Life presents us with so many choices including the type of relationship we want for ourselves and I believe everybody is entitled to their choices. However, sometimes I just smile when I hear people say they can NEVER be in a long distance relationship/marriage, they are not cut out for it n bla bla bla. I smile because I believe it’s a narrow mindset.
Recently I read of the popular Ghanaian artiste Bisa Kdei admonishing people not to consider being in a long distance relationship and is planning the release of a song to that effect because of past experiences in his life. I think such an entrenched position by him and many others is not entirely justifiable and lacks substance when one looks at it in a broader perspective.
Granted that your partner cheated on you for all the frivolous reasons one can think of does not mean that a long distance relationship in itself is a bad thing; I think you just found the wrong partner and you should even be grateful. It’s a bit sad that long distance relationships have often been put in a bad light. U see, to me every relationship/marriage at a point in time becomes a distance relationship as many things will in the life of a relationship keep the two people away from each other over some length of time. It could be school, career advancement, new job or posting, going to see one’s parents…just name them.
The earlier you make a rethink and start learning how to manage the distance when it comes, the better. And mind you, the distance can be a beautiful thing unless you are the lonely type with no or very little sense of individuality. For me, I even see it as a good test of the genuineness of a relationship and left to me alone I will recommend that partners never marry until they have experienced that phase of a long separation. I know it’s not easy but I think it’s a must. I believe a big part of the problem is that most people don’t know, learn and prepare themselves on how to manage the distance.
Like I always say, it is one thing falling in love and it is another thing managing that love. Come on, there are a million and one survival guides on long distance relationship! I tell u, it’s very possible to keep your long distance relationship close to the same as being together face to face! Especially at this very advanced time and age? Come on, guess it’s just simple that most people whose relationships break during that long period of separation just do not put in as much effort as they should. I say that confidently because I have seen many people who know they will marry one day or are in a relationship leading to marriage but they know close to nothing about marriage.
In fact, they do not prepare themselves enough for it…to them the important thing is that you get to a certain age and financial stability and then you marry. The only thing they will ever know is if they are lucky enough to make it to the stage of counselling or if they are lucky enough to have their pastor preach on marriage.
Often my exploratory quizzes go like this: “Dude, u are in a relationship leading to marriage but if I may ask, how many marriage/relationship books or materials have you made the effort to acquire and read aside whatever knowledge of marriage u might have naturally grown up with. How much experiences on relationships/marriage have you gathered outside of your own”. You can always imagine the answers. Most people maybe aside a business venture just don’t prepare themselves enough for the things they are going into. It is that simple! Yet they blame everybody else except themselves for their misfortunes.
Maybe because a business venture is more profitable than a relationship/marriage?? Maybe to some, it is. Now let’s look at it this way: Granted you don’t like and will never be in a long distance relationship and you never did and you are now married. Will you break your marriage then in event of a situation that will bring about a long time of separation between you two?? Or your husband or wife must now travel with you on every long business trip or career development journey? Or because of you, your wife or husband should not be promoted and perhaps posted to another geographical location? Will you break your marriage I ask again. Will you?
You see, a lot happens in marriage that does not at the dating/relationship stage; a lot of things change and it is for that reason that it is unhealthy to start with such a mindset instead of preparing yourself to embrace changes as they come. I think irrespective of you or other people’s experience with cheating partners, etc, during a long distance relationship period, to me most people who take such stances just have trust issues and for me the last person I would want to marry is such a person. We either work on it or forget it.
Of course having a 100 percent trust of your partner is no guarantee that your union will last anyways and neither does it mean that a relationship/marriage that never experiences a period of long separation is the one that works. Like I said in my previous blog post, it is a chance we all take hoping for the best. There is no right or wrong answer. I have experienced, seen and read of many long distance relationships that have worked and I have seen and read of many of the other type that has failed.
Once a while, we all need a renewal of our minds and principles…so brace up and get to work now on that relationship/marriage whether it be a long distance one or the opposite
Mark Gadogbe (Guest Blogger)