I worked in Port Harcourt, he worked in Lagos. We sometimes worked 2-week shifts but many times, I didn’t work shifts and he worked 4-week shifts. We went months without seeing each other. And this was over the entire course of our relationship. Two and a half years.
A lot of people thought it was crazy. Was it a proper commitment? Shouldn’t we have made it an “open” relationship? How did we know the other person didn’t have a proper face-to-face relationship with another?
For what it was worth, it wasn’t my idea. It was his. I too, felt that it wouldn’t be a proper relationship if we weren’t seeing each other all the time. Who deliberately starts a long-distance relationship? He sensibly pointed out that even if I lived in Lagos, the nature of our jobs (and Lagos traffic conditions ) meant that we still wouldn’t see every day. The only difference was that now we’d be burning a small fortune in air tickets. But seeing as my family lived in Lagos, and I liked to visit every other month, I wouldn’t really be incurring additional expenses. We decided to at least give it a shot.
And the crazy thing is that it worked. Here’s what I got out of that experience.
I still had time for me.
Basically, living apart meant my day-to-day life remained undisturbed. I didn’t have the time constraints some of my friends had. If we’d been together, my weekends might’ve been dedicated to dates and hang out with him. As I didn’t have that luxury, my weekends were still mine to do with as I wish. I spent a lot of that time washing and styling my natural hair 🙂
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I also made new friends.
Same reason as above. Weekends empty, not much to do. Arranged outings with friends. Made new friends.
I learned new hobbies.
Okay, only one. Baking. Still. It was a good distraction from missing and pining for Bae.
I got a smartphone.
Yes, I had to move out of the stone ages and get a smartphone because of Whatsapp and Skype. That’s right, we spent money on data bundles.
I got my best performance reviews.
I was able to spend a lot of time at work, volunteering for extra duties etc. etc. It did set some high expectations for my future work but I was glad to do it. The good thing was that doing all this work meant I could get extra time off later on.
We fought less
This might not be true for everyone. We did have our fights but we learned to resolve them quickly. When you only have two weeks to spend with someone, you don’t want to waste it fighting. And even when we were apart, we missed each other so hard that fighting became unbearable. What? No Whatsapp message today? Haba.
So would I recommend a long-distance relationship? There are pros and cons. In the end, it depends on the people involved and what their attitudes are. It can be all you want it to be as long as you’re both honest with each other and with yourselves. Do you have real problems with distance? You need to let the other person know your fears. If it can be worked around, no problem. If not, consider pulling the plug early. But give it a go, if you think that it’s worth a shot. You’d be surprised at the silver linings that turn up. 🙂