Are Long Distance Relationships Worth It? What Nobody Tells You
When someone says their partners are moving to a different city or continent because of school or work and that you will continue with the relationship, people often have opposing reactions.
The antis dominate in terms of numbers compared to the pros. Often you will hear them say, “why waste time on a long-distance affair when you can find someone near you? For sure, they will end up finding someone else in the new place too.”
Or, those who believe in destiny and fate saying, “This is a test of your love and destiny. Let go of your partner. If he/she is truly yours, then they will be back. If not, then you were not meant to be.”
You can’t blame them for thinking this way. Their warnings are backed up by numbers. Statistics says 40% of couples in Long Distance Relationships break up in the next 4 to 5 months, on average. Would you want to risk your relationship and be part of the 40%? Or of the 60% who made it through?
The number of couples who permanently separated after undergoing a long-distance relationship (LDR) is overwhelming.
According to a study conducted by Rohlfing (1995), these are unique challenges only LDR couples face in their relationship:
Most of the college students accounting to 25 to 50%, have long-distance relationships. And, for someone who is still studying, finances can be tight. When the money you have is just enough to get by. Travel expenses to visit your loved one can be put you into a wormhole. Being broke and loveless is the last thing you wanted.
Challenge of sustaining friendships with those who live close by
When you are in a long-distance relationship, the tendency is to stay at home to spend time with your partner. Time where you can call or FaceTime each other without any disruption. Doing this takes away some of the precious time that you could have spent with families and friends within your neighborhood. Thereby, jeopardizing these relationships.
Understanding the state of your relationship
Couples within close proximity can quickly identify if their relationship is getting stronger or if it’s going haywire. But, for couples who live miles away, being able to draw a line between a stable relationship and a deranged one is difficult.
High expectations of both parties because of the limited time
That is also another hurdle. At most, you expect 100% attention and focus from your partner for the limited time you spend together.
Given all these challenges, are you willing to stick it out until the four or 5-month mark is up before you call it quits? Are Long Distance Relationships Worth it?
The truth is long-distance relationships are the norm nowadays. Aside from high school sweethearts who part ways, the popularity of online dating sites also leads to an increase of long-distance relationships.
Thanks to modern technology, long-distance relationships are more viable compared to the olden days when they rely on snail mail or long-distance phone call that cost a ton. Now, the world is getting smaller and who knows what science can come up next.
Making a stand to make a relationship work, whether it be local or long-distance, requires dedication and commitment from both parties. So, if you see any of these signs, don’t wait for another six months or even a year.
The 4 tell-tale signs
Here are tell-tale signs your relationship is doomed to fail
Petty arguments that escalate over time
Arguing is healthy for couples as allows you communicate with each other to improve your relationship. Too much disagreement that leads to fighting is a different story, especially if you argue at the most trivial things.
There may be a bigger problem lurking behind your constant bickering that is waiting to explode.
When one party starts complaining, “how come I always call you first?” or “You don’t text or call me that often anymore,” is a hint that the other one is not too vested in the relationship. Being busy is a mere excuse.
Remember that “People make time for their priorities in life. If they don’t have time for you, then you are not their priority.”
Two ships are sailing apart
You and your partner do not have a common goal, whether it be working or living in one location at a certain period or eventually getting married.
You can’t be two sails floating forever in the sea. Both sails must commit in the end to one specific destination. If you don’t have any precise goals, then it is wise to start sailing in a different sea.
No one wants to heed
In line with #3, more often than not, this will only come into play when one party is willing to take the leap. Especially if you are living halfway around the world, and in different timezones, when neither of you is ready to migrate to where the other is, the future is bleak.
If, by any chance, you agree to most of the signs stated above, letting go might be a more comfortable option than pursuing a long-distance relationship. But, before you do, ask this question again, are Long Distance Relationships Worth it?
Despite all the challenges and adverse reactions to long-distance relationships, the benefits you get out of this affair to outweigh the detrimental ones. LDR can turn you into a better person and a lover to your partner.
These are the benefits you get from long distance relationships where you can say it was all worth it.
A long-distance relationship is a test of your love
The sad truth for some relationship is that their proximity sometimes lead them to distance themselves from you.
They take for granted your presence as they assume that you will be beside them forever. Not knowing that love does not come to those who take it for granted but those who are willing to commit themselves wholeheartedly in a relationship.
