Can a long distance relationship work?
Do they last, and how do we keep the love going?
These above phrases are searched for thousands of times Google!
The truth is there is no quick and easy answer to these questions, but we can look at the statistics and decided for ourselves.
» 14 million people in the United States are considered to be in a long-distance relationship. » Studies reveal an estimated 7 million LDR couples. » 125 miles – The average distance between couples » 1.5 – The average number of visits couples make per month » 14 months – The average time when couples close the distance » 3 letters – Number of letters most couples write to each other every month » 75% of long-distance couples become engaged at some point » 3.75 million married couples are in long-distance relationships (United States) » 10% – Number of marriages that started out as a long distance (United States) » 32.5 % – Number of college relationships that are long distance » Most used LDR apps include – Countdown, Whatsapp, Skype, Rabbit » 40% – Of long distance relationships, sadly end due to an unplanned future
Long Distance Relationship Stats:
» 14 million people in the United States are considered to be in a long-distance relationship.
» Studies reveal an estimated 7 million LDR couples.
» 125 miles – The average distance between couples
» 1.5 – The average number of visits couples make per month
» 14 months – The average time when couples close the distance
» 3 letters – Number of letters most couples write to each other every month
» 75% of long-distance couples become engaged at some point
» 3.75 million married couples are in long-distance relationships (United States)
» 10% – Number of marriages that started out as a long distance (United States)
» 32.5 % – Number of college relationships that are long distance
» Most used LDR apps include – Countdown, Whatsapp, Skype, Rabbit
» 40% – Of long distance relationships, sadly end due to an unplanned future
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1: Why do long distance relationships start?
Due to the increase in online dating, many couples meet online. Individuals have access to quickly search for a partner and then further bond over specific likeminded topics.
The internet has brought the world to our doorsteps. This has in-turn impacted the significant rise in the number of long distance relationships.
Other LDR’s are due to one partner moving away tempory for work, or a partner joining the military.
Research confirms that a massive one third (32.5 %) of long-distance relationships are from college students.
2: Can long distance relationships last?
There is no hard evidence to prove that long distance relationships are more likely to fail than those couples who live geographically in close to their partners.
Mutual understanding, behavioural adaptions, the resistance to temptations and jealousy are some of the key ingredients needed to make a long distance relationship work.
Sadly, nearly 40% of long-distance couples end the relationship after closing this distance. This has been acknowledged due to the ‘adjustment period’ – Not settling into a close proximity relationship after being used to ‘personal space’. Unplanned changes also play a major role in this fact.
Moving forward LDR coupes must plan and compromise to changes, adjusting to a new style of ‘living together’ once the distance has been closed.
3: What range is considered to be a long distance relationship?
An average distance of 125 miles between the couple is considered to be a long distance relationship. However, the exact number would vary from couple to couple and depend more upon the mutual understanding between the two.
4: Are long-distance couples any unhappier then geographically close ones?
A 2014 study indicates that being in a long distance relationship does not guarantee negative relationship outcomes.
On the contrast, some individuals function better in a number of areas as compared to the geographically close partners.
What are the benefits of long distance relationships:
• Deeper forms of communication
• Stronger trust levels (over time)
• Mastering your independence
• More time to improve other areas of your life
• Travel & adventure while visiting your S.O
• Mastering patience
• Understanding the difference between lust and love
• Fully embracing the time you do spend together
• Enhanced gratitude for the everyday things
• Writing skills (sending regular love letters)
• Financial planning
• Embracing new cultures
5: Are individuals more likely to cheat while separated by distance?
Evidence shows no proof that the couples in a long distance relationship will cheat on their partners. Temptations are always there, but if partners communicate well and are satisfied with each other, then there would be no active reason to cheat.
Many long distance couples avoid being in certain social style ‘hook-up’ environments. For example, bypassing regular trips to nightclubs could be seen as a good thing for some.
6: Do long distance relationships work in college?
An estimated one-third of all long distance relationships are college based.
Over time, it’s very likely that one, or both the partners feel the need to relocate in search of better education.
Some couples find it hard to maintain a long distance relationship while at college due to assignments, projects, financial reasons, exams and social pressures.
7: Are long distance relationships healthy?
Health wise, long-distance couples can lead just as healthy lifestyles as geographically close couples.
study group from 2014 interviewed over 1000 people who live in both geographically close relationships and long distance relationships. The results indicate that long-distance couples are at no disadvantage to their counterparts, living the same levels of happiness as one another.
Factors of a healthy long distance relationship can include:
• How often you meet
• The varied ways in which couples communicate
• Being able to listen to your partner’s day-to-day achievements or frustrations
• The level of trust and patience
• The ability to be happy in your own company
• Maintaining self-control
• Managing everyday tasks while your partner is away
• Keeping physical fit and healthy ready for your next visit
• An achievable (and flexible) plan with an end-goal in sight
(The last point is considered one of the most important)
Although we report many success stories, individuals who find the distance unbearable turn to therapy or counselling. This is highly recommended to help deal with more complex issues or possible long-term mental health problems that can, in some rare cases be linked to living in a long distance relationship.
