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Long Distance Relationships: 6 Surprising Facts of Long Distance Relationships

May 17, 2023

8 min read

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Author : United We Care
Long Distance Relationships: 6 Surprising Facts of Long Distance Relationships

 

Introduction

Staying away from your loved ones can be very difficult. It is even more difficult when you have to stay away from your partner when you’re in a romantic relationship. It would require a lot of work in terms of communication, trust, and respect. The most important factor is to have patience to make sure that the space and distance do not harm you and your relationship in any way.

“If love cannot stand the test of time, then it has failed the test of love.”- Bernard Byer [1]

What Are Long-Distance Relationships?

When both partners in a romantic relationship are in two different locations, whether 100 miles or on a different continent altogether, that relationship is known as a Long-Distance Relationship (LDR) [2].

Partners in LDR often talk using phone calls, video calls, and texting. It’s also possible that they visit them on and off to spend time together. However, visits can take a lot of money and would require planning and managing a lot of things [3].

Couples in LDRs spend most of their time remembering the good times they had together. These memories make it tolerable to be apart. In fact, it helps them much more than couples living closer to each other to maintain a good and healthy relationship [5].

Remember the movie ‘Dear John’? John and Savannah could only talk through letters as John while posted in a different location as a soldier. However, time does not wait for anyone, and Savannah has to go ahead and get married. Although, in the end, they do end up being together, the long-distance took a huge toll on both of them.

Similarly, LDRs can be tough, but it’s also a test of the commitment and emotional bonding for both partners. But, if they pass the test, then like they say, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder,” the LDR can be quite fulfilling and rewarding [4].

What Are The Challenges Of Long-Distance Relationships?

LDRs can be hard and require a lot of work. There are many challenges that a couple in a long-distance relationship would have to deal with [6]:

  1. Decrease of Physical Intimacy: Partners in LDR are not in the same places to be able to enjoy physical closeness. Lack of physical touch and sex can lead to feelings of loneliness and sadness.
  2. Communication Difficulties: Sometimes, partners can be in different time zones or may just be busy with their education or work. So, being able to coordinate just to have a conversation can be difficult. I remember my partner and I had to remember how many hours of difference there were and what be the most ideal time to talk during the day. Despite all that, days would pass before we could have a proper conversation.
  3. Jealousy and Insecurity: Every individual has friends apart from being in a relationship. But, when the couple is not together and cannot see each other often, feelings of jealousy and insecurity can start arising. They might be jealous of the friends who are near them and may feel that someone can come and replace them in their partner’s life.
  4. Limited Shared Experiences: Couples in LDR cannot go to parties, movies, dinners, or vacations together. This distance could bring about feelings of guilt for enjoying without their partner.
  5. Financial Strain: For a couple in LDR, maintaining their relationship can be pretty expensive. Travel expenses, phone bills, and gifts to make their presence felt can be financially taxing for one or both partners in the relationship.
  6. Uncertainty about the Future: The biggest fear for a couple of LDR is the fear of the unknown. As a couple, you may not have a specific time period in mind that you are going to be apart for. This distance can cause stress and anxiety.

What Is The Art Of Communication In Long Distance Relationships?

Let us understand how communication can help couples in LDRs. Octavio and Lauren met when they lived and worked in Santiago, Chile. They connected immediately. They had busy work schedules, but they always found time for each other. Octavio received a transfer to Panama. The uncertainty of the future raised many doubts. Nevertheless, they decided to try their best to make it work. Despite living on separate continents and facing significant time zone differences, they managed the ups and downs of their LDR. They worked creatively by arranging Facetime date nights. They made their relationship even stronger by asking deeper questions about each other’s lives. Eventually, they purposefully made choices that led them to reunite, and after a year and a half, they started living together in Madrid [7].

