Deciding Upon Long-Distance Relationships: How to Have, and Not Have, Distance Relationships

When a couple considers whether or not to maintain a relationship over distance, they need to weigh the pros and cons, state their needs, and stick to their guns.

Long-distance relationships are not easy, so deciding whether or not to have one requires being very honest and considering many factors.

Deciding on Long-Distance Relationships

First, a person should rate his/her partner and decide how often a similar-type person has shown interest. Then, one should take into account the amount of time they will be apart and how easy it will be to visit. The distance being permanent or temporary, near or far, will affect a person’s decision, as will the inconvenience of time and money (gas) it will take to visit. Perhaps the relationship will be too difficult to maintain, or perhaps the relationship is not worth losing, even with the inconveniences.

Besides inconveniences, a person should also ask if it is worth closing off other opportunities that are closer (depending on the freedoms and boundaries discussed between the couple) to have his/her partner physically present for only a small amount of time.

Agreeing to a Long-Distance Relationship

When a couple decides that their relationship is worth the distance, it is time to think about needs. Some people need to go on dates with people that they’re attracted to. Some people need to flirt. Whatever the need is, it is important for the couple to communicate and negotiate. Each partner will have needs, so each must be willing to compromise. Maybe one will get to go on lunch dates but not dinner dates with other people. Maybe one will get dinner dates on week nights but not weekends. But allowing oneself freedoms without asking for them is cheating. Asking for freedoms, negotiating, and sacrificing is honest and loyal.

Communication, even for just random conversation, is key. To reduce the feeling of distance, couples should call or text each other at various times in the day, preferably as often as they would see each other before the separation. One shouldn’t expect every phone or text conversation to be full of passion or cathartic, because some conversations are just boring. But the important thing is being boring together.

Visiting each other as often as possible is very important.

Breaking Off a Relationship Because of Distance

Relationships are not black and white, so breaking them off shouldn’t be either. Maybe a couple wants complete closure and never wants to speak again. Or maybe a couple wants to keep visiting each other when they can, but they don’t want any responsibility or fulfilling of needs. One solution does not fit for every couple, so they should talk it out if breaking off is the plan, being sure to communicate each other’s desires and listen to the other’s.

When a course of action is decided upon, sticking to it is invaluable. It is okay if one finds later that a situation does not work for him/her, but anticipating one’s needs as best as possible will reduce the amount of adjusting need. Sticking to the agreement when it gets tempting to slide is the most important thing in breaking a relationship, because that is what keeps a couple from cycling into unhealthy patterns.

There is a lot to weigh when deciding upon whether or not to have a long distance relationship, like inconvenience and the rarity of one’s partner. Deciding upon a distance relationship means commitment and communication, and deciding to break off from one’s partner means honesty and firmness.

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