In 2013, over 14 million couples were involved in long-distance relationships. This number includes 3.75 million married couples in America alone. The most common long-distance relationships, though, involve college students. These relationships can be successful, especially considering all the modern communication methods available. However, they do come with distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Making Every Day a Holiday
When you live far from your partner, obviously you don’t get to see her as much as you want. However, this can be an advantage because you have more time to make each encounter special. Instead of running out for a quick dinner at a fast food restaurant, you can make reservations at a place with a waiting list. Or, because you aren’t spending money on weekly dates, you might have time to save up for great seats at a concert or sporting event. The additional time between dates can actually help you make your partner feel special.
Talking it Out
For a long-distance relationship to be successful, both partners must learn to communicate effectively. Since texts and phone conversations can be easily misunderstood, partners need to make sure they express themselves clearly. In addition, to avoid wasting their precious time together on bickering, they need to become skilled at knowing which issues to address and which to let go. When problems do arise, though, they need to be able to address the issue in a constructive manner that leads to a quick resolution. Learning these skills in a long-distance relationship can help both partners communicate better in all areas of their lives.
Counting the Cost
One disadvantage to a long-distance relationship is the added expense that can be involved. Phone conversations and texting can lead to additional wireless charges. Driving 125 miles -- the average distance between long-distance partners -- even once a month costs money in both gas and wear and tear on your car. Partners who are further away may need to fly or meet at a half-way point, which can be even more costly. This is why people involved in a long-distance relationship need to budget carefully to avoid struggling financially.
The biggest disadvantage to a long-distance relationship is the added emotional stress that can occur. Living far from the one you love is bound to make you feel lonely and frustrated. In addition, since you are not always aware of what your partner is doing and who he is spending time with, it’s easy to get jealous. Both partners need to make sure they take time to emotionally recharge and deal with their negative feelings in order to avoid getting resentful and bitter.
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Kimberly Yates has been both writing and teaching since 1997. She has been published in a variety of magazines, including "The Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine" and "Woman's World." She has a Bachelor's degree in English and a Masters in English education.
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