What is the definition of a Long-Distance Relationship (LDR)?
An intimate relationship between partners who are geographically separated from one another (also called a LDRR- Long Distance Romantic Relationship)
Average numbers for those in LDRs:
The average LDR is separated by 125 miles
Average number of visits: 2x per month
Average phone calls 1 every three days
In our relationship’s beginning, we were separated by roughly 124 miles – right at the average! However, we communicated more often than the average. We made use of social media and texts daily, as well as calling once every 2-3 days. Our visits were usually around 2-3 per month, so just over the average there as well.
These numbers held for us until the ever-popular DTR (Define the Relationship) moment.
Challenges for LDRs are:
Lack of Communication: Communication is the key for any relationship’s health, but especially so in an LDR. Don’t suffer in silence!
Unresolved Fights – don’t let arguments dwell too long. Be sure to tell each other how you feel about the issue, including your interpretations of things that were communicated/miscommunicated.
One of our examples of miscommunication: “You’ve gotta do better.”
Infrequent Visits: If you’re in an LDR with a LOT of distance between you, get creative. Use of teleconference apps may be necessary (more on this later).
Not making time for your SO: If you are dating someone with children, you’re going to have to be understanding about time they spend with their kids. When it’s a newer relationship especially, you’re going to have to EASE into spending time around the younger ones. It won’t be immediate – take your time. Also remember, when you’re in a relationship (LD or not), Boys’ nights & Girls’ nights out ARE expected to be curbed to an extent to allow you to spend time with your SO.
Not Trying: Duh
Time Difference: This could be due to great distances or just simply working opposite schedules. Get creative. Carve out time to spend with each other as you can. Whether you take a day to go on an excursion or get together for a nice dinner out. If the time difference is due to distance, have a virtual dinner together, making an appointment if necessary. Take time to make time.
We went on a Mimosa crawl when we both had a single day off. After the crawl, we had dinner and went back to the hotel and napped/hung out/grabbed some snacks. In the morning, we enjoyed a nice breakfast, drove our separate ways, and got back to our separate schedules.
Growing Apart: Growing apart is a direct result of not successfully negotiating the other challenges (poor communication, not making time for each other, not trying, etc…). If you are growing apart, you’re growing toward someone else (possibly even yourself).
Expensive to visit each other: Perhaps meeting in the middle would be an option? (there’s always Vegas)
Feeling Lonely: If you find yourself feeling lonely, communicate with your partner and work to resolve these feelings.
Worried my partner would meet someone else: Possibly this is from relationships prior to the DTR (see above). Time together helps this worry to ease.
Unplanned Changes: over 2/3 of LDRs fail due to changes that were unplanned for.
LDRs success rate is 60%, compared to 59% of marriages. The average time for an LDR to break down is 4.5 months.
We talk about our LDR story.
More LDR statistics
7 things you should never tolerate in a Long-Distance Relationship
The suggestion of an open relationship
Being hung up on mid-argument
Too much jealousy
Tips for spicing up your LDR
Take a road trip together (longer than a 3-hour drive one way)
Start that communicating! No holds barred: feel out those forbidden topics of religion, politics, conspiracy theories.
Find out where your SO has not been and GO THERE!
Experience firsts together! These will be VERY memorable, and you will both cherish these trips together!
Footnote: in our first 6 months of our LDR, we went to Las Vegas (first for me), MLB game in Tampa Bay (first for both of us), Riot Fest in Chicago (first for both of us), Took the girls to a music festival in Jacksonville, FL (the girls’ first concert). TAKE TRIPS AND EXPERIENCE FIRSTS, PEOPLE!
Don’t be shy about using Groupon to inspire/help pay for your excursions. There are great deals to be had!
We talk for a bit about our family vacations (giving inspiration?).
Remember, the trips only need to be special, not necessarily expensive. It’s the little things that matter.
Charley’s advice is two-fold:
Travel together to experience those firsts.
Be thoughtful, even to include small gifts (even something as innocuous as a couple guitar straps.