What Wikipedia (or Google) Never Told You about Long Distance Relationships
Not all LDRs are equal. So when I read cute stories about how partner #1 surprises partner #2 and they end up falling asleep on [insert video conferencing software of choice] together, this just isn’t the reality for those of us in North to South LDRs. Why you ask?
Unlimited Data is a Dream Not Reality
For those of us in the Global South countries, data is expensive, slow, and/or hard to come by. So all that fluffy romantic talk of falling asleep on the phone with our significant other is just untouched territory. Try it and personally tell me when you last spoke with your significant other using data. LOL.
Remedy: Message each other through out as much mutual awake time as possible and try to call each other at least a couple times during the week.
Cheap Long Distance Calling is Not Always an Option
So because we don’t want to finish our baby’s data, we call them using, say, Rebtel (Love you Rebtel! LOL). And while Rebtel is an amazing in-phone solution to calling your Global South honey, your honey may not be able to return the lovey-dovey-surprise calls. For one, Rebtel may not exist in their country (which is synonymous to Play Store or App Store at this point). So your honey calls from the Global South, they may not be able to speak to you as long as they would like.
Remedy: Be grateful when and if they do call! Since this is your honey, suggest calling him or her back immediately. When you go and visit them, you can gift them a long distance calling card for one. Lastly, alternate between data usage and phone service.
You Cannot Visit Each Other as Frequently as You Would Like
This is difficult. Maybe they live 12 or more hours away by flight. Flights are expensive! And having a job, school, getting a visa or other duties may also prevent you from being able to take just a 3-day weekend to visit le boo. This can be very difficult, which is why talking/hearing/seeing your babe as much as possible is necessary. Initially, my Global South boyfriend and I did not adapt good communication skills when he initially left, which was really frustrating for me because I connect through voice and visual. Two visits and a year later, we try talk daily, if even for 1 minute.
Remedy: Talk and/or see each other as much as possible. If your partner has friends and/or family that you were cool with before he or she left, it might be helpful to call or be around them. Also, having great friends and/or family support can not go understated. They can honestly be the best people to be around to keep you out of your own head and have you thinking about other things.
Trust Like There’s No Tomorrow
You have to have strong will and unrelenting trust in your partner and in yourself. There will be soooooo many people who don’t think your LDR will work; who think said partner is cheating; the list is endless. Ultimately, these are all just opinions, not facts.
Remedy: Understand that temporary feelings come and go, they are not permanent. But the love you have for your partner is unwielding. You and your partner know your relationship more than anyone else. So make it so that you trust yourself and your partner more than anything else (well, besides your Higher Power), but more than all the negativity and naysayers that may come your way. Thinking the best of any situation is good practice for being happy and worry free.
As you can see, North to South LDRs face completely different challenges when it comes to certain situations. What keeps us going and what will keep you going is a positive attitude and the hope of seeing your loved one soon enough.
Stay positive, Stay Strong.
Long distance couples in the Global North and Global Southnorthtosouthcouples.wordpress.com
IG: DC ✈️ Lagos