|   Log In

Love

The Pros and Cons of Long-Distance Relationships

love-rose-distance

May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. (Genesis 31:49)

 

Years ago, I excitedly told my coworker that I was going to visit my then boyfriend (now husband), and he asked me where my boyfriend lived. I explained that he lived in California, and this elicited an eyebrow raise accompanied by a smirk that showed me he thought I was naive. He went on to say, “Long-distance relationships don’t work, but whatever floats your boat.”

Well, that relationship worked out and we’ve been married for almost six years. There is a stigma that comes with long-distance relationships, and I even promised myself I would never have one. I can tell you now with conviction that it’s possible and can be wonderful despite the disadvantages.

Whether you’re a few hours away or a few countries away, it can seem impossible to tend to the heart of another person with the distractions of a modern world. Fortunately, our technology has caught up with our age-old way of finding love from afar, and it’s really likely that you can keep your long-distance relationship stronger than ever. There are obviously pros and cons, so if you’re in one, you can relate. If you’ve avoided them like the plague, I aim to give you some hope if you do encounter this situation unexpectedly.

Long Distance Relationship

What Makes It Worth It

I was not looking for a relationship when I found myself attracted to a handsome young man during a trip to Los Angeles with my friends. In fact, my thought after meeting him was “He’s great. Too bad I live in Hawaii.” Moving on. It wasn’t until we later connected on social media that I noted our similar interests in art, faith, culture and family. Once we began talking, short messages turned into lengthy emails where his amazing personality really began to shine through. The great thing about a long-distance relationship is that all you really can do is talk. Communication is one of the keys to a healthy relationship, and setting a great foundation in the beginning will help you in your future with him.

After picking him up from the airport or making that long drive to see him, your heart will dance and your face will light up because whatever time you have together will be all about the two of you. Knowing that you only have a few days or weeks with him will force you to incorporate him into your daily life for the time being, and pack as much fun into your visit as possible. Let’s be honest—you will probably be on your best behavior as well, so the likelihood is that arguments and conflict will be at a minimum (hopefully).

When you put your phone down, close your laptop and go offline for the day, you’re free to live your life as usual. This is great because you can see things in perspective and keep from getting overly consumed with someone you’re falling in love with. When my feelings got stronger, I always had to check in with myself and those I trusted to make sure I wasn’t stepping away from God’s path for me.

Being able to mostly focus on yourself and your walk with The Lord isn’t something you’re always able to do when you’re a short drive away and have to make constant considerations for one-on-one time with someone else. It’s also easier (not easy, but easier) to avoid temptation and keep yourselves pure for God.

 

Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. (Proverbs 4:26)

 

Why It’s Difficult

I know we don’t want to talk about the nitty-gritty, but it’s important to take that into consideration, too. Having someone to talk to at the end of the day and share your inner thoughts with is wonderful, but the cost of distance is missing them terribly. Have you ever heard of the term “lovesick”? That was me after every single conversation with my beau. If they’re having those same feelings, you may wonder if you both will have the strength to avoid the temptation of being with someone else.

Also, having a major time difference and a busy schedule, like we did, will throw more variables into the equation. There were many times when I was just getting home from work, and it was already midnight on his end. Falling asleep on the phone or being late for your job because you didn’t get any sleep is not an ideal situation.

I always believed that if you really want to know someone, you should witness how they interact with their friends and family. When you hardly have time in the same space, that’s very hard to do. You’ll hardly get a taste of their world, let alone their inner circle. If you live in the same town, going to their parents’ place for dinner so that they can get to know you (and be sure you’re not a crazy person) is a lot more doable. Trying to cram all of that into your visits together takes a lot more work and can seem like you’re being interrogated—which is normal because their loved ones hardly know you. Not to mention the financial burden of gas or plane tickets when you don’t exactly have a ton of expendable cash.

 

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. (Ephesians 5:31)

 

Not all of these things will apply to all long-distance relationships, but hopefully this is a start to gaining a better understanding of what it entails. You may think that this requires too much of you, but honestly there are pros and cons to any relationship. If it’s God’s will, He will make it work.

Have you ever been in a long-distance relationship? If so, how was your experience?

Image: Lightstock | Timychka

POST A COMMENT

You must be logged in to post a comment.

5 Comments

  1. Kytia Lamour

    Posted by Kytia Lamour on January 4, 2017 at 16:48

    Hi girls! I made a YouTube video to go along with this article. It has a bit more detail, and I think you’ll find it helpful:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wb5YYiviz_w

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by catee13 on September 9, 2015 at 16:39

    So, I have a long distance friend, who seems to be investing a lot of time in our relationship. I should let you know, I am 21 years old and a senior in college. I met this friend on a mission trip this summer where we worked fairly closely for almost 2 months. When I left (because I traveled somewhere to work with his church), we started texting each other all the time. We grew really close really quickly because of the circumstances, so it wasn’t odd to me that we continued talking to each other. In the last few weeks, our constant texting has turned to marathon Skype calls, and daily phone calls. He jokes all the time about being such a flirt and I’m starting to get suspicious of his feelings. We have agreed that we are best friends, but I’m not sure if he is thinking we could be more. It’s just kind of odd that we spend SO much time on the phone or on Skype.. I’ve never had a long distance friendship quite like this.. What are your thoughts?

    • Kytia Lamour

      Posted by Kytia Lamour on September 15, 2015 at 15:31

      Thank you for reaching out! I should start by saying that I don’t believe men and women can be JUST best friends. Most likely one of them will have feelings for the other. This was constantly the case with me as I navigated through the wonderful world of friends and dating. Whether you have feelings for him or not, I am led to believe that he has feelings for you. The only way to find out is to simply ask him. This is definitely a conversation that any girl/guy friendship needs to have. If you are not interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with him, make that clear and slow down on your constant communication and availability with him so that you don’t lead him on and potentially hurt his feelings. If you do feel romantic feelings for him, I would ask God how to move forward. I’m praying you two are able to find the solution you need. God bless!

  3. May All Your Bacon Burn

    Posted by May All Your Bacon Burn on August 18, 2015 at 00:31

    I think this has helped me a little, at least on the long-term part. I really like a friend I’ve known for years, y’see–and it took me about a year of trying to push it aside for me to realize it was more than a lustful crush. He’ll be four hours away this semester, and next semester there will be a 13 hours difference because I’m travelling to Japan for abroad study. In the next few years I’ll probably go back even more for work. This article certainly puts me at ease about some parts of long distance…but at the same time makes me wonder if it would be worth putting him through something like that. I want him to be happy, even if it requires me trying my best to set my feelings aside for his sake. If he’s already having enough problems just figuring out how to deal with the separation from friends 3 hours away (which the thought of it is definitely bothering him) how unhappy would he be if we tried putting together a relationship before I go to Japan potentially multiple times during his college career?

    • Kytia Lamour

      Posted by Kytia Lamour on September 1, 2015 at 20:53

      Sorry it took so long to respond. I think what you’re asking is very mature and considerate for yourself and your friend. I’m not sure I made it clear (most likely I didn’t), but me and my husband talked long distance as friends for a year before committing to a relationship. Once we knew we were destined for marriage, we took on the boyfriend and girlfriend titles. Entering into a relationship whether your live down the street or across the ocean should be a big deal. Unless God has told the both of you (both of you being in agreement is key) that this is your future spouse, I personally wouldn’t advise starting a relationship. I hope that helps you to figure out the next step to take. Only the Holy Spirit can make it clear in your specific situation, and I’ll be praying over your decision. God bless.