Long-distance relationships

I had a bad experience with a friend in high school. We were close. We were really close. Then, I got hurt by this friend and I cried, and my blood boiled and I stopped talking to them. Then, I started talking ABOUT them. Finally, I couldn’t bear to hear their name mentioned. This friend has since reached out to me, and I’ve ignored those attempts. I rationalize it, because, I don’t want to be hurt again.

When people are close, and in one accord, they turn their toes toward each other, closing that gap. Those in agreement incline their heads toward one another and, when in an intimate conversation, hunch their shoulders in the others’ direction. These are immediacy cues.

Have you ever noticed that when people fight, they often turn their backs on one another and create a larger gap of space between them. The greatest distance between two people is the space created by lack of Grace.

I make close relationships long-distance relationships when I fail to extend that Grace. I damage intimacy with friends and family when I begin to avoid them in order to (as I justify it) “keep the peace.” When I make biting remarks behind their backs, I lengthen the distance. When I turn up my nose at the thought of spending time with them, I expand the gap.

for he said, “The Lord watch between you and me, when we are out of one another’s sight. – Genesis 31:49


Putting too much distance between ourselves and others can make us lose sight of why God created us to be relational beings in the first place. I am convicted about the way I’ve shut down my friend’s attempts to reconcile. I’ve chosen NOT to forgive, not to repair and now, I’m choosing NOT to be in harmony.

Long-distance relationships rarely work out. It starts looking greener in pastures closer to home. It begins to be easier to live without that person in our lives. We start to sink them lower and lower on the priority list, or kick them off altogether.

We’re called to walk with one another and with God. Are you in an emotional long-distance relationship with others? Have you put distance between yourself and God?


15 responses to “Long-distance relationships

  1. This was hard for me to read because it’s really convicting, Kristin. I know that for me and my hubby, it is really easy to let life in general put us at “long distance”. It’s not so much a lack of grace, as much as a big mess in my own life. I get overwhelmed with my 0wn problems and fail to look outside of them. I get too focused on me, and forget that there is someone else in the picture. I do this with others too, assuming they’ll understand and say, “Oh, she’s just busy.” Well, sooner or later, I have to get unbusy and take a moment to let others know that I love them and be intentional about being with them. Sooner, before a close relationship turns into a long distance one (my least favorite kind!).

    • I think it’s the fear of rejection that Jason talks about in his comment – If I keep reaching out and they don’t want to be close again, maybe there’s something wrong with me? maybe they don’t like me? That’ll keep me from trying, too. 😦

  2. I am the king of long distance relationships. And then I cry myself to sleep in a corner. Then, I’m like that kid that sneaks in and huddles under your arm pit. Ah, love again. So familiar, so good!

  3. I know that feeling of not wanting to be hurt again or fearing any rejection. It sucks to feel it, but it sucks even more to stay there. When we truly see the cost of unforgiveness and bitterness, we can move past it to embrace the ones ‘far away.’ Great post, Kristin.

  4. I’m right in there with the others who’ve commented. If I get hurt, I tend to push the person/people away, and like you, justify it. I’ve got a “friend” who, a little while back, hurt me a lot – and to top it off made so many excuses as to why she did what she did. They weren’t even real reasons, but things she thought she could get away with so as to not hurt my feelings. She found out differently though. And, while I am trying to forgive her and move past it and continue being friends…I know I can’t trust her anymore, and I’ve stopped believing the things she says. Petty, I know, but (and I justify this…) she really hurt me. Oh, I should say, I am civil to her when she’s around, but I don’t go out of my way to be a true friend…

    • I think we do it to protect ourselves, definitely. I don’t want to be hurt over and over again. At the same time, the “turn the other cheek” reminder keeps making me think about reaching back across the divide.

  5. I’m wondering if you randomly selected that picture of the White Stripes or if you are even awesomer than I thought and chose it intentionally.

    “The greatest distance between two people is the space created by lack of Grace.” <—- THIS

    Emotional long-distance relationship? I have no idea what you're talking about…

  6. I build walls and become self-sufficient. It’s no better, really.

  7. I can definitely relate to the toughness of maintaining long-distance relationships – friends and family. I immigrated a few years ago. It is not easy!! Different timezones, work schedules…it definitely requires a lot of work…and is not always easy – there are times when you don’t want to talk, and times when all you want to do is chat to someone who truly knows you, and has known you your whole life.
    There have been times in my life when I thought a long-distance relationship with God was fine. How wrong I was!

    • I’ve never been really successful at having satisfying long-distance relationships. I now have two best friends in other states, and it’s really challenging, but I care enough about both of them to try and work it out, even if I sometimes (ok, often) fail.

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