Long distance relationships: Do they work?
You’ve found your soulmate but what if he or she lives on the other side of the world? Do long distance relationships really work, or is it a case of out of sight, out of mind? Read on for the benefits and the drawbacks of long distance relationships.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
A long-distance relationship can sometimes bring you closer together. The advantages of being apart are:
- You don’t get bored: Being apart keeps the flame alive. You’ll always be looking forward to talking, getting letters or emails. And when you do meet, it's always special.
- You don’t get stuck in a rut: When you’re not together all the time, you don’t fall into habits like other couples. Every time you’re together, you discover something new about each other and the conversation always flows.
- You’re not tied down: You each lead your own separate lives. You don’t have to justify yourself if you stay out all night or leave the house in a mess.
- You don’t argue: You’re not as likely to see the other person when he or she is having a bad day. There’s less chance you’ll criticise each other too heavily and get into fights. Your time together is too precious to spend arguing.
Out of sight, out of mind
Of course, there are also downsides to long distance relationships, too:
- Illusions: Being apart can stop you from seeing the true colours. You don’t really see the other person’s faults when you’re only together once a week or even less.
- The transition: If you spend most of your time apart, you could get stuck in your own ways and find it difficult to live together – either with your current partner or in future relationships.
- Lack of support: Distance can also mean absence from a relationship. Your other half won’t necessarily be there when you need him or her. If you’re having a rough time, sometimes a phone call just isn’t enough.
Keeping the connection
It’s essential to stay in touch and be there for each other. The best time to test how things are going is a few hours after you’ve met up, once the initial excitement has passed. If you sense that the strong feelings you had might have faded, it’s time to start reassessing your future together.
Don’t forget that in order to keep the spark in the relationship, it’s important to set short-term goals that you can work towards together. These small achievements will help maintain your bond with each other.
The arrival of new technology means you can now enjoy better contact even when you’re on the other side of the world. Phone calls are all very well, but email, instant messaging, Skype and Facetime let you tell your partner things as they happen. The most adventurous can even try out cybersex...If you’re a romantic at heart, though, a good old-fashioned love letter is sometimes the best way to stay close.
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