Long-Distance Relationships: Myths & Misconceptions
Seeing as how romance and dating are different for everyone, it’s no surprise that the reasons for and success of long-distance relationships vary widely from couple to couple.
Here, we’ll look at five common myths about long-distance relationships and try to get to what the truth actually is.
Myth: All long-distance relationships are destined to fail.
Reality: If popular depictions of long-distance relationships in the media are to be believed, all long-distance relationships are doomed from the start. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Long-distance relationships fail for the same reasons any other relationship does: Either it’s not a good fit or it’s simply not the right time.
That being said, long-distance relationships can be just as successful as any other relationship. Long-distance success is possible if at least these two conditions are met:
- The partners involved have the same shared values and intentions for the relationship.
- The partners are willing to put in the work to maintain a sense of emotional closeness even when geography gets in the way.
All relationships are hard work. As long as both partners want it and are willing to work for it, there’s no such thing as guaranteed failure.
Myth: It’s important to talk or text at all times.
Reality: It’s not uncommon for couples who are new to a long-distance relationship to believe they have to compensate for the miles between them by obsessively talking on the phone or texting during every waking moment. In reality, doing this can cause long-term issues. Space is important in any relationship, even those conducted over a long distance.
If your partner feels a responsibility to be glued to their phone at every moment, they may start to feel suffocated or even resentful. Really, who wants to be tied to the phone instead of participating in other activities that make them happy?
Consistent communication is important, sure. For the best results, however, work together to find the right balance.
Myth: Once we reunite, any problems we have will go away.
Reality: It’s never a good feeling to be dating someone who brings more negativity than positivity into your life. Unfortunately, when it comes to long-distance relationships, it’s easy to fall for the mistaken idea that all of the arguments you’ve been having with your partner are due to the strain of the distance alone. But the fact is, if you’re fighting all the time, those issues aren’t going to magically go away once you’ve been reunited.
If you want to salvage the relationship, start by addressing the issues at the root of your fights. Do it sooner rather than later. Don’t wait because you think it will all be better once you’re together again.
Myth: I should put my life on hold until we are together again.
Reality: You can’t pause life. And if you don’t participate in it, it will pass you by. When you’re missing your partner, it’s not uncommon to feel the urge to say no to plans with friends and self-isolate because you feel guilty about living life without your significant other by your side—don’t.
As long as you both put in the time and effort, your relationship should be strong enough to have room for your own personal growth and life experiences.
Just be sure to keep each other in the loop about what’s going on in your life, so that as you grow as an individual, you and your partner simultaneously grow together rather than apart.
Myth: My partner should be able to tell when I’m upset.
Reality: Consistent and effective communication is one bedrock of a healthy long-distance relationship. So if you’re feeling down, mad or otherwise upset, speak up! You’ll feel a lot better if you face it head-on.
When distance is no issue in a relationship and you see each other all the time, it might be safe to assume that your partner will be able to tell when you’re feeling upset without you expressing it. That’s not necessarily a recommended strategy, especially when it comes to long-distance relationships. You can’t expect your partner to be able to read your mind.
If you don’t send a text at your normal time because you’re upset, it’s perfectly plausible that your significant other will think you’re just busy or tired, completely missing the distress signal you were trying to send without words.
Ultimately, long-distance relationships have just as many challenges and benefits as any other kind of relationship. And if you keep up the necessary communication, time and effort, then geography won’t be a significant obstacle to your romance.