If you’re thinking about getting into a long distance relationship (LDR) with someone, you should probably consider these 5 things before you do …
LDRs can work, but they’re uniquely hard to navigate, so 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 that 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, or anything that’s particularly one-sided will place a strain on the person who’s putting in most of the labour – not to mention the fact that it’s a cruel play on someone else’s feelings for you.
Long distance relationships often survive because there’s a clear endgame. If you know that you only have to get through a specific amount of time it can be a point of positive focus. If there’s no real plan or specific timeframe for when you will get to close the distance, nurturing confidence in it’s longevity will become harder to maintain.
If communicating online is not something you’re particularly into or you struggle to fit it into your day, an LDR probably isn’t for you. Survival of long-distance love is dependent on being able to have regular contact. Developing positive experiences that connect you will become the basis of your relationship while separated, and it should be something you can dedicate quite a bit of energy and time to.
Also … if honest communication isn’t something you feel comfortable with or you haven’t already developed that in your relationship, it won’t help you through the tougher times you’ll encounter during a LDR. It’s okay to be overwhelmed or struggle with the miles apart – that is a factor in all long distance relationships – but hiding any difficulties you’re having isn’t conducive to its survival. All relationships need to have a level of honesty and support that sustains those within it, long distance love is no different in that regard. If you want a healthy relationship you’ve got to be able to tackle the harder moments together.
Knowing what kind of relationship you have (open, exclusive, etc) is also really important because it means that you can identify what you will and will not tolerate while apart from your partner. Being in an LDR isn’t a relationship holiday 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 then being in any kind of relationship – LDR or otherwise – is a waste of your time.
Loving at a distance is as positive as it is negative. There’s no magic answer to making it work because it can be effortless one day and burdensome the next, but if you work at it, it can 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?