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Can a long-distance relationship work?

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You have been talking to someone online and you are beginning to feel a deep connection. Can you overcome the fact that you live so far away from each other?

Dating someone from a distance is not easy. Relationships are already a challenge as they´re. Whilst adding the distance factor does make things harder, success boils down to mutual respect and commitment. Perseverance, dedication, and love are the keys to overcoming any difficulty.
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The number of couples where both parties live far away from one another is increasing. The reasons behind this will be different for every couple. For example, they may attend different universities, or one of them might have secured a new job in another city or country. There is, however, another type of long-distance relationship, between two people from different countries who met through an online dating site. In any of these scenarios, a long-distance relationship is an extremely challenging undertaking for the hearts of both parties involved.
You might be wondering whether is it possible for people who live so far away from each other to maintain a romance? As expected, long-distance relationships tend to be harder than normal relationships, since they require much more effort for them to work. This article will show you some tips on how to make this kind of relationship fun, enjoyable, and successful.

A lot of people won´t encourage this type of relationship

The fact is that many people who are in a long-distance relationship may have members of their family and friends doubting their choice. For them, this kind of relationship might seem like a big mistake. If you have ever had a long-distance relationship, you have probably heard comments like "it will never work" a million times. These people already know the statistics of your type of relationship and you do too: 40% of couples in long-distance relationships do not last.
However, the truth is that not every relationship will be a triumph, whether you are 1,000 miles away from one another, or live in the same house. The distance will certainly make things more difficult, but it does not necessarily mean that it is the crucial factor that will determine the end of the relationship.

Communication is the key

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Text and voice messages, as well as phone calls, are excellent, but one minute talking in real life is better than a thousand text messages. In addition, video calls often go through interference because of poor connection. This can result in misunderstanding and frustration.
In terms of communication, there are two main ways to put your relationship at a disadvantage: poor communication and lack of communication.
Here is an example that includes both:
One of the two people in a relationship has a very demanding job, and their time is mostly taken up with things to do at work. The other person feels undervalued and neglected, but understands the situation and wants to avoid a conflict. Several days go by without them talking to each other about this problem. Whilst neither person has done anything wrong, resentment begins to grow if someone feels neglected. This resentment may become apparent in seemingly innocent conversations, in the form of sarcasm or one party deliberately causing petty arguments. The other person will be angry without understanding the origin of the tension. A fight is almost certain.
It is very important to talk to one another before small problems become major issues. A simple conversation, stating that you might have not spoken in a while, without bringing up the subject of the disagreement, is enough to make the other person understand that they are perhaps not setting aside enough time for the relationship, and that they may not be fully committed.
In long-distance relationships, things like this may happen frequently, especially now that sending text messages is the most commonly used method for fast communication. Despite facilitating contact, it is difficult to know a person's real intention through messages.

Lack of physical contact

This is a vital factor in a romantic relationship, no matter what you may think. These types of activities produce oxytocin, commonly known as the "love hormone".
Physical intimacy is an essential element in romantic relationships. This factor is usually what distinguishes your romantic relationship from the friendship you have with other people. Whether it's holding hands, showing affection, or simply touching your partner softly when they say something funny, physical contact is a significant source of change in developing a connection with your partner. Hugging, kissing, as well as other more sexual intimacies create strong connections.
For many couples, physical intimacy is an important part of the relationship and one of the biggest frustrations they have in long-distance relationships. If this is the case for you, try to think of ways to get around this problem. Look for alternatives that can compensate for the lack of this contact while you are not together. But be aware that, just as with a face-to-face physical intimacy, any attempt at online intimacy needs to be accepted by your partner. You should always get verbal confirmation that you are both comfortable with it.
Do you think it is difficult to have physical intimacy in long-distance relationships? Do you want to discover creative ways to increase your physical intimacy over the internet?

How can being in a long-distance relationship affect your physical intimacy when you decide to meet face to face?

There are several ways to keep the fire burning in a long-distance relationship. Raunchy conversations and virtual sex can help a lot; however, these might only serve as a preliminary for before you are finally together.
If the relationship his serious, it´s highly likely that you plan, someday, to live together or get married. It stands to reason, then, that sooner or later one or both of you will have to move. This means not just moving from your home or city but also moving away from friends and family members, and establishing a new life in a strange place. This can be a real challenge, and even if your partner is willing to do it, they are likely to feel somewhat isolated in the beginning.
Another factor that greatly influences the opportunities for physical intimacy in a long-distance relationship is your and your partner´s financial situations. We all know that money doesn´t buy happiness, but it does buy plane and bus tickets. If you need to spend a fortune to meet your beloved, this could become a factor that wears out your relationship. It is not easy to invest a lot of money and hours of traveling in a long-distance relationship.
All of this must be considered, not as a reason to give up, but as something to be considered as a potential difficulty you may face in the future.

