Long Distance Relationships: How to Make it Work

Being in a long-distance relationship can be challenging, and if you don’t have the right set of tools to help you find your way, you may find yourself back on Single Street. There is method to the madness of making it work, but you have to be willing to put in the effort.

From Betty Confidential:

You never know where or when you’re going to find love. It could be with that cutie you bump elbows with at your local coffee shop or someone you met through an online dating site who lives in the next town over. Or it could be with a man who lives halfway around the world—and then what do you do? You can’t just turn your back on love because of a few hundred miles, can you?

As the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. And with long distance relationships, the anticipation of a reunion can be thrilling. It’s no wonder that Tim Loving, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin and co-editor of The Science of Relationshipsfound that “love,” “idealistic distortion” (the tendency to see a relationship in an overly-positive light) and “intimacy talk” all ranked stronger from people in a long distance relationship.

“If you’re only seeing each other every couple months, it’s like you’re always going on a first date again,” Loving notes. “Who doesn’t love the uncertainty and arousal of the first date?”

Loving also points out that long distance relationships can offer an incredibly appealing, best of both worlds kind of work/life balance. During the week, you can focus on your job and friends, while on the weekends, you can focus on your partner.

Jackie*, 37, couldn’t agree more: “I liked the freedom of the long distance relationship and how I always had time for my girlfriends and myself—it was like being single and in a relationship at the same time. And when you saw each other, it was exciting and felt ‘new.’”

Staying Close When You’re Far Apart

But how do you sustain that spark from afar? “If you want to get a long distance relationship working,” relationship expert Rachel Sussman advises, “you do need to have some rules as far as how and when you’re going to communicate with each other.”

Thanks to technology—from texting and emails to video chat—communicating is easier than ever. But you still have to devote a lot of time and energy to reach out and (virtually) touch someone.

Jennifer*, 34, has been calling or Skyping her boyfriend in Ireland every day for a year, while Christy*, 28, felt tethered to her phone, constantly texting her boyfriend for six months. And Ben*, 33, instant messaged his girlfriend everyday for four years until they finally moved to the same city to be together.

Read more at BettyConfidential.com

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