By Natasha Ivanovic
After going on an endless number of dates and swiping through dating apps until your thumb goes numb, you’ve met someone that you feel could be your partner in life. But there’s one teeny-tiny problem: they live hundreds of miles away, possibly even on another continent.
Now, no one said love was easy. And, of course, entering a long-distance relationship isn’t on anybody’s list (because honestly, who wants to be separated from their partner?), but you also don’t want to lose this person. This is quite the conundrum to be in.
Long-distance relationships are something we’ve all encountered, whether it’s being in one, or witnessing one via a close friend or family member. With our past experiences, we all form different opinions on long-distance relationships. Some of us have a strict rule against them, while others decide to accept the challenge and put the relationship to the test. And it looks like you’re the latter.
You may be wondering if being in a long-distance relationship is a good or bad choice, but it’s neither. It’s simply a choice. Whether it works out or not will depend on you and your partner. But don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to set you up with everything you need.
This toolkit is intended to help guide you through your long-distance relationship and put it on the path to success. By learning the necessities of what’s needed in a long-distance relationship and how to keep it going, you’ll be able to reflect on your own relationship and apply the necessary tips.
Whether you’re thinking about entering a long-distance relationship or wondering how to sustain your existing relationship, we’re going to provide you with the right resources to help your long-distance relationship flourish.
Doomed from the Start?: The Challenges of Long-distance Relationships
If there’s one thing people will tell you about long-distance relationships, it’s that you should avoid them. In general, people see long-distance relationships with a “doomed from the start” mentality. However, times have changed. Perhaps this mentality was understandable before the likes of Skype, Whatsapp, and FaceTime. However, today, long-distance relationships are highly maintainable, regardless of the gap.
In terms of communicating with each other, there’s no issue. But, long-distance relationships do have unique challenges that conventional relationships bypass. It’s no surprise that obviously long-distance relationships lack the physical contact and the small day-to-day pleasures that other relationships enjoy.
And although these are considerable downfalls, there’s one thing that long-distance couples have the advantage of: getting to know each other on a deeper level without distractions. When talking to your partner in a long-distance relationship, the lack of intimacy forces you to communicate and connect on an intellectual level as opposed to physical.
“Reading” & Resources on Long-Distance Basics
Long-distance relationships are outside conventional relationships. Most people opt to be with someone they can see on a daily basis. However, seeing someone every day doesn’t mean they have a higher likelihood of success. A 2018 study found that 60% of long-distance relationships last, so the odds are in your favor.
But if you want to be in the 60%, it means you’re going to have to build a foundation with your partner. By understanding what’s needed in a long-distance relationship, you’ll be able to create a solid base to build off of. In the links provided below, you’ll learn the building blocks needed for a successful long-distance relationship.
Long-distance relationships come with their own set of unique challenges. By knowing what’s ahead, you’ll be able to prepare yourself better. In this article by Mark Manson, he provides you with a few crucial rules to help your long-distance relationship survive.
With long-distance relationships, couples want to focus on deepening their connection. In this BBXX podcast, The Lost Art of Letter Writing, we talk about the importance of putting down our phones and taking the time to write a letter to our loved ones.
Going into a long-distance relationship can be intimidating, especially when you have your doubts. In From Stranger To Lover: 16 Strategies For Building A Great Long Distance Relationship by psychologist Lisa McKay, she gives you the insight and skills needed to build a strong relationship that will go the distance.
Sometimes in long-distance relationships, the interactions, though frequent, can become superficial. The Long Distance Dating Blueprint provides couples with a 12-week series of “dates” to help couples cultivate meaningful and deep conversations. By getting to know your partner on a deeper level, you’ll form a stronger relationship.
“Reading” & Resources on Pushing Through the Distance
You’ve read the above resources and have a grasp on the foundation needed for a strong long-distance relationship, but now what? Having a strong foundation is essential, but now the relationship needs to continue to grow through the distance.
A healthy relationship will change and develop with time; however, distance can make things a little tricky. The following links will provide you with a deeper understanding of challenges in long-distance relationships and how you can progress through them.
If there’s one challenge all long-distance couples experience, it’s a lack of intimacy. However, some couples are forming their own relationships outside of traditional norms. In the first episode of our two-part interview with Dr. Heath Schechinger, we talk about terminology and learn the different types of non-traditional relationships.
Many couples struggle with communication. And for long-distance couples, effective communication is something they need to focus on. Without effective communication, your long-distance relationship will come to an end. In this article, goop interview psychotherapist Marcey Cole, Ph.D., as she discusses ten communication patterns that hurt our relationships.
Teledildonics is proving to be helpful when dealing with intimacy issues in long-distance relationships. On this episode of Future of Sex, Bryony Cole speaks with sextech consultant Stephanie Baron about discovering the teledildonic industry. She also speaks to Janet Lieberman, co-founder of Dame Products, about the future of teledildonics.
Intimacy is a big problem when it comes to long-distance relationships. Not to mention, with these current times, couples are extending the distance because of quarantines and lockdowns. In this article, goop interviews therapist and Maybe You Should Talk to Someone author Lori Gottleib, MFT, who has some helpful advice for couples dealing with distance.
Tying it all together
It’s safe to say that long-distance relationships are tough. We don’t want to sugar-coat reality. Being away from your partner for extended periods is difficult on various levels, including physical and emotional. However, it doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. If anything, if you’re able to pull through the distance and time apart as a couple, together, you’ll come out stronger.
If you want to learn more about long-distance relationships, go through the above resources, even with your partner, and reflect on your relationship. By reflecting on your relationship, you’ll see the areas you need to work on as a couple and use the resources appropriately. Understanding the weaknesses in your relationship is the first step in gaining control over them.
Whether you’re considering a long-distance relationship or currently in one with your partner, we hope you were able to take something from this toolkit to support you in your journey. If you have any questions or thoughts that weren’t addressed here, we’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or on IG at @bbxx.world.