It’s no secret that long-distance relationships are tricky — and many of us have have tried to make them work and not been successful. Whether it’s the lack of quality time, the mismatched schedules, maybe even the constant worrying that they’re not being faithful, dating someone long-distance is definitely not for the faint of heart.
“Long-distance relationships are seldom easy to maintain,” Dr. Suzana Flores, clinical psychologist and author of Facehooked: How Facebook Affects Our Emotions, Relationships, and Lives, tells Bustle. “The distance between you and your partner can make your relationship complicated, but it can work out if you keep a few things in mind. Plus, remember that distance makes the heart grow fonder.” In fact, it can help you be so much more mindful of your relationship. “The nice part of being involved in long-distance relationships is that even the simplest things — spending time together, holding hands, or going for coffee — can be all the more meaningful when you are together.”
But a new survey from KIIROO, the sex toy design company, has found that the success rate for long-distance relationships might surprise you. According to their survey of 1,000 Americans who have been in long-distance relationships, 58 percent of them actually survived the distance, which actually means that most long-distance relationships manage to pull it off. They also found that 27 percent of those surveyed were in long-distance relationships from the beginning, meaning they met their partner online and never lived near each other at all.
The survey also found that the four-month mark was the hardest period for long-distance relationships, but if you made it past the eight-month mark, you were more likely to survive. So even though long-distance relationships can be rough, they can be done (and remember, a lot of non-long-distance relationships don’t last, either).
If you have a long-distance relationship looming or you’re in one already, there are are a few things you can do to make your chances of survival so much stronger, and a lot of it has to do with taking responsibility for yourself and for your half of the relationship. “You are going to have a lot of time on your own,” Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and the owner of Exclusive Matchmaking tells Bustle. “You must have friends, hobbies, and a full life aside from your partner in order to make this work.” Sitting around waiting for a text message or a FaceTime call if just going to make you feel lonely — or set off your anxiety. Keeping busy and feeling fulfilled is key.
But of course, it’s important to put some effort into the relationship, both in terms of keeping up your communication and figuring out when you can spend time together. “You both must be willing to make the effort to meet up at set intervals,” Trombetti says. “No matter how much you text or Skype, you need to actually spend time together as well. Both parties to make the effort to make that happen regularly.” Having a game plan for when you’ll see each other can make a real difference — as can having an end game in mind. Long-distance relationships are much easier if you know that they’re just temporary.
Long-distance relationships aren’t easy, but you can get through it. Making an effort to see each other when you can and remember that it’s crucial to keep your lives busy — but, more than anything, it’s important to keep the communication flowing, because that will make everything else so much easier.