Falling for someone who lives far away may make you wonder if it’s worth it. Do long distance relationships work? Here’s how to make sure it does.
I won’t lie. Long distance relationships aren’t easy. But do long distance relationships work? The answer is pretty simple.
Yes, they do. But you have to be willing to put forth the work to make the relationship hold up from hundreds of miles away. Many relationships fail even when couples live near each other so ensuring your long distance relationship is a success takes effort.
Long distance relationships have the worst reputation
Most people who say long distance relationships don’t work have tried and failed miserably. This probably isn’t because they lived far away, either. It’s usually because they didn’t work hard enough to have a healthy relationship.
You don’t often hear about the people who are in happy long distance relationships. It’s because they’re happy and don’t feel the need to talk about it. So these types of relationships get a bad reputation simply because those who couldn’t make it work spoke out. [Read: 10 survival tips for every long distance relationship]
Do long distance relationships work?
You already know the answer to this. If you’re willing to put in the effort to make your relationship last even from far away, it’ll work. But you might want to know of a few ways you can up the chances of it working out. Here are some tips to make it work.
#1 Communicate frequently. This is by far the most important part of a long distance relationship. You have to be communicating with each other frequently. Talk about your problems and just talk to each other.
If you don’t, you’ll both end up harboring built up frustrations that can inevitably ruin your relationship. If you get upset with your partner, tell them. Solve the problem so it doesn’t happy again. [Read: 14 tips for communicating in a relationship]
#2 Set up some expectations. You need to know where the line is so you don’t cross it. You also have to be aware of what your partner expects out of the relationship, even long distance. Discuss these expectations so there’s no confusion because having a misunderstanding can cause problems down the road.
#3 Have an equal understanding of what each other needs. You might not need your partner to check in a few times a day. For you, just talking on the phone or video chatting at the end of the night might be enough.
#4 Find a way to have a sex life. This will be difficult, but you still can. Video chat is a thing. Phone sex is a thing. You can use toys and find ways to make your relationship sexual even if you’re far from each other. Having that type of intimacy will help keep you both satisfied.
#5 Have date nights. Just because you’re not living near each other doesn’t mean you can skip out on date nights. Have a night where you both video chat while watching a movie and having some dinner. It might not be as great as a real date, but it still keeps that intimacy alive.
#6 See each other in person when you can. You might need to budget for this. If you live far away from each other and it’s a little pricey to make a trip, save up for it. You need to see each other once in a while in order to have a happy relationship. [Read: Long distance pillows and other LDR essentials]
#7 Look at the distance as a good thing. Many couples have a hard time when living close together because they end up depending on the other too much. This causes problems with resentment when they realize they’re not living the life they want.
This is when a long distance relationship can be a great thing. Look at it as a positive. You’re in a great, committed relationship while still being able to do what you want when you want.
#8 Be respectful of your partner’s limits. You might love going out on the town at night and forgetting everything while with friends. Your significant other may hate that because it makes them feel insecure. Respect that.
#9 Do similar things so you can talk about them. When you’re in a long distance relationship, you’re living very different lives. You aren’t involved in each other’s personal life, really. One way to change that is to do similar things.
Read the same book so you can talk about it. Go see the same movies and then discuss them afterward. Having things you’re both doing helps you forget the distance.
#10 Tell them how much you still care about them. This is probably the biggest problem in long distance relationships. Intimacy is hard to have from a distance. You need to remind your partner you care about them because you can’t show it in person. Your affection has to be verbal.
What to avoid doing in a long distance relationship
We’ve already established long distance relationships are difficult. If you want to make them a little easier, avoid doing the following.
#1 Being obsessive about what they’re doing. You don’t have to be in contact with your partner the entire day. Both of you have separate, busy lives. If you obsess about where they are all the time and what they’re doing, it’ll feel smothering to them.
Yes, even at a distance you can be clingy. This will also make them feel like you have no trust in your relationship. That alone can derail your happiness together.
#2 Go a full day without checking in on them. You have to be in touch every day in some way. If you two lived close together you’d be in touch daily, right? Treat your long distance relationship the same in that regard. At least once a day, catch up with each other. [Read: How to make a long distance relationship work]
#3 Dismiss their concerns about the relationship. If your significant other is upset about something in your relationship, you need to pay attention. Talk about it. Ask them what’s wrong and be sure to make that issue important. If you don’t, it’ll just expand until it’s big enough to cause a breakup.
So do long distance relationships work? I think you can decide for yourself. There are more than enough ways to make this type of relationship work. You just have to be willing to fight through the hardships.