The following is a guest post by my roommate/ best friend Michaela
Hi everyone! It’s Michaela again! I’m glad to be back, and I’m excited to tell you more about how I make it in a long distance relationship! Today I’m going to let you in on the pros and cons I’ve experienced in an LDR.
As with anything you can experience in life, there are always things that are good and bad. There are things about a long distance relationship that are great, but there are some things about it that honestly just aren’t any fun.
So before I get to the disadvantages, let me first let you in on the advantages of my long distance relationship. ;) Here are five of them:
1. It helps us value each other and our time together.
Because we live about eight hours apart, time becomes an incredibly cherished thing. We’ve learned to not waste it because we know the time we have is short. Jon can’t just pick me up at my college apartment to take me on a date. We’ve learned to not take time together, or each other for that matter, for granted.
2. It helps us build stronger trust.
Because we don’t live near each other, Jon and I have to develop trust to know the other person is doing they claim they are. If Jon says he’s at work, I have to have enough trust to know he really is at work and not out with another girl. The same goes for him. If I tell him that I’m at my apartment doing homework, he has to have enough trust that I’m not out with another guy. Since we have that kind of trust, our relationship is all the more stronger.
3. It helps us avoid the physical temptations that come with being together all the time.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s still hard sometimes when we do get to see each other, but it’s not something we struggle with on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis. We don’t see each other very often, so it’s not a huge issue for us. Plus we’ve agreed on some set boundaries to help us avoid those temptations when we are together.
(Disclaimer: This isn’t something that works for every couple. Some LDR couples really struggle with the physical side when they do get to see each other and when they’re apart. So I don’t want to act like this isn’t an issue or that long distance takes away the physical and sexual temptations. I’m simply speaking from Jon and I’s relationship.)
And for some strange reason, the distance makes it easier for us to talk about our temptations and struggles to each other. This honestly also builds on the trust between us too.
4. It also helps us focus on getting to know one another on a personal level.
Because we’re not focusing on the physical part of the relationship, we can focus more on each other’s personalities. We talk on the phone every day, and through that we learn what we like, dislike, what makes us happy, and what makes us irritated. The distance, overall, helps us to focus on what is really important, which is getting to know each other.
5. It helps us become stronger individuals who can work together as a team.
This one is very important. The distance makes us somewhat independent. We can function without having to have the other person there all the time. It is important to be dependent on one another at times. If we weren’t, then we wouldn’t be a team. A relationship, just like a team, is composed of two strong, independent people who choose to depend on each other to get through life.
Okay! That’s five positive things about having a long distance relationship. Now it’s time for the negative side of things. Here are five disadvantages of a LDR:
1. The biggest disadvantage is the distance (duh!).
I know. Big surprise, right? But that is the number one part of a long DISTANCE relationship that’s really hard. By car, it usually takes about seven to eight hours to get to my house or his house. By plane, it’s about three or four hours, depending on any stops and delays.
2. People tell us it won’t last.
Jon has had more people say this to him than I have. They say that because we don’t get to see each other on a regular basis, we don’t really know each other that well. Some non-Christians have also said our relationship won’t work because we’re not physically (aka “sexually”) active.
Let me just say one thing about that: our relationship is so much stronger because we have chosen to NOT be sexually active. Our relationship is not based on how we fulfill each other physically, but rather on how our personalities and faith meet each other’s non-physical needs. It’s based on how well we work together and communicate to each other. We have chosen to show each other our love by waiting until after marriage to be sexually active because that is what God has commanded in His word.
3. People say we’re moving too fast.
Jon and I started talking about ten months ago. We started talking marriage a few months after that, and some people kinda freaked out. And I totally understand where they’re coming from. We haven’t known one another as long as some couples (you know, like, YEARS), but we’re also not like other couples.
Each relationship is different, and with a long distance relationship things are very different. Jon and I had to talk about some big things early on in order to make sure our effort in this relationship would be wisely spent. We didn’t want to waste each other’s time, energy, and emotions if this wasn’t going to work out. We had to take some great leaps in some areas that most couples would take in small steps. But we’re not the same as every couple, and our story is unique and one of a kind!
4. The temptation of physical attraction can be hard when we’re together.
Like I said earlier, the long distance helps us with this, but it isn’t completely tried and true.
Jon and I agreed to wait to have a real kiss until our wedding day. We kiss each other on the cheek or forehead though. But it is sometimes a struggle to wait for the “real” kiss. Believe me! It’s not easy, but we both feel that it will be worth it in the end!
(Just to clarify, I’m not pointing a finger or condemning anyone who didn’t or doesn’t want wait to kiss until marriage. This is just something Jon and I decided as a couple.)
One thing that helps me resist the temptations of when we’re together is remembering Song of Solomon 2: 7 and 3:5 – “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem … that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.”
In other words, don’t stir up the physical/sexual side of a romantic relationship until the right time in God’s eyes, which would be after marriage.
5. It takes a while to meet each other’s friends and families.
I’ve met the majority of Jon’s family, but I still haven’t met many of his and his family’s friends.
Jon has met a good portion of my friends, and he just met my mom’s side of the family over this past weekend. He still has to meet some good (mostly older) family friends and my dad’s side of the family (they all live out of state).
Because of the distance and our limited time together, it is very difficult to meet everyone, especially when we want some time to go out alone for a few hours. But we make it work. We usually figure out who we’re going to meet each trip, and just leave it at that.
So there you go! Ten pros and cons of a long distance relationship from the perspective a currently surviving participant.
I hope you found these helpful and insightful! If you have any questions about other topics or if you have a comment about your own experience of a LDR, I’d love the chance to answer and/or reply!
As always, it is wonderful to share with you all! I pray God uses this post to bless and encourage you!
Hi y’all! I’m a 21-year old college student, born and raised in the heart of Texas! I’m completely obsessed with all things having to do with weddings! On that note, I’m slowly starting my own wedding planning business (yay!).
I love all kinds of music, historical fiction books by Melanie Dickerson, Carry Grant movies (if your my age, you probably don’t know who Carry Grant is, but even so, your movie life has been gravely deprived of pure awesomeness!), “The Lord of the Rings” movies, dragons, and tiny puppies!
Above all, I love serving and following Jesus, and I can’t wait to see all the crazy, wonderful things He has planned for me on my life adventure!
More JBG posts by Michaela: 12 Ways to Make a Long Distance Relationship Easier, The Day Death Died, and Hope for When You Suffer as a Result of Abiding in Christ