The Realities of Making a Long Distance Relationship Work

A fountain pen laid on top of a brown envelope. Know the realities of being in a long distance relationship. Let this guide help you navigate the long distance landscape.

If you’ve ever been in a long distance relationship (LDR), you’d know how challenging it is to make it work.

It takes double or even tenfold the effort you normally put into a traditional relationship.

But no matter how many people might say otherwise, LDRs can last — if the people involved are willing to compromise and put in the effort, no matter how great.

The fundamental ingredients of a healthy long distance relationship are ultimately the same as that of in-person relationships. The only key difference in an LDR is that trust, patience, and understanding need to be higher than what you usually afford your partner. Without these cornerstones, maintaining such a relationship can prove difficult.

What is considered a long distance relationship?

When do you consider a relationship “long distance?” According to popular belief, LDR is when you have a relationship with someone from another country. While mostly true, the term is vague and does not necessarily rule out inter-state, or even inter-city relationships.

For example, two people who dated in high school but go to college in different states are considered to be in an LDR. Unlike in a traditional in-person relationship, the couple can go for weeks or even months without seeing each other in person, which can lead to uncertainty and insecurity if the people involved do not have the means to cope with such a setup.

The pros and cons of long distance relationships

Before deciding to commit to an LDR, it is only proper to know the pros and cons of long distance relationships so you can make an informed decision about whether or not it is ideal for your situation.

Lack of information is really what kills long-distance relationships as couples often realize too late the degree of difficulty of maintaining such a relationship. You need to carefully weigh the pros and cons, and see if you are willing to compromise to ensure the pros outweigh the cons.

Pros

  • You have more time for yourself. In-person relationships often make it hard for you to find time for yourself. You hang out, eat, and sleep together, leaving little to no opportunity for you to have alone time. LDR gives you all the time you need to develop yourself as an individual.

  • Privacy. The absence of a physical partner allows you to do anything you want at your convenience and privacy. You can do things at your pace without feeling insecure about what your partner might think. Of course, you need to know how much privacy is healthy and how much of it is divisive.

  • Independence. Being away from your partner allows you to become independent. Too much time together makes you dependent on them, especially when it comes to making decisions. For example, you always ask your partner where to eat when you go out. Over time, you will get used to not making such decisions yourself, which makes doing the same challenging on your own.

Cons

  • You feel lonely. The inability to hug, hold, and be intimate with your partner is the biggest challenge for long distance relationships. The lack thereof can make you feel lonely as touch is one of our main love languages as humans.

  • Uncertainty. Not being able to see your partner poses a sense of uncertainty. “What is she doing?” “Is she thinking of me?” “She’s probably out with her friends again.” These are only some of the things that might come to mind due to uncertainty.

  • One needs to adjust. This con is especially true for an LDR that involves people from different parts of the world. Due to the difference in culture and time zones, you or your partner must learn to adjust and compromise to make the relationship work.

A photo of a lonely woman who doesn’t know how to make a long distance relationship work. Make your relationship work by knowing how to stay emotionally connected in a long distance relationship.

How to make a long distance relationship work

Once you have decided that the benefits outweigh the cons, you’ll want to know how to stay emotionally connected in a long-distance relationship. Ultimately, your goal should be to make the relationship last long enough to evolve into something more permanent.

In the meantime, you will have to deal with the realities of being far away from the person you love. Here are some tips to help keep you going:

Communicate and be open about your plans.

Uncertainty and insecurity are some of the biggest challenges when you don’t have your partner next to you. Without the reassurance you get from in-person intimacy, such as hugs and hanging out together, it becomes harder to build trust and feel secure in your relationship. That’s why couples need to make a plan to ensure they are both on the same page.

You need to be very clear about the following aspects of your relationship:

  • How often should you talk?

  • Are you open to unorthodox forms of intimacy, such as sexting?

  • Do you prefer regular voice calls or video calls?

  • Who will be visiting if the opportunity presents itself?

  • How quickly can you realistically expect each other to respond to messages?

Having a clear plan can give you proper expectations in certain situations. Always be open to communicating your needs so you can figure out a compromise if circumstances prove difficult. Once you practice open communication, you’ll find that it becomes easier to collaborate despite being in a long distance relationship, and you begin to understand each other’s situations without feeling a sense of uncertainty and insecurity.

Voice out your insecurities.

Here’s a likely scenario: Your partner suddenly feels distant, and it has been weeks since you had a great late-night talk. Worse, she casually brings up a workmate and how helpful he is being to her. You overthink and become entangled in a web of uncertainty. Is she cheating? Does she like her workmate better than you?

You create all types of worrisome scenarios in your head without even knowing the truth. The reality is she’s been distant because she’s been busy planning an elaborate birthday surprise for you. And yes, she does like her coworker, but not in that way because he’s only into men.

The problem is not the coworker, but your lack of trust in your relationship. That isn’t your fault. It’s just a reality of LDRs that you’re dealing with.

To avoid overthinking, voice out your insecurities. Let her know what you feel so she can assure you of her intentions. Being passive-aggressive about things can become problematic quickly because you can’t talk about it face-to-face.

Don’t be afraid to share your feelings, instead of bottling them up. Keeping things to yourself will only sow distrust and resentment, which will eventually lead you to come up with negative narratives about what might be going on. When you can’t communicate your insecurity, you often blame your partner instead of identifying what the real issue is.

Discuss your long-term intentions.

Not every long distance relationship ends up with the couple deciding to move for love. Are you content with the idea of dating from a distance? Or are you or your partner willing to level up your relationship and commit to an in-person life together down the line?

The point of discussing your intentions isn’t to pressure the other person to commit to your plans. Rather, it is to gauge if you are both on the same page. Avoid the disappointment of realizing too late that your partner finds living separate lives ideal when you are hoping to make a life together along the way.

It is also possible for one of you to change your mind down the road, and you should feel comfortable telling your partner if your long-term intentions change over time. By doing so, you can revisit your plans and decide together if you’re both still on the same page with your vision of the future of your relationship.

Know when to let go of a long distance relationship

When you’ve followed our tips to make your LDR work, but you and your partner are still on different pages with your relationship, it might be a sign to let go and move on. Letting go is a normal part of relationships. When you no longer share the same ideals and goals, hanging on will only do more harm than good. You can’t force the other person to see things the way you do because you are both individuals.

Giving your relationship a second chance is ideal. Do so by giving each other time to think and reflect on your relationship. Space often invokes a sense of longing, which can lead to the realization of wanting to give each other another shot at making the relationship work.

But if your LDR is only giving you anxiety, stress, and bad feelings, then you need to think about your relationship and consider breaking up. There’s no shame in admitting that long distance isn’t working for you, especially if you’re only seeing long distance relationship red flags.

A photo of a hand letting go. If your long distance relationship is no longer fulfilling and is only giving you anxiety, stress, and problems, letting go might be the only solution.

Join a reputable online dating site

Don’t let a failed LDR get in the way of you finding your happiness. One failure does not necessarily mean the same for all other LDRs. You can always join a reputable online dating site that caters to long distance couples. With expert matchmakers to help you navigate the long-distance landscape, you won’t have to worry about a thing because experts know what guys want in a long distance relationship.

You can join our socials and meet thousands of like-minded, beautiful foreign women looking for long-term, long distance love, and marriage. Learn from the experts so you can leave your worries and insecurities behind.

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