Why Long-Distance Relationships Never, Ever Work (Except When They Do).

Hey all, since we are the internet generation I found it a good idea to talk about long distance relationship, and I bet most of us been through one and if you didn't go through one, you definitely know someone who did or still do.

In real life, long-distance relationships don’t work. The reason that they don’t work is that, like Jamie and Aurelia’s relationship (in Love Actually movie ), they are a fantasy. Long-distance relationships often masquerade as real relationships. They can be passionate, intense and loving. But what they can’t be is battle-tested. Developed romantic relationships require commitment, contact with reality, but most of all they require action. Because the majority of the time spent together in long-distance relationships is precious, most problems are ignored. As a result, long-distance relationships usually exist in a suspended “honeymoon state,” where everything is shiny and happy but devoid of the reality that is necessary to determine if the relationship will ultimately sink or swim. This is why many long-distance relationships fail.

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There are some exceptions to the rule. Let’s consider these:

Relationships that are forced to become long-distance for a defined period of time (e.g., because of time-limited school, economic or military commitments) generally do not fall into the fantasy trap because they are actually very much based in the realities and practicalities of life. As a clinical psychologist, I have actually seen these types of relationships thrive.

From my experience, successful long-distance relationships appear to have four factors in common:

Prioritization:

When you consciously prioritize your long-distance partner above nearly all of your local social commitments, you will be less likely to resent the effort required to make the relationship work.

Commitment:

Commit to spending more than just weekends together. The more time you spend the greater, the chance to deepen the bonds between you and the more opportunity you have to really get to know each other.

Sharing:

If you are in a long-distance relationship, make sure that you don’t just spend the time you have together alone. Share your social/family worlds with each other. We are all part of communities. When we cut our partners off from our communities they don’t really get to know who we are.

Planning:

If you are serious about the relationship begin planning for a time (in the not to distant future) when the relationship will no longer be long-distance but when the two of you will be together in the same place. This will allow the relationship to have some forward movement so that it doesn’t exist in a suspended state for too long.

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If you are currently in a long-distance relationship or are considering getting into one, I strongly encourage you to consider how to apply these elements to your relationship. If you do, you and your love just might end up like Jamie and Aurelia — happily ever after.