Recent data says that 3 million married Americans are in a long distance relationship and over half of U.S. College students are in one (that’s 13 million people total). Personally I know several couples that are in long-term long distance relationships both successful and not.
A study of both long distance and close proximity couples showed that there is potential to be equally happy no matter the distance. It all comes down to your commitment and communication, just like in any relationship.
There is potential to be in successful long distance relationships. The key is setting mutually agreed upon ground rules. Some couples thrive in long distance environments – they do say distance makes the heart grow fonder!
1) Communicate – a lot!
Every relationship hinges on communication, but especially in a long distance relationship where you can’t always say your needs and wants face to face. If your partner prefers to text and you prefer face time be sure to hash out some compromises. It’s tough because any small annoyance, like your partner taking hours to respond, could be easily resolved face to face. Just make sure to discuss even the small things that bother you. Otherwise the seed of resentment will grow over time and lead to bigger issues.
2) Know the End Game
It’s really important to agree on the long distance timeline. If your relationship is going to be temporary or permanent long distance you need to make sure you’re okay with the situation. It’s one thing to agree to be in a relationship that is long distance for a few months, but when those months stretch to a year it can be frustrating. Make sure to re-access with your partner every so often so that you are both on the same page even when it’s tough.
3) Share the Travel Effort
It doesn’t matter if you travel 40 miles or 4000 miles. It’s never fun to feel like you are always going out of your way to see your significant other with no reciprocation. Make sure travel expectations are crystal clear. Just like any relationship the balance is never 50:50, but make sure if you’re feeling balanced. If he has to travel to see you because your work schedule is crazy, surprise him with some of his favorite bourbon.
4) Make Face to Face Time Count
Whether you only get to spend a few weekends a month or a few times a year together make sure you make an effort to make your time together special. You both need to make the most of the time you have together. Not only will it make you more excited for your trip, it will keep you from feeling like your time together was wasted. Netflix and chill can count as planned time together.
5) Commit to the Rules
The relationship exclusivity should be agreed upon. If your partner thinks it’s an open relationship and your fully faithful that’s only going to create some seriously uncomfortable tension. You should also have a set travel and communication plan so both of you feel like the relationship is meeting your needs.
It’s a proven fact that long distance relationships can be successful. You just need to commit to putting in the effort to make it work.