If you are new to long-distance relationships or LDR as it is commonly known, then there is a possibility that you have some questions you want answers to.
Long Distance relationship can be tricky.
So today, I want to share with you some frequently asked questions about long-distance relationships you might have.
You know love is sweet and many dreams of being in a relationship that will be filled with all the perks; love, adventure, commitment, gifts, etc.
Many are even willing to give a long-distance relationship a try, after all, anything can be done for the sake of love.
This noble act in itself doesn’t prepare both partners enough for the grey areas of Long-Distance Relationship (LDR).
Asking questions and getting answers will go a long way in not just preparing you and your partner but also knowing how you can effectively have and maintain an LDR while you still enjoy all the perks you want.
1. Do LDRs Work?
Regardless of people’s belief or whatever you may have heard, LDRs are just as subjective to internal and external factors as relationships in the same geographical area. In fact, breakups don’t occur more in LDR than traditional relationships and this is backed up by multiple studies. So, it is important to address the matter of an LDR working out or not. With the right foundation of love and the right amount of commitment and honesty towards each other, LDRs have a good shot at not just working out but also resulting in marriage if there is any plan or foreseeable future of that.
2. Do couples in LDRs cheat on each other more frequently than those in traditional relationships?
The usual source of concern and worry for people engaged in LDR is that their partner or they, themselves, will have an affair; whether intentionally or not while they’re separated. It is a common phenomenon for partners to have this concern because they are not in the same geographical area and as such, are unable to keep an eye on each other. Researches have been carried out to determine if couples in LDRs have more affairs than traditional relationships. The good part of the studies is that there is no greater risk of having an affair than traditional couples, what this means is that affairs are not majorly necessitated by long distance but the quality of the relationship. However, this does not stop partners of LDRs from worrying about affairs. Therefore, you have to reorient yourself and work towards having a healthy and fun relationship.
3. Do couples in LDRs have less-satisfying relationships?
This can only be answered by pointing to multiple studies that have been conducted to ascertain relationship quality in LDRs in comparison to traditional relationships and the findings common to them all is that couples in LDRs report identical levels of relationship satisfaction, trust, intimacy and commitment.
4. Why a long-distance relationship?
As mundane as this may look, it is of great essence to address this question from the start and this is to lay a great foundation for the relationship to ensure it lasts. Many people go into LDRs for different reasons and that is why it is important to know from your partner why he/she has chosen to go into an LDR relationship. Some find it very comfortable, some want a relationship without the whole individual poke-nosing into everyday activities, some are not commitment freaks, some are adventurers and belief it will be more exciting and adventurous and some simply are willing to sacrifice for the sake of love. In many cases than not, LDR is not chosen, it springs up due to circumstances beyond control so you want to be sure that your partner will not hesitate to close the gap geographically if such opportunity arises.
5. Are you willing to commit?
This is probably the most difficult question to ask your partner but you gotta ask nevertheless as this will be the guiding point to so many bricks of your relationship. Feelings are not enough to sustain a relationship, commitment is an integral part and with commitment comes effort, extra attention, extra sensitivity, extra everything. You have to go the extra mile as compared to couples who see each other often. You want to be sure that your partner is aware of what LDRs entails and if he/she is ready – at least mentally – to commit to it.
6. What is your communication level?
This is an integral part of any relationship but especially LDRs. The backbone of every relationship is communication and this cannot be over-emphasized for LDRs. Everyone has their best form of communication and this has to be discussed extensively by both partners as not knowing this can lead to disagreements. It is also good to know if your partner is weak in the area of communicating and how best you can help him/her to work on it and get better. Also, the contents of your communication must be intentional and not superficial, it is not just about having and maintaining an interesting conversation but also being open, free and honest. You also must be able to handle friction that comes with staying away from each other, it is not going to be an easy ride but it can work out.
7. How do we deal with less physical intimacy?
This is one of the main issues of LDR, no matter how strong any or both partners is/are, there will be (many times) when the need for physical will arise, the need for hugs, kisses, cuddles and the likes as these foster intimacy. Some partners are sexually active and this can be a big issue that needs to be discussed extensively. For some, it is not about sex, it is the intimacy and having someone handy – physically – when the need arises. Compromises must be made and partners have to be flexible in shuttling between places to solve this.
8. Are you independent or not?
This is also a crucial aspect of any relationship, whether LDR or not. It is of great essence to be independent and have a life outside of your relationship. This is in no way undermining the part that your relationship plays in your life but it is also to ensure that one doesn’t become overly dependent and needy on the partner as this may lead to dissatisfaction and ultimately breaking up. Monopolizing your partner’s time sends a vibe of wanting all the attention, being the recipient and generally playing the part of the helpless partner and sooner or later, your partner is bound to get fed up.
9. Is there a plan in view?
As said earlier, most couples who find themselves in LDR did not do so by choice. Either they had a relationship going on before circumstances parted them geographically or they met and fell in love and couldn’t do anything about the geographical location. Regardless of how it all started, there must be a concrete plan for changing the status quo. Don’t just be in limbo, have an extensive discussion and know what your partner has in store for you or vice versa, plan towards shortening the distance either through marriage, transfer to a closer branch or planning frequent visits. Whatever you do, don’t settle for a long-term LDR.
10. How can we improve our relationship?
It is easy to settle into a routine in a relationship, long-distance or not and before you know it, the relationship becomes drab and boring. Especially for LDRs, it is important to look for new ways to make the relationship fun and exciting, something to always look forward to and enjoy. This will also make your partner more committed to you and the relationship.
11. Does an LDR count as a real relationship?
Definitely! Many people engage in it and it works out well for some.
12. How do I deal with insecurity in LDR?
Truthfully, insecurity is more of a thing of the mind, it doesn’t matter if your partner is miles away or just a stone-throw away from you, if you are unable to get all the ‘what if’s’ away from your mind, then you’ll probably think many horrible thoughts like ‘is my partner cheating on me?’ and if care is not taken, it may very well be the end of your relationship. That is why it is important to establish a baseline of trust, mutual respect and unfaltering love.
13. Does my LDR have a future?
You need to ask yourself (and your partner) salient questions that will point you in the right direction; to know if it is worth giving a shot or not. If there is no concise plan or prospect, then you might want to rethink investing your emotions, time, energy and resources into an LDR.
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14. What to do when I feel left out of his/her life?
Couples that see each other only once a month or a week can often feel withdrawn or disconnected from their partner. They may feel like an outsider who is missing out on the everyday life of their partner and if care is not taken, the withdrawal can lead to a wearing down of intimacy. Intimacy has two components which are 1) exchange of emotions 2) interrelatedness of daily activities. While most LDR couples do a great job of sharing their feelings/emotions that they have for each other, they mostly butch the second part. It requires a greater effort; both partners have to be intentional about painting vivid images of their everyday life to each other, those seemingly trivial, mundane things are the ropes that make intimacy stronger and cannot be overlooked. Therefore, when the feeling of not being totally involved in your partner’s everyday life surfaces (which it would most likely do), the best thing to do is to address the matter and become intentional about rectifying it.
15. What is the most challenging thing about an LDR?
Simply being intentional about everything. It is easy to lose sight or focus when the person is not there physically, it is easy to get distracted, it is easy to settle into a routine, it is easy to move with the tide, it is easy to drift apart but the only thing that keeps afloat an LDR is Love, Trust and Commitment. When you and your partner are ready to put in the extra effort into everything, then your relationship will work out just fine.
Whether long-distance or not, for every relationship to survive, bud and thrive, certain ingredients (love, trust, honesty, commitment, communication, openness, twists, new things, etc.) must be fully present.
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