To define a long-distance relationship, we should understand what it is, what it isn’t, and how it works.
A long-distance relationship is a period in a relationship where a couple is separated by the geographical distance. It may be the case when starting a relationship online. The distance may come to couples who are already in a relationship but have to live separately for some time due to going to college or because of relocation for a job.
Couples believe that long-distance relationships have to be hard. There’s a lot of drama around couples who are separated by the distance. And much information out there is about tips on how you can survive your long-distance relationship.
If you are in a long-distance relationship, I would like to show you another way to look at it. Long-distance relationships can be hard, and they can be challenging. But you can avoid many problems that cause so much pain and distress by understanding what long-distance relationships are and what they aren’t. Once you know what they are, you’ll know how to handle them better. If you understand what they are not, you can avoid the pain of unfulfilled expectations.
To make your long-distance relationship work, you need to agree with your partner on what it is.
Long-distance relationships are different from regular romantic relationships. The two main aspects of a long-distance relationship are lack of physical intimacy and a different way couples communicate.
Romantic relationship implies physical intimacy. Without physical intimacy, your romantic relationship is more like friendship. Online communication leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation. This causes misunderstanding and pointless fights that everyone regrets. The unfulfilled need for physical closeness and frequent misunderstandings are common causes of breakups.
With this in mind, is it possible to have a long-distance relationship that’s healthy and successful?
What is a healthy long-distance relationship?
A healthy long-distance relationship is when both partners have fun talking to each other and also have something interesting to do with their own time.
It can be confusing to be in a romantic relationship without being able to touch your partner. But if this is your reality, the worst thing you can do is get obsessed about your inability to make regularly. The reason it’s unhealthy is that it leads to over communication in an attempt to compensate for the lack of physical closeness. In the end, not only are you neglecting your physical life, but it can also mess up your relationship.
Instead, you can see your long-distance relationship as an opportunity to catch up with your personal life. You have the time to do what you love doing, spend time with friends and family, and recap on your life purpose.
Communication is one of the keys to a healthy long-distance relationship. So to have a healthy long-distance relationship, you should agree on several aspects of your communication: The preferred means of keeping in touch (phone calls, video calls and messaging) The frequency that happily fits into your schedule. The topics of your conversation.
What is a successful long-distance relationship?
A long-distance relationship is successful when it helps you achieve your goals. Long-distance can be a chore, but it can also be an opportunity. It gives you the time to reflect on your personal goals and get a different perspective on your relationship.
In regular relationships, when partners see each other every day, they get used to it. Then relationship becomes a habit and partners take each other for granted. When you are in a long-distance relationship, you get to appreciate every moment during your visits. And if you manage your communication well, then every time you speak can also be very fulfilling.
If you want a successful long-distance relationship, you should know how long the distance will last and how you will maintain an emotional connection throughout this period. You also need to plan how and when you will communicate, how often you can visit each other, and a specific date for getting back together.
What is an open long-distance relationship?
An open long-distance relationship is when partners remain romantically involved but are also free to have intimate relationships with other people. Although open relationships aren’t for everyone, they can work very well in long-distance relationships. If your relationship is at stake because one of you has a strong need to satisfy the need for physical intimacy, an open relationship may be the solution.
Love is a special connection that is beyond physical intimacy alone. Many people have a problem sharing their partner sexually with others because they have a sense of ownership. This idea that of two people in a relationship, that belong to each other is deeply rooted in our thinking.
But the reality is that relationship isn’t about owning another person. A relationship is about sharing your time and space with someone who contributes to your life in some way. A romantic relationship, for example, satisfies both physical and emotional needs. That’s why two people in a regular romantic relationship often don’t need others as much.
In a romantic long-distance relationship, physical intimacy can become an issue. This issue can be solved by having an open long-distance relationship.
Here’s a thought for your penny:
If your love is emotionally strong, is sex with other people enough to break it?
What is it like being in a long-distance relationship?
A long-distance relationship is like being with some, but also not. In regular romantic relationships, couples spend a lot of time together, talking, going out, having sex. Long-distance relationships are different in that technically you are together, but realistically you are not.
If you have the means to visit each other as often as you like, all is well. But for many couples in long-distance relationships, it’s a luxury. This means that getting some is for special occasions.
Modern couples reach out to technology, trying to satisfy themselves and each other with interactive gadgets. They vary from kissing devices connected with the phone app to remotely controlled underwear. While it can all be fun and games for some time, it doesn’t replace the intimate touch of the person you love. So, unless you’ve planned and prepared to have regular visits to catch up on your sexual needs, you risk feeling deprived or end up sleeping with others.
