Couple Q&A: From Long Distance to Comparison
Last week, as I had been getting some questions about my relationship with my fiancee, Johnny, I put out a question on Instagram to inspire a Q&A blog post about our relationship that I hope is helpful to someone out there. Maybe you’re in the thick of a long distance relationship you believe to be right, and need some encouragement. Or maybe you’ve been feeling that your relationship is not one you see as resulting in marriage, and you don’t want to be in it anymore.
Johnny and I are in no way experts on these things, but we do have 21 months of long distance, an almost break-up, and lots of prayer under our belts. We both also have theological educations, and hearts for Jesus-centered relationships, which we believe to be the most thriving and purposeful.
That said, let’s dive into the questions!
How did you wait for the right person?
Cassie: Personally, “waiting” for a relationship has never been a struggle. If anything, I’ve always been quite independent and confident, never feeling like I needed a man to complete me, or to be in a relationship. If there was ever a person in my life that I was interested in or that I hoped would pursue me, that was different, but I’ve always known that relationships are only good in any way if you’re in love with the person you’re in a relationship with. “Any old relationship” is not only cheap, it’s unfair, selfish, and pointless.
That said, if you are someone who struggles with feeling like you might be happier in a relationship, remember that being single is far better than being with the WRONG person. My answer to this question is that, before I met Johnny, my person, I wasn’t “waiting” at all, or seeking a relationship. And, when Johnny met me, he had just been reflecting on the fact that he might be happiest if he were single all his life. God truly had other plans, and made those clear.
If you feel like you’re in a waiting period, seek God, the only eternal and perfect lover, as your ultimate satisfaction. Even as I’m preparing to marry Johnny, he will always be my SECOND love, with Jesus being the only one who can truly and perfectly fulfill me. Consider praying, without your own interest, for your future husband/wife, that he/she also would be rooted in Jesus as his/her first love.
Have you ever received negative comments about your relationship? How do you deal with it?
Johnny: I don’t think I’ve ever received negative comments about Cass and I, but there have been comments out of concern and care for us.
If someone is voicing concerns to you, it is important to listen to and consider any and all concerns and pray about them. Consider who the person is that is speaking these things, too. Have they proven trustworthy prior to your relationship? Who are they, and are they gossipy/spiteful, or people you hold with high regard and respect?
Cassie: Ultimately give these concerns to God in prayer, and ask Him to reveal any truth to them if it is unclear to you of the motive behind the comments. Relationships can be blinding, and it is important to hear outside opinions and respect them. But if you are truly and wholly aware of the fact that your relationship is sound and healthy, and someone is simply being rude about it, talk to people you do trust about those comments, and stand firm in the assurance you have in the health of your relationship.
How did you survive long distance?
Johnny: We supported each other’s differing passions, hobbies, and callings. We focused so much on communication with each other, trust in each other and establishing trust, and finding cool and unique, Christ-like ways to love each other and show each other love.
Cassie: One of these crucial things for us has been letter-writing. Taking time out of our days to sit and write, and putting the effort in to mailing these letters, has been one of the most tangible ways we’ve shown each other love.
Ultimately, without being able to trust each other’s faithfulness to Jesus, and His work in each of us, long distance would have been much harder. But we both very vehemently believed from the beginning that, if we were part of God’s plan for each other, distance should not stand in the way… and because of God, and simply, our selfless love for EACH OTHER, we’ve almost kicked it in the butt.
How do you avoid jealousy of other relationships?
Cassie: If “social media” jealousy is the issue, remember that SOCIAL MEDIA IS A FACADE. The same way that photos, bodies, and captions are touched up and altered and simply not real life (the real life is the person behind the screen monotonously scrolling, posting, adjusting), many people use social media as a means of affirming themselves, and feeling better about aspects of their lives that they aren’t actually very happy with. Remember these things, and resolve to be happy for others, and work to genuinely hope the best for them.
Johnny: However, if you see or hear about something in another relationship, such as focus on prayer, couple devotions, humour, date nights, etc. that is a positive thing lacking in your relationship, talk to your partner about these things being important to you. If that sort of communication is not done in a healthy way between you and your significant other, this may be a red flag.