Nowadays, long-distance relationships are a more and more frequent phenomenon. With advancing globalization, when people from various countries meet all around the world, with increasing business traveling and studies abroad or online dating sites, the number of couples who maintain long-distance relationships increases. But do such relationships stand a chance of surviving?
Before the use of Internet got so widespread, long-distance relationships were not a common sight, since partners were confined to contact over the phone or mail. With the arrival of mobile phones and the world online, long-distance relationship got a lot easier which explains their growing popularity. Not only does Internet facilitate contact of couples living separately, but it also helps various couples to even begin a relationship.
Although they are not for everybody, long-distance relationships are built on mutual trust, respect and loyalty. However, those who believe they found their soulmate are able to maintain their affection despite hundreds or thousands of kilometres. Long-distance relationships are not that stable; on the other hand, those who manage to get through the challenges make their relationships even stronger.
Is It Even Possible to Maintain a Long-Distance Relationship?
Relationship is complicated and there is no set of clear instructions on how to make a relationship work properly. Having a relationship requires constant work and care; partners must nurture their relationship, develop it and make it stronger, otherwise they may end up in a relationship rut, seeking options how to get out of it. Despite that, there are still some tips on how to maintain a long-distance relationship to help you towards a happier and more peaceful experience in such a relationship. First, we need to realise what are the advantages and disadvantages of a long-distance relationship.
Sometimes, it may happen that in a long-distance relationship where partners have only visual contact, disappointment becomes reality once the meeting both partners desired so much comes. Another fairly serious risk is that people around you will not understand of this type of relationship.
1. Keep in touch every day
Everyday communication strengthens the relationship as well as your awareness of your partner. Exchanging at least several short messages a day should be a part of your routine. It allows you to keep track of daily experience of your partner and you will let each other know you care. On the other hand, everyday communication may be difficult and annoying for some people, they may find it a bothering obligation.
2. Common long-distance experiences
Make sure your contact doesn't fall into routine and that you still have common topics of conversation. E.g. watch the same movie or TV series. Maintaining common conversation topics is important for long-distance communication; it deepens mutual feelings of togetherness and understanding.
3. Trust and faithfulness
Everyone gets jealous sometimes, and in long-distance relationships, the danger of excessive jealousy is very high and very frequent. The partner is missing some control over the life of their significant other, and the constant uncertainty may lead to ill-considered and unfounded jealousy. It is therefore important to keep each other informed on who we spend time with and not to supply our partner with incomplete information which may be misleading for them as to our behaviour.
4. Don't forget the romance!
You may make your partner's day not only with romantic words, but also with an unexpected present.
5. Enjoy your freedom!
Meet with your friends, enjoy your hobbies, work and freedom that you wouldn't be able to afford if you lived with someone. A long-distance relationship has advantages for independent people who don't have to divide their time schedule between their work life and home life; they may enjoy their hobbies and interests and then give their full attention to their partner when they finally see each other in person.
6. Prepare for the bad days
Many people have a propensity not to burden their relationship with negative feelings and experiences. In case of a long-distance relationship, meeting your partner in person may include an unpleasant surprise and disillusionment. In order to prevent this happening, tell your partner about crucial events and situations that happen in your life, even if only on the phone or during online messaging. Do not leave everything for personal contact. Bad things are as much part of relationships as good things. When you meet in person, avoid petty conflicts and fights, they may disrupt your time together or spoil it unnecessarily.
7. Look forward to the future together
Talk about your future together, even about near future. It will help you avoid the impression that one of the partners takes the relationship as a flirt while the other partner is planning a family and future together. Looking forward to a weekend together or to a trip somewhere is also helpful to maintain a long-distance relationship.
8. Meet each other halfway
Traveling may be a disadvantage in a long-distance relationship; it takes some money and time to travel several hundred kilometres to meet your love, but you may make the best even out of this situation. Thanks to your visits, you may get to know new places, especially if your partner is located in a place you haven't visited before. You may meet up somewhere halfway between your and your partner's location, making traveling experience interesting for both of you. Discovering new places together is also an exciting way to get closer to each other.
Do not let intimacy and love life vanish from your relationship. Even though you do not fall asleep beside each other every night, find a way that suits you both and doesn't let your passion die.
