Long-Distance Relationships Can Be Really Tough
It’s no secret that maintaining a relationship takes hard work and dedication from both parties. But, when a couple lives hundreds or thousands of miles apart, keeping a romance going becomes even more difficult. According to the Center for the Study of Long-Distance Relationships (who knew such a thing existed?!), more than two million couples in the United States are in LDRs—including three percent of the country’s married couples. While long-distance relationships can be challenging, here are six tips that will ensure yours is as healthy and successful as possible.
The Long Distance Type
Recent research suggests that there are 3.5 million couples living hundreds and thousands of miles from each other for one reason or another. The happiest couples doing this are career-oriented. But not everyone is. If you or your partner are not career-oriented, you can still be happy if the distance between you is a result of the pursuit of some kind of self-fulfillment.
Couples often feel dissatisfied in their relationships because as individuals, one or both of them do not feel fulfilled. Your relationship will flourish when you and your partner are at your best, which is why it’s important to find and do what makes each of you happy. If that means spending time apart to pursue a dream or passion, than so be it.
You and your partner need to have a reunion plan. This means that if you are separated due to work or school commitments, you must have a specific date in mind when you’ll be together again. Know that the separation of a long-distance relationship is only temporary, and that you have someone who loves you enough to wait for you. There will be times when you crave intimacy and closeness, but if you want to make a long-distance relationship work, you need to wait until you see your partner again.
In order to make a long-distance relationship work, you need to be completely committed to your partner before you or they leave. If there is something about your relationship that makes either one of you hesitate, doubt will creep in the moment you part. However, if you are absolutely sure they’re the one you want to be with (and they feel the same way about you), the idea of spending time apart will seem more manageable.
You or your partner may feel resentment because one of you is choosing to pursue self-fulfillment that separates the two of you. There is no doubt that a long-distance relationship requires more effort than living together or living in the same town, but if you aren’t willing to make the effort and you aren’t willing to support their path to self-fulfillment (or they aren’t willing to support your path), maybe you aren’t as committed to each other as you thought. You have to be able to let them go without resenting them and they can’t resent you for wanting to go either.
Intimacy isn’t just about the physical act of sex. In fact, many couples with long-distance relationships have mastered the art of long-distance relationship intimacy. They are often more creative and diligent when it comes to keeping the passionate fires going. And if physical contact is still needed, make plans to see each other. Often, long-distance lovers reunite after a plane ride, car ride or train trip. Just get there!
I can’t imagine living my life without daily hugs from my honey. However, getting them is not always possible. But I take comfort knowing that we are committed to each other and trust each other enough to let each other pursue self-fulfillment. I know if we had to, we could make a long-distance relationship work.