Although I have no studies to back this up, just around Valentine’s Day is the dreaded rough season for LDRs: break-ups, break downs, and fears abound as relationships are tested. It’s a phenomenon I’ve noticed as a relationship advice board lurker.
I know it’s scary. But if you both want it, and work towards it, it can last.
Let me say that again: being in an LDR doesn’t give any worse chances of working than a close distance relationship.
And to prove it, I’m going to share a story about a couple who got together well before the advent of technologies which make our modern day LDR’s so much easier to do. This is a story about my grandmother and grandfather.
During World War II, my grandmother, a native Spaniard, and my grandfather, an American, met through mutual friends in Spain. They became friends, then fell in love.
My grandfather, however, had to go back to the US to take care of his ailing father. He went back to Kentucky, and for five years they wrote letters to each other, forced as they were to stay apart.
Yes, you read that correctly. They kept their relationship alive through letters for five years.
When his ailing father passed away, my grandfather made his way back to Spain. He showed up on my grandmother’s doorstep.
“I’m here to marry you,” he said.
“You had better ask me first,” she replied.
Back at this time, Spain was under a dictatorship which required everyone to be Catholic. And only Catholics could get married. This wasn’t a problem for my grandmother, who of course had been baptized Catholic (no one had a choice back then), but my grandfather wasn’t. The decision was made to go to the Rock of Gibraltar and marry.
There was a huge problem with this: Gibraltar was English land under contention by Spain, who claimed it as their own. As such, Spaniards weren’t allowed to travel there.
My grandmother hid in a trunk, and snuck onto the ferry and through the border patrol while safely ensconced inside. They got married, and thinking it safe, travelled back the same way they came, without the trunk. The man who stopped them at Spain’s border asked my grandmother how she got there.
She pretended to not understand what he was talking about, and slipped past customs yet again.
They eventually moved to the US, and had my mother.
If there’s something we can all take from this, it’s that a couple can endure any of life’s difficulties with the right balance of fortitude, courage, and love.
If those two crazy kids could do it, then so can you.
Marisol Dunham has been a freelance writer since 2007, and now lives with her once long-distance boyfriend in Australia. An American wandering the bush, she writes about her life and writing ventures on her blog at http://www.madunham.com/. You can find her on Twitter at @maridunham.