’t date this person at all. Half-hearted people have a hard time succeeding when hard work is necessary.

2. Understand that the people around you may not be able to make sense of your relationship decisions. I’ve been in a long-distance relationship, and I can’t even make sense of my own decisions! Be willing to explain the dynamic of your relationship, and just what about your S.O. really makes you want to press on.  Just a thought: if you are willing and able to explain just what makes you happy about your S.O., then you might find out some interesting things about that individual and yourself. For me, talking about my girlfriend actually makes me love her even more (as if that’s possible!). Communicating your thoughts clearly shows a maturity that is hard to discount, and it is a skill that helps you avoid being labelled as “immature,” or “angsty.”

3. Something my dad told me as he was going to bed today (I am writing this late at night in my living room) really struck me. This advice is multi-faceted, and very applicable in this context: Stay focused, stay on the narrow way, and avoid heartache. Being in a long-distance relationship is tough. It is like a long road race. You prepare for this race, but there is no experience like actually running it. You hit bumps and potholes and bends in the road, and sometimes it gets so narrow that you are not able to run side-by-side. When you get to those points, you can be confident in your Heavenly Father and your significant other, who will support you in different ways. A key to this analogy; however, is that you are willing to support him or her as well. Long-distance relationships do not succeed if you do not work at them, so you must understand that constant effort is key. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Be aware of just how quickly you are moving, and how quickly your partner is moving. Finding success is all about finding the right running mate.

Long-distance relationships are doomed to fail.

If you don’t have faith.

Work hard, and love even harder. Don’t give up, and know that – if this person is the one you are meant for, then you will someday find your joyous reunion.

A quote:

“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…”

This is the girl I dated long-distance for two years and nine months. We are now happily dating face-to-face!

This is Tori, the girl I dated long-distance for two years and nine months. We are now happily dating face-to-face!

 

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What is important in a relationship? Chapter 1 of 10 – Why it is okay to be single…wait…what?

Before I write anything on this topic, I must offer a disclaimer: I am only human. My views are not universally constant, and to be totally honest, I am still figuring this relationship thing out. I just have a few ideas, small and big, that might be workable for others, so I want to present them. Feel free to hear me out, but if you think you have it all together, go ahead and move along. If you’d like. 

Well, here is something I haven’t done before; a self-help series! I want to offer you, as the blogger, some tips that might help in the topic of dating and singleness. These, as previously stated, are not umbrella concepts. They are just concepts I’ve mulled over in my own relationship, and hopefully they, in some way, might have some sort of application to your life, single or not! I have ten tips, and I will present each of them over the next few weeks, hopefully ending on December 31st, so you can start a new year with your significant other, trying some new things. 

Today, I will present my introduction, and my first tip!

Introduction: Dating is a weird aspect of human life. We dance around people of the opposite sex, hoping to impress them with some odd cocktail of pheremones, eventually to commit only to them, get married, and procreate. Why in the world do we do this? It makes no sense at all sometimes, until we go back to the beginning of time, and look at the world’s first couple. In the Bible, Adam was the first man, and he was alone – one man to name every animal on Earth. That job seems massive, right? God decided that no animal would do any good for Adam as a partner, so he created Eve (from one of Adam’s ribs – SCIENCE!), and Adam finally had a partner suitable for living with. God said that this partnering of Adam and Eve was good, so all was well with the world upon this pairing. I think if you were to look at the triune Godhead (Father, Son, Holy Ghost) and the very first relationship on Earth, you would probably begin to see that it was okay to be in community with others, whether in a romantic sense or otherwise. I think God desires for us to have companionship. It doesn’t have to be romantic, but I think we need to establish that perpetual isolation is not the best option. We must pursue interpersonal relationships with other people, and I think personally that the way we think and feel will improve because of more interaction. In this series I will probably focus on the romantic side of a relationship, but hopefully, you will find that some aspects I’ll discuss will transfer over into the world of friendship as well! All relationships are important, whether good bad or otherwise, and hopefully these conversations will help us understand that a little better. I want to discuss some misconceptions about relationships over the next few days, and hopefully provide insight that might bring you all some peace, new understanding, or reaffirmation of an idea that you already had! Are you ready, because I’m not! This will be fun. 

