How To Make A Long Distance Relationship Work?
Any romantic relationship is supposed to bring more positive emotions than negative emotions. Unfortunately, with long-distance relationships, it’s not always the case. In this guide, we’ll talk about statistics of successes and failures, the most common problems of long-distance relationships, and of course, the ways to overcome all the hardships.
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Do long distance relationships work?
Yes, they do, at least for most people. According to a recent survey, long-distance relationships have a 58% success rate, which means that only about a third of all long-distance couples end their relationship at this stage. Moreover, around half of the respondents mentioned that they met their partner online, and about a third said they never lived close to their boyfriend or girlfriend.
Most engaged and also currently married couples have been in long-distance relationships at a certain stage, so some people can preserve their strong emotional connection, keep dating, and even start families.
Why do long distance relationships don’t work?
Though statistics are optimistic, it also shows that over 40% of long-distance relationships fail. Basically, it means that some couples make them work when some just don’t overcome the hardships. If so, which mistakes do people usually make? Here are the 4 main problems of many long-distance relationships.
1. Not considering the differences: Long-distance relationship vs a regular relationship
The first and the most important mistake is not to consider the context of all long-distance dating relationships. They aren’t like geographically close relationships, and that’s not only about the physical aspect, it’s about the fact that most of your time you spend alone. If you admit that and realize the only way to overcome this hardship is to improve communication between you and your long-distance partner and develop an effective strategy. We describe the most important points of this strategy below.
2. Poor planning is the biggest problem
What keeps long-distance couples together? What makes them think of each other and dream about each other? Some may say it’s affection and memories, but psychologically speaking, common plans work better.
The main problem of long-distance relationships is uncertainty. When you don’t see a partner for a long time, you start having more and more of them, finding more and more reasons to doubt your future together. You can replace these negative emotions with more positive ones, planning meets and activities (even online activities with your partner), and most importantly, really making your plans work (otherwise, you’ll be even more frustrated because of numerous disappointments). Waiting for a special event, date, or time you’ll spend together is much healthier and brings a lot more positive emotions. Couples who don’t plan anything and just make random long-distance calls often realize it’s a lot harder than it seemed.
3. Not enough effort to stay connected
Some may argue that they were chatting a lot in their long-distance relationships, and it still didn’t work for them. The thing is they often use a messaging app, and surprisingly, it can become a problem. People often get each other wrong when communicating through text—there’s no intonation, no gestures, nothing but words that can be misunderstood.
Here’s the recommendation—choose video chatting as your mail communication tool. Many international dating sites like JollyRomance or BravoDate have this feature for this very reason—people who launch them know that messaging is just not enough for someone who meets their partner online and wants to have that deep connection.
Video chatting helps not only have a deeper emotional connection, but also avoid overthinking the problems that don’t even exist. You may think you received a rude message while it was just a short one, and here you are, thinking everything’s over. Try to avoid such a scenario.
4. Physical intimacy as a priority
Long-distance relationships require patience in everything. If regular physical proximity is essential for at least one of you, there’s a big chance it won’t work, no matter how old you are and what your occupation is. Both college students and businessmen usually fail to resist temptations or just feel unhappy.
Still, people who are in long-distance romantic relationships and/or people who don’t think physical touch is the most important thing about a relationship can focus on emotional bonds more and find alternatives. There are even sex toys for long-distance couples to feel closer despite being far away from each other.
Things to do in a long distance relationship
So, these were the don’ts, but what about the dos? A long-distance relationship can be much healthier if you follow these rules:
- You need to feel connected all the time, so talk enough. There is no widely accepted norm, it just must work for both of you. Try to find the norm for your couple and talk enough not to feel lonely or frustrated.
- Maintain positive feelings and interactions. A couple focusing on the challenges and hardships of a long-distance relationship are likely to fail. If one or both partners focus only on their needs and expectations and keep criticizing and blaming one another, they’ll fail, too. Couples who focus on positive things, say words of love, and talk about things they like about each other more often than about the things they don’t like have a much better chance to succeed.
- Learn not only just about a partner’s life, but also have in-depth conversations about more global things. Talking about daily routine can’t last forever—after all, we don’t experience something extraordinary every day. Talk about spiritual things, emotions, values, have those never-ending conversations, and discuss the literature and movies that really impressed you, and that will make you closer.
Bonus long distance relationship advice
What else can a couple do to stay together? Here are a few more specific and not-so-obvious tips:
- Support each other’s interests. If one of the partners goes to a gym hoping to look like an athlete by summer, another one shouldn’t ignore this topic, considering it to be too boring. Supporting interests really make a long-distance relationship work, not only because you have topics to discuss, not just to listen to, but also because none of the partners feel lonely and ignored by their significant other.
- Meet each other’s friends. You can do it online, too, and for most people, it’s a serious step. If you know no one of a partner’s family and friends, it may seem that you have a fake relationship.
- Find new creative ways to spend time together. Again, having shared experiences is crucially important. Watching movies, playing online games together and with each other’s friends, and other similar activities can also help you feel closer.
Some couples are struggling to know if both of them are on the same page, focus on negative things, keep criticizing each other and blaming each other for not being close, and such a long-distance relationship ends. Some are just tired of a long-distance relationship, and they also fail. But couples who look for solutions and find them succeed, and so can you.