Long-distance relationships are not for the faint of heart. They require a lot of trust, communication, patience, and a whole lot of planning.
On most days, you’ll sit in your room, scrolling through your phone, looking at pictures of your significant other, and longing to be with them. You’ll miss their touch, their laughter, and their smell.
You’ll often find yourself counting down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until you can finally be together again. But as much as you’re looking forward to being together, you know that you’ll only be together for a short while.
But despite the challenges, many people choose to embark on this journey because of the love they share with their partner.
If you’re in a long-distance relationship or considering starting one, it’s important to know what you’re getting into.
This article will explore the 3 harsh realities of long-distance relationships and provide tips for navigating the ups and downs.
The Top 3 Harsh Facts About Long-Distance Relationships
Long-distance relationships are more common than ever before, thanks to technology and the globalized world we live in.
With social media and video calls, it’s easier than ever to stay connected with your partner, but it’s also easy to fall into a trap of feeling like you’re not doing enough to maintain the relationship.
1. Long-distance relationships can be lonely
One of the harsh realities of long-distance relationships is the loneliness that comes with being physically apart from your partner. When you’re not able to see each other regularly, it can be easy to feel like you’re not a part of each other’s lives.
This can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection, which can be incredibly hard to deal with. Being lonely in a long-distance relationship can be especially difficult because you don’t have the same level of physical intimacy and connection that you would have if you were together.
You can’t hold hands, cuddle, or give each other a hug when you’re feeling down. This can make it hard to feel like you’re truly a part of each other’s lives, even though you’re still in a relationship.
It’s important to remember that loneliness is a natural part of being in a long-distance relationship. It’s not something to be ashamed of or to ignore. It’s important to find ways to connect with your partner through technology and make time for each other, even when you’re not together.
This could be through video calls, text messages, or even sending each other little gifts or notes. It’s also important to have a support system of friends and family to lean on during lonely times.
[Also read: The Secret To Long-Term Desire In A Relationship]
2. Long-distance relationships can be challenging when it comes to intimacy
Intimacy is an important aspect of any relationship, and it’s a challenge that many long-distance couples face. When you’re physically apart from your partner, it can be difficult to maintain intimacy, both emotionally and sexually.
This can lead to feelings of disconnection and dissatisfaction in the relationship. One of the biggest challenges in intimacy for long-distance couples is the lack of physical touch.
Holding hands, cuddling, and kissing are all important ways of expressing love and affection, and it’s difficult to replicate through technology.
While video calls and messages can help to maintain emotional intimacy, it’s not the same as being physically close to your partner.
Another challenge in intimacy for long-distance couples is the lack of sexual intimacy. Having sex with your partner is an important aspect of any relationship and it’s difficult to replicate through technology.
While sexting and phone sex can help to maintain sexual intimacy, it’s not the same as being physically close to your partner.
Furthermore, long-distance relationship couples may find themselves feeling jealous or insecure about their partner’s physical interaction with other people, which can lead to further complications in maintaining intimacy.
However, it’s important to remember that intimacy doesn’t only mean physical touch or sexual intercourse. Emotional intimacy is equally important, and it’s something that can be maintained through regular communication, trust, and shared experiences.
It’s also important to be open and honest about your needs and to find ways to connect with your partner emotionally and sexually.
3. It requires a lot of trust and communication
When it comes to long-distance relationships, trust and communication are the two most important elements that are needed to make it work. Without trust and communication, the relationship will struggle to survive.
And unfortunately, these are also the two areas that are most challenged in long-distance relationships. When you’re not physically together, it’s easy to start questioning your partner’s actions, intentions, and feelings.
It’s easy to start imagining the worst-case scenario and start to doubt the trust you have in each other. This can lead to feelings of insecurity, jealousy, and mistrust. And if left unaddressed, it can lead to the downfall of the relationship.
That’s why communication is crucial in long-distance relationships. It’s the key to building and maintaining trust. When you’re not physically together, you have to find ways to connect emotionally and mentally.
You have to make time for each other, even when you’re not together. You have to be open and honest about your feelings, your thoughts, and your worries. And most importantly, you have to be willing to listen to each other.
Communication is not just about talking, it’s also about listening. It’s about understanding and respecting each other’s needs and feelings. It’s about being present and engaged in the conversation, even when you’re miles apart. And it’s about being willing to compromise and work through any issues that may arise.
[Also read: 10 Key Things Mature Women Want in a Relationship]
Other harsh facts about long-distance relationships
There are several challenging things about long-distance relationships beyond the 3 listed above. Here are five of them.
