If you’re thinking about getting into a long-distance relationship (LDR) with someone, you should probably consider these five things before you do …
LDRs can work, but they’re uniquely problematic to navigate; before you agree to love at a distance you should be clear about your reasons for wanting to get into one. With the added strain that distance can put on a partnership, you want to make sure you’re setting your relationship up for success.
If you don’t really want to put much work into being with someone or you’re only chasing some kind of ‘in a relationship’ label; you should just remain single. LDRs require consistently creative effort, anything less than that ends up being particularly one-sided and will put a strain on the person who is most invested — not to mention the fact that it’s a cruel play on someone else’s feelings for you.
Long-distance relationships can both thrive and survive but only if there is a clear endgame to work towards. If you know there is a specific and finite amount of time to wait through, this can become a positive focal point; which is much needed in these types of relationships. If no real plan or clearly identified time frame for when you will get to close the distance exists; nurturing confidence in the longevity of your relationship will become harder to maintain.
If frequent communication online is something that you struggle to enjoy or you find it difficult to include it in your day; an LDR most likely isn’t for you. Survival of long-distance love is dependent on being able to maintain consistent, albeit relatively haphazard contact. Developing positive experiences that connect you will become the basis of your relationship while separated; it should be something you can dedicate quite a bit of energy and time to.
Also … if direct and honest communication isn’t something you feel comfortable with or you haven’t yet developed that within your relationship; it won’t support you through the tougher times you’re likely to encounter. It’s completely reasonable to feel overwhelmed or struggle with the miles apart — that’s a factor in all long-distance relationships — but hiding any difficulties you’re having isn’t conducive to its survival. All relationships need to experience a level of honesty and support that sustains it; long-distance love is no different in that regard. If you want a healthy relationship, you have to be able to tackle the harder moments together as a team.
Knowing what kind of relationship you have (open, exclusive, etc.) is critically important; it means you can identify and make clear what you will and will not tolerate while apart from your partner. Being in a long-distance relationship isn’t a holiday from intimacy or an excuse to neglect your responsibilities. If you don’t trust who you’re with or trust that they’ll honour what you’ve agreed to; being in any kind of relationship — LDR or otherwise — is a waste of your time.
Loving at a distance comprises a mix of both positive and negative elements. There’s no magic answer to making it work; it can be effortless one day and burdensome the next. However, if you’re committed to working on it and consistently follow through, it can most definitely be worth it.
Do you have any LDR advice you can share? If you are/were in a long-distance relationship; what worked for you and your partner?