7 Revealing Truths About Long Distance Relationships

Long distance relationships are one answer to dating when geography is threatening to keep you and someone apart. However, they’re bound to be complicated and they are certainly not the easiest way to sustain a relationship. Some people can manage them fine but other people just aren’t cut out for them. Here are some things to consider when you’re wondering if you are.

1. If you really see a future with this person.

If you know that you want to be with person in the future then a long distance relationship can be seen as just a necessary stop along the way. It might not be ideal, but it’s probably better than the alternative of not being together at all. At least if you’re in a relationship you can continue to get to know each other from a distance and not to have to worry about you or her dating other people.

But if you aren’t sure about a future or you’re certain that you don’t want one with her, then the idea of long distance might lose some of it’s appeal. It’s extra important to get on the same page with your partner if you’re going long distance, because there’s a big difference between casually staying in touch and making a long distance commitment because this is a life partner. If the two of you have different perspectives on why this is a good idea then it could end up being a waste of time for at least one person.

2. If you think things like that are romantic.

Some people think that distance and a missing one another can add some romance into a relationship. Depending on how far way you live from one another you might only see each other a couple times a month, so it’s true that you probably aren’t going to get sick of one another too quickly. This can make seeing each other feel really exciting. There’s the missing, the buildup, and then the fun of actual being together for the entire weekend that you visit and having uninterrupted and concentrated time together.

But other people don’t think this is romantic at all. To some people the missing aspect is unbearable and it’s too much of a rollercoaster to go through those extreme highs and lows. For some people that’s distracting.

Other people don’t tend to miss people at all and it’s more like an out of sight out of mind thing. That might make a long distance relationship tolerable for you, but it also isn’t likely to be evolving in any one direction too quickly. That might not be fair for the other person who wants it to, or it might not be fair to you if the girl that you’re dating is one of those types.

3. The logistics of this actually works.

No matter how much you like someone you’ve got to consider the actual logistics of how this specific long distance relationship will work. Do you both have the time and money to be traveling regularly to see one another or is it going to be just one person doing the majority of the traveling. Would you pay her way or vice versa?

You also have to consider the fact that not only do you have to make time to visit her, but you also have to be able to adjust your life and set aside time when she’s here. In a normal dating situation she might spend the night one night but not the next, everyone is doing their own thing to a certain extent. But when she’s visiting from out of town she’s a visitor, and that means that you’re the host. It doesn’t mean that you have to have something wild and crazy planned for every visit since you might just prefer to hang out anyway. But it does mean that you might not see as much of your other friends or have time to work all day Sunday, or whatever.

We’re all capable of making those adjustments when we want to, but the question ends up being when you want to and when it’s not actually worth it. Some people are flexible with that immersion and removal pattern, other people will feel suffocated and distracted by it.

4. How jealous you are.

If you’re the jealous type you might struggle with a long distance relationship. You never have total control over what someone else is doing with their time, but in a long distance relationship you might not even have a great idea of what they’re up to. Trust becomes an incredibly factor. When she explains the male best friend that you’ve never met you have to trust that she’s being open about the type of relationship that they have and that she isn’t hiding elements of it.

This is true in any circumstance, but when you’re in the same town she would probably be spending more time with you than with him. Plus you would probably meet the guy at some point and you could get a real feel for who this person is and what he’s doing with your girlfriend. With long distance you might not get that option, which leaves a whole lot up to the imagination.

5. If you can wait for sex or not.  

When you’re in a long distance relationship you can make time to talk to your girlfriend every single day if you want to, but there’s no way to have real time physically intimacy every single day. This means no cuddling, holding hands, and no sex for a lot of the time.

There are a few different ways to look at this. On one hand, if you were totally single without any prospects you wouldn’t be doing that stuff either, so at least with a long distance relationship it happens occasionally. If you and the person really like each other then it can be worth the wait and even be extra passionate and hot because of it.

On the other hand, if you have plenty of options and would prefer to be having sex regularly, you are going to be tempted to do it with other people. The temptation alone might stress you out for even considering it, or you might justify why it’s okay to have non-emotional sex while your girlfriend is away. But is it? Long distance relationships can bring up an awful lot of questions about behavior and needs.

6. Whether you feel complete or not when someone isn’t around.

Besides simply missing someone, some people just don’t feel like themselves when their significant other isn’t around. It’s debatable to what level that’s healthy and what isn’t, but if it’s your reality it’s something that you might have to contend with in a long distance relationship. She won’t be around to grocery shop with you, or be your date to a last minute party that you get invited to.

If you’re the type to get emotionally lonely in general this could be particularly rough. If on the other hand you prefer to have your alone time and you don’t like doing everything with a girlfriend then you might actually enjoy it.

7. You don’t like talking.

If you don’t like talking, or you don’t like talking on the phone specifically then a long distance relationship might not be your cup of tea. Unless your girlfriend is exactly the same as you she will most likely not be satisfied by keeping in touch through the occasionally text message alone. Long distance relationships can feel like there’s even more effort put into talking, since an hour long phone call might be the equivalent to the lunch date you’d otherwise be having. In person the talking is natural and automatic, but on the phone it’s the entire intention of the moment.

That, plus the fact that you’ll have to do plenty of communicating about how you feel about the relationship, responding to how she feels about it, whether it’s working now, and where it happens to be going. But if you truly love someone then the talking should come easy enough that it makes the whole thing beyond worth it. Succeeding at a long distance relationship is a pretty big accomplishment, and after that if you end up in the same place again the rest of the relationship can feel like a piece of cake.

Kate Ferguson

Kate Ferguson is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer, who utilizes as much wit and personal anecdote as possible across a variety of genres. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce. Keep up with her on her social media @KateFerg

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