1. Emotional drainage
Being apart from the person you love can be incredibly hard. It’s important to take care of yourself emotionally and make sure you’re not putting too much pressure on the relationship.
Having a support system of friends and family to lean on during tough times can go a long way.
2. Long-distance relationships can be financially taxing
Traveling to see each other can be expensive, especially if you’re doing it regularly. It’s important to have a plan for how you’ll handle the financial aspect of the relationship and make sure it’s something you’re both comfortable with. Remember that the cost of the relationship is worth it for the love you share.
3. Long-distance relationships require a lot of patience
Waiting for the next time you’ll see each other can be difficult, and it requires a lot of patience. Always try to be patient with each other and understand that the distance is temporary and the love you share is worth the wait.
4. It can lead to feelings of jealousy and insecurity
Physical separation from your partner can lead to feelings of jealousy and insecurity, especially if you don’t feel like you’re able to communicate as much as you’d like. When this happens, instead of getting angry at your spouse, it’s better to find ways to communicate with each other regularly and to be open and honest about your feelings.
5. It requires a lot of planning and coordination
For sure it isn’t always easy to make plans to see each other, it can be very challenging at times and require a lot of coordination. You two should conclude how to handle the logistics of the relationship and make sure you’re both on the same page. This will help you to avoid misunderstandings and disappointment.
[Interesting: What Makes a Relationship Last?]
How to make a long-distance relationship work
Despite the challenges around making a long-distance relationship work, there are still a lot of people pulling it off. Here are seven practical ways you can do it:
1. Set clear communication expectations
Communication is key in any relationship, but it’s especially important in a long-distance relationship. Make sure you and your partner have a clear understanding of how often you’ll communicate and what form that communication will take.
Whether it’s daily phone calls, weekly video chats, or daily text messages, make sure you’re both on the same page. Also, make sure to set aside dedicated time for each other, where you can talk and catch up on each other’s lives.
2. Trust and be honest with each other
Trust is the foundation of any relationship, and even more necessary in a long-distance relationship. Being physically apart can lead to feelings of insecurity, jealousy, and mistrust as earlier stated.
But you can overcome these feelings by being open, honest, and transparent with each other. Communicate your feelings, and make sure your partner knows they can trust you.
Share your feelings, and when you’re feeling insecure, let them know. This way, you’ll build trust, and the relationship will grow stronger.
3. Find ways to stay connected emotionally
It’s hard to maintain an emotional connection when you’re physically apart, but finding a way to stay connected emotionally is important.
Set up regular video chats, send each other love notes, or even create a shared playlist of songs that remind you of each other. Find ways to keep the emotional connection strong, and your relationship will thrive.
4. Have a plan for when you’ll be together
Being in a different geographical proximity from each other can be difficult, but having something to look forward to can make it bearable.
Set a schedule for when you’ll see each other, and make sure you stick to it. Planning ahead will give you something to look forward to and help you stay motivated to make the long-distance relationship work.
5. Have a shared goal or vision
Having a shared goal or vision can help you both stay motivated and focused on the end goal. Whether it’s a shared dream of living together in the future, or a goal to travel together, having something to work towards can help you both stay motivated and focused on making the long-distance relationship work.
6. Prioritize quality time
When you’re physically apart, it’s easy to fall into the trap of just talking about everyday things, and not really connecting on a deeper level.
Make sure to prioritize quality time, where you can talk about your hopes, dreams, and aspirations. This will help you both stay connected and grow closer, even when you’re miles apart.
7. Take care of yourself
One thing I’m sure about maintaining a long-distance relationship is that you may sometimes feel drained. Trying to keep up with your schedule and with that of your partner, especially with different time zones. Prioritize taking care of yourself.
Make sure this is something you never neglect, do things you love, and surround yourself with supportive friends and family.
When you’re happy and fulfilled, you’ll be better equipped to handle the challenges that life throws at you.
Long-distance relationships can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. It requires effort, dedication, and a willingness to work through the difficulties that come with it. Remember that the distance is only temporary, and the love you share is worth the effort.
Trust and communication are the foundation of any relationship, and they are especially important in a long-distance relationship. Make sure to set clear communication expectations, trust and be honest with each other, and find ways to stay connected emotionally.
It’s also important to have a plan for when you’ll be together, take care of yourself, prioritize quality time, and have a shared goal or vision. And don’t forget to surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family.
Remember that every couple is different, and what works for one couple may not work for another. Be flexible and willing to try new things.
And most importantly, it’s important to remember that the love you share is worth the effort. Keep working on your relationship, and you’ll make it through the distance together.