Do long Distance Relationships Work? Tackling Distance and Developing Trust

05 Nov

While they have the potential to flourish under the analogy that “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, for some, distance can be a strain on the heart, and in some cases, the distance outweighs the strength of love.

Long distance relationships (LDRs) have a somewhat notorious stigma attached to them.

While they have the potential to flourish under the analogy that “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, for some, distance can be a strain on the heart, and in some cases, the distance outweighs the strength of love.

However, the struggle of keeping in touch and maintaining the love-lust in LDRs may be getting easier thanks to the development of technology. The Atlantic states that technological advancements are making couple’s love lives more closely resemble those of couples who live in the same place. The distance is still there, but it feels shorter and shorter.

So, what’s the key to maintaining a positive LDR? I’ll be exploring a few of the major themes that you will need to address and understand in order for your relationship to grow, despite the distance.

Expectations vs. Reality

expectations vs reality The first hurdle people in LDRs face is what they expect their relationship to be like. Being optimistic is important, it’s one of the core foundations of making an LDR work, but it’s also important to have realistic expectations.

You may feel as though the distance will make meeting your partner all the more special, filled with romantic gestures, great sex and generally all the more special. While this may be true during the first few weeks or months, be sure to not let these high expectations mask reality!

That may sound somewhat negative, but this is simply the adjustment period, we often forget that the stuff like hanging out eating pizza in our pyjamas are often our most favoured times with our partners. In short, there’s no need to radically change how you approach your relationship now you’re far apart. Such high expectations can often leave partners feeling let down because “it wasn’t how they imagined”.

Common challenges associated with long distance couples

All people in long distance relationships will experience challenges at some point, and even the mundane issues can appear . Some of issues may include:

  • High expectations when meeting up;
  • Staying optimistic and having a realistic view of the relationship;
  • Being honest and open about your feelings on the distance;
  • Financial difficulties (travel costs).

In general, LDRs are thought to be more satisfying and less stressful when the distance is temporary, which leads me onto my next point, plan regular trips! Not only does this give you both something to look forward to, it usually lowers travel costs (especially if you’re flying).

Trust has never been so important

trust on how to make a long distance relationship work Trust is at the core of every relationship, whether distance is involved or not. Many people have experienced relationships where their trust has been broken, which can have negative effects when it comes to LDRs. So, for those who do have trust issues, it’s imperative that you become comfortable with your partner and the distance.

Sitting at home worrying about your partner going out on a Friday night is not something that’s going to benefit either of you. You have to be comfortable and confident in both yourself and your partner that they will remain faithful. Failing to do this will just poison the relationship and cause arguments that would otherwise never exist.

Don’t let distance mask other problems

Distance can often mask other issues within the relationship. Distance is actually surprisingly good indicator of how well a relationship is working. If there are problems disassociated with distance, we may assign it to troubles at work, family, money or generally stress, rather than addressing that the problem with the relationship itself. This is made harder because we cannot assess our partner’s behaviour on a daily basis.

It’s also very easy to dismiss or ignore growing relationship trouble because of distance. We assign it to stress, to the distance itself, to missing each other, rather than actual behavior of disengagement. It’s more difficult to gauge whether our partner is really committed to the relationship because we do not see their behavior on a daily basis.

Finally, research has shown that feelings of excitement, jealousy, love, and anger tend to be more extreme in people in LDRs. This means the potential for emotionally-fueled decisions, for unnecessary fights, and for piercing disappointment, as discussed above.

Looking at long distance relationship statistics

long distance relationship statsA Hong Kong study assessed 63 people, half of which were in a LDR, asking to measure their daily interactions (through phone, Skype, FaceTime etc) and noting their degrees of intimacy.

What they found is that LDR couples do not interact as frequently, but when they do, their interactions are longer and more intimate. The study stated that this was because couples were keen to emphasise their affection and emotions towards their partners.

The distance seemed to eliminate the mundane arguments and grievances couples often experience, such as cleaning, shopping, being ill and even sitting in front of the TV. The distance puts things into perspective and allows couples to really focus on the important aspects of their relationship.

Positive advice from Vida

Back to the analogy that “distance makes the heart grow stronger”, it’s true, so long as you’re realistic about the relationship’s direction and you trust each other. Communication is the key to success, be honest, be optimistic, be positive.

Today, it’s amazing to see that we can fall in love at a distance and that technology allows us to keep in touch with our partners at a click of a button. Yes, the distance may also be trailing at times, but thanks to technology, we will always stay connected.

Don’t let distance get in the way of true love

We help people find love all over the globe. Distance is just a minor speed-bump along the journey to finding your perfect partner. With offices based in both London and New York, our team of friendly and experienced matchmakers have access to an exclusive network of exceptional individuals. Our bespoke approach to love and dedication to matching you with your ideal partner alleviates the stress and time from doing it yourself.

Speak with our team today to learn more about our matchmaking service or alternatively, arrange your personalised introduction today.

by Rachel Vida MacLynn

Founder & CEO

Rachel Vida MacLynn is reputed as being a world-leading matchmaking and dating expert. Registered as a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, Rachel advocates a professional matchmaking approach based on psychological principles and professional consultation. Rachel also sits on the Board of Advisors for the Matchmaking Institute.More by this author

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