Will Our Long-Distance Relationship Survive?


Can God keep you together although you're apart? Tim Stafford offers realistic advice about long-distance relationships.

Q. I recently went on a missions trip with hundreds of other Christian kids. During the trip, I met a wonderful guy. He was a very committed Christian, and we really hit it off. We feel like we're in love. But we have a problem: He lives in North Carolina and I live in Indiana. We never see each other. I thought my feelings might fade when I got back home, but I find myself thinking more and more about him every day. And he said the same about me. When we were together, God was very much a part of our relationship. We did devotions together and prayed almost every day. Can this relationship work? Should we pursue a romance or just a friendship? Can God keep us together even though we're apart?

A. When you're hundreds of miles away from someone you care about, the difference between a friendship and a romance is all about feelings. You miss a long-distance friend, but you really miss a long-distance love. That's why nobody in their right mind would want to fall in love with somebody who lives half a country away. It's extremely inconvenient.

(I know; I lived 2,000 miles away from my wife before we were married.) You're bound to feel frustrated. Nevertheless, it happens. You have these feelings for each other, and you have to decide what to do with them.

You might as well be realistic. You said you expected your feelings to fade away once you two were apart. You know that without the chance to see each other on a regular basis, those intense feelings die out. Somebody else comes along and makes you forget the guy who's miles away from you.

Although that hasn't happened yet, it still may. Yes, God can keep you together if he wants to, despite the distance. But that's his job, not yours. You're wise to just enjoy the relationship a day at a time, keep it going for as long as you like, and let it dwindle away if your feelings change.

In the meantime, you have a friend you like and admire. That's a precious gift. Try not to attach too many strings to the relationship. You don't need to vow that you won't look at anybody else, or try to decide now whether God has meant you to be together forever.

Instead, strengthen the bond you do have. Write each other. Share your lives with each other. Pray for each other. Make the most of this friendship with someone you care for deeply. And let the future take care of itself.

Written by Tim Stafford


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