Opinions are like noses, everyone has one. You may have heard this saying before, or a similar version of it. If you’re in a relationship, especially a long distance relationship (LDR), you know all too well the opinions of what your friends and family think of it. Even though we now live in age where access to information, entertainment, and face-to-face communication is literally at our finger tips, many people still find long distance relationships bizarre, and frankly not a ‘real’ relationship.
My boyfriend and I were recently at a gym signing up for their free week promo. As we were touring the gym with a supervisor, we shared that we were long distance and I was visiting. He didn’t say anything, but he looked at us like we told him we wrangle wild unicorns for a living. When people do actually have the audacity to speak up, they often ask questions like, “How do you make a long distance relationship work?” “How can you REALLY get to know someone so far away?” “How can you trust them?” “What if you both meet other people locally?” etc… Being asked such loaded questions can be draining and make you feel like not enough of your friends are really in your corner rooting you.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned that not every question that’s asked about my relationship is locked and loaded with a hidden agenda. And not every opinion shared simply needs to be dismissed. I have several close friends and family who really encourage me about the future. Alex and I are blessed to have a Christian couple in their 30’s, who were once long distance, and are now married with children mentor us. However, I’ve learned to exercise wisdom before I allow anyone to speak into my relationship and have some influence in it.
I think it’s really important to analyze WHY someone may be telling you an opinion they may have about your relationship or significant other. Do you believe their motives pure? Sometimes people share an opinion because they are coming from a place of loving concern and other times it can be because of jealousy or anger or whatever else. Do you believe they have your best interest at heart?
How to Get Support
Tell your friends and family your relationship plans
Sometimes family and friends may not be supportive of the relationship because they simply just don’t know your significant other. Share about the other person and what you see in them. Share the future plans you and your significant other have for the relationship. Let them meet him/her. If it can’t be done in person, then over the phone or FaceTime. The first time Alex came to visit me in LA we weren’t officially in a relationship yet. I still introduced him to my family because I knew it would be a while before they saw him again and I knew we were moving towards dating with purpose. Introducing your partner to people your close to may not wipe away all of their doubts but it will give them a better sense of who he/she is.
Seek online support
Being in a long distance relationship that’s not heavily supported by friends and family can feel lonesome. I knew a few acquaintances who dated long distance but none of my close friends or family. But there are tons of long distance relationships out there and communities of couples who are rallying around each other to support one another. Read encouraging blogs about LDR’s. Click here and join online community of folks in LDR’s and believe in them.
My friends or Family don’t like my significant Other
Now this situation is very difficult. But before you decide it’s going to be you and your partner against the world, you should find out why and listen to why your close friends and family may not like him/her. Sometimes your close friend can see or pick up on something you may be overlooking. Issues and concerns regarding character flaws should be taken seriously. I would suggest praying about it and asking God to reveal to you any truth that may be in their concerns. On the other hand, close friends can also bring up things that are petty or simply based on what THEY prefer. Those things should be dismissed!
Remember keep believing and stay encouraged! Long distance is not for the faint at heart.