There has been some hot debate about whether long distance relationships work for many years now. With the rising popularity of the internet came the rise in online dating. So, let’s take a closer look at what long distance relationships really entail before we come to any hard and fast conclusions.
The Cornerstones of Relationship Longevity
To begin, we must ask ourselves, what is it that a relationship needs in order to last? Regardless of how one communicates and interacts with their partner, they need a few vital things. Let’s talk about what those things are and how they translate into something long distance… and if they even can!
Plans for the Future
The first thing is the most important, by far. If you want your relationship to last into the future, you must have plans for the future. Going into a relationship and hoping it will sort itself out is a recipe for disaster. Within the first 6 months to a year of being with someone, officially, there are conversations that need to happen. Do you plan to have kids? Get married? Will one or both of you work to support yourselves? How about settling down versus traveling?
Any long distance relationship with easy access to communication can successfully do these things. What makes long distance relationships a bit different from in-person ones is that they come with some extra planning steps. Most notably, you and your partner will have to determine who is moving where, if either of you is up for moving at all. If both of you aren’t interested in keeping things long distance forever, one of you will inevitably have to move. If you can sort out where you’ll be living together, as well as all of those other planning steps, things are looking up.
Next up is communication. Any relationship needs to have open, honest, and vulnerable communication. However, to make long distance relationships work, you have to consider some kinds of communication that aren’t necessary or that are done differently in person.
For example, there are many things that in-person couples can learn by show, rather than tell. When you and your partner are living far away from each other, you’ll have to break the ice on some of these things before meeting. This will help avoid any unwanted and unpleasant surprises.
Some things that your partner can use to get a better picture of you, without meeting you in person, are:
- Cleaning habits (both personal and housekeeping)
- Shoes on or off indoors
- Food preferences
- Driving manner
- Organizational style
Physical Contact and Sex
One of the things that makes so many people certain you can’t make long distance relationships work is the matter of physical contact and sex. However, there is a lot to learn in this regard.
The first thing to consider is that physical contact is important to a lot of people. You don’t have to be indifferent to physical contact to get into an ldr. In fact, not everyone intends to get into a long distance relationship. With the amount of communication online, it’s just that easy to meet someone you click with by accident. In these cases, both parties will have to find ways to overcome the distance.
The first thing is making sure you have a physical support network outside of your long-distance partner. Physical contact is important for mental and physical health, so getting hugs from friends and family can make up for that lack of touch in your romantic life.
The second thing is sex. Many people believe that the sex lives of those in long distance relationships suffer. However, there’s quite a lot you can learn about long distance relationships and sex. Read more about that here.
Do Long Distance Relationships Work?
The conclusive answer is: long distance relationships work just as well as in-person ones. As a matter of fact, statistically, there are many ways they’re superior. When couples who started out long distance first move in together, it can be quite the adjustment. If you need someone to talk to and help you iron out the wrinkles in your relationship, Esther Benbihy is here to help. Give us a call to schedule a session today.