I truly believe relationships are only as hard as you make them.
Don’t get me wrong, being with someone full-time is work. It’s sometimes putting someone else before yourself, it’s spending money on someone besides your own, it’s dedicating time… it’s sacrifice. But then again, love always is. However, I don’t believe it should hurt.
I’m currently in a long distance relationship… I’m talking across the Atlantic, different time zones long. He’s been in my life since I was 14, and eight years later I still get butterflies in my stomach when I know I’m about to see him. But it wasn’t always like that. We’ve definitely had our ups and downs, and even further downs. I can recall a span of almost two years when I didn’t even know where he was, or what he was up to, and not caring. That was mainly because we’ve always had the problem of communication.
I can imagine the guys reading this and are probably getting ready to scroll to the next page while the females are saying to themselves “yup, girl, it always is!”
But the problem was something we both knew too well. Every time one of us did something the other really didn’t like, or was hurt by, we’d shut down and block the other person out. There were situations where if he did something I didn’t like, I would try to do it back just so he could feel the way that I did in hopes of him not doing it again, only to find out that those very actions would push him away. There was a time where I saw something I didn’t like, and automatically felt a way about it. Instead of telling him, I just assumed he should know. So when he texted me casually the next day, I remember turning my read receipts on and not replying. And because he saw that I read and didn’t respond, he didn’t write back! Literally taking being “petty” to new heights.
However, I’m Petty Labelle.
Long story short we wasted so much time battling each other instead of loving each other. We wanted to teach each other lessons, turn each other into people we thought we wanted, so much so that it drove us a part. Looking back now, I believe it was probably for the best. I think we needed to grow a little more individually before becoming the people to truly make each other happy. There were times I felt farther away from him when he was standing right next to me than I do now with him overseas.
We disagree, we have our arguments, but we also have patience. And I’ve learned that whether your person is ten minutes away or 10,000 miles away, you have to have that same patience to understand where the other person is coming from through times of disagreement; you have to be patient with your own thoughts because sometimes what you see isn’t always what it seems, and when it is, trust me you’ll know. You must be patient with yourself and with your partner as you learn to love each other. Nothing is done over night, and that goes for relationships too, there’s no need to rush through the stages.
I have so many friends that are often comparing their relationship or where they are in there lives to what others are doing. I believe that’s natural simply because we live in a social era where we’re constantly surrounded by updates, photos, and ‘likes.’ However, people only post when they’re at their best and the fastest way to lose yourself is when trying to be someone else.
Love, relationships, they both require growth. My boyfriend and I both needed that to be where we are today, and I think that time was necessary because it made us strong enough to withstand being a part for such long periods now. Long distance relationships aren’t for everyone, and I honestly wouldn’t recommend it. But I know I rather FaceTime him every night knowing we’ve built something worth keeping rather than settling for the next close thing. It’s work… a lot of work, but the most beautiful things in life are.
What are you willing build?