Do long-distance relationships work? Is there anything you would suggest to help make it work?
Thanks for your question and happy to help!
I have always been very pessimistic about long distance relationships and I think it is due to my 16-year-old self being left heartbroken by my boyfriend who lived 100 miles away telling me we couldn’t make it work because of the distance. He was my first love and I was devastated. However, this was 15 years ago when my phone was a Nokia 3310 and my only way to go and see him involved saving money for a train ticket or relying on my parents taking me there when we visited family in the area. So 33 year old me rolls her eyes at that young girl saying ‘what did you expect’!
So yeh, 10 years ago I would have said a flat-out No, but I have grown up and realised that grown adults, with money, means and ambition can achieve anything! Plus, technology has improved so much in the past decade that making a distance relationship work is practically child’s play!
Seriously though, to make any relationship work you need to feel secure, loved and close to your partner and if that’s not the case then is unlikely to last. Therefore, it is obviously harder with a distance relationship.
To answer the question, some do, and some don’t. It is that simple. There is no definitive yes or no answer to this as it is massively dependent on the people involved. We all need different things from a relationship. Some of us need physical affection to show and feel loved whilst this is less important to others so being physically apart for longer periods won’t bother such people.
If you both want to make it work, you can. In 2019 there are countless advancements in technology that make this much easier and making the most of this will be the key to sustaining a happy and fulfilling relationship:
- Arrange to be together as much as possible
- If the most you can possibly di is once every 2 months, then do that and stick to it. Simply put – DO THE MOST when it comes to meeting up! Your time together is important and knowing that you are both as invested in making it happen is very affirming.
- Greatest modern-day invention. When my husband and I were dating and living 20 minutes apart (so NOT long distance), we still facetimed every night before bed when we weren’t together. It was so much better than just talking. I would sometimes potter around the room while we spoke, and it felt like he was with me.
- Maintain daily communication
- I think some people will think this is excessive, but ultimately your boyfriend/girlfriend should be someone you want to speak to at least once a day. A few simple text messages throughout the day is all it takes to let someone know you are thinking of them. This is even more important when in a distance relationship as paranoia of not being missed and the FOMO of them having a life without you is always lurking at the back of the mind ready to jump forth and create havoc on a otherwise happy relationship.
- Trust each other
- If there is any lack of trust at all it won’t work. Any fear of infidelity will be heightened when you are apart for long periods of time. It is important to keep talking about how you feel and never let the other feel unimportant in your world.
- Keep it spicy
- A common issue associated with distance relationships is a lack of intimacy can lead to friend zoning. I understand for some it is less important, but any romantic relationship needs intimacy. This can be achieved without physically being together if you are both willing to try some different, but each to their own. If it is not up your street, just be sure to pack on the affection when you are together.
- Make plans for the future
- Having a long-distance relationship is a temporary situation. The plan should eventually be to come together at some point – and if it isn’t or this is not something you have discussed then I would say this is a ‘red flag’. If you want the relationship to last you both need to know that you will be together full time ONE DAY and you should have a plan to make this work.
In short, if you are considering starting a long-distance relationship, go for it. Be positive that it is going to work, put in the effort and as long as there is a basis of love and plan to stay together for the long term it should work out.
Wishing you all the best and good luck