Long distance relationships can be challenging. But I am convinced that if the two people are willing to go the extra mile, it can work. And I’m also convinced that sometimes having a long distance relationship is a good thing and probably God’s will for the time being.
My partner and I met online in 2011. He found my personal ad and responded at first by an e-mail. Initially I kept him at bay and talked solely on the internet through instant messages. My success rate with the people I met online was quite poor so I was hesitant to let him in any further. But in a very short time of communication, I began to notice major differences with him. He was genuine, honest, and open on every level of his life. He wasn’t controlling, demeaning, demanding, or abrasive on any level. He wasn’t angry, bitter, or self-piteous with the world. And he was really interested in me just as I was and not for who he wanted me to be. In other words, he was happy with me just being myself. So I took the next step and began talking face to face on Skype. And then eventually, after several months, we met and spent a few weeks together getting to know one another in person. And that’s when the real challenges began.
At first I asked myself how was this really going to work. I asked myself how often could I really get together in person. I asked myself if talking everyday would really be enough when we weren’t together. I even asked myself how long would I be able to have a long distance relationship before I would want one of us to move in with the other. And what I found is that by placing God first in my life, all of these questions would answer themselves on their own.
I know my partner and I ask God to be at the center of our relationship. I personally don’t believe any relationship can sustain longevity without that. It seems that things just happen as they are supposed to now with us. There’s not a day that goes by where we don’t talk through texting, instant messages, phone calls, or Skype and we make it a point to see each other every 30 to 40 days or so. We split the cost of the travel expenses and we both continue to work on our spiritual growth while we spend time apart.
It will soon be one year that we’ll have been together and although we currently live more than several hundred miles away, our relationship continues to grow closer every single day. I’ve had several previous attempts at long distance relationships. One where the other person lived far enough away that I could only see him on weekends and another that actually lived oversees where I only got to see him a few times during the year. Both of them failed. Neither of them had myself nor my partner asking God to guide the relationship. Instead, self-will and selfishness guided them.
Many gay relationships, especially long distance ones, are not monogamous. I’m sure there are many reasons why people in them allow that to happen. In my case, my partner and I are completely monogamous. Having God at the center of our lives, we are convinced that God wants us to share our love here on Earth with only each other, even while we are apart for so many weeks. Ironically, we find our love grows for each other while we are apart. And, in all honesty, I practice celibacy on all levels during those times as I have found this enhances my love for him even more.
It’s one of my deepest beliefs now that true love can overcome any challenge that may arise. In my case, it’s the mileage that’s the main obstacle. With modern technology, saving money, dedication to the relationship whether we are together or apart, and asking God to guide us every single day, we continue to find our love growing stronger.
On some level, at least for the present moments in my life, I think God wants me to be in a long distance relationship. In every one of my former relationships, I had the feeling that I couldn’t exist without them and they couldn’t exist without me. Life was so depressing when I wasn’t with them . Today I know that’s not real unconditional love. That’s codependent toxicity. It’s possible that if my partner had been in the same region as me, I might have fallen right back into one of those same relationships all over again. Instead I’ve been forced to work on me when we’re not together. I’ve learn how to have a relationship with myself. Most importantly, I’ve learned how to love being with just me.
People say that God always knows what’s best for each of us. Well I am finding that to be true with my current relationship. I love my partner deeply and I love myself just the same. I enjoy my time apart as much as I enjoy my time with him. At some point I’m sure we will be living together. Until that time happens, I know that as long as we both continue to put God first and as long as we both are willing to go that extra mile each and every day, that we’ll be able to continue to sustain whatever hurdles that are put in front of us.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson