It’s no secret that people tend to be skeptical of long distance relationships. Some people believe that there’s no way a long distance relationship can work out. Anyone who’s ever actually been in a long distance relationship can tell you that it’s hard work. But – and this is big – but – it’s not impossible.
According to a study published in Cornell’s Journal of Communication, “Absence makes the communication grow fonder.” Which makes sense, right? When you miss someone, you view them through rose-tinted glasses. You don’t have the opportunity to be annoyed by those little things that might bug you if you were constantly together. Instead, the cornerstone of your relationship is communication.
When you communicate well, you open the door for amazing things to happen in your relationship.
I was in a long distance relationship for about a year when I was in college. We talked on the phone every night and often text messaged each other throughout the day. He actually communicated far more than some of the other guys I dated that lived only a few blocks away! As a result, I found it easy to trust him. Unfortunately, our relationship ended because we both felt that we weren’t able to see each other often enough.
As it turns out, that’s a pretty common cause for the demise of an LDR. It’s important to set dates when you can. Giving yourself a concrete date to look forward to will help make the interim more bearable.
So what’s the hardest part of a Long Distance Relationship? Making sure that your expectations match your reality.
Emma Dargie, a Ph.D. candidate at Queen’s University, published a paper in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy with data taken from surveys of over 1,100 men and women either long distance or geographically close relationships. Dargie and her co-authors found that the happiest couples weren’t always the ones that were closest geographically. Instead, expectations versus reality mattered more.
For example, imagine you’ve just gotten into an LDR. You’re head over heels, and you’re hoping to see your partner once a month at least. As your relationship grows, you find that you’ve really only been able to see your partner every three months. And they don’t even call you every day like you’d planned! You’d be pretty unhappy, right?
Alternatively, imagine finding that you actually have the means to see each other once a month. No matter what, you make it happen. You email once or twice a day and end the night with a long video chat. You find it easy to trust your partner because your needs are being met and your expectations are fulfilled.
I’m not telling you to lower your expectations, necessarily. But you might be happier if you adjust them to fit your reality instead of your ideal.
Embrace the ways that technology makes it possible to connect with your partner.
More than ever before, we have the opportunity to be in close contact with people around the world. New apps are coming out all the time with the goal of keeping loved ones close. One of our favorites at the office is Couple, an app with a lot of functionality that makes it really easy to keep all of your correspondence in one place.
If you’re one of those couples that feel like you’re doing the same things over and over again, you just need to know where to look for fresh ideas. While a bookmarks folder can work, it’s not the easiest thing to share with your partner, and the format isn’t exactly visually appealing.
I like to use Pinterest and Tumblr to keep all of my ideas stored in an easy-to-access, easy-to-share way. An extra sexy way to use Tumblr is to create a new account that only you two have the password for. Share pictures, videos, and articles – all about what you want to do to your partner the next time you see them.
Hopefully, this blog has given you some idea of how you can make your LDR even better.
At KIIROO, we believe in the strength of long-distance relationships. If you’d like to be interviewed for a study about your Real Life LDR, reach out to us at Info@KIIROO.com.