Updated: May 6
Millions of people around the world are currently navigating the challenges and rewards that come with being in a long-distance relationship. The reasons for a couple to commit for such a test can be multiple: studies, work, family, financial situation... It's important to weigh the pros and cons before making any decisions, so if you're considering starting a long-distance relationship or are currently in one, this article is for you.
In the next paragraphs, we will cover 5 benefits and 5 disadvantages of getting apart, as well as what scientists advice to make it work. Are you ready?
5 positive outcomes of being away of your SO
Let's face it, it is sad to be away from your Significant Other for a long time. Most people prefer to see their partner in person rather often, and living apart usually makes this quite difficult. But hey, there are some perks to it, and even your relationship can be strengthened by long distances!
After all, these Canadian researchers found that being in a close or a long-distance relationship has nothing to do with the success of dating someone in the long run :)
You learn to communicate effectively: One of the most important skills you can have in any relationship is effective communication. When you're in a long-distance relationship, you have no choice but to communicate effectively because you can't rely on body language or other nonverbal cues to help you understand each other.
You appreciate time spent together more: Because you don't get to see each other as often as you'd like, you learn to savor every moment you have together. You're also more likely to make plans and do things that you both enjoy because you know how precious your time together is.
The physical distance can make the heart grow fonder: If you find yourself constantly thinking about your partner and can't wait to see them again, it's a good sign that your long-distance relationship is working out well. Studies have shown that absence really does make the heart grow fonder, so if you're feeling extra lovey-dovey (or straight-up horny), it's probably because you miss your partner!
You get to know each other on a deeper level: In a long-distance relationship, there's no such thing as taking your partner for granted because every conversation and every moment spent together is special. As a result, many couples in long-distance relationships find that they develop a stronger emotional bond than couples who see each other all the time.
It can be exciting! There's something thrilling about knowing that your partner is only a phone call away, even if they're hundreds or thousands of miles away from you at any given moment. Long-distance relationships give you the opportunity to live out your wildest fantasies without ever leaving your home!
But...you might reconsider these 5 downsides
Like everything in life, living away from your romantic partner might be way too much for one or both of you, and eventually weigh down on your relationship altogether. Consider these negative aspects of long-distance relationships before you make a final decision:
You miss out on physical intimacy: One of the biggest challenges of being in a long-distance relationship is dealing with the lack of physical intimacy. Although phone calls and videochatting can help alleviate some of this frustration, it's not the same as being able to hold each other close or share a passionate kiss whenever you want.
You might feel like you're always waiting for something to happen: When you're in a long-distance relationship, there's always an element of waiting involved, whether you're waiting for your next visit or waiting for the day when you can finally move in together. This patience can be tough to muster up sometimes, especially if things aren't going as smoothly as you'd like them too.
Jealousy can become an issue: If either one of you starts spending more time with new friends, it can be easy to start feeling jealous. After all , when you're used to seeing each other all the time, it's hard not too feel left out when suddenly there's someone else filling up all that space in your partner's life.
Miscommunication is bound to happen: Even if you're both excellent communicators, there will be times when miscommunication occurs simply because you're not able to pick up on each other's nonverbal cues. This can lead to arguments and resentment if not dealt with properly.
Distance can put strain on even the strongest relationships: No matter how strong your relationship is, being apart from each other for extended periods of time can put a strain on even the healthiest of unions. If distance starts causing more problems than it solves, then it might be time to consider ending the relationship before it causes even more damage.
Tips for a successful long-distance relationship
Scientists have tried to discover what makes a relationship to work out or to break up, and turns out: being separated is not relevant at all! Instead, we should look at other factors to make sure our relationship is strong enough to survive time, distance, and personal growth.
Having little certainty about the future of one’s relationship is related to poorer relationship outcomes, maybe becayse you lack something concrete to look forward. To cope with long distance, you both should work on your attitude towards a future together. Try to have an open, solution-focused discussion about your plans and you both will notice a sense of stability in your relationship. If you work together towards common goals, you might be able to overcome the emotional and logistical challenges of being apart from each other. For example, in a 2007 study on American college students in long-distance relationships, those who were not sure whether they would ever live in the same city as their partner were more psychologically distressed.
As expected, remote communication may be particularly important to long-distance relationships. More frequent video calling, voice calling and texting is connected with how responsive you perceive your partner. And actually, these behaviours predict greater relationship satisfaction. So make sure you schedule videocalls and stay in touch regularly and pro-actively through texts, it will pay off!!
Surprise, surprise!! Greater distance apart is linked with more intimacy, communication, relationship satisfaction, and communicating your needs. Obviously, the more frequently you visit each other, the better. You should agree in advance on as many planned visits as you can afford, so you both have something to look forward to in those lonely days!
There are pros and cons to every decision we make in life, and starting or maintaining a long-distance relationship is no different. It's important to weigh all of the factors before making any decisions so that you know what you're getting yourself into.
If after reading this article, you still feel like a long-distance relationship is right for you, then go for it! And if not, that's OK too! Life is all about trial and error, so don't be afraid to experiment until you find what works best for YOU!