1. IT IS OKAY TO BE SINGLE. Really. I promise. 

This post goes out to all of the friends and strangers that – like me, have felt struggles to feel right in their singleness. For the longest time, I couldn’t deal with being single. All of my friends were pairing off, and it seemed like I would move to a place of “Old Maidhood,” in which I would just be a crazy old single friend that no one wanted to be around anymore. I felt lost, and I felt lonely. It felt like, without a girlfriend, I wouldn’t be able to make it. I moved from affection to affection, seeking some sort of satisfaction, but never experiencing any. It was really hard to look at my friends who were in relationships, and honestly, I just felt like sitting alone was the only thing I could do in peace anymore (totally counter-intuitive. If you feel lonely, don’t go be alone. That does no good. Just for what it’s worth), so I would try to do that. What I didn’t realize at that time was that it is okay, sometimes advantageous, to be single. (Let me throw in another disclaimer: I am no longer single. I’ve been in a committed relationship for over 3 years, and I couldn’t be happier! I just know that this relationship only started after I came to understand the benefits of singleness, so I feel as if I must bring forward the idea that it is indeed okay to not have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Just for what it’s worth.) Being single has several benefits, but for time’s sake, I will choose three:

1. Singleness can, on occasion, be beneficial for ministry efforts.

This is very much a contextual idea, but if you think about it, Jesus and Paul were both single. I think Paul especially was confident in his singleness, as it allowed him issue-free travelling, with no responsibility to provide for a family while on mission. This fit his ministry well, as he traveled all over the known world, sharing the Gospel with anyone who offered an ear. It is reasonable to think that this kind of travel and punishment (several jail trips, numerous other persecutions), would have been very exhaustive/damaging to a family, so it was better that he was single.

It is not always better to be single while doing ministry, as there are benefits to doing mission work alone, or in partnership (Going to save that idea for another post). As I mentioned earlier, I think singleness fits in many ministerial contexts, if you feel called to a ministry that requires singleness for effectiveness, I would encourage you to pursue that lifestyle. It may lead to a freedom and effectiveness in ministry that you might never have imagined. 

2. Sometimes it is okay to spend time just getting to know yourself. 

Let’s be honest – do you really feel like you know yourself? Do you? When you are in a relationship, your significant other will learn things about you – small things, sometimes things you didn’t even know – that may spark some very interesting conversations/arguments, and if you don’t know things in your life that are stumbling blocks or quirks that would cause relational problems, then you should probably take some time by yourself to learn about those things. No human on this Earth is perfect, so we all could probably use a time of reflection to figure out things that we don’t like that might be in our control. Our significant other should love us for our imperfections as much as our good qualities, but we can’t expect them to be perfect either. Our responsibility is to become the best us that we can be, in order for our relationship with our future significant other to be even more special, and even more successful. 

3. Dating for the sake of dating is not the best method for success. 

Dating is fun. I get it. Seriously though, don’t date unless you have prayed about it and prepped for it. Dating is a prep for a life together, so if you date and break up many times, then I would venture to say that you would struggle eventually with a lifetime commitment like marriage. Playing games with a person’s heart is unfair to that person’s future spouse. You can only imagine what that young person is going to go through after you break up, so it would almost be better if you never dated in the first place. I am not saying that not dating is the best option, but I am saying that you need to be very careful with the heart that you do decide to pursue. If a person is willing to put their feelings in your hands, then it is your responsibility to hold tight to them, and respect them, whether or not they end up in your possession or not. If you are not ready to handle a commitment like that, then you must make sure that your priorities are in the right place. Singleness is not a bad thing in this context. Until you are ready, wait. Pray. Think. Let the Lord work in your singleness, and pursue Him in all other aspects of your life as well. When you do that, you will find that He will bless and honor your relationships in a new and vibrant way. 

Singleness is just fine. Isolation and loneliness are not. Seek out community with other people, and let the Lord work in your relationships, and if all goes according to His plan (it will), then you will experience exactly what He wants for you, which is best. Sit tight, and hold onto Him. That’s all that matters. All of this relationship stuff will happen on His timing. I hope you all will learn to become the best you, and things will improve in all aspects of life! I hope this blog held at least a little insight. If not, tell me now, and I’ll discontinue the series. If it did hold some worthwhile ideas, let me know, and I’ll keep it going! Thanks for reading this far, and I wish you the best as you look through some of the muddled thoughts that I like to present on a page. God bless!

Tomorrow’s post: Five Ideas for Application in Relationships. 

See you then! 

Jesse