Loving From Afar
Youth is truly overrated.
No, not saying that because an 18 year old thinks that I am over the hill. When I was 18 it was my firm belief that 30 was the ‘pensionable’ age. Living beyond that seemed pointless to me. That was until Life happened and taught me many blessons, including the fact that long distance relationships are perfect for me.
Up until my 35th or so year, it was my constant cry that “I can’t do long distance relationships!” Tried it at least twice and they ended in abject failure. The first one, my ‘partner’ stopped writing (no cell phones back then for texting) and the next thing I heard, he got married to a Canadian woman. The second one was damaged by my infidelity. Not my most proud moment but I believe in keeping things real hence I am sharing. I got an opportunity to work outside of Jamaica and a year after being away from home temptation came visiting.
Long Distance Relationships Are Like Gardens
Maintaining the health of any relationship requires constant attention.
As any good gardener will tell you, to get those lovely blooms, they have to fertilize, prune, weed and water their plants among other things. A relationship that transitions from being in the same city, if not house, requires just as much tending. Should one partner have to move for whatever reason, a more intense degree of tending becomes necessary.
Those relationships that started with distance between them, with the help of the Internet, the partners have to use master-gardening techniques! Translated into relationship terms, the horticultural practices of an expert gardener teach us that for long distance relationships to thrive you have to:
- Select good soil – you and the intended must be ready for a committed relationship of a challenging kind.
- Plant ‘good’ seeds – that would be trust and it must be built from honest and open communication.
- Tend – as the seeds are germinating, every effort must be made to ‘water’ properly and according to the need of the particular seed. Example, once in the throes of a budding long distance relationship,the target of my affections and I lived thousands of miles apart and in different time zones. After many late nights and early mornings, we had to finally come to the understanding that our ‘watering’ was not right and adjusted our contact hours and methods.
- Fertilize – too much or too late will kill the plant (relationship). Find the right blend and apply according to instructions. Your partner is the primary source of those instructions so stop listening to friends and family and hear what your partner is trying to tell you.
- Prune – cut back on what is preventing or has the potential to retard growth. As well, deal with your individual insecurities and do not allow them to suffocate your plant.
Absence Might Not Make The Heart Fonder
Those are just some of what we can learn from gardening to help grow and keep up with a long distance relationship. Another important activity that must be mentioned is ‘Presence’.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder but presence makes for some wonderful love-making. What? It is the truth! Phone sex just does not compare! Make the time, budget wisely and buy into a frequent flyer/rider/rental car programme – and get there as often as you can!
This post was first published in Love Month (February) two years ago. Since then, my expertise, if you might call it that, with relationships particularly those of a distant kind has further improved. Truth be told, now at 51 years old, I prefer these kinds of relationships as they give me the space that I need to thrive – just as some plants will not bloom if watered too often.
Are you or have you ever been in a long distance relationship? Share your story with our readers in the comments below. Feel free to include a link to your blog if you are a writer.
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