You must be thinking that if this is the case, how do long-distance relationships ever work.
Do long-distance relationships work?
Long-distance relationships can work in one of two ways:
- A healthy relationship with clear communication and regular visits; or
- A struggle to survive the long-distance, while feeling horny and frustrated most of the time.
Most couples in a long-distance relationship see living apart as a challenge and make a lot of effort to overcome it. They try to persevere when it gets hard and try to make it work when they feel horrible. In truth, all that effort and suffering comes from trying to make a long-distance relationship into something that it’s not, a real romantic relationship.
There are many reasons why people find themselves in long-distance relationships. Some are out of choice, and others more of a necessity.
You can make your long-distance relationship work one way or the other, but ask yourself this:
- Is it healthy?
- Is it worth it?
Whatever your circumstances may be, one thing is for sure: Romantic long-distance relationships aren’t meant to last a long time. So, while they can work for short, they are not a long-term solution.
Do long-distance relationships last?
Some couples believe that if they survive the distance, their relationship is a success. But while it may be so if their sole objective is to be together, the reality is more complex than that. Some couples persevere through the long-distance relationship just to break up shortly after their reunion.
Long-distance affect relationships in ways that can change your relationship forever. If you want to have a healthy and successful relationship, you should know how to handle the distance. And part of it is to know how long your long-distance relationship should last.
A long-distance relationship can last until a couple moves in together or ends the relationship. For example, if both partners are committed to their relationship, they can make it last for years. But the real question is whether or not they are happy during this time.
Sometimes the sense of duty and commitment can override your feelings. In other words, you maintain a long-distance relationship even if it brings you nothing but bad feelings. Just because you made promises that you don’t want to break.
After some time, the need for physical intimacy can get too much, and partners find someone they can be with physically. Cheating is an outcome of an unfulfilled need for physical closeness, that hasn’t been addressed in time. In many cases, cheating (sleeping with other people) is mixed together with distrust, but that’s not always the case. There’s a difference between trust and the need for physical intimacy.
Couples in long-distance relationships can feel deprived of physical closeness. If you have understanding and trust, you can talk to your partner about your feelings and needs. And going forward, you could find a solution that can work for both of you.
However, in a lot of cases, couples deal with a long-distance relationship out of necessity rather than choice. It’s quite common to feel afraid and insecure when you don’t know what your partner is doing, and you miss them like crazy. You start having different thoughts and create stories. While they may not be true, if you think about them long enough, they become part of your reality.
Ironically, these very same insecurities can give birth to jealousy and distrust. After some time, they may lead to arguments and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is the kind of problem that happens when you try to make a long-distance relationship last when it’s not working.
For the moment, one thing to remember is the longer you make your long-distance relationship last, the stronger the need for physical intimacy, and the more it will affect your relationship, whether you are aware of it or not.
So, to say that long-distance relationships never last would be incorrect. Also, generalisation doesn’t help as it tells you what’s possible. But anything you set your mind too is possible. It may not be a healthy or happy relationship, but you can make it work all the same if you choose to.
Are long-distance relationships worth it?
Being in a long-distance relationship is worth it if it’s a healthy relationship. A healthy relationship is when partners have trust, understanding, and amazing communication to share their feelings and solve their issues. Being in a long-distance relationship can be a lot of fun, or it can be hard work. If it works for you and your partner, then great. But if it doesn’t, it can get complicated very quickly and may not be worth the trouble.
Staying in a long-distance relationship for a short while can be worth it. You can catch up with your personal life, go out with friends, and do the things you always wanted but never had the time to do them.
But a lot of couples don’t see it that way. They see their long-distance relationship as a struggle. And when you see your relationship as a struggle, it makes it almost impossible to see the good parts. So, if all you get from a long-distance relationship is struggle and suffering and still trying to keep it going, you should ask yourself why and if it’s worth it for you.
What are the stages of a long-distance relationship?
A long-distance relationship has 7 stages:
- Starting a long-distance relationship
- Getting to know each other in a long-distance relationship
- Making your long-distance relationship work
- Moving in together after a long-distance relationship
- Living together after a long-distance relationship
- Marriage after a long-distance relationship
- Ending your long-distance relationship
These stages aren’t set in stone. They are more of a guide to help you navigate your long-distance relationship.
In reality, you may already have a relationship before you have to make it work long-distance. Marriage is a pinnacle of having a relationship for some, and it is unnecessary for others. You may also end your relationship at any stage or live happily ever after.
