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How to survive a LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP


In episode 040 of the Naked Proverbs podcast, Rich and Nik Scott share tips on how to make long distance relationships work.



Nik:

Welcome back to the Naked Proverbs podcast where we unclothe the truth about Black love family and marriage. My name is Nik Scott, one of your hosts, and I'm here with my husband.

Rich:

What's going on it's your boy Rich, and today we're going to talk about long distance relationships.

Nik:

Right at the start of every episode, we always remind our listeners that we are not trained, licensed, or professional therapists or counselors. While a lot of what you hear on our podcast might make you feel like you are in a therapy session, we want you to remember that Naked Proverbs is our platform to share our experience, our advice, our stories and our opinions. If you haven't already, make sure that you're following the Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you listen to your podcasts on. And if you like what you hear, stop by Apple Podcasts and show us your love and support by leaving us a five-star review.

Rich:

As always, we want to take a moment and say thank you to our listeners. We truly appreciate you tuning in week after week. And we'd like to give a special thank you to all of those that choose to tune in on Sunday evenings at 8pm eastern to our Talkback Live. Just in case you didn't catch that each Sunday evening at 8pm eastern, we have a Talkback Live. Feel free to come on over and hang out with us on our Facebook page.

Nik:

You can get all of the information about our Talkback Live and any information that you want to get about Naked Proverbs on our website at www.nakedproverbs.com

Rich:

She said that really, really fast. That was almost like one of those infomercials where they don't want you to know that it's some, some crookedness in there so the be like

Nik:

That was the fine print.

Rich:

That's what you said.

Nik:

www.nakedproverbs.com

Rich:

It is the end of May. And the end of May brings a lot of beautiful things such as green trees and grass and flowers, but it also brings graduation. And this year it's really important to me because my first child, my firstborn, my little baby is graduating from high school.

Nik:

I cannot believe that I am old enough to have a whole high school graduate. Like a whole high school graduate. When did this happen? How did it happen?

Rich:

Well, 18 years ago, you and I was...Eighteen? It was a little long that. We were getting it in, right?

Nik:

Uh huh.

Rich:

And then you got pregnant. And then a baby came out. Do you need me to go deeper into this.

Nik:

No, that's not really what I meant. It was kind of a rhetorical question. Because it went by so fast. And I just want to give a huge shout out and salute to all of the 2020 graduates. My brother also graduated this year from an HBCU.

Rich:

Congratulations.

Nik:

Congratulations. He is now an official Rattler of the Florida

Rich:

Florida State. No. It's Florida A&M.

Nik:

Yeah, Florida A&M, FAMU.

Rich:

I'm sorry. I was like Florida State A&M, but it's Florida A&M. Yeah, you're right. My fault. My fault fam. You know,

Nik:

FAMU.

Rich:

I'm old man.

Nik:

Yeah. And then all of our daughter's friends are graduating. Like, it's amazing to see what type of young men and women these children have grown up to be.

Rich:

That's the part that's so interesting to me, is, you know, up until now, we've gone to graduations of friends and family and it's great because you're able to congratulate these people, but you weren't there every step of the way with them, right? Even those people that are really close to us. We've been a part of their lives but there's nothing like watching your own child reach this, this milestone because, you know the struggles they faced, you know the mountains they've had to climb, you know, because you were personally there for every single one of those. So, this is just super exciting. So once again to all our 2020 grads, congratulations.

You're listening to the Naked Proverbs podcast with Rich and Nik Scott. If you like what you're hearing, show your support by becoming a patron. All of our patrons receive exclusive benefits like behind the scenes content, access to bonus audio, and Naked Proverbs merchandise. To learn more and to become a patron visit the Naked Proverbs Patreon page at www.patreon.com/nakedproberbs

Rich:

Long distance relationships. Do they really work?

Nik:

Yes. They can.

Rich:

How do you know?

Nik:

They can. We started off as a long distance relationship.

Rich:

That is true.

