Many people question whether long distance relationships are worth it. It is hard to find things to do in a long distance relationships, and everyone who has been in a long distance relationship will, at some point, weigh up whether to keep it going and whether there is an end in sight.
There is no definitive answer. There is no right or wrong when it comes to long distance relationships. Hopefully some of these tips will help you to figure out if your long distance relationship is a good idea or not.
Are You With Your 'Soulmate'?
One of the biggest arguments in favour of long distance relationships is: if I have found somebody I am meant to be with, it doesn't matter where that person lives.
I am inclined to agree - to an extent. It's not every day you find someone you are truly meant to be with - someone who shares the same values as you, somebody who wants the same things in life, and, most importantly, somebody who will support you through anything and who you would do anything for.
I met my husband in the Czech Republic (he is American, I am English). I knew after a few short months that he was the one. Not necessarily my soulmate, but somebody I could happily share my life with until we were both old, bald and funky-smelling. I knew that this was a relationship which was a step above the norm - something I had to pursue no matter what. And he felt the same way.
So here is my reservation. A long distance relationship only works if you have an end in sight. No matter how perfect you are for each other, sooner or later you have to both be in the same place. My husband and I were both stone broke and scraping a living as teachers, so achieving this was not easy.
If the person you are with is really your 'soulmate' or someone you see yourself with for the long haul, a long distance relationship might be worthwhile, but you should make a plan to be in the same place, whether it is a long term plan or the fast-forward version.
Are You Running Yourself into the Ground?
Do any of these apply to you?
- Your long distance relationship is getting in the way of your social life at home.
- You can't have a conversation with your significant other which doesn't end in an argument or a rerun of all the issues between you.
- The time difference is beginning to exhaust you and affect your daily routine/ job performance.
- Every spare penny you make goes into the fund for the next plane ticket to see your honey.
- You're overlooking perfectly good opportunities at home for the sake of your relationship.
If any or all of these apply to you, your long distance relationship might be becoming more trouble than it is worth. Relationships take work. This is a fact. However, if your relationship is becoming a full-time job, it might be time to call it a day. Maintaining a long distance relationship can be exhausting. When it is putting a strain on you and your significant other, or if your long distance relationship is creeping into other aspects of your life, it just isn't worth it.
Relationships need loyalty and dedication, but flogging a dead horse is just going to wear you out. Know when enough is enough.
Are Your Finances Suffering?
I don't believe that you need to be wealthy to have a successful long distance relationships, but it is much more challenging when you don't have some funds to draw on.
Paying for plane tickets, taking time off work to visit each other and even quitting your job to go and live near your significant other could all be things which sound familiar. Ask yourself whether it is worth it.
This is a personal choice. Emptying my bank account for a plane ticket from England to America, exorbitant visa fees and expensive lawyers in order to put an end to the long distance and be with my husband was definitely 100% worth it! That won't always be the case, though. Once before I weighed up the odds and walked away from a long distance relationship - and I never looked back.
If keeping up your long distance relationship means you are constantly out of cash, you might want to consider ending things or finding a way of moving closer together. Money issues can cause a serious strain, and what started as a great relationship can slowly turn sour and resentful. Take care and be aware.
Are You Both Committed?
This will generally become apparent once the new, shiny quality has worn off your long distance relationship and the problems begin to rear their ugly, spiny little heads. Who will visit who for Christmas, is it worth taking unpaid holiday, would your savings be better spent buying ten gallons of cookie dough ice cream and eating yourself single?
Do you think your long distance relationship is committed enough to stand the test? It probably is if you can answer yes to these points:
- Calling your honey is never a chore, even if you have to do it at six in the morning.
- You snap at any chance to visit each other, no matter how anorexic your bank account looks once you book the ticket. What is more, these visits are beacons of light and joy in your life.
- Party with your friends or talk to your honey? Work overtime or talk to your honey? Paint your toenails or talk to your honey? Talk to your honey - no question.
- Every spare moment is spent searching for cheap flights or looking for jobs near your significant other (or jobs for your significant other near you).
- You are religiously putting money aside for your mutual travel fund - and every penny added puts a smile on your face.
- You never hang up on each other angry, or if you do, you can't sleep at night.
- When you are upset or lonely, the first person you turn to is your significant other - even though that person is many miles away.
- Whenever you call, your honey always has time for you - and vice versa.
If you're starting to resent taking the time to call or visit, or beginning to rely more on the people who are right there beside you rather than the person who is on the other side of the country or across the world, it might be a sign that you are not as committed as you should be. If this is the case, you either need to talk it through or you need to move on.
Ultimately: Does Your Long Distance Relationship Bring More Pleasure or Pain?
For me, this is what the whole thing boils down to: are you more happy or unhappy in your relationship?
Even if you love the other person, if keeping your long distance relationship is making you suffer, it honestly isn't worthwhile unless you know it will be over soon. My husband and I knew for sure that as soon as we had the money and the correct visa, we would be able to be together. Being apart might have made us both miserable people to be around, but we knew it was temporary so we stuck it out.
If your long distance relationship is dragging on miserably, you need to ask each other: is it worth months of misery for a few days or weeks of happiness?
It might be hard to let go, but sometimes it is the right decision.
Have you been in a long distance relationship?
Was it a good or bad experience? How did it end up? Share your stories!
Wil on October 07, 2015:
I'm currently in a LDR and boy it has not been easy. I met my BF whilst he was visiting his cousin in my city. He lives 500kmn away, after three months of dating I decided to move to his town, a small hamlet on the coast. I realized after a few months that I had been too hasty in my decision as I could not find work there, even though I had no income I was responsible for half the expenses. I started feeling resentful as I was left running the home, cooking, cleaning and taking care of his 12 year old son every other week. I must mention that there is a significant age difference between us, me being 13 years his senior. My son is grown up and married, so being "mommy" again to a young adolescent was not easy. After 9 months I moved back to my own city where I had a support system with family and friends, two things I missed terribly when I was there. I have a fair relationship with my ex husband who lives in the same town as me, he is the father of our son, so there will be contact now and then. My BF gets so jealous when this happens, I occasionally also go out with my friends and he handles this very badly as well. As a result I am starting to feel very stressed about this relationship. I find him controlling and insecure. Communication has become strained and his criticism is leading to contempt. I realize that I have taken on two very difficult situations, long distance and age difference. Thank you for the insightful opinions and advise. It does help to put a perspective on the way I feel. I shall have to sort this one out one way or another, but I think I know which way this is going.