A long-distance relationship is a relationship just like any other. Whether in proximity or not, all relationships pose their own unique sets of challenges and rewards. Many doubt whether a long-distance relationship can work, but it requires the same principles as proximal relationships – trust, patience, open-communication, honesty, understanding, and respect.
So, if you’re wondering whether a long-distance relationship can work, the answer is a resounding yes! With the right approach and perspective, a long-distance relationship can be just as successful or even more so than a traditional, proximal relationship.
Exploring the Pros and Cons of Long-Distance Relationships
While long-distance relationships may require extended periods of time apart, less frequent communication and physical intimacy, tests of trust, and potential barriers in communication, they can also create depth in each of these areas as two individuals learn how to develop a bond that is beyond physical proximity.
Removing the option of physical touch is difficult. However, without the expectation of this physical component, couples explore a new domain that often is left untraveled. Couples begin to have more complex conversations that are emotionally vulnerable and untethered to the physical world. Through words, voice, and sight alone they can see each other in a new way.
Long-distance relationships require adaptation to a lifestyle that is both physically distant yet emotionally and mentally intimate. It is this push and pull dynamic that seems difficult to navigate. While you cannot see your partner at any moment that you choose, you can show that you’re present through a variety of actions. These displays of affection and consistency build trust and allow couples to develop communication skills that will aid in future conflicts when they are in the same geographic space.
How to Maintain Connection and Intimacy When Apart
To maintain connection and intimacy when you’re apart, it’s important to schedule regular times to talk and make time for each other. You can also use technology to your advantage. Video chats, texting, and phone calls can all help you feel connected even when you’re not physically together.
Research has shown that couples feel more satisfied in a long-distance relationship when they know that there are plans to become non-proximal and these plans happen within one year. Openly discussing and deciding upon plans to see each other helps to define expectations and have an event to look forward to rather than sitting in uncertainty. Further, solidifying plans to merge your lives can help to align your goals. It helps that eventual relocation has become much easier in current times as remote work is now more common and often preferred.
Redefining Relationship Norms to Make Long Distance Work
Long distance relationships require a different set of norms than traditional, proximal relationships. For example, you may need to redefine what “quality time” means when you’re apart.
It’s essential to be intentional in the time that you spend together. Every couple is different in how they prefer to spend their time, but some like to share in virtual meals together, watch movies or listen to music, play online games, explore interesting topics, and even engage in sexual foreplay. There are many ways in which intimacy can be deepened while apart and sexual intimacy is no different. Exploring fantasies and exchanging texts and images that entice the other are just a few ways that this can be achieved.
Overcoming Challenges and Making Sacrifices for the Relationship
Long-distance relationships require sacrifice and compromise just as all relationships do. Most of us become quite comfortable in our set routines and may find it challenging to adapt to the routine and lifestyle of another individual. However, just like we must make time for friends or family, we also need to make changes to our routines and lifestyles to make time for our partners. This means that you may have to postpone other activities or commitments to schedule virtual dates or times to chat, especially when living apart. You may also have to adapt your own communication style in order to make sure that your partner is feeling heard and appreciated. Frequent and affirmative communication is key in a long-distance relationship. Navigating time zone differences can also be challenging, but depending on work schedules, they may provide a welcoming balance in your routine.
Learning How to Compromise When Living in Different Locations
Compromise is key in any relationship, but it’s especially important in a long-distance relationship. You’ll need to learn how to balance your own needs and wants with the needs and wants of your partner. This could mean compromising on when to talk, what to talk about, and how much time to spend together. Since you may be operating on different time zones, making sure to listen to the preferences of your partner is key because it could be the deciding factor on whether you will have an opportunity to speak.
Utilizing Technology to Strengthen Your Bond
To put it simply, technology has eradicated most if not all prior challenges of non-proximal relationships. Instead of relying solely on letters sprayed with perfume or imbedded with locks of hair that may or may not arrive, we can now speak to each other through various forms of media.
Technology can be your best friend in a long-distance relationship. Video chat, messaging apps, and even virtual reality can help you feel more connected to your partner. Just make sure you don’t rely too heavily on technology and forget about the importance of in-person interactions when you do get the chance to see each other.
In summary, long-distance relationships require the same dedication and care as proximal relationships but do thrive on concentrated efforts that can build and strengthen bonds that otherwise could have been unfulfilled. Thanks to technology and the current remote nature of work, we are more equipped than ever to succeed in love even when apart.
If you would like more guidance in how to navigate long-distance relationships or even would just like to discuss your dating journey, schedule a consultation with a member of our team! Maclynn is a boutique, multi-award-winning introductions agency with offices in New Jersey, New York, California and London. Our dating experts are world-renowned for bringing together highly compatible singles within our vast network of attractive, intelligent professionals, as well as help you plan the very best dates. Get in touch today and prepare for genuinely meaningful dating—just like you deserve.