Nik:

I mean, we met in person, if you want to know the story about how we met, you can go all the way back to the very first podcast episode. But we met in person.

Rich:

Yes, we did. That's true.

Nik:

But we ultimately ended up having our relationship long distance.

Rich:

Our initial relationship was definitely long distance. I mean, you were in Atlanta, and I was in New York, that's pretty long distance.

Nik:

That's long distance.

Rich:

Yeah. Yeah. Knowing from our own personal story, our own personal experience, that long distance relationships can evolve into something more that they can last and have all that we've created. You know, what are some of the things that you know, I guess we would share with people that are in a long distance relationship currently?

Nik:

Well, the first thing that I would say right off the top of my head is I remember your mom being livid about us running up her calling card.

Rich:

Oh my gosh, I forgot about that.

Nik:

She was hot, right? Because back then we had to pay for long distance. There were no cell phones. There was no internet and things like that. But we made sure that we were in constant communication

Rich:

Oh, constant. Like literally every single day, falling asleep on the phone.

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

Like, just listening to each other breathe.

Nik:

Uh huh.

Rich:

Like I remember...oh, I forgot because what happened was, you know, because we know the story. So, we're sitting here laughing and enjoying it. And y'all are like, what, what's so funny? You ran up a calling card.

Rich:

What happened was back in the day, you know, there were no cell phones like we have today. There was no internet like we have today. So, you had your house phone. And instead of just you know, will you accept a collect call from Richard Jr.? It was my parents set up a pin, because I was in New York and they were in Kansas. And so, they set up a pin on their phone, so that it just automatically allowed me to make long distance phone calls to them. But you know, at first, I only uses it to call them and I would by calling cards, Nik would by calling cards, we would, you know, communicate as much as possible. But I'm gonna tell you now, we could run through a calling card in one night. And I ain't talking about no 15 minute calling card. We could, hour-long calling card. wasn't good enough.

Rich:

So, when I found out that this pin worked for more than just calling my parents and there was no limit, like you could just call.

Nik:

There was a limit.

Rich:

Oh, there was a limit. I just didn't realize there was a limit. So, I remember my mom called me and she was like, boy, yo daddy is gonna kill you. And I'm like for what? I ain't done nothing. I'm grown. What?

Rich:

She was like that pin you and yo girl then ran up a call, this card, like it was hundreds of dollars

Nik:

It was like $500.

Rich:

And back then that's a lot of money. Right? And so, we had to pay off that card, and we didn't get to use it anymore. I don't think.

Nik:

Well, that, well we said all of that to say how important communication is when you are in a long distance relationship. Because if you're not communicating with each other, how are you connecting? And fortunately for couples in 2020 there are no restrictions on long distance. So, you have the flexibility to text each other, to email each other, each other FaceTime each other

Rich:

Yes, you have options.

Nik:

Yeah. So, there's a lot of ways for you to connect and communicate and that's, that to me, is huge. If you are in a long distance relationship, and you are not in constant communication, now I don't mean stalker-like. Like, don't be a stalker, and, and harass the person because you want to know their every move. We've, we've talked about this before, so I'm not gonna get into it, but you don't need to know their every move. But having those opportunities to connect and talk and, and debrief about each other's day and, and things like that. I think it's very important,

Rich:

Yeah, it's important. And then you know what I would also say it's important, you have to be transparent. Because this is a time when you're building trust in your relationship. So, what I mean by that is, if you're going out with your girls, you're going out with your boys, you don't have to be like, oh, I'm going to bed, like, be real. Be like, you know what, hey, I'm about to go hang out with my friends. You know, I'll get with you when I get back. I mean, you don't have to stop living a normal life, because you're in a long distance relationship. So, it's important to be transparent with your partner and be honest about what's going on, you know, even if there's some uphill battles you're facing, just because someone can't be there physically for you, doesn't mean they can't be there for you.

