Today, we consider another vital ingredient of the perfect love environment; COMPANIONSHIP.
We saw the wisdom of the creator on long distance relationships when he uttered the words ” it is not good for man to be alone”. In reality loving from a distance has become the dominant mark of this generation with social networking affairs starting per second every day.The controversy is this: ‘Should one be in love and put up with being alone?’ I once had an uncle who traveled abroad leaving his wife and family back in our country for over 20years, never checking up on them at all. All he did was to send money back for their upkeep. Does he have the legitimate authority to call himself the husband of that woman? Can he authoritatively call himself the father of those children? Could we call what he has for them love?
Before I begin to navigate the complex waters of long distance relationships, I must first of all confess that proximity does not necessarily guarantee intimacy. You can be far from someone that is close,and close to someone that is afar,because real distance is of the heart. Some people can draw near to you with their lips and their heart be far from you. In reality your intimacy might be more intense with someone you met with online than a person you are living with.
The second issue is that excessive proximity can trigger over familiarity, and familiarity can breed contempt. I often define emotional maturity as the ability to maintain proximity without familiarity. It is the genuine ability to see the awesomeness of someone you are close to. Unfortunately most people don’t have this level of emotional intelligence to be able to maintain intimacy as well as awe for a thing at the same time.Perhaps that is why some opt for the long distance love option.
The third point is that distance can be a valid test of authentic love. Distance can reveal the quality of love, any love that disintegrates with moderate distance is fake. Some travel out to a foreign nation and immediately stop calling or communicating with their lover back home. Such a lover should note that the love shared with the traveling party has expired. As such they should move on with their lives. Never forget my following statement TRUE LOVE ALWAYS FINDS A WAY TO KEEP IN TOUCH.
Having mentioned all of the above, we must however highlight that distance can be devastating to love. It is one thing for your partner to travel for a few months, it is another thing for them to have been away for several years. In reality many long distance partners are only holding on to the illusion of who their partner was and not the reality of who their partner is. True love cannot be based on antiquated illusions.
The first challenge of long distance relationships is that it often leads to the development of alternative relationships. The truth is that the partner at a distance has some practical emotional needs. With the absence of their lover, most of them turn to the available friendships to meet some of those needs. Unfortunately the outcome of letting another meet our emotional needs is emotional attachment. Sincerely for a husband to comfortably stay without his wife for a decade or two, I can safely assume that he has developed alternative relationships for the meeting of his sexual needs. In fact some of them have already gotten married and developed alternative families. If most of their needs were not being met in some way, the hunger for satisfaction would have driven them back to their partners. The lovers left behind must wake up and smell the coffee,and decide to live out their lives to the fullest.
Long distance relationships is one of the driving forces for affairs, because it is far easier to love the visible than to love the invisible. A first century theologian made this point when, he said if you cant love a brother you can see, how can you love a God you can’t see. What he meant is that it is far easier to love the tangible than to love the intangible. Unfortunately long distance relationships makes our lover both invisible and intangible. You sure can guess the outcomes.
The second challenge of long distance relationships is that it doesn’t foster accountability. Accountability is one of the pillars of a successful relationship. However, there is something about our human nature that finds it easier to be accountable to someone present than someone absent. In fact many people prefer the long distance love model because it gives them the opportunity to live life anyhow, to live life on their own terms. Without any checks and balances that comes from someone who genuinely loves them, such partners self destruct eventually because power is nothing without controls.
The third challenge of long distance relationships is the frustration that comes out of certain basic emotional needs going unmet because of the lack of proximity to their lovers. I know of several wives who have remained loyal to an absent husband for years, while their most basic sexual needs have gone unmet. Some of these people turn to workaholics, extreme commitment to non governmental organizations to numb the deep void and lack of fulfillment that they battle with on a daily bases. Others have had to endure the societal ridicule and rejection that is the badge of being a lover left behind confers on such people. I don’t believe anyone deserves such gnawing pain.
The fourth challenge is that long distance relationships nurture the selfishness in our human nature. When a person has gotten used to living life without their significant other, they tend to become emotionally ingrown. They also develop a negative self sufficiency that makes their partners almost irrelevant in the equation of their lives. This is why reunion with a long term, long distance partner is often exciting at first but turbulent eventually. The reason for this turbulence is because both partners would have selfishly grown apart from each other. In most cases their intimacy will be that of two strangers trapped in a cage.
I will conclude this issue of long distance relationships in my next writing. I will also give you guidelines for survival if you ever find yourself in this situation. For now you must be content with the fact that long distance relationships are challenging because it often violates the fundamental law of companionship upon which lasting relationships are built.
See you tomorrow.
THE GREATEST IS LOVE!!!
Love Dynamics Global.
Enthronement Assembly Lagos.
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