Contrary to popular opinion, long-distance relationships DO WORK! According to statistics, over 14 million couples in the US are in long-distance relationships.
Couples in long-distance relationships have also reported improved communication and a better understanding of each other.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as the adage goes.
This couldn't ring truer than for long-distance relationships. This partial separation leads to deeper intimacy and cherishing the faith and trust built over months or years.
In the age of Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, and other real-time video communication/messaging platforms, long-distance couples stand a better fighting chance. Nothing can replace physical contact, yet there is something in seeing your partner's face every day or frequently.
There is a calm reassurance in knowing that someone is waiting for you, missing you, and that you at least get to see their face whenever you need to.
The most important thing to remember in long-distance relationships is that a deliberate effort by both parties is needed to make it work.
If love or deep care do exist in the relationships, the distance will build instead of tearing down. And sometimes, this distance is needed for relationships to heal and for partners to rediscover themselves.
What Kinds of Issues Do OnesFace in Long-Distance Relationships?
Relationships may be complicated. Add distance to that equation, and the problems faced by long-distance couples might multiply, or more appropriately, increase. In this case, online therapy can be beneficial.
Some of the main issues that long-distance relationships face include:
- An inability to perceive, feel, and see the other person's thoughts or actions instantly
- Heightened emotions of jealousy, anger, rage, mistrust, disappointment, etc.
- Increased financial strain due to the need for constant and frequent travel
- Frustration related to not knowing where your partner is and what they are doing
- A complete breakdown of communication in some cases
- Not being able to set healthy boundaries
However, all isn't gloom for long-distance relationships. Most of the issues above can be easily solved by any couple that prioritizes their relationship!
As you'll see below, it all boils down to working together as a team. Taking distance as a challenge that you both must overcome is the secret to maintaining long-distance relationships.
Besides, key items for any couple to build healthy relationships include trust, honesty, communication, understanding, and sharing of common goals.
So, Do Long-Distance Relationships Work?
Such a disruption due to a partner moving to another country/city for study, work, or as part of military deployment is natural.
But long-distance relationships in which both parties are committed to a common future in most cases do work and can be a real success. With the availability of instant communication apps, a great part of the challenge of long-distance relationshipshas been resolved.
Yes, this does not mean that inconvenient scheduling problems due to time zone differences will not arise. But as with anything that is to be expected in relationships, reasoning and agreeing always work best.
Best Tips to Make Your Long-Distance Relationships Work
Now that you know that long-distance relationships do stand a chance, here are 8 tips to make long-distance relationships work.
Be Both Deliberate About Making the Long-Distance Work
Long-distance relationships have similar chances of survival to same-city relationships. But what long-distance relationships don't do is blossom by accident.
There has to be careful and deliberate nurturing from both parties. If one or both of you lose sight of what is at stake and why this long-distance relationship is important, the battle is already lost.
Human connections forged by care and love are difficult to break, and distance is just another variable that tests them. If love and care do exist in your long-distance relationship, your prioritywill be to make it work.
If one person isn't fulfilling their part, it may be a sign that deeper issues exist in the relationship.
Don't Let Feelings and Emotions Overwhelm You
It is natural to have fear and anxiety over what your partner might do or how they may behave when out of sight. However, don't let such pent-up feelings overwhelm you to the point where you start to act out.
Such behavior may manifest itself in negative thinking patterns, suspicion, and aloofness. Instead, talk to your partner as you would usually do about your feelings and thoughts.
One great remedy for troubled relationships that are also strained by distance is online therapy. You can individually or as a couple talk to an e-therapist who can be a neutral and professional ear to help overcome your challenges.
Keep Mementos of Each Other
Keep objects of affection that remind you of your partner. This could be anything that has sentimental value to either of you. Sweaters, socks, backpacks, water bottles, music albums, playlists, and teddy bears are just some of the items that could fit this list well.
Keeping something of value from your partner close by during moments of hurt or happiness will ease the pain or increase the joy of such moments.
4. Communicate Regularly and Set Times
Regular communication is an act that shows love and care. And with improvement in technology, frequent communication is more accessible for long-distance relationships.
Schedules may be disrupted due to differences in time zones and working hours. However, it is possible to get a time that works for you both to communicate.
These moments should be cherished as, in hindsight, they will be the foundation that holds both of your anchors.
Don't Stop 'Hanging Out'
Frequent communication in long-distance relationships could simply be the bare minimum of daily or weekly Facetime or Skype calls.
However, hanging out is different. This means creating enough time for your partner to sit through and talk to them for extended periods. This isn't the usual 5-minute call. This is more of a date to talk about the little details and to listen to each other because 5 or 10 minutes simply isn't enough.
Do Not Let the Intimacy Die Down
Intimacy is a big part of why all relationships work and is a major reason why long-distance relationships fail. But intimacy doesn't singly allude to physical contact. Intimacy is a construct of the mind.
Therefore, it's possible to achieve intimacy without any physical contact. It might not be what you and your partner are used to.
Still, it provides an opportunity for both of you to grow by learning new things about each other together while apart.
Don't Sacrifice What You Don't Have
It is possible in long-distance relationships for one partner to sacrifice too much to please the other. Sacrifice counts, but it has to be done proportionately and not to a detriment for both.
Each partner must lay all their cards on their table, and a consensus has to be reached that works for both. For example, you shouldn't be charged with all the traveling duties and expenses.
Such an issue, as trivial as it may sound, may lead to serious strain in the relationship. Instead, you could both allow flexibility for each person.
Always Act As You'd Want the Other Person to Act
There's no surviving a long-distance relationship without responsibility. Such responsibility starts with you and not the other person.
Always keep your eyes, mind, and heart in check to ensure that your intentions always align with the best interests of the relationship. Always be ready to open up and be honest if you feel like your partner needs reassurance. Keep trust to grow trust.
E-Therapy - the Solution When Your Long-Distance Relationship Isn't Working
Distance introduces new dynamics to relationships. While strenuous, distance tests whether and what situations the relationship can survive.
If you and your partner do survive a long-distance relationship, you will emerge from the other side much stronger and more united than before. When you play the longgame, always play to win!
When a long-distance relationship breaks down, yet both partners desire to make it work, relationship counseling provides an answer. Online relationship therapy is especially important for long-distance couples since e-therapy is remote and can be done online.
Building strong relationships is one of the goals of e-therapists such as Calmerry. Through online therapy services, you and your long-distance partner can individually talk to a counselor confidently and mend any broken fences even with great distance.
May your relationships be strong and successful!
Kate has a B.S. in Psychology and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and has been working in healthcare since 2017. She mainly treated depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, grief, identity, relationship, and adjustment issues. Her clinical experience is focused on individual and group counseling.
Follow Kate here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-skurat-5348381b9/