Communication is critical to any relationship but becomes even more important in long-distance relationships [8]:

  1. Use Various Communication Methods: There is no one-size-fits-all policy when it comes to communication in LDRs. You can use whatever mode of communication that works best for you- phone calls, video calls, texting, etc. With social media being one of the best ways to keep in touch, you can even share memes and funny videos with your partner. I used to do this all the time. Using memes had become our way of telling each other that we have each other’s backs.
  2. Schedule Regular Check-ins: Fix up a time in the day when you can talk to each other, even if it’s for a few minutes. Every day, my partner and I in LDR used to talk on text before sleeping and when we would wake up.  Plus, we had a weekly phone call where we had a few hours to talk and catch up on life and issues.
  3. Be Honest and Transparent: Relationships, where we can be ourselves, have a higher chance of surviving through challenges. So, make sure to be open and honest with your partner about your insecurities and feelings. By doing so, you can avoid misunderstandings and gain more trust in each other.
  4. Practice Active Listening: When you pay attention to what your partner is saying and feeling, they will feel that they matter in your life. So, while you’re on a call with your partner, you may continue doing your work side-by-side but do try to pay attention. If, by chance, you missed something or didn’t quite understand, feel free to ask them to clarify.
  5. Avoid Distractions: Continuing to work along with talking to your partner is fine as long as you can pay attention. But, using social media or watching TV can be very distracting as these platforms can absorb all your attention. Learn to value your partner’s time and emotions. Just focus on them so that they feel loved and wanted.
  6. Be Supportive: LDRs work best when both the partners are supportive of each other’s ideas, emotions, and life journeys. Try to encourage and uplift your partner, and be there for them when they need you.
  7. Share Experiences: Distance can make you creative. So use this creativity to spend as much time together as possible. You can watch a movie together while sharing the screen on the video call, read the same book and then discuss about it, or try each other’s favorite recipes. Love and affection can help you with everything.

Conclusion

Long-distance relationships can be difficult. But, with trust and patience, everything is easily manageable. If you and your partner are honestly willing to work while being apart, no challenge can break you both apart. The key is to stay connected through regular communication and be honest and transparent with each other.

If you are in a long-distance relationship and facing issues, connect with our relationship counselors and explore content at United We Care! At United We Care, a team of mental health experts will guide you with the best methods for well-being.

References

[1] Byer, Bernard. “55 Love Quotes for a Long Distance Relationship.” PostCaptions.com, 6 January 2023, https://postcaptions.com/love-quotes-for-a-long-distance-relationship/. Accessed 11 May 2023.

[2] “The Art of Long-Distance Love: How to Keep the Spark Alive | COUPLES COACHING ONLINE,” COUPLES COACHING ONLINE, Aug. 18, 2020. https://couplescoachingonline.com/how-to-keep-a-long-distance-relationship-alive/

[3] J. Pinsker, “The New Long-Distance Relationship,” Do Long-Distance Relationships Work? – The Atlantic, May 14, 2019. https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/05/long-distance-relationships/589144/

[4] “Therapists Share How to Make Long Distance Relationships Work,” Lasting. https://getlasting.com/long-distance-relationships

[5] K. Jacobs Bao and S. Lyubomirsky, “Making it last: Combating hedonic adaptation in romantic relationships,” The Journal of Positive Psychology, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 196–206, Mar. 2013, doi: 10.1080/17439760.2013.777765.

[6] “10 Challenges you need to deal with when in a Long Distance Relationship,” 10 Challenges you need to deal with when in a Long Distance Relationship. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/10-challenges-you-need-deal-when-long-distance-pranjul-somani

[7] “9 Inspiring Long Distance Relationship Stories | Endless Distances,” Endless Distances, May 31, 2020. https://www.endlessdistances.com/9-inspiring-long-distance-relationship-stories/

[8] “Communication in a Long-Distance Relationship | COUPLES COACHING ONLINE,” COUPLES COACHING ONLINE, Aug. 10, 2020. https://couplescoachingonline.com/communication-in-a-long-distance-relationship/

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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