It’s no secret that long-distance relationships are incredibly difficult, even with all the technology that exists to help people stay in touch with one another. What you might not know is that long-distance relationships are also increasingly popular.
According to Dr. Guldner at the former Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships, anywhere between 14 and 15 million people in the United States are in long-distance relationships. LDR’s are also more successful than most people give them credit for—according to Dr. Guldner, 10% of all marriages in the U.S. started out at long-distance relationships.
If you’re a member of this quickly growing relationship demographic, you’ve probably already figured out that LDR’s come with their own unique set of problems. Here are the three biggest issues that people in LDR’s have to deal with:
Being in a long-distance relationship is like running a marathon—you have to pace yourself. If you start at full speed, with an endless barrage of text messages, Skype dates and nightly phone calls, you’re going to burn yourself out. It’s great to start out strong, but you won’t be able to maintain that level of communication for very long.
The Solution: Consistent communication is more important than constant communication. Instead of calling your partner six or seven times a day, try scheduling your conversations—a phone call every other night, a Skype date every weekend, etc. This will help keep the conversation interesting and engaging, and help prevent relationship burn-out.
They get jealous.
All relationships come with the potential for jealousy, but that potential gets magnified in long-distance relationships. The distance separating you from your partner can send your imagination into overdrive, so people in long-distance relationships have to work hard to keep their insecurities in check. Jealousy, if handled incorrectly, can destroy a long-distance relationship.
The Solution: The best way to deal with jealousy is trusting and open, two-way communication. People in long-distance relationships need to feel comfortable enough with each other to talk it out when there’s something wrong.
If you or your partner is prone to jealousy, you might want to reconsider whether you actually want to be in a long-distance relationship. Dating someone who lives in a different city, state, or country requires an incredible amount of patience and trust. If you and your partner can’t trust each other now, there’s no reason to put yourselves through the pain of trying to make it work long-distance.
They grow apart.
Sometimes, people stop communicating, or they start to take one another for granted. It can happen in any relationship, but long-distance relationships are particularly prone to fizzling out.
It happens innocuously. The never-ending parade of Skype dates and weekend visiting gets temporarily put on the back-burner just until things settle down. Unfortunately for you and your significant other, things never do settle down. Before you know it, the two of you are living separate lives and barely making time for one another. Neither of you want to break up but you’re content to let the relationship fall apart.
The Solution: The best way to avoid growing apart is to keep things interesting, which can be trickier than it sounds. Remember, relationships are supposed to be fun! Don’t be afraid to mix things up.
Andrei Milosevic is an international student, traveler, and writer. Over the past few years, he has been studying international business and providing advice and insight into making international calls. In his free time he plays with his cats and talks to his girlfriend on Skype.
Photo Credit: Skinnymom.com.