They say that anything worth having is worth fighting for, and the same goes for love affairs. So, anyone wondering are long-distance relationships worth it should try finding the answer within themselves, rather than on the internet. However, here you will find tips that can help you sustain your love even over borders and seas.
Can Long Distance Relationships Work?
No romantic relationship is easy, and when there are borders and oceans between you and your partner, the task becomes even more difficult. However, it’s not impossible to have a fulfilling and enjoyable love affair that spans across the world. It’s just a matter of how much effort you and your partner are willing to put into this connection and, of course, of how important the bond is to you.
That being said, the key to success is that you are not just surviving long-distance relationships but growing from it as a couple. This is a peculiar situation you and your partner are in, but as such, it can provide new ways to thrive and grow together and improve your connection – as long as you are not looking at it as a setback but a chance for betterment.
What Percent of Long Distance Relationships Work Out?
If you want to talk numbers, we have some statistics that might help you feel more at ease. Actually, the situation you are in now is nothing out of the ordinary. Did you know that about 75% of college students go through such a relationship sooner or later in their lives? Out of all people who end up in such couples, around 60% will have a successful partnership.
What is interesting is that about 37% of couples break up within the first three months of getting back together in a geographical sense. So, at the end of the day, it’s not so much about how far away you are from your boo, but how healthy your connection is. You can never know whether you’ll break up or not, even if you live two streets apart – just make sure you are both in it for the right reasons.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Long Distance Relationships?
Culturally, we are trained to think that long-distance relationships do not work. That is because we often equate romantic partnerships with codependency – the complete permeability of the two partners that implies spending every waking moment together and sharing each thought and part of life with one another. However, this isn’t the healthiest thing in the world either. And while there are definite shortcomings of not being able to see your partner whenever you want, there are some assets of such a situation as well.
Let’s start with the cons first, although these are probably more evident to you when you are dealing with the stress of what will happen to you two. However, if you want to make your affair durable, you have to know what you are battling against. That’s why we present to you the main shortcomings because of which long-distance relationships don’t work:
- It can be difficult to have empathy and understand what your partner is going through,
- The lack of physical closeness can make it hard to maintain intimacy,
- There is pressure to spend high-quality time with one another,
- Couples tend to avoid disagreements which can lead to miscommunication and resentment,
- The fear of breaking up can spur up jealousy and controlling behavior.
Having a bond that spans across miles can be extremely beneficial for both individuals involved and for their connection as well. And while some hardship is inevitable, if you decide that your connection is more important than the space between you, you will experience so much growth and beauty from this situation. Here are the biggest pros of deciding to endure the miles that separate you:
- Being self-sufficient, free, and autonomous in your relationship,
- Learning how to communicate, express your feelings, and overcome your confines,
- Having more time for your hobbies, interests, goals, and friendships,
- Being a better partner as a result of bettering yourself through self-care,
- Building trust between the partners,
- Not taking your partner for granted and appreciating each moment with them.
How to Make Long Distance Relationships Work?
It’s good to know what the pros and cons are, but how to do long-distance relationships is a more complex question to answer. The best long-distance relationships tips will guide you both through maintaining your connection when miles apart, as well as keeping your sanity and calmness when you are alone. So, here are some of the best pieces of advice to take up if you want your relationship to be long-lasting through all possible trials and tribulations.
Schedule Dates as You Would if You Were Physically Near
Social media has had a great impact on maintaining partnerships for geographically distanced couples. Today, it is possible not only to talk to someone you love by phone but also to chat in real-time and have video calls whenever you feel like it. And while it is great that you can call your boo at any given moment, it’s best not to rely on random calls to sustain your relationship.
It’s important to schedule dates as you would if you were in the same town. This will help both of you plan your days (which is especially important if you are not in the same time zones) and dedicate attention exclusively to one another during your date, without any interruptions or distractions.
Find Ways to Enjoy Your Favorite Activities Together
Every couple has some form of activity that ties them together. Some, like going out together or taking walks, can be a bit harder to recreate. But others, like watching movies and TV shows together, or reading the same books, are totally manageable. Make a movie date via Teleparty extension, and watch your favorite film in real-time. Or, decide to spend your solo self-care hours reading the same book you can later discuss. There are so many great ways to enjoy each other’s company. All you have to do is be a bit creative.
Send Postcards and Love Letters
You can use the physical separation to your advantage and introduce new traditions. That could include sending each other small gifts randomly or writing postcards when you travel. Additionally, you could introduce a swap of love letters that would parallel your day-to-day conversations and function as a special means of communication.
Communicate Problems and Issues in Your Relationship as They Arise
When you can’t see someone physically, it can become easy to let the overwhelm of work stress, and other daily problems influence your relationship. It’s a known fact that we live in a time of a global mental health crisis, and coupling that with dealing with racism, misogyny, social and professional obligations, all while balancing and trying to keep the flame burning, can be exhausting.
Sometimes, all of this can lead to neglecting your partner even if you aren’t aware that you’re doing it. That’s why it is important to check in with each other regularly and openly communicate about any problems that may arise to prevent further issues from arising.
Don’t Spend Every Waking Moment Texting and Talking
Missing someone you love is difficult, and many people find it easier to calm themselves down when they are constantly on the phone with their boo. However, this is more often than not completely counterproductive. And next to knowing and practicing all the important things to do in long-distance relationships, it’s crucial to also know what not to do.
Spending the entirety of your day split between reality and your phone will leave you feeling torn and absent from both at the end of the day. While it is normal to exchange a few texts every now and then, for example, during breaks in the workplace or while commuting, you should strive to spend quality time with friends or on your own as well.
Try to Have a Clear Idea of When You Will See Each Other in Person
One of the most important tips for long-distance relationships is to try and have a clear idea of when you’ll see each other in person again. This will help you have a clear goal in mind and make it easier to overcome difficult times and crisis situations that will surely arise. Sometimes, it can be difficult and expensive to plan meetings, but still, try to always have at least an idea of which month would potentially suit both of you to meet up if the circumstances allow for it.
You Don’t Have to Stay in Such Relationship if It’s Taking a Toll on You
It can be easy to romanticize your relationship. The world tells us that we have to work hard for love – to obtain it, to maintain it, and to make it last. And it’s true – any relationship requires compromises and understanding, and neither of these is always the easiest in the world.
However, love is also supposed to be fun, safe, comforting, and no amount of invested emotional labor can make up for tenderness and empathy if they are lacking. So, if the thought of breaking up is constantly running through your mind, don’t be afraid to explore it further. Sometimes, whatever you do is not enough – and that’s okay, something better is waiting for you out there.
If Being in a Long Distance Relationship Is Too Hard for You Personally, Consider Starting Therapy for Women of Color
Sometimes asking how do long distance relationships work isn’t enough. After all, partnerships are made of two individuals, and if one of them is dealing with depression or anxiety, that person might need to schedule a therapy session. Deciding to book your first counseling appointment is never easy. You have to research, choose among therapists, and then actually open up to a counselor for women you’ve never met before. However, people go through all of this trouble because women’s therapy does work.
If Individual Therapy Scares You, Try Researching ”Group Counseling for Women Near Me”
As mentioned, finding counselors for women requires many steps that go further than researching ”therapist near me” in your browser – you have to find out differences in therapeutic approaches, learn the distinction between a therapist and psychologist, and then go to a therapist of color just to feel the pressure of having to talk for the whole session about yourself.
For these reasons WOC workshops have been gaining so much popularity in the last few years, as they provide a healing space where women can share and empower each other whilst being in a guided process of overcoming their trauma. So, consider joining group sessions to start your healing journey in the most comfortable way possible.