Going away to college means leaving family, friends and significant others behind. It also means learning how to make a long distance relationship (LDR) work. What can you do to keep the flame of love ablaze? A time tested method is to write love letters and include romantic love quotes. You might also make use of technology to send videos, pictures and engage in instant messaging. No matter the methods you use, it’s going to be a challenge to keep the love alive. Here are a few ideas for maintaining your long distance relationship.
Do long distance relationships work?
According to the Long Distance Relationships.net, LDRs are just as successful as any other relationship. As of 2005, there were more than 3 million married persons in the U.S. who live apart for reasons other than discord. Research conducted by Dr. Gregory T. Guldner at Purdue University indicated that there is no link between how often couples visited each other and how likely they were to stay together.
Can some problems be made worse by living apart? According to Dr. Guldner, they can.
“For example, even though we know that couples in LDRs do not cheat on one another any more than geographically close couples, we also know that those in LDRs worry more about cheating,” Guldner explained.
Advice for the lovelorn
Sierra Tishgart interviewed several relationship experts for her September 2012 article for TeenVogue.com, “Ten Tips for Maintaining a Long-Distance Relationship.” Rachel Simmons, author of the national best seller, Odd Girl Out, offered advice for dealing with your fears about cheating. If you don’t hear from your partner as much as you’d like, don’t panic and don’t assume the worst.
“Take the time to find out what’s wrong. That’s actually one of the big causes of relationship drama: because you’re apart, it’s easy to make up stories in your head about why something’s happening, and that’s the kiss of death,” Simmons advised.
Tips on keeping your long distance relationship alive
Recognizing that as many as 25 to 40 percent of romantic relationships between college students are long distance, West Virginia University Student Wellness Center offered tips for a successful relationship in their article, “Long-Distance Relationships: How to Keep Yours Going Strong.”
The WVU list of tips included:
- Communicate often: make phone dates, text and have dates via web cam
- Be fair: don’t overwhelm your partner with calls and messages
- Be supportive: ask how things are going, offer help, praise and encouragement
- Focus: stay focused on your time together instead of your time apart
In closing, the folks at WVU said, “It takes a special kind of commitment to keep a long-distance relationship going strong. But if you’re both willing to make the commitment, your relationship will be stronger for it.”
Historically, love letters have been a key to a successful long-distance relationship. When writing yours, be sure to include at least one romantic quote. You’ll find a whole list in Reena Das’ article for YahooVoices.com, “50 Famous Love Quotes: Romantic sayings About Falling and Being in Love.”
Here are a few quotes:
- “We were together, I have forgotten the rest.” - Walt Whitman
- “Grow old with me! The best is yet to be.” - Robert Browning
- “I love you not because of who you are, but because of who I am when I am with you.” - Roy Croft
Keep intimacy alive
When you’re in a relationship it’s the little things that keep you interested and make your love grow. Just spending time together, even if you’re not talking, can create meaningful moments in your relationship. When you’re apart, you miss those moments. Also missed is the physical intimacy that gives comfort and deepens your love.
Rebecca A. Marquis offered advice on maintaining your relationship from afar in her article for YourTango.com, “10 Ways To Keep Intimacy Alive In Your Long-Distance Relationship.”
Marquis’ suggestions include:
- send photos throughout the day: it adds transparency and keeps trust alive
- fantasize about being together: create stories you can share with your partner
- enjoy your time apart: do the things that make you happy and tell your partner about them
According to Marquis, “Long-distance relationships often require more effort from each partner to keep the relationship healthy. You’ll have to make time for each other when you’re busy, talk when you don’t feel like talking, and spend time and money on travel.”
What’s been your greatest challenge in maintaining a long-distance relationship? Tell us about it in the comments below.