Long-Distance Relationships Can Work
Originally Published: September 10, 2012
Revised: March 1, 2016
Maybe one of you was a year older in school and went off to college, leaving the other behind. Or maybe you both met at camp. Only now the summer is over, and you’re each heading home. You’ll be five hours apart. In these situations, or many others like them, you would find yourself faced with that classic question: can long-distance relationships really work?
The answer, unfortunately, is not a simple yes. Long-distance relationships can work, but you can’t expect the relationship to be the same as when you live close together. To be exact, long-distance relationships can work, but they take work too. After all, in a long-distance relationship, you can’t rely on meeting up between classes to chat about your day, having impromptu dates at the local café or just running into each other when out and about with friends.
Long-distance relationships can work, but you can’t expect the relationship to be the same as when you live close together.
Make Time to Connect
When you’re in a long-distance relationship, you have to make time to talk, keep in touch and stay interested and informed about each other’s lives. In any relationship, communication is important, but this is especially true for remaining emotionally close when you’re physically far apart. This can be a challenge during busy high school or college years, especially when a difference in time zones comes into play, but determined couples can definitely overcome the difficulties.
And, luckily, modern technology can be a great help. Texting is a great medium for casual chatting, and video programs, such as Skype or FaceTime, mean you can see as well as hear your significant other when you sit down for your conversation time. These technologies can give far-apart couples all the tools they need to keep in touch.
The reason plenty of people think that long-distance relationships, especially among teenagers, can’t work, is because they really are a challenge. And some couples will decide that making things work long distance is a bigger challenge than they bargained for and more work than they anticipated. But if tales of long-distance couples calling it quits are making you anxious, don’t panic quite yet.
Committed to Making It Work Long Distance
A big issue with long-distance relationships—perhaps even the biggest issue—is that both parties need to be fully committed to keeping the relationship going. If only one of you is interested in keeping the relationship going or only one person is willing to put in the effort required to maintain your relationship, it’s going to cause a lot of heartache and trouble for both of you. This of course comes back to the issue of communication. Before even trying to maintain a long-distance relationship, it is essential to talk to make sure that you both want to really, truly make things work.
So if your girlfriend is headed to a college on the opposite coast or your boyfriend’s family is headed to the next state, don’t despair. Sure, not every couple will decide that continuing to stay together even when they’re far apart is a good choice. But for those who do decide to stay together, putting in the work of staying in contact means you’ll be that much more excited when you do visit each other. Making a long-distance relationship work could end up making your relationship much, much stronger when you finally do get the chance to be together.
Editor’s Note: Read “Why Long-Distance Don’t Work” for a different view of long-distance relationships.
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