We’ve all seen those movies like Going the Distance and Dear John, but what does it really like to be in a long distance romantic relationship? Do LDRR couples experience the same connection with their significant other than GCRR (Geographically Close Romantic Relationships)? Do they last as long as other relationships would? Well, from being in a LDRR myself I’m here to tell you the real truth behind what it’s really like to be in one.
1. Not all relationships start out as long distance.
Even though technology has a great impact on online dating, people can meet and start dating in person and then move farther apart. For example, you could meet someone on a cruise, during the summer, or the winter/spring recess. You could be in a GCRR at first and then a LDRR, or vice versa. You could meet and get to know someone long distance and then grow closer (emotionally and geographically) as times goes by. Perhaps you move in together, or you are planning to move somewhere closer to your significant other, or you even get married.
2. People in LDRRs have more freedom.
When you’re apart, your significant other isn’t around telling you what you can and cannot do. You don’t need to give up the things that make you you.
3. LDRR couples spend more “quality time” together.
Now you could say to yourself, how could this be if LDRR couples are farther apart? The answer is simple. When LDRR couples are apart, they look forward to the time they spend together more. Have you ever heard the phrase “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”? Well, this is certainly true for LDRR couples. While living apart from each other, each person gets what they want done accomplished and miss each other more. Therefore, they put more effort into being together, talk more often in a positive manner, and are less likely to have conflicts.
4. LDRR couples think more positively about one another.
Since people in LDRRs cannot be with their significant other, they think about the future more often and what will happen when they are both face-to-face. They don’t look as much into the negative aspects of the relationship but rather idealize their partner and their relationship.
5. You pay more attention to each other’s lives.
Since you are not physically there, you rely on your significant other to tell you about what they are up to in their daily life, such as when they go to class/work, what they do when they are free, and when they go to bed/wake up. In my LDRR, I know a lot about my boyfriend’s daily routine and the best times for me to contact him. I respect his alone time while appreciating the time he takes to contact me. And when I really need him, he is only a phone call or text away. However, sometimes being in an LDRR can be a disadvantage. Not all members of an LDRR are always honest about their daily lives. As much as they tell you what they are doing from day to day, they could also be leaving things out.
6. Jealously and emotional distress are common.
Saying goodbye is one of the hardest things to do in a LDRR and sometimes a partner can develop signs of depression. And of course, a partner can also get jealous of the people around their significant other who have more face-to-face time than they do with them.
7. Technology really helps.
This is surprising because you live so far away, but because people are now exposed to so much new technology, there are endless ways to talk to your significant other in a LDRR. Since you cannot see each other all the time, you make it up by talking more. Here are some but not all of the ways you can communicate: Skype, Text Message/IMessage, Viber (for out of the country), FaceTime, Google Chat/Videochat, Oovoo, Email, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Snapchat. Or, if you want to be old school, you can always write a letter or send a package as a romantic gesture.
8. LDRRs are becoming more popular.
LDRRs are common especially in college students. According to this study, about one third of college students were in LDRRs in 1990, but since 2002 the number has grown to 43.2 percent. That’s almost 50 percent! And why are they so popular? Because it is now more common for students to leave home for college and either be separated by their significant other, or they could meet at college and be apart on breaks. Also, college students are the most technologically savvy out of other age groups, which makes it easier to communicate with their significant other.
Even though LDRRs can be difficult to sustain and people are reluctant to be in one, there are ways to make it work out. You can spend time apart from one another and still have the same intimate connection as a GCR. It can be hard to adjust to, but the key to an LDRR is for each partner to be understanding and willing to trust each other.