Can Long Distance Relationships Last?

long distance relationships

There have been a number of debates about whether or not long distances relationships (LDRs) work, or if they’re even healthy. Let’s start with the numbers:

  • Fourteen million couples worldwide (or 28 million individuals) define their relationship as long distance.
  • Ten percent of American marriages began as long distance relationships.
  • The average distance between partners is 125 miles.
  • Forty percent of long distance relationships end (which means 60 percent succeed).

These statistics from The Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships offer some stark facts. A lot of couples are in relationships that are long distance and, while the majority of the relationships succeed, a substantial number don’t. What’s a distance-ridden couple to do?  

What’s Healthy in Long Distance Relationships?

Before looking at tips and advice, we need to define what constitutes healthy and unhealthy in long distance relationships. You might think healthy is talking on the phone every day, FaceTiming as often as you can, and plastering your partner’s social media with loving messages. This is healthy to a point, but real relationship health is all about trust and communication.

The communication mentioned above – constant, multichannel, and quite frankly overwhelming – isn’t always indicative of a strong relationship. It can be, but it can also signal codependency. Communicating with your long distance partner should be empathy and love put into action, not fear or anxiety played out via smartphone. This is easier said than done, of course, but it isn’t impossible. 

long distance relationship advice

Then there is trust. This is often the hardest part of any relationship and long distance ones amplify every insecurity and every nagging doubt we have. First, it’s important to note that this is natural! Human beings have insecurities and doubts, and having them about your relationship is completely normal. It’s when they become unbearable and begin to manifest as resentment or anger, that these feelings become unhealthy. 

Practical Advice for Long Distance Relationships

Now that we know what’s healthy and unhealthy in LDRs, let’s take a look at long distance relationship advice!

Relationships Are Work

All relationships take work, but long distance relationships take more work, more frequently. This means things like: 

  • Syncing up your daily schedules to allow for communication and moments of connection 
  • Setting up regular video dates 
  • Establishing boundaries (and sticking to them)
  • Remembering to celebrate your partner’s achievements and your relationship’s milestones 

These are all ways to practice love, trust, and healthy communication. If you need help with them, and we all do from time to time, consider couples counseling.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Sometimes you’re going to fight with your partner. Sometimes you’re going to see each other and not feel butterflies. Sometimes you’re going to be too tired after a long day to keep your regular phone routine. Whatever the individual case and cause, there will be moments when your relationship is “out of sync”. That’s okay! These happen! Remember not to stress over them. 

Long Distance Sex

Sexual health goes a long way towards your relationship’s overall health. So, what can you do to keep things spicy when dating someone hundreds of miles away? First, get really comfortable with your own sexual desires. Then talk about them with your partner. Being on the same sexual page helps an immeasurable amount. Finally, remember that technology is your friend when it comes to LDRs. Sexting, video calls, and remote control sex toys are the name of the game. 

Bring Your Relationship Closer with Marriage Couples Counseling

Cultivating closeness in a long distance relationship is crucial. If you’re in a long distance relationship and want to really open up communication with your partner, call Marriage Couples Counseling today at (212) 673-4618!

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    160 Bleecker Street, 9C East, New York, NY 10012
    (212) 673 4618