1. Is it hard?
If there’s one thing that anyone in a long-distance relationship can tell you, it’s that it’s hard. Being apart from anyone that you love for a prolonged period of time – whether they’re a family member, a friend or your significant other – is difficult. And although there’s an ever-growing amount of technology available to make long-distance relationships easier and create more communication, it’s never going to be easy.
And this applies whether you’ve met the person that you’re in a long-distance relationship with or not. If you have, then your time spent apart is spent missing them significantly, which is always hard. But if you haven’t, and meeting in person is something that you’re working up to, time spent apart is still just as hard. You’re left wondering whether or not the connection in person will be the same, and whether you’ll discover things about each other that you haven’t online – it’s uncharted territory.
And it’s not just the physical side of things that are missing, but emotional as well. There are some conversations that you’d just prefer to have in person, and sometimes you would just like to share a day out together or go out for dinner.
There are so many different aspects that make a long-distance relationship difficult, but this doesn’t impact your feelings for that person.
2. Why not just go for someone who lives closer?
This gets asked a lot, and I think the best answer that I can give is that – as with any relationship – your partner is the person that you love, and you can’t change that. It’s not just a simple case of choosing not to feel that way about them anymore, and picking someone who lives around the corner instead. You can’t choose who you love, and long-distance relationships are no different in that respect. Yes, the circumstances may be unusual and it has to be considered with a lot of serious thought, but even if you don’t end up in a relationship, you can’t change your love for that person.
And most people, even if they could choose to love someone who lived closer, probably wouldn’t choose to, as they’re thoroughly committed to their partner, and long-distance relationships can often teach you a lot not just about another culture, but relationships as a whole.
3. How do you know they haven’t cheated on you by now?
Cheating is one aspect of a long-distance relationship that is no different to any other. While, yes, if a long-distance partner did cheat, they would perhaps be less likely to be found out, people are no more likely to cheat in a long distance relationship. There is no evidence to suggest that those in long-distance relationships are more likely to cheat, other than pure speculation.
And as with any other relationship – there has to be trust. It doesn’t matter if your partner is 1 mile away or 10,000, if you don’t trust them then already you’re lacking the most basic foundation for any relationship.
4. But…how does it work?
The same as any other relationship, just without the physical stuff. A long-distance relationship relies a lot more on social media and video chat services such as Skype and ooVoo. Sure, long-distance couples may not be able to see each other face-to-face and go on dates, but the general idea is the same: two people are in love, and they decide they want to commit to that and try to make it work. It’s no different to any other relationship in that respect.
5. What if they’re a catfish? (of course this doesn’t apply to long-distance couples that have already met in person)
From a very young age, we’re all taught that talking to strangers on the internet is bad. You never know who’s behind an avatar, especially as it’s becoming increasingly easier for people to create fake profiles online. But as the risk of being ‘catfished’ increases, as does the awareness of young people. There’s a very basic checklist that can be referred to in these situations that will often determine whether or not somebody is portraying a fake identity online:
- Do they have a suspiciously small/large number of friends and/or followers?
- Do the majority of their pictures look too professional?
- Or is there a significant lack of pictures?
- Are they willing to talk to you on the phone?
- Are they willing to video chat with you and show their face?
- Will they send you a picture of their face – maybe with a specific request?
The answers to these questions make it relatively easy these days to identify a catfish – however, many people unfortunately are still manipulated by such people.
6. You know it won’t last, right?
According to longdistancerelationshipstatistics.com (which, admittedly sounds like a biased source, but was the only one I could find with the statistic I needed), on average, 60% of long-distance relationships do not result in a break-up. However, whether you believe this or not, a long-distance couple is no more guaranteed to break up than any other couple. Couples break up all the time, for various reasons, and with long-distance couples, there can be many more reasons for them breaking up than distance.