In some ways, long-distance relationships are harder to navigate than regular ones. The communication that’s exclusively online can make it harder to judge your partner’s responses. When you can’t see them in front of you, you don’t get the feel for how things really are. You also have a bunch of doubts, causing jealousy, which doesn’t help.
On the other hand, when you communicate via texts or messages, you get more time to think before you reply. In a way, it’s an opportunity to reflect on what’s important and frame your communication the best way possible. The downside is that it’s easy to misinterpret these responses.
In a long-distance relationship, verbal and written communication are your only means to express yourself. So if you don’t say something, there’s no way for your partner to guess if something is off. That’s why misunderstandings are quite common and hard to solve.
If you want to have a healthy and successful long-distance relationship, you should learn to navigate it. And the way you do it is through effective communication.
How do you start a long-distance relationship?
Starting a long-distance relationship can be fun and exciting. And this is your opportunity to get it right from the beginning. Once you understand what a long-distance relationship is, you can decide if it’s for you or not.
If you want to start your long-distance relationship the right way, here are some tips:
- Before you start looking for a partner, ask yourself what do you want from this relationship.
- Knowing what you’re looking for in a partner will make it easier for you to choose the right one.
- Understand your own values beliefs, and preferences.
- Make it clear for yourself what you want to achieve at the end of this long-distance relationship.
- Are you looking for a friend, a casual relationship, a fling, or maybe you Want a more serious relationship and maybe marriage.
- Consider the cost of traveling to see your special someone.
- If you decide to live together, who is going to move?
If you are starting a new long-distance relationship, I’m glad you’ve come across this article. A lot of couples find themselves struggling in a long-distance relationship. By the time they start looking for help already have many issues that they could’ve avoided.
A long-distance relationship can soon turn into a struggle with misunderstandings, fights, and negative emotions. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Even if you need to be a part for some time, you can still have a loving relationship with trust and understanding. To do that you should know what long-distance relationships are and what they aren’t.
Once you know what they are, you will be able to handle them the right way. And realising what long-distance relationships are not, will help you avoid disappointment from false expectations.
A long-distance relationship is not a real romantic relationship. It’s a phase in your relationship. And an opportunity to ask the right questions and take time to respond to questions. It’s a perfect time for you to learn about each other’s personalities, values, and beliefs.
Often, a long-distance relationship comes either as:
- A short phase at the beginning of a romantic relationship.
- Separation in a current relationship usually because of study or work.
To have a healthy long-distance relationship, first, you need to agree on several aspects of your communication: The preferred means of keeping in touch (phone calls, video calls, and messaging). The frequency that happily fits into your schedule. The topics of your conversation. To make your long-distance relationship work, you need to define what a long-distance relationship means to each of you.
For example, are you exclusive or are you seeing/communicating with others while getting to know each other? Any preferences you have are ok, as long as you’re honest with each other. It’s better, to be honest, and let the other person decide if they are ok with it then hide it in fear that they will not accept your preference.
If you are already in a relationship before the long-distance and it will only last a few months, you can enjoy a bit of personal time for a short while. But sometimes long-distance can last for some years, like in the case of going to college. In that case, you’d be better off having a break or agree on an open relationship. It may be heartbreaking to say goodbye, but if you are meant to be together, you will be able to do it when the time comes.
In a long-distance relationship, it’s common to have doubts. These doubts lead to insecurities, which leads to jealousy and in turn, can grow into distrust. That’s why it’s important that if you have doubts, you can share them freely with your partner.
Trust is the foundation of any relationship. And if you can’t trust your partner, then it’s time to reassess your relationship.
GETTING SOME HELP
I hope that this article answered some of your questions. If you are struggling and could do with more help, here is how you can get it:
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the point of long-distance relationships?
The point of long-distance relationships is to be able to meet someone special or to maintain an emotional connection with your existing partner. Read more
What long-distance relationships teach you?
Long-distance relationships teach you the importance of clear communication. You either learn how to communicate properly and build understanding, or you struggle for some time and then break up. Read more
What are long-distance relationships like?
A long-distance relationship is like being with some, but also not. In regular romantic relationships, couples spend a lot of time together, talking, going out, having sex. Long-distance relationships are different in that technically you are together, but realistically you are not. Read more
What is normal in a long-distance relationship?
In a long-distance relationship, normal doesn’t mean healthy. Normal is what most couples do. But then most couples struggle, suffer, and break up. Read more
What is an open long-distance relationship?
An open long-distance relationship is when partners remain romantically involved but are also free to have intimate relationships with other people. Read more
What is a healthy long-distance relationship?
A healthy long-distance relationship is when both partners have fun talking to each other and also have something interesting to do with their own time. Read more