Nik:

That's a great point. Can I add on to that? This long distance, relationship time if this is something that you and your partner ultimately want it to grow into something where you're physically in the same place, into a marriage or whatever that looks like, then this is the time where trust is either going to be built and established or it can be broken. So, if you are saying, I'm going to bed and then your partner looks on Instagram stories or whatever, and sees that you haven't been honest about that, that can be damaging to your relationship. It's already delicate, because you're already putting your faith into someone who's not here. Right? So, doing those small things that you can to establish and build trust, like being honest and being transparent and doing the things that you said you were going to do is also important.

Rich:

And something else I think that's important is being creative. Because it's easy to get stuck in this woe is me, my partner is not here with me so we can't have a date, or we can't kiss, or we can't be physical. We can't have a normal relationship. But the truth is, is that if you choose to be creative, and I think that right now the whole world been locked down, you know, for the last few weeks, months, whatever, has really helped a lot of people learn how you can be creative and still have relationships with people that aren't in the same room with you. So, be creative in your relationship.

Rich:

Everything doesn't have to be face to face. You know, you can surprise your partner with roses at work, or you can, I mean, there was a few times that I popped into town, you know, just to visit because I wanted to see Nik, and it was over a long weekend. But you know, be creative in your relationship. Because if you can be creative when you're not together, it will make it even easier to be creative when you are together.

Nik:

I want to emphasize scheduling time or making time to physically see each other because what we're learning in this whole social distancing situation is that nothing can replace physical gatherings. Nothing. you can do all the Zoom, all the FaceTime, all the phone conversations and text, text messages. But if you're not making an effort to physically see that person, there's nothing like that physical connection. And for us, you did. We, we did see each other often, even though we were long distance.

Rich:

Something that I had to understand, because if your goal is to have something more than just a long distance relationship, at some point, it's not going to be just long distance, right? You're going to actually be in the same town, the same city, the same environment together. And I had to quickly realize that when we were in our long distance relationship, when I came to town, it was all about me, right? It was all about me because we're talking 72 hours or less. So, it's easy to put work down. It's easy to put school down, it's easy to put your friends you know kind of in the corner for a little bit. But when you choose to be in the same location together, you have to be realistic and understand that it's not gonna be like that. It's not going to be just the two of y'all curled up on the couch all day, every single day, it's not going to be just the two of you on the phone or, you know, because you both have lives that have to be lived.

Rich:

So, I'm gonna be honest, you know, that was hard for me initially, when I left New York and moved to Indiana, and got to college. I was kind of expecting it to be like it was on those 72 hour getaways, right? Those little weekends where it was all about us. We were just together. We were having a blast, you know, there was no phone call interruptions. There was nothing but the two of us. But when I got to college, it was like, well, I got a meeting I got to go to. Well, I've got you know, this organization I'm a part of, or I've got this that I've got to do. And I'm kind of like, whoa. That ain't how I was supposed to be, like I'm here. And so, that was something I actually had to really grow and mature and understand that our relationship was going to change. If we really wanted to be together, because long distance just allows some freedoms that being together on a regular basis doesn't necessarily allow.

Nik:

That's the other side of a long distance relationship, right? It's, yes, you're long distance. But hopefully the goal is for you all to be physically in one location at some point in your relationship. And the dynamics completely change. I think we could probably dedicate a whole podcast to talking about some of the adjustments and fine tuning that might have to happen with a couple who goes from being a long distance relationship to being physically in the same area with each other.

Nik:

I mean, being physically with somebody, you learn so many things about that person that you would never be able to learn by just having a long distance relationship. You start to learn some of those things that make them tick, some of those things that piss them off, some of those things that, you know, normally if it was a long distance situation, they might have let slide. Because you know, well, they're there and you're here. But when you're physically in a space with somebody you can, you'll start to understand more, how deep or how shallow that relationship is.

