Can long distance relationship work? It looked as if he was going to cry but she steeled her heart. He could cry all he wanted but she was doing this for them; preventing future heartbreak for them.
He honestly couldn’t grasp why she could want this, they were still together, he thought, good for each other. He didn’t think he could live without her.
She loved him but she liked being realistic.
Can long distance relationship work? Something like perfect.
They had met during their NYSC passing-out ceremony.
She liked his charisma and his ambiance, the way he carried himself like a man who knew exactly where he was going in life and was not in a hurry to get there. Maybe that was what influenced his laid-back attitude to life. The way he would do his best which to her was not his best, and leave the rest to God. She liked making things happen and he liked waiting for things to happen.
Having a man like this was not the problem. She had learned to recognize the good in this kind of lifestyle. Alice liked the calm she experienced whenever she was with him. She also liked the way it helped her slow down whenever she thought was going too fast.
She was a bulldozer as he would call her, and she would call him the tortoise in which he would give that signature lazy smirk of his which always seemed to make her gasp for a moment. Did she love this man?
However his laid-back disposition towards life, one thing she loved about him was the fact that whenever he needed a push, he knew it and was willing to accept it.
Can long-distance relationship work? Bench warmers and bench lifters
He lived alone in a small two-bedroom flat which he had been living in when he came to her state for NYSC. He depended on his Corper’s allowance and funny enough, lived according to it. His parents were another source of income and this very thing did not sit well with her. She found it odd that in his mid-twenties, his parents were still sending money to him and he was content to receive it.
A few months after they met and started dating, she was not happy with the fact that he would go for job interviews and wait for them to call him. She wanted him to be proactive, to go out and hustle, and maybe just maybe, start a small business to keep body and soul together.
She was quick to realize that he was not the business type of person. His interest aligned with the corporate world. He studied business management and his job required that he got an M.Sc before he could be employed profitably. She tried to make him see the reasons why he might not the get job that he desired. He refused to see reasons at first but later agreed.
A better life
She explicitly outlined a plan which she thought would be perfect to help him get to that next step of his career.
He patiently listened and kept bobbing his head in agreement with her.
Alice made him understand that this was a possible plan but it needed his input, she promised to contribute to his dreams if necessary. The condition for her help would involve that he stopped waiting for a white-collar job and he settles for the one he can get while he uses the money he earns to create opportunities for himself.
It was hard for him at first, having to let go of his desire to work in a company. She made him understand he was not abandoning his dreams, he was simply working on them so he could achieve them faster.
To this, he agreed eagerly and thanked her in ways that she liked.
Alice was ecstatic to find out her boyfriend graduated with a first-class. Graduating with a first-class had been cumbersome, her indiscipline plus inconsistency was unrivaled, something her boyfriend had achieved easily. She could see why he had first class. He was easily the most consistent person that she had ever known.
She set her plans for him running when he excitedly informed her that he had gotten a job worth eighty thousand naira in a bank as a teller.
Can long-distance relationship work? Steady and moving.
With his first salary, she booked him an appointment with a consultant who specialized in abroad travel. They met with the woman who outlined to them all her boyfriend needs to do to successfully relocate abroad, and all the job and study opportunities available to him. She thanked her stars her boyfriend graduated in a first-class, this certainly made things easier.
His second salary facilitated his passport, she took care of him with her money for which he was grateful and accepted and promised never to forget.
It was beautiful seeing him move closer to his dreams with each step.
She made him start applying for a Master’s scholarship, some of which fell through, some that produced results she did not like and she felt better was to come. She encountered a Master’s scholarship from Harvard which was a perfect fit for his course of study and Alice made her boyfriend apply for it.
Alice also helped him apply for jobs in USA that he could run along with his masters.
Can long distance relationship work? A dream come true.
A little after six months, her boyfriend was offered a scholarship full ride to the US and a job at the same time. The night she got the news she was happy and cried, her efforts had paid off.
He applied for a Visa which was granted to him upon seeing his scholarship offer. With her help and the help of his parents, they were able to complete the money for the ticket.
He was set to go in a month. She dreaded this conversation but finally, she found her voice a week before his departure.
She suggested they break up.
He looked at her like she had grown two horns. He laughed till his sides hurt him and told her to stop joking.
She was not deterred. She liked that he was laughing, he had been nervous for while now.
Alice reaffirmed her statement and he refused to agree with her. He told her in plain terms that he was not going to break up with her.
Trust her to give reasons behind every action, he looked at the woman he had come to love and appreciate. He wondered how they got here. She was realistic and he loved that, well he certainly did not love that now.
One thousand smart reasons
“Baby, I want us to break up for these reasons.
The first thing is that I don’t do long-distance relationships. It will be difficult for us to maintain communication and I would not like to demand your attention when you are busy. You are also going to be busy. You are going to be juggling masters which I know is stressful in itself and also a job. Do you want to add me to the mix too? No, I don’t think so because I need you to concentrate. The best option is that we break up so you can concentrate and give your best”.
Damn her and her smart mind, she was right, he had been thinking of this too. He loved her but he wanted to make it work. He could not imagine any other woman for him, he trusted her with his life and his dreams. Suddenly he was filled with dread, how was he going to survive without her. The prospect of going abroad without her looked like he was walking into a den of lions.
“I don’t want to travel again, Alice. Please let me just stay with you, He pleaded.
“Are you mad”, she wanted to laugh but she knew him well enough to know he was not joking.
“No, I want to stay in Nigeria, I don’t want to go without you”.
“You will travel out and achieve your dreams”, she snapped.
He felt anger building inside of him, “you have been controlling me since I met you. I will not allow you to control me again. Is it because of me going abroad you want to break up with me? If it is because of that, I am not going again, I am sorry.
She felt hurt that he thought she was controlling him.
The girl you will never forget
She had always prided herself in being a capable girlfriend. Her desire for a better life was remarkable. That was what drove her into selling clothes from room to room while she was still in school and going on to establish her boutique and clothing line. It helped that her parents had instilled in her a sense of responsibility and independence at a young age. She didn’t like being a liability. She liked supporting whosever she called her own moreso her boyfriend.
Having dated a few times, she had always supported her boyfriends. This one before her was of no difference.
She loved him and was willing to support him seeing that he appreciated her efforts. Even though she had resigned herself to the fact that they might not end up together, she desired to support him because outsides the fact he was her lover, she genuinely knew he was a good man.
Better we say our byes
Alice did not like nursing hopes that might not materialize. It was why she suggested they break up, so it won’t be a case of him abandoning her.
There was no strength in her to say anything. She stood up and left.
A day after, he went to visit her and apologized for what he said. To him, he loved the way she took charge of his life and gave him direction. She forgave him, he insisted he was not going to break up with her. He wanted to try it, she was skeptical but agreed just to make sure he would travel as planned.
They spent the remainder of the week in each other’s arms, making promises that might not materialize.
The day came for his departure and farewells were exchanged amidst anxious hearts, teary faces, wet kisses, and runny noses.
We can’t do this no more
He arrived successfully and tried settling in as fast as possible.
She was not sure how the long-distance thingy would work but she got used to it.
After three months, communication started to wane and in six months their relationship had packed up without the proper byes.
A month later, sitting on her bed and reminiscing. She smiled wryly, she knew it wasn’t going to work.
She was glad however that he tried to maintain communication. Alice was satisfied that she made an impact in his life and that to her, was all that mattered.
Well, life goes on.
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