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My name is Ike. I am a writer. I drink way too much herbal tea and believe in the power of kindness, love and a good book.

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Long Distance Relationships: Flat tires and Black cats

A Long distance relationship (LDR) is no one’s dream come true. No little girl dreams of becoming a princess in a long distance relationship in a kingdom far, far away! LDRs have no place in a fairytale plot.

LDRs also aren’t the ideal material for any chic-flick or romantic comedy, no producer would touch it with a ten-foot pole! I honestly can’ t think of any chic-flick which actually focused on a LDR for a full 1 hour, 32 minutes. Typically in a chick flick, boy meets girl, boy and girl STAY in the same city. Sometimes, they even live in the same apartment complex! Then they fight and eventually, they make up somewhere in the rain (think “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”) because they are in the SAME city. However, life does tend to deal you crazy cards and you have to make the most of the hand you are dealt. In the last post on LDR, we established the “suckiness" of LDR, I was finally able to complain about my noisy neighbors and then proceeded to highlight a couple of LDR benefits, so to speak. 

So, what do we do when dealt the LDR card? Most people throw in the towel before it even starts. This might be because of the high fail rate of LDRs. 40% of all LDRs fail, that’s 2 in 5. This is not to scare you but to help you realize the importance of hard-work, strategy and a continuous improvement plan. Lol, i know i sound hard-core right now, but your relationship is important and deserves all I got.

I personally think many long distance relationships fail because the relationship was neither

duly assessed before beginning an LDR journey,nor set for a final destination

So quick analogy, imagine your relationship is a car. Mentally choose a favorite car depending on your honest perception of your relationship. If it’s a Toyota Prius, then let it be a Toyota Prius. If it’s a 2015 CLS Merc, then you shouldn’t be here. Lol. I’m kidding, but you are obliged to leave the secret of your success in the comments below. 

For us, we were like a 2008 BMW 3-series with a couple of scratches and panel-beaten dents but sturdy still. Before the LDR commenced, we had decided the destination of our BM was marriage. 

Now I’m not saying if your relationship is not slotted for a spot at the altar, then it’s doomed. We had to have the “destination conversation” first before we decided. Most people don’t know where their relationship vehicle is going, and that's OK! However, what's important is knowing the state of the car and setting a destination, however transient. This can only be done when both parties honestly evaluate the relationship and its chances of survival together. A destination doesn't have to be marriage, it could be “Let’s take it one day at a time but I will be here next year” or it could be “Let’s work our hardest at staying together”. Whichever one it is, it's a great idea to let your partner know your frank thoughts to be able to put a great LDR management plan in effect. Hard-core again. *Grin*

During out LDR, there were a lot of pit-stops and refueling, we had to visit as much as we could afford, to keep the engine running. We also had flat tires and got stranded on the side of the road sometimes!!! The flat-tire situations are a form of communication stagnancy. Heads up, it just happens unexpectedly, like a flat. Communication is flat and dragging, might sound a little like this: 

You

: Hey, how was your day?

BF/GF

: Good, yours?

You

: Good.

Silence.

Crickets

. Silence. 

Don’t freak out like I did. Just alert your partner, in a non-accusing, calm manner. Straight and simple, "Hey Hun, our conversations are a little monotonous. What do you think?"

No point patching it up or trying to make excuses. There's a time for making excuses, like if your partner has intense responsibilities at the time, e,g exams. When you have a flat, speaking up saves a great deal of time, then, as a team, you figure out how to fix the communication flat. There's always something to talk about. Your new TV addiction. Game of thrones (did anyone watch the last episode! That realm is crazy,yo!). A new acquaintance. What you did all day. Even the neighbor’s crazy black cat that jumps on you every time you come home (that cat was a pain, I was certain it had a book on how to creep me out).    

By now you should know the kind of car you are. Be realistic with the dents and scratches too (gives your relationship character) . If the car isn't as great as you'd like it to be, the great thing is that you can actually have it traded in for a better one! I'm beginning to sound so American right now. LOL. I had to resist saying the word "gas" in place of "accelerator". So back to trading it in... You can. How? First by telling your partner your perception of your relationship in car terms….…you can imagine that would only work if he/she has read this post so send it to him/her! Once you both come to an understanding of the true state of the relationship, then you can recreate your relationship by working on the areas that need work. 

What kind of car is your relationship?

What's the destination on your GPS? 

Are you content with the state of things?

Remember to service your car! 

Remember fix your flats!

Remember that dents and scratches aren't a bad thing! They show strength, character and resilience. 

If you are in a LDR or have been in one, please leave a comment below! 

Photos: Favim.com, iamgarcade.com

My Marvelous Eight. For Tosin Famakinwa (nee Phillips)

Out with the aged skivvies!