Are you in long distance relationship?

BY: Dr John Boakye

There is a very emotional Ghanaian song about a lover who wanted to send a love message to her lover abroad by ‘dade anoma’ ( plane) She confessed missing her lover who had been away for a long time and was yearning for them to reunite.

Fact is there are many Ghanaians whose lovers are in ‘Aburokyire’ (abroad) but they are not alone. Studies indicate that there are over 20 million couples in this type of long distance relationship.

Why long distance relationship?
Ghanaians love to travel abroad. A recent study showed 75 per cent of Ghanaians would live abroad if they had the opportunity mainly to seek greater pastures. Some go for studies or skill improvement. Others are on national or business assignment.

In most cases, due to financial and immigration difficulties, many leave their lovers behind. There are also arranged relationships in which partners have never met their lovers but are planning a future together.

The good of long distance relationship
Some marriage experts believe that staying together always as couples is not the best thing in a relationship. Time away from each other will enable you to show your love in many other ways apart from physical contact.

It also makes you appreciate the benefits you enjoy with proximity and the many things you do for each other which you take for granted. In many instances, the quality of relationships increases when lovers get together.

The challenge of long distance relationship
Nothing challenges a relationship more than a long distance between lovers. A lover is thousands of miles away. You don’t know what he is doing or the people they are staying or moving with. The tendency to look back in the relationship is high, especially if we keep thinking of many of such failed relationships. Sometimes, lovers marry abroad or are financially incapable of inviting their lovers but lack the courage to say so. Many lovers in Ghana are left stranded with uncertain future.

If lovers are apart, because they don’t see each other physically any small difficulty gets exaggerated. Long distance relationships, therefore, require a special willingness and understanding that test love like no other relationship does. Commitment out of sight or mind can be tempting.

Handling long distance relationship
All relationships are like flowers. They need to be nourished constantly to bring joy and fulfillment. You have to use words, the most effective tool you have. You need to openly communicate constantly.

Send e-mails, tape messages, CD and indigenous gifts from home Do all to learn more about each other and bridge the distance between you by sharing lots of ideas. Make every event count, be honest and realistic. Be yourself but appreciate the difficulties and the possibility that like any other relationship may fail.

Watch out for warning signs. Sometimes a lover may no longer be interested in a relationship but may just play along.

He calls less often and his answers are short and lack romance. He may even reduce or cut his remittances. He starts finding excuses and may criticise or accuse you unjustifiably. If you do see the relationship going apart say it and demand honest answers.

Are you in a long distance relationship?
It is uncertain if a long distance relationship is worse than couples in physically close relationships. Research shows that long distance relationships have no greater risks of breaking apart than other relationships. Unfortunately, we tend to remember those that fail more than those that work. Many have worked very well.

It is also known that when long distance relationships fail, women generally blame it on difficulties within the relationship while men blame it on difficulties outside it like too much time apart. At the same time, both men and women tend to believe that a long distance relationship would work better if lovers had spent time together physically.

Long distance relationships are not easy but neither are other forms of relationships. True love is not about distance but about mutual respect, commitment and unconditional love. Distance will not last forever. Don’t focus on your loveliness. Be strong and keep busy.

All relationships have their ups and downs. With determination and a positive mental attitude, you can make your long distance relationship work. After darkness, there can only be light. One day and sooner than you think, ‘dade anoma’ will reunite you for golden days ahead.

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