Long-distance relationships test a couple's strength and the authenticity of their feelings for each other. That's what psychologists say. But, according to their predictions, if the separation is long, it often leads to the end of stormy romances.

How often does long distance relationship work? How can you make long distance relationships work? And what percent of long distance relationships work out? Tips and checklists from a psychologist - in our material.

Can a long-distance relationship work? 

First of all, let me remind you that, as a rule, all romantic relationships initially are long-distance relationships (if you have concerns about this format, perhaps this thought will cheer you up a bit). These days, no one starts dating with a wedding and living together (I don't take extreme cases into account), and the first meeting and initial communication are increasingly taking place online rather than in the real world. The period of getting to know each other, associated with the search for common ground, development of rules of interaction, formulation of prohibitions, and falls on the same "traveling" format, when partners for the most part meet either somewhere in public places, or on the territory belonging to each of them, or - online.

In this sense, remote relationships (at least in the initial phase), in fact, do not differ so much from the face-to-face format. Perhaps it is worth noting that the effect of rose-colored glasses can be stronger in distance communication - when we do not look at our partner realistically, but prefer to rely on our own fantasies about him: at first, this effect is supported not only by hormones but also by whether or not we have the opportunity to move into the field of real interaction.

How do long-distance relationships work?

The most popular way to start a romantic relationship remotely is through online dating apps. Let's say you met someone on Tinder or Badoo. Before you go any further, it's important to figure out what your goals are for entering into such communication. If you're expanding your circle of friends, chatting casually, or meeting for fun, you probably aren't going to be looking to get to know the person deeply or build rapport for a long period of time. Then it's quite possible that you will continue to communicate with some new acquaintances mainly in a remote format, and such a relationship will not weigh on either you or the other party.

But what if you are looking for more serious interactions and want to build a real relationship that will eventually grow into a partnership or even a family relationship? In this case, nuances begin to emerge that are worth paying attention to.

Users of online dating services note that some people with whom they communicate do not seek to leave the virtual format at all. Most often, these are either those who do not want to burden themselves with spending (time and money) on a partner but want a source of excitement or satisfaction of sexual needs without much tension or those who thus feed their own illusion of having a wide network of contacts. In both cases, expecting to develop a serious relationship with such candidates is a waste of time, because none of them has such a goal in mind.

How many long distance relationships work?

One study found that the average length of a long-distance relationship is 3 years versus 7.3 years for a "regular" relationship.

Nevertheless, it is not always the case that partners look for someone on the side, and certainly not every relationship ends in a breakup. After all, despite the obvious downsides, there are pluses to such relationships that you can take advantage of while you are separated from your partner.

Making a long distance relationship work

If you want to improve your love, use these tips to make a long distance relationship work:

1. Find common goals

A long-distance relationship is much easier to handle if you know why you're doing it. For example, if you have to break up because of a study or a long business trip, agree in advance on a timeline. Work and study do not last forever, and surely you can designate in advance an approximate time for a future meeting. If your partner has left, for example, for another country or city for good, think about whether you are ready to move in with him. If yes, set a goal to do it as soon as possible: then the anticipation of the reunion will help you through a difficult period.

2. Think of activities to do together

Agree to spend time together, not just calling each other, but also involving each other in different activities. Watch movies together, play games, read books and then discuss them, cook by video call - there are a lot of ways to spend time together at a distance. Here it is important to proceed from your desires and hobbies, otherwise, this arrangement will cease to be desirable and will turn into a boring routine.

3. Be honest with each other

When you can not see your partner, it is not always possible to guess what mood he is in and what worries him. So if you are worried about something, openly discuss any problems. Accumulated emotions that have not found expression, will eventually lead to an unpleasant conflict, and at a distance quarrels resolve even more difficult than in real life.

How to know if a long distance relationship will work: checklist

Here are some points, which can define whether do long distance relationships ever work.

