Can Long Distance Relationships Really Work? Science Says Yes!
Long distance relationships have been subject to skepticism and criticism for a very long time. Most people simply do not believe that they can work.
Truth be told, dating someone who is far away is not easy. It doesn’t matter whether they are in a different city or halfway around the world. However, for every challenge you face with LDRs, there is a perk to enjoy. There is also the fact that with constant communication, patience, and honesty all the challenges are very easy to overcome.
The best news? Science has actually proven that long distance relationships do work! And who are we to argue with science, right?
Below is a comprehensive review of long-distance relationships in terms of common challenges and what science says we should do to make things easier.
Long-distance relationships are not easy…
Truth be told, there is some merit to what LDR skeptics have to say about these relationships. They are seriously challenging. The worst part is that you get to deal with these unique set of setbacks in addition to the existing challenges of regular relationships.
Below are four of the most common things that make long distance dating so hard.
– Limited physical intimacy
If you are big on physical intimacy, then a long-distance relationship will be a huge bummer. You cannot hold hands, hug, kiss or have sex with someone who is hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Unless, of course, you are willing to get creative and use technology for virtual intimacy with your significant other.
– Expensive travel plans
To make an LDR work, you will need to make regular physical meet-ups a priority. This allows you to connect physically as a way to strengthen your emotional and intellectual bond. However, since this is real life and not a Harry Potter movie, teleportation is not on the table. This means that you have a lot of saving up to do because those trips will not come cheap.
– Different time zones
Living in different time zones makes it very difficult to communicate on a regular basis. When you are awake and ready to dish all your day’s drama, your partner will probably be deep asleep and soaking their pillow with mid-sleep drool. For it to work, you both need to be ready for some serious sacrifices. This means staying up to odd hours of the night so you can talk with your person and catch up.
– Conflicting schedules
In some cases, you may be in similar time zones but have conflicting schedules. This is just as bad as being in different time zones and seriously affects your ability to communicate on a regular basis.
… but they really do work
So far, all the evidence seems to show that long-distance relationships are an uphill task. However, not one of the challenges above is without an easy solution. If you want to make it work, below are 5 of the easiest tips you should try.
1. Be patient
Patience is going to be your strongest weapon in this battle for true love. You need to be ready to wait for your scheduled conversations at the end of every day. You need to remain calm as you cross off those days on the calendar as you count down to your next visit. And most importantly, you need to wait for both of you to be ready to settle down together. It might take a few months or years, but it will be worth it in the end.
2. Be honest
Honesty is another very effective way to overcome the challenges of long distance dating. You need to make sure that your partner knows exactly how you feel if you want things to work. Maybe you do not like the fact that your conversations are irregular. Maybe you want to give phone sex a try as a way to keep things steamy and interesting. Whatever the case, you need to be ready to honestly express yourself. Otherwise, you will stew in frustration and end up another statistic on the list of failed long-distance relationships.
3. Be proactive
The challenges of long-distance relationships demand that you go out of your way to make it work. You cannot simply sit around and wait for things to magically sort themselves out. Being proactive involves regular communication, planning online dates with video calls, arranging physical visits and whatever else that will allow you to connect.
4. Be prepared
You have to be organized and prepared when entering a long-distance relationship. Prepare yourself mentally for all the hard work that you will need to put into it. Prepare yourself emotionally for connections that will be independent of physical intimacy. And finally, prepare yourself financially as you will have phone bills and internet charges to deal with in addition to the travel expenses.
5. Keep calm and enjoy the relationship
Finally, try and focus on the good things that your relationship will bring. People make the mistake of dwelling on all the challenges involved in these relationships. This rookie mistake will leave you frustrated and unhappy. So, spare yourself the hurt and choose to be positive and enjoy all the moments you have together.
What science says about long distance relationships
• Equal satisfaction
With these five simple tips, you should be able to make your LDR a success. Scientific research has proven this to be a fact. A study conducted in 2015 by Queen’s University showed that people in long-distance relationships enjoyed the same overall satisfaction as those in regular setups. This was regarding different aspects of dating, including communication, emotional connection, and sexual intimacy.
Another fun science fact that supports long-distance dating is the habituation phenomenon. Habituation is what happens to your brain when it gets exposed to the same stimulus over and over. The familiarity leads to boredom in regular relationships.
With LDRs on the other hand, limited physical contact and interaction slow down habituation. This means that you get to enjoy the high and excitement of the new relationship for a very long time.
With the right mindset, anyone can make a long distance relationship work in spite of the challenges. The scientific facts discussed above are sufficient proof of this. These facts also show that the investment might eventually pay off better than regular relationships.
So, if you are about to embark on this unique adventure with your beau, do not be afraid. Yes, it will be hard but it is not impossible, and in the long run, all your sacrifices and efforts will be rewarded by that happily ever after that everyone longs for.