With the Internet and cell phones making communication easy, long-distance relationships are on the rise and more successful than ever. In fact, only about forty percent of all long-distance relationships end with a break up, according to research from Gregory Guldner, formerly the director of the Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships. However, before entering into a long-distance relationship, it’s important to make sure you and partner meet a few basic requirements to help your relationship grow instead of fall apart.
A key requirement of a successful long-distance relationship is communication. In the beginning, you and your partner must be able to discuss your expectations for the relationship. In addition, you will need to set mutual boundaries for fidelity and discuss how you’re going to manage visits. Throughout the relationship, you must both continue to communicate your emotional needs and any worries or insecurities that come up. Regular communication also helps you maintain and grow your emotional connection with each other as you share things from your everyday life with each other and continue to maintain an emotional closeness. The better you communicate with each other, the better chance your long-distance relationship has of succeeding.
Long distance relationships aren't for everyone, especially not people who tend to be insecure. For a long-distance relationship to work, both partners will need to be secure enough to spend significant periods of time alone without worrying about the behavior of their partner. They will need to be able to fight feelings of jealousy and loneliness while maintaining affection for their partner. Most importantly, they will need to be secure enough to trust in the strength of the relationship without physical interaction.
A long-distance relationship is all about patience. Waiting to see your partner, waiting to talk to your partner, waiting for your partner to answer a text or email -- all of these require patience. To have a successful long-distance relationship, both partners will need to be patient enough to endure their time apart but also to see the time as a chance to build anticipation and excitement. This will help make the relationship stronger and more likely to succeed, says John Alex Clark, a relationship coach and author from Ireland.
A final requirement for couples involved in a long-distance relationship is independence. Since your partner won’t always be able to be around for special events, your initial response might be to not go either. However, this can be a big mistake. It can make you feel like you’re missing out, which can, in turn, make you feel resentful of your partner. To avoid falling into this long-distance relationship trap, you will need to be independent enough to go places alone or with friends without your partner. The stronger you are, the stronger your relationship will be. After all, you'll have more to share with your partner and more things available to do when you are able to spend physical time together as well.
- eHarmony: Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide
- Long Distance Relationship Statistics: Long Distance Relationship Statistics 2013
- Psychology Today: Love From Afar: Staying Close While You Live Apart
- Relationship Psychology.com: Long Distance Relationship Tips
- Long Distance Relationships: Resources for Educators
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