Before we got married and moved to Morocco, my husband and I lived in a long-distance relationship for almost a year. Long distances are really difficult, especially as a foundation of a relationship. We want to see how long-distance relationships work, why long-distance relationships don’t work for many people, and what to do to keep your long-distance relationship strong.
improve Your Long-Distance Relationship in 5 Ways
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Reasons why long-distance relationships don’t work
As a person who has been in many long-distance relationships, I have some ideas on why long-distance relationships don’t work. A big part of it is that a relationship is not just based on common interests and hobbies, a shared sense of humor, or favorite Netflix shows. What initially attracts you to a person does not necessarily make the relationship successful or not.
Relationships are formed based on shared experiences and history. When you are in a long-distance relationship, it actually prevents you from creating a lot of memories because your connection is conversation-focused, not activity-focused.
Think about the time you spend with your closest friends. How much of that time is spent remembering, laughing about the inside jokes, and reflecting on their shared history together? Even when you don’t realize it, a lot of your relationships are spent reflecting and enjoying the time you spent together. You build trust and intimacy in relationships by experiencing the world as well.
When your relationship is mainly online, over the phone, or texting, it creates a false sense of intimacy. Sure, you must have talked about your deepest, deepest fears. But, have you been to the carnival together? Have you watched the concert together? Do you know how they react to the world around them because you have seen it? How do they treat waiters, the elderly, children, and animals? Are they kind to those who do not benefit them? Or are you building a person’s idea based on how they see themselves, not how you see them?
Behind the scenes can be anyone
Another reason why long-distance relationships don’t work is that it’s challenging to get an idea about a person’s character in small pieces of time or in a controlled environment like texting. You can be anyone behind the scenes. I know people who talked for years before they met in person, and the person they met was completely different from the way they presented themselves online or over the phone.
Why is that? Well, because we want to put our best foot forward. We don’t want to look annoying, rude, condescending, or generous. You can present yourself as a kind, compassionate person in a controlled environment (such as video calls or text messages). But what if your character is called into question with a stressful situation, or you have seen a conversation with someone who does not portray you in the best light?
Reasons why long-distance relationships don’t work
The main thing that overcomes a long-distance relationship is the lack of curiosity and interest in the other person. Suppose you do not have a sense of deep curiosity about how they live their lives, how they interact with the world, who their closest relationships are, and what they value and look attractive. In this case, your relationship is about to end.
But arguably, even more so, I think the lack of an exit plan ends the relationship. You must be able to know if the end is in sight for long distances, or if it is impossible to maintain it. There are couples who can successfully maintain a long-distance relationship for many years, and I even know some personally.
But I think for most people, maintaining that level of distant intimacy for too long is very challenging. Maintaining momentum and enthusiasm about the relationship requires knowing that distance will end.
I really believe that relationships are meant to be together, and it puts so much unnecessary stress on a relationship when couples cannot be together individually. Even wonderful relationships cannot erase such distance forever. I know I struggled a lot personally, which is why I moved here to Morocco.
How to counteract the reasons why long-distance relationships do not work
So we know long-distance relationships are difficult, but what can we do about it? Despite the distance, these are our top five tips to keep the relationship strong.
Visit as often as you can – maybe this is a hoax, but to maintain the relationship despite the distance, I think seeing each other as often as possible is important. Even if it’s just for a weekend or a few days, it’s important to watch that time together.
Find ways to show that you are thinking about them – this is easier than ever, thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones on the internet, but by sending a note or a message or an email, telling your partner how much you love and appreciate him, even if it is not expected, will do wonders for your connection.
Find ways to “do” things together – again, thanks to the internet, nowadays you can really work with your partner, even if you are far away. Video games, reading books together, watching movies, and participating in activities together have never been easier. While we were still in a long-distance relationship, my husband and I would play an online video game together, watch movies together, or read to each other. Anything where we could spend time with each other that wasn’t just staring at each other and a video call.
Keep your life outside of your partner – it may seem like a strange thing to include in an article about why long-distance relationships don’t work, but I really believe that part of a successful long-distance relationship is maintaining your own personal life outside of your partner. Finding things to talk about can be really difficult when you work, sleep, and talk to your partner. What’s to talk about? Maintain your hobbies, maintain relationships with your friends, get out into the community, and then come back to each other with stories and anecdotes to share. When there is too much going on, not much to talk about, and you start getting bored with each other, the relationship is under too much pressure, but it is more because you are bored with your own life.
Know your partner’s love language – we all meet our needs differently. Some of us need words of praise and affirmation, and some of us need quality time. Resonating with your partner is essential to maintaining a relationship at a significant distance. If you know it’s important for your partner to be valid, putting extra effort into sending messages or reminding them how much you value them can make or break a long-distance relationship.
Signs that your long-distance relationship is working
Now that we know why long-distance relationships sometimes don’t work, how do you know your long-distance relationship is working? Ultimately it boils down, to whether are you meeting your needs. Does the relationship make you more than it takes? Are both you and your partner closer than ever before to start your long-distance relationship?
If you find yourself developing resentment towards the person, being afraid to hear their voice, or losing enthusiasm about the relationship, it may be worth evaluating whether a long-distance relationship is really working. My opinion is that not everyone who loves each other should be in a relationship. Love is just part of a relationship. There are a million different logical issues that go into compatibility. Other factors not only distant can include, the desire to have children or not, where you want to live, and your goals in life will determine whether you are compatible or not.
Sometimes you can really love someone, and they are not just your person. You can love them and want the best for them, which sometimes means ending the relationship. This does not mean you have to do more forever, but if you feel that maintaining distance is too difficult, it is sometimes advisable to take breaks and reevaluate later to come back and discuss.
Do long-distance relationships ever work?
I mean, ours did! I know a lot of people who have had successful long-term relationships and eventually closed the gap to stay together. Some have waited months, some have waited years, and some are still waiting, but the relationship is going well. Not only ours. According to this article, about 58% of long-distance relationships work.
Although to be honest the statistics are not really convincing. Every relationship is so remarkably different, that someday the statistic doesn’t really matter much. I personally believe that long-distance relationships pose obstacles, but I also believe that through long-distance relationships that level of intimacy can be achieved that cannot be achieved even in personal relationships.
What do I mean by that? Think about it. When you are personal, it is so easy to detach yourself from actually knowing the person. I dated people for months and we really did activities, small talk, and went out with friends that we never really got to know each other. When you are at long distances, you really have your character. You really have your personality. You have to connect with that person on a much deeper level to take the relationship anywhere.
I knew my husband better than anyone when we were at a long distance. I knew every single thing about his whole life before we even physically met. I think that if we were personal, such closeness would have taken years, not months.
Why don’t long-distance relationships work?
Why long-distance relationships don’t work – conclusion
While it’s true that many long-distance relationships don’t end, that’s not necessarily the case. If you are intentional about your relationship, constantly communicating with your partner, making eventual reunion attempts, and remaining curious about each other’s lives, I think you can maintain a successful long-distance relationship.
What are your thoughts on why long-distance relationships don’t work? Tell us!
I am Seema Rai working in blog industry since 4 years and I am expert in writing articles and I am such an expert and I work for publishing articles in many websites and news websites