  • Important is your partner's clear need to get to know you as a person, and interest in your daily activities and environment.
  • The person tends to have steady, regular contact with you, and if there is an opportunity for face-to-face communication, they will definitely use it.
  • The partner demonstrates respect for your needs, does not impose his or her beliefs and views, and gives you space to be yourself and feel natural.
  • He or she is ready to be there for you (even at a distance) not only in moments of joy but also in difficult situations. You are confident that you will not be left alone with your difficulties with the wording "deal with it yourself, it doesn't concern me".
  • In a conflict situation, your partner does not resort to insults or humiliation but tries to find common ground for further development of communication.

If your long-distance relationship meets these parameters, then it may indeed be worth investing efforts in strengthening it.

Why long distance relationships don't work?

Yes, in the first week, you will be warmed by fond memories, his likes on Instagram, and hour-long conversations on the phone. Or even two weeks. Or a month. Either way, there may come a point when he doesn't send a "Goodnight." Well, okay, forgot, tired - who doesn't happen? And then he won't send a good morning wish. And no, he did not fall out of love with you, and in his voice on the phone, you still hear a gentle note. Yes, and you also miss him, as on the first day of your separation. But everyone's life is in flux, so many things happen every day: you signed up for yoga, you got invited on an expedition, you got a job at a magazine. And the brain tends to push aside the things that are not so important at the moment. No, you are important to him, of course! But the whirl of events around him can make him forget to say good night to you. Just once, what nonsense, it's just a message, because he still loves you and remembers you. But how do you explain to a man how much the importance of messages increases when they should serve the function of both dating and going to the movies and evenings at the TV because messages and phone calls are all that long-distance lovers have? Yes, of course, you'll say, we need to increase the length of phone calls so that nothing is forgotten. But all the events that happen during the time you are not together, just physically will not fit into any phone conference. Anyway, something will remain "behind the scenes. No, if you try very hard, then very much even fit, but now is not about that. And you can never run away from jealousy. Confidence - yes, but when a man is on the other side of the world and did not write "Good night," comes to the aid of rich female fantasy. And then there are the nerves again.

Best ways to make long distance relationships work

1. Prioritize and be truly included

Your distant relationship should be more important to you than most of the social connections "at your fingertips. It can be challenging, just as it's not easy to stay home and wait for your loved one to Skype when friends and girlfriends call you to the movies or to a club. But it's essential to this kind of relationship. Especially since brief meetings are most often not enough to get to know each other really deeply, and you should not neglect any of the possibilities of communication.

2. Do not be close to each other

Of course, finally meeting someone you love, there is a great temptation to lock up with him at home or in a hotel for all the time you have allotted - and let the world wait. But it's a mistake. Use meeting time to introduce your partner to your family and friends or to get to know his or her loved ones.

We are defined to a huge extent by our social circles. And if those circles are a mystery to the partners, there's no sense in talking about a serious, committed relationship.

3. Plan for the Future

No matter how far apart you are or how long your long-distance relationship lasts, it can't and shouldn't last forever. They have to be seen as temporary. And plan for a future that will come when you finally don't have to travel hundreds of miles to get together. This gives the relationship perspective and an incentive to develop.

How can a long distance relationship work: bottom line

Let's be honest: it's not easy. First of all, because any serious relationship requires a predictable prospect, if not of living together, then of regular live meetings. It is very important for a couple to have common goals in the future, and to make joint plans.

In a long-distance relationship, there should be an element of hope for togetherness - without it, they quickly come to naught. It is impossible to imagine a long-distance relationship in which the partners do not live together at all, even from time to time, and have nothing in common in the physical, real world.

Try to discuss the plans each of you and look for overlaps: if it comes to weekends or vacations, try to figure out where you can actually spend this time together.

Successful long-distance relationships are not only those that take into account all the nuances described above but also those that eventually lead people to a long, comfortable stay in a common territory - because it is this format of togetherness that brings us the greatest emotional satisfaction and sense of happiness.

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