10. Explain yourself clearly and avoid mutual misunderstanding
Forms of communication in a long-distance relationship are very different from those of everyday personal communication, which is why you should go the extra mile and take the time and patience to explain and repeat what you had in mind. You both need to adapt to a long-distance communication and you don't need any more complications along the way.
11. Express your love for each other
Let your partner know how much you care about them, how much you miss them and that you need them. With the growing distance between you two and the time elapsing since your last encounter, uncertainty may start growing and it is very easy for you to start feeling uncomfortable. Support each other over the long distance. Of course, webcams are great helpers in long-distance relationships. They allow the partners to have some face-to-face time over the distance separating them. Remember to say "I love you" as frequently as possible when you use these technologies.
12. Tackle your problems in time
If there is anything bothering you, say it in time. Your tone of voice and your gestures may give away there is something wrong and dealing with problems over the long distance is always difficult, but it is also why it's necessary for your communication to open and honest since the very beginning.
Statistics show that the percentage of long-distance relationship break-ups is not higher than in relationships where partners live close to each other. It also shows that we aim at fulfilling our psychological and emotional needs which are more important to us than fulfilling the physical ones.
With the pressure on people to relocate for their jobs or studies at present, the number of long-distance relationship is growing. The relationship dynamics changes; the closeness is not on the first place anymore; it is mutual agreement and tolerance.
Risks of Long-Distance Relationships
Apart from the problems mentioned above that may arise in terms of mutual trust, jealousy and problems in long-distance communication; you will probably have to face other obstacles as well.
1. Financial costs
Keeping in touch costs money, whether you spend it on the phone bills or travelling expenses when you want to visit your partner in a foreign country.
2. Unclear future
In a long-distance relationship, boundaries of what one and the other want may clash. You think whether to move and live with your partner, but you are not sure. You may also be afraid that you would lose some of that long-distance romantic thrill by doing so.
3. Temptation of adultery
Those of use who are faithful under normal circumstances may start reconsidering their views. This is caused by the large amount of time spent alone and meeting new and interesting people.
4. Time invested
All the telephoning, chatting and e-mailing takes up a lot of time. However, the messages and e-mails will not substitute for the presence of your loved one. Eventually, the object of your love and interest may start seeming more and more unreal.
5. Heading towards a break-up
Some long-distance relationships seem to head towards a break-up ever since they begin. Entering in a similar relationship may mean starting a new life safely, without losing the stability and certainty of the previous life to someone. The relationship may seemingly go one even after its ending. It is not possible to cancel it in any other way than over the phone, and one or both partners simply want to avoid confrontation and emotional pressure the break-up induces.
However, long-distance relationships also have their advantages
A fairly huge advantage of a long-distance relationship is the freedom. On the one hand, you have to do everything on your own, but on the other hand you don't have to explain to anybody why you were out an hour longer than usual, you may listen to any music you like at home and you may spend your entire weekend shopping.
What makes a long-distance relationship both romantic and risky?
- Ideas of what it will be like when you meet in person again
- The distance separating you
- The excitement when you know you will only get to spend a couple of days together
- Heart-wrenching goodbyes
What are the consequences of a long-distance relationship?
You fail to see the true nature of your partner
You both prepare for your encounters and you manage to hide all the not-so-pretty parts of your personality for the short time you spend with your partner. That is the reason why you may not get to know your partner in their true colours during these short encounters. You don't see them tired, cranky, sick... And it is these situations that let you learn about what the person is really like.
You avoid difficult areas in the relationship
You see each other fairly little and so you are not in the mood to discuss unpleasant things. Unfortunately, this has one unpleasant consequence: the emotions that go unsaid and unheard resurface sooner or later, but this time with even greater intensity. If you do not learn to tackle your problems in time, you may eventually alienate your partner and seek pleasant feelings in the presence of someone else.
Your views of the future are unrealistic
When you don't see each other every day, you cherish your moments together even more. The weekends are more like holidays and you may not even notice you like that fact more than your partner. Many couples end up disappointed at the moment they finally start living together - things are not like they used to be. It's not only joy and fun, but everyday commitment. It is certain you will tend to disagree more often and argue more often, and it is also possible you will learn things about your partner you will not like. If you are not friends and the initial love excitement goes away, the relationship frequently falls apart after that.