Rich:

For us, it was when we got together, it was, hey, let's go eat, let's go hang out. Let's do all those things that people do when they date that we couldn't do physically together. So, it was like, let's do all the things that we you know, like, yes, it's great to talk on the phone or whatever, but now we're together. And so now, when we actually moved to the same location, and those things could happen at any time, it wasn't that we just stopped doing them. But they couldn't be the total priority, right? You can't just stop working. Because the two of you are now living in the same city. You can't stop going to school or taking care of your kids or your family or whatever those other responsibilities are, they don't all of a sudden disappear, because the two of you are now in the same location. Whereas like I said earlier, when it's just for a small weekend or a holiday or two days, it's easy to put those things to the side.

Nik:

Long distance relationships, I think, can actually help to build and grow a relationship. So often couples, they meet each other in one location, and they're constantly together. And then when they do have to be apart, for whatever reason, maybe it's a work thing, or something's happening in somebody else's family and they have to travel. It kind of teaches you how to manage without that person and not saying, you know, well, I can do this by myself, but just knowing how to occupy that time, how to have your own life so that when that person does have to do whatever they have to do away from you, you're not sitting there twiddling your thumbs like okay, or you're not feeling insecure, like where are you going? What are you doing? How can you not sitting here? How come you're not right here with me? So, I do think long distance relationships do help to build some of that security that you need when you're in a physical relationship or proximity, close proximity relationship.

Rich:

When you're in a long distance relationship, you shouldn't stop living your individual lives, right? You shouldn't be living a life as a single person if you are in a committed relationship, but you shouldn't stop living your life. So, you know, for us, we talked, we went all the way back to when we first started dating,

Nik:

Right.

Rich:

But the truth is, we had a long distance relationship when I was deployed. You know, we've had long distance relationships when I was at training, like we've had to still maintain our relationship and a marriage status, not just a dating status. And there were times that, you know, there was a graduation or a party or something that needed representation from our family. And I couldn't be there because I just physically was not able to be there yet, that didn't mean that you couldn't go and represent, right?

Rich:

So, I think a lot of times when people are in long distance relationships, it's like, well, I can't go to the wedding,

Nik:

Right.

Rich:

I can't go to the party. I can't go to this, that or the other because I'm going to be solo, and I don't want to be alone. You're not alone. You're just not able to have your spouse or your partner with you during that time, but that doesn't mean you're alone. And I think that it's important to continue to live, even in a long distance relationship.

Nik:

When we were dating, that was one piece, right? Like, I've said it before, if you're not married, you're single. So, at that point, we were both, in my mind single people, but we wanted more. When you were in the military, and we were going through our long distance relationship. We managed our relationship just a little bit differently, right. Like there were roles that had to be filled in your absence. And sure, you know, going out to an event by myself or whatever. That's one thing, but actually learning how to run this household when you weren't here was one thing that I think having that life outside of, oh my gosh, what are you doing? Where are you going? Knowing how to take care of those things helped to strengthen our relationship, but it also helps to establish some security in knowing you know what? While I'm gone, my wife can handle these things.

Rich:

Right. I think I mentioned a few episodes back, that, you know, my grandfather, is kind of sick. And my grandmother, she was like, I don't pay the bills. I don't know. There were a lot of questions that she didn't have answers to, that she really should have had answers to, or I believe she should have answers to. And sometimes in a long distance relationship you can have a spouse or that partner that are, they're building these strengths that may not be things they use in your marriage, but they're good to have anyway.

Rich:

It's good to know how to hold down the fort, even when your spouse is, is there or not there, because you never know when you're going to have to fill in that gap. So, I think that that's another just strength of a long distance relationship is you have to learn how to hold your own, even though you're in a relationship. Because a lot of times when you are in a relationship, you can kind of fall back on your partner.

Nik:

Yep.

Rich:

And allow them to fill in those gaps of things you don't really like to do or those things you don't really want to do. But, you know, I think that that's just one of those benefits of being in a longest relationship is you still have to hold your own.

Nik:

Thank you so much for tuning in to this week's episode of the Naked Proverbs podcast. We want you to truly have a happy marriage. We want you to continue to thrive in your marriages and indulge in your spouses on a regular basis. Don't forget to follow the Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you listen on and we will talk to y'all in the next one.

Rich:

Peace.

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