When being there becomes a habit, the spark slowly dies down. You end up feeling lonely and empty even when you are together. Gradually, you drift apart.
But, You are truly in love when you fall for him/her over again despite being miles away from you. As the adage says, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder.”
The irony of it all, being apart makes you appreciate the time that you are together. If you can take the distance, you can take anything.
Being in a long-distance relationship teaches effective communication skills
Over time, couples who spend time together can end up with empty words to keep the conversation flowing. Even cohabiting, especially married couples, can attest to this. As you go through life’s mundane, your exchanges become quick and almost robotic.
When conversations start to become stale, often words don’t convey your genuine emotions. Reading between the lines can end up in misunderstanding and confusion that can be detrimental to both parties.
Until silence becomes more powerful than spoken words. However, silence is what separates people, not distance.
On the contrary, couples in long-distance relationships make more effort to communicate with their partners in being affectionate and intimate. Unlike those who are within arms reach, they tend to have more extended and more meaningful conversations.
Describing how your day went is not another “yeah, it went well,” response. But, you end up sharing your thoughts about your friend’s makeup or your feelings about your new boss.
Open communication is more natural as you tend to become more comfortable, disclosing your emotions and thoughts over the phone or via FaceTime. As you and your partner listen more to what each has to say, you create a bond that is tighter than ever.
Whether we admit it or not, when you are in a relationship, we expect our partner to be there for us all the time. Expecting their presence in a whim as if you suddenly lost your arms or legs to move, or your brain to think independently.
Clinging to your partner as if the world depends on him is a common pitfall when you’re trapped in the romantic circle. Often, neglecting your family and friends who have been with you from the start.
The partner ends not as the other half but an extension of the other person. Losing yourself in the process, for some, the sudden absence of their partner cripples them to do the things they usually do.
In reality, though, you are stronger and smarter than you think. That is why you have been given free will to think for yourself and be accountable for all the consequences and rewards your action brings you.
Having a loved one whose thousand of miles away from you force you to look after yourself and enforce independence. You begin to muster the confidence and strength to take on challenges that come your way.
Navigating life on your own gives you the strength and will power to one day be the steady anchor that your partner needs in life.
There’s now plenty of “me” time.
As you become more self-reliant, you enjoy things on your own. Remember that you can’t give what you don’t have. And love is one of them. Fill yourself to the brim to have more than enough to share with your partner.
Healthy relationships let you flourish and become a better version of yourself. Before you were a couple, you were two human beings with individual goals and dreams. That has not changed except that now, you have shared ideals and aspirations.
Allow yourself to discover what sets your soul on fire and rekindle the passion that might have gone astray. When you are comfortable in your skin, you become less needy and more accommodating to other people.
You see things from a different perspective with an open mind and refreshing energy, paving the way to personal growth and maturity.
“Me” time allows you to recognize the beauty you have within and finding your true happiness. A healthy relationship does not look for what’s lacking in the other partner.
They are there to complement each other. They are your cheerleader, your number 1 fan. Happy to see what you have accomplished on your own.
Do the things that you have neglected for some time. Spending time with family and friends is a great way to fill the void your partner left. The renewed bond will help them see and appreciate the effort that you and your partner put into the relationship.
Your relationship becomes “real.”
Due to the geographical restriction void of any physical contact, you create a deeper relationship built on trust and love, not on lust. As old as this quote might get, but true love does wait. And the distance and waiting game help you identify who is worth keeping and who is not.
Abstinence is torture for two passionate souls, but it also allows you to open your eyes to appreciate and discover the quirks and personalities of each other more. You fall in love with their character more than their physical attributes.
You get good at planning.
Given the limited time that you and your partner get to spend with each other, planning takes on a whole new level.
You get to be adept at organizing things from planning how to save money for your next couple escapade to eventually planning your big day. Your ability to organize thoughts in advance like keeping track of the calendar and to-do list becomes second nature to you. Making sure every moment you spend with each other count.
There is no perfect relationship. It is about two people who are willing to fight and commit to each other to make it work no matter what. Distance is not an obstacle but a tool to realize the importance of time well spent.
Long-distance relationships are not for the pigeon hearted. It requires more than mere acceptance but the tenacity to appreciate your alone time and to cherish those valuable times spent together. The opportunity to wade the unworthy to the ones who matter most.
Take heart and have the courage for true love endures time and distance.