Are you considering if you should start a long distance relationship? It’s certainly a big decision, and it can definitely feel a little scary.
If you were wondering how many long distance relationships see it through to the end, one study found that 58% of their respondents were reunited at the end of their LDR.
The study, conducted in 2014 by a company called KIIROO (NSFW), interviewed 1,000 people and gathered a whole bunch of statistics on long distance couples who responded. You can learn more about their findings on this blog post, as well as other statistics.
What makes a long distance relationship work?
One trick that worked at the time for me and my wife was sticking to a routine.
This helped us to communicate regularly, and also set the expectations of when we’d be able to talk to each other. It also helped us to plan our days. We’d still have our own time to do our own thing, hang out with friends, spend time with family, and so on.
It also prevented us from over communicating and inundating our partners with messages at 2AM on their end.
Another thing that helped was getting support from family and friends.
Being in a long distance relationship will inevitably draw some attention your way, and not all of it will be good. People can be pretty judgmental. My wife and I received a lot of comments on “how difficult it must be” and how different we were for attempting this.
But there were also plenty of others that were cheering us on and hoping we’d be happily reunited. Their support and friendship were a big factor in helping us make it to the end of our years apart.
Finally, starting an LDR with the end in mind is a big factor in making it work.
A long distance relationship is hard. You will struggle with feelings of loneliness throughout the whole thing…especially when you start seeing happy couples all around you.
Getting started on a solid transitional plan and discussing what the future looks like can give you both a goal to work towards. It’ll also give you the extra boost of motivation to bear through one more day.
What can threaten a long distance relationship?
Long distance relationships are under a lot more stress than “geographically close” relationships, and so there are plenty of issues that can threaten their success. Some of these you can actively avoid.
One big issue is abusing your partner’s trust, or conversely, being too mistrustful and jealous.
Emotionally or physically cheating is a problem no matter how far apart you’re living. This is down to the integrity of the person. Doing it in a long distance relationship is particularly harsh, since both of you have taken a leap of faith to stay committed to one another.
It’s important to maintain a sense of honesty and integrity with your long distance partner. At the same time, there is a certain level of trust required from your end, too.
Another issue that can threaten a long distance relationship is having no end date in sight.
Uncertainty about the future can cause you to become more distressed, and feel less satisfied about the relationship in general. No one wants to endure month after month of torture by staying faithful to a person while not knowing when they can be together with them again.
Does talking more on the phone help?
You may be wondering if talking more often with your long distance partner helps improve your chances of staying together.
Honestly, it depends on what you and your partner’s preferences are.
Some couples may prefer to talk multiple times a day. Others may prefer only to check in every once in a while.
I’ve found that the quality of the conversation is much more important than the quantity. I’ve had times where my wife and I would not talk about anything and just be doing our thing. We still loved the comfortable silence!
Also, finding other methods of communication can help keep things fresh and enjoyable. Alternative messaging apps, snail mail, postcards, mixtapes, YouTube videos…the list goes on.
Are there any upsides to having a long distance relationship?
Being in a long distance relationship doesn’t have to feel like a prison sentence!
It’s not easy, but when you reunite and become accustomed to being together in the same room again, you’ll find that your relationship feels even stronger than ever.
For me and my wife, we felt that we were both able to take on the world after reuniting. We were able to overcome time differences, immigration departments, judgmental neighbors…and emerge victorious on the other end. It felt like such a victory!
Another positive point of long distance is that your communication skills will dramatically improve.
You might be thinking, “…but we can’t see each other whenever we want, and we’re limited to just using our phones or computers. How can it improve?”
The distance will naturally encourage you to use other means of communicating. It will also train you to speak your true intentions, since you won’t have the benefit of non-verbal communication.
My wife and I found that our communication with each other vastly improved throughout the long distance relationship. It got to the point where we were able to tell there was a problem simply by each other’s tone of voice or subtle pauses in speech.
And honestly, it’s kinda neat.
What if it goes on for a really long time?
That’s a real concern for a lot of long distance partners, and I’ve been there too. Our long distance relationship lasted for 6 and a half years.
While it did help us grow closer as a couple and we got a big sense of achievement at the end of it…I don’t recommend it.
But you can rest assured that long distance relationships can absolutely last 3 years…or 4 years…or even longer.
If you’re looking for a statistic, the average length of a long distance relationship is 2.9 years.
The main thing is that you’re both on the same page and you share the same desire for a happy future together. It can be done. Thousands of other couples around the world have done the same.
If you’re both willing to stay committed and have planned to close the distance as soon as possible, you may see this through to the end.