A Long Distance Relationship or LDR often comes under fire for being a problematic dating situation. It has many complications wherein a couple that might come under fire with issues with regards to time, commitment, and trust.
Going against practicality
Modern conventional relationships usually are the brainchild of office romance, friend referrals, or the occasional dating app dates. All of these methods require a certain amount of limited distance between both parties. The closer your social circles match with your partner, the easier it is to establish a relationship. Social circles isn’t just measured by who you know, but also with how far they are from each other.
Proximity plays a huge part in starting conventional relationships, and Long Distance Relationships are the complete antitheses to conventional relationships.Though the option for an LDR is definitely there, it’s important to note that the most affecting factor of LDRs is that distance causes distrust. Not being able to ‘keep an eye’ on your partner could lead to anxiety and doubt that can cause an unnecessary rift between parties. The harrowing dangers of distance can affect relationships from both ends of the spectrum, from those that have a long track record and those that are just starting out.
Huge investments at risk
People get into LDRs for multiple reasons. They can range from being away overseas for a job opportunity to being away for different university opportunities. Whichever the case, the same burden of distance is placed on the couple by being unable to do the regular activities that short distance couples do such as having dinner, going on movie dates, and even the occasional sexual escapade.
What LDRs give more than regular relationships is the huge investment that goes into committing to one. Though they may have more freedom as individuals in terms of being their own person, they still need to commit extra time to be with their partner even though they’re not physically present. Scheduled videocalls and constant communication, are band aid solutions to keeping the relationship ongoing, but even these acts can take a lot out of the person if they have to interfere with their personal routine.
The dreams and nightmares of LDRs
LDRs can also come from a different place of way back when. Back in the day when penpals and writing letters to strangers seemed like a great idea to find a lifelong partner. There have been numerous stories of couple falling in love before they’ve even met, which is probably the driving force of the rise of dating sites in the early nineties and the prevalence of dating apps in the now. The allure of finding ‘the one’ across miles and miles of distance between each other is often an ideal scenario that some of us want to reach when we feel stuck or out of place in our own social circles for finding partners.
As much as there are many stories of success with LDRs back then, there are just as much problematic scenarios that arose from it. Catfishing was and still is prevalent, with people faking their identities and personality just to goof around a hopeful romantic or at worst steal some cash from their partners. Some couples don’t necessarily start with faking things out, but turn into opportunistic relationships with gold diggers baiting single, rich, and lonely individuals to desperate immigrants wanting to simply receive a green card to find hope in a different country.
Solving the problems before they come up
The problems of LDRs can be summed up to three main principles: commitment, understanding, and trust. In having a shaky definition of those core ideas, couples are prone to finding issues with regards to knowing what they can and can’t do together what they should and shouldn’t do while being away from each other.
Commitment pertains to the understanding of your rules of engagement. What usually comes to mind is the issue of dealing with a DTR or Defining the Relationship. It’s easier to understand if you or your partner has broken the rules if it was clear from the beginning.
Understanding relates to how your situation will be in going into an LDR. Putting your foot down in setting non-negotiables is no way to begin a promising LDR commitment. Be open-minded when it comes to setting up e-dates or chats on the phone while considering their time zone, their workload, and their personal tasks that are different from yours.
Lastly, Trust is a crucial component in making things work. Defining the commitment and setting down ground rules aren’t enough to keep an LDR in focus; it also requires an investment on trust that after all is said and done, both parties will comply with the limitations of the engagements.
Once both parties have understood the terms of being in an LDR, there should be less instances of misunderstandings and miscommunication between the two.
Connection beyond touch
We all have our needs, and sometimes a huge chunk of a relationship is being physically available to your partner. Whether it be a hand to hold when you’re down or someone to be sexually intimate with, couples in an LDR have to stand their ground and commit to an agreement that will painfully limit it for them.
Some couples aren’t always affected by the lack of physical contact. With the development of technology, bridging the gap from one part of the world to another has become readily easier for people in LDRs. Besides calling over the phone and talking through video chat, some couples are even into spending quality time by playing video games online with each other.
It just goes to show that relationships aren’t always about holding someone close to you, but instead keeping in contact with them in personal and unique ways.
Is it worth a shot?
Whether or not an LDR is compatible for you all boils down on whether or not you’re both willing to take your relationship into the risks and dangers that are listed above. Beyond trusting your partner, it also requires a certain amount of self-discipline so that you won’t fall into the pit of doubt and temptation.