Trust, jealousy, and lies

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Being in a long-distance relationship means you really need to trust your partner. This may be difficult, as you don´t know what they are doing, and the basis of what you know about them is what they have said to you online. You may begin to feel emotionally distant. Your partner may forget to call or have a delayed response to a text message. This can create an atmosphere of insecurity and doubtful thoughts. Since you have limited means of meeting your partner in person, you can find yourself immersed in reflections that only harm you.
Jealousy, like any sensation, is not something you can turn off at will. It's something that needs to be worked on over time and it takes a lot of effort to control.
Also, trying to rationalize the source of your jealous thoughts can be problematic. You may feel jealous of your partner in a long-distance relationship for several reasons:
  • You are unaware with whom they meet and talk.
  • You don´t know what they do when they aren´t speaking with you.
  • All the unknowns, such as what will happen in your future, whether you will stay together, how your partner truly feels et cetera.
These insecurities are common in long-distance relationships. However, the more insecure you feel, the more likely you are to be jealous. The best way to overcome this is to talk to your partner about what you are feeling.
Falling into a habit of disguising who you truly are is also an issue in long-distance relationships. We are all tempted to hide our weaknesses and flaws in relationships, but long-distance relationships can make that temptation much stronger. Don´t let the distance keep you from showing who you really are, warts and all.
Trust is the backbone to all healthy relationships, but it is especially important in long-distance ones. There is so much space between you and your partner that the likelihood of you feeling insecure and uncertain about your partner's loyalty is increased. Having very clear parameters for the relationship, and committing to daily contact, are both key. It is unrealistic to think that you will not feel insecure at times, but if you are in touch every day, you will be able to talk through your feelings instead of spending days or weeks reflecting on them.
But there are not only disadvantages in distance relationships. Here are some advantages.

More sincerity

One thing a long-distance relationship teaches is the ability to solve problems immediately. When you are living closely with someone, you may often hide or postpone problems and discussions for another day.
However, when the relationship is already so much more demanding, it is crucial that concerns are discussed immediately. A natural side-effect of this is that it makes these types of couples much more open and honest with one another. When you have limited means of communication, it is best to make everything clear.

Conscious commitment

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Long-distance relationships are undoubtedly hard work, and can occasionally cause some frustration. The best prize life should offer, however, is the reward from working hard on something truly worth doing.
Many couples recognize that the time they spend apart helps them see more clearly how much they want to be together. This comes with hours of online chatting, late night phone calls and the hours on airplanes or buses. Therapists consider the effort of this dedication as an indication that their choice to remain in this type of relationship is active and conscious.

Individuality and interdependence

We already know how long-distance relationships can be difficult, but they can also help a person to experience new things. These new experiences will help to strengthen your own self-sufficiency and confidence. With increasing interdependence, the dynamics of partners can become more durable, as the two maintain their individuality.
The healthiest way to interact with your partner is to be at once independent, and interdependent. Independence allows you freedom to act in your own way, and to make your own decisions. Interdependence is the condition of being reliant on your partner. A couple is at its best when both people are equally reliant on each other without losing their freedom and individuality.

Suggestions to make things easier

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Both you and your partner should determine early on how you would like your relationship to develop. This generally happens naturally in a standard relationship, as there isn´t the same urgency and pressure. In a long-distance relationship, however, before you invest a lot of effort, time and money to keep in touch, you must know if you are both searching for the same thing.
When you first begin a long-distance relationship, there are some crucial questions you must ask yourself before you go any further:
  • Do you want to wait a while before you stop to analyse where the relationship is going?
  • Do you plan to live with your partner someday? If so, would you be willing to make the move away from your home?
  • Are you aware of what level of commitment your partner desires and whether you can provide that for them?

Resumo

  • Long-distance relationships are not easy and the people around you will not normally approve of them.
  • There must be good communication between both parties.
  • The lack of physical contact is a reality, but can be compensated in other ways.
  • Lack of trust breeds jealousy and lies. Avoid this.
  • People in long-distance relationships tend to be sincerer with each other.
  • There is a higher level of commitment as you both really want to be in the relationship.
  • These relationships give room for both the interdependence and individuality of each person to grow.
  • Don't let yourself down. Relationships in general are not easy, but when there is love, respect and dedication, everything can work out.

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