8: Can geographically challenged couples build intimacy from a distance?
Yes. A study from May 2013 showed how the distance actually makes the relationship fonder. On an interaction-to-interaction basis, the geographically challenged couples are seen to have higher intimacy compared to the geographically close ones.
How to increase intimacy:
• Do the same activities at the same time together
• Share your fantasies
• Maximise the time you do spend together
• Appreciate all the little things…
Check out the full list here: How to be intimate in a long distance relationship (14 Proven Steps)
9: Do long distance couples idealize their partners and is this bad thing?
Idealization is the tendency to perceive your partner in unrealistically positive terms. Studies have revealed that idealization magnifies when in long distance relationships.
This happens because a person mind tends to perceive a partner the way it wants, (which is looking at them in a good positive way).
However, this is NOT a bad thing:
Idealization actually helps to reduce the heightened uncertainty and the chances for disagreements that may arise in a long distance relationship.
Idealization is a tendency to:
• Perceive a partner in unrealistically positive terms
• Developing a more positive assessment of the partner’s personality
• Recalling fewer disagreements with the partner
• Having an optimistic perception of the relationship’s future
Long distance relationship intimacy has been seen to increase with a partner idealizations.
Further reading: Science of relationships: Partners ideals do they matter?
10: Why is setting an end goal or next meet update important?
Current research suggests that those who form a plan of action are naturally more content and confident within their long distance relationship. This provides couples something to anticipate and look forward to.
Being flexible to change is another key element, that successful couples have stated, to make the distance work. Personal commitments tend to hinder the common goal more often than not. That is when the trust and the level of understanding of your partner are tested.
11: Do women adjust any easier to a long distance relationships than men?
The adjustment to separation is dependent on the status of the long-distance relationships.
Analysis of data suggests the long distance relationships still in the dating stage, women are likely to be more distressed than men. These levels of distress may be elevated by the uncertainty of the relationship and lack of trust in partners. In such cases, men are seen to adjust better.
However, in the married long distance relationships, it’s the men who are seen to be more distressed than their female partners. So in the case of married LDR’s, women are seen to adjust better than men.
12: What percentage of long distance relationships end after closing the distance?
The 2006 study by Ohio State University found that almost one-third of all long-distance college relationships end within the first three months of reuniting.
Many of these relationships end due to a difficult transition period, management problems and a ‘dissipation of quixotic ideals’.
You may also enjoy: 41 Insanely Actionable Long Distance Relationship Tips
See more long distance relationship topics here: Sending-My-Love.com
• The transitions from online to offline disrupt the rhythm of communication
Reasons why long distance reltionships end after closing the distance:
• The differences start to become more frustrating
• Less private space
• A clash of expectations
• The transitions from online to offline disrupt the rhythm of communication
What can we learn from the long-distance statistics, facts and figures?
Even though we believed otherwise, with the right approach, many geographically challenged relationships can and do work.
Closing the distance is just the next step along the journey. The facts, however, prove that nearly one-third of couples, unfortunately, break up after closing this distance.
The transition from online to offline or ‘distance to living together’ requires careful attention. Differences in patterns and communication methods between the couple can cause conflict. The lack of past personal space is another point to be aware of.
However, as much as 60% of long distance relationships have been successful. And most of the couples consider the distance between them as a positive factor. The fact that they can express deeper thoughts and feelings without being judged helps keep the relationship alive.
Mutual understanding, behavioural adaptions, and idealizations are some of the necessary ingredients to keep a long distance relationship healthy.
As the statistics show, long distance relationships are becoming far more common.
Communications through new technology and cheaper travel are some of the factors that can help today’s geographically challenged couples.
For instance: The price of airline tickets has fallen by a massive 50% in the past 30 years. Long distance relationships are no longer exclusively for the rich and famous. The economy has a part to play.
As the statistics prove, long distance relationships are here to stay and on the steep rise.
You may also enjoy: Helpful LDR Terms & Abbreviations
Long distance relationship problems, what are the common challenges?
» Logistical challenges, planning future visits between work or college
» Heightened financial strains maintaining the relationship
» Trouble managing current geographically close friendships while living in a long-distance romantic relationship
» Fighting at a distance – Finding it hard to ease the situation afterwards
» Difficulty assessing the current state of the relationship from a distance
» Avoiding making healthy boundaries
» Over analyzing a partners social media
» Ongoing trust and jealousy issues
» Uncertainty about the future
» Time zone differences
» Intimacy problems
» Cultural differences