We live in a world that is more connected than it has ever been before. You don’t have to be in the same room as someone to speak to them, hear them or SEE them, even. You also have the opportunity to meet people online, far easier, from anywhere in the world. But what does that mean? If you find someone you connect with and they’re not based locally to you – could a relationship still stand a chance? Do long distance relationships work? Really? Let’s explore.
What Are Long Distance Relationships?
Before we answer if long distance relationships work, I think it’s a good idea to first get clear on what exactly a long distance relationship is. I mean, what consistutes as a long distance relationship?
Well, in a nutshell, a Long Distance Relationship (LDR) is an intimate relationship between partners who are geographically separated from one another. Partners in LDRs face geographic separation and a lack of face-to-face contact as a result of this.
How far do you need to be to class as long-distance? Well, different people are going to measure this by different standards. For instance, if Joe down the road is used to dating people in his town, he might see someone who’s an hours drive away as being a LDR.
However for a couple who are separated by MULTIPLE hours of distance, with their partner the other side of the country or perhaps even in another country – well, an hour is obviously then going to seem like nothing!
The average amount of distance in a long-distance relationship is 125 miles. Typically however, a long distance is anything that makes seeing one another not fast or easy.
Do Long Distance Relationships Work?
So now we’ve got that cleared up, what’s the deal? Do long distance relationships work? In short – yes. Providing…
1. Both People Are Committed
Long distance relationships are tough, there’s no denying it. They create a lot of added challenges – financially, socially, emotionally.
They also require more strength in the relationship when it comes to building trust, maintaining intimacy and ensuring it’s still meaningful and working on both sides.
For this reason (unless the relationship is pretty half-hearted), it requires real commitment from both people.
2. The Effort Is Still There
All relationships take time and effort to flourish. This is no different in long-distance relationships. Although you may not be together in person, both sides still have to invest into keeping that connection there.
This means not just regular texts and calls, but doing different things virtually, throwing in a few surprises, doing kind gestures that show the other person how much you still care. Then of course, when you are together, you need to make the most of this time – treasure it, seize it!
3. It Suits The Stage Of Your Life That You’re In
Around 25% to 50% of all long-distance relationships (particularly in the USA) are amongst students. But this makes sense right? It’s usually work or education that separates a couple and this is okay in the earlier years of your life when you’re working hard to build the future that you want – the future for the two of you when you’re reunited.
If you’re later in life, ready to start a family or looking for companionship – someone to share the rest of your life, then a long distance relationship os less likely to work… or if it is working, it could mean that you’re compromising on what you actually want or need. So it’s important to take this into consideration.
4. There’s a Reason You’re Apart
If two people genuinely love each other and want to be together – typically – they will do everything they can to make that happen.
The real long distance relationships, the genuine ones, they know they can’t do a lot about the distance right now, but they don’t plan on it being this way forever. If they could change it instantly, they would. (Or if it was still sensible, rational and smart to do so.)
But they are apart for a reason and they know it won’t always be like this. This leaves me onto my final point…
5. There’s an End In Sight
For whatever reason, the two of you can’t be together right now. And that’s okay. But the end is in sight in the fact that you know when the two of you will live together eventually, you know (roughly) when it’s likely to happen and this is openly – and regularly – discussed / planned. Why? Because it’s important to the two of you.
What Else Ties Into It?
Long distance relationships are also more or less likely to work depending on the type of people involved.
For example, if a person has trust issues, they’re going to struggle more than others without having their partner there, by there side. There are, of course, things you can do to build trust in a relationship (click here to read how to do that) but it’s still going to be difficult, will add extra pressure / tensions in the relationship and make it more likely to break down… or break the one person!
Other factors come into it, like your personality, your love language, the way you are in a relationship. For instance, if your love language is physical touch and you don’t get to see your partner enough, it could potentially make your relationship feel a little unfulfilling.
Likewise, if your partner is a poor communicator and doesn’t really like to text – yet you do, and you need that regular contact, you’re going to have to find ways to meet in the middle so that it still works for the both of you.
Where you’re at mentally also comes into it. If you’re happy in who you are and have lots of things going on in your life, you’re going to find a Long Distance Relationship (especially if it’s temporary) easier than if you struggle with insecurities, don’t particularly like alone-time and rely heavily on a partner to make you feel good.
Give Your Relationship The Best Chance Of Working
You see? So whilst in theory long distance relationships can work, they won’t always work, of course. But that’s just like any relationship. The best thing you can do to give it the highest chance of success?
- Understand yourself – who you are, your strengths, your weaknesses, plus what you need in a relationship in order for it to be happy and fulfilling.
- Work on being the best version of yourself that you can be – with the most confidence, the least issues. Because the better place you’re in, the better place a relationship can be in. And this means if you do meet the right person, but they’re not in the same place as you, it can still stand a shot at working.
Hope this helps. For more tips on how to make a long distance relationship work now, click here. This is part 2 in the LDR series!
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