Long Distance Relationships 101
Why do long distance relationships seem more passionate than
Psychologists say that it is human nature to want what we
can't have. Throw a little sexual desire into that mix and
you have the kind of romantic and sexual angst that is the
stuff of great romance and literature.
Suddenly, unlike the banality of every day relationships,
you can find yourself in an epic personal drama filled with
the anticipation of seeing your long lost partner once
again. This sounds good, but is it actually a healthy,
practical way to conduct a relationship?
Of course, aside from being tantalized by the promise of
love that shines so distantly on the horizon, there are many
other very pragmatic reasons why you could find yourself
suddenly in a long distance relationship.
** Common Scenarios **
A very common scenario are the young lovers who are forced
to call it quits because they end up attending different
colleges in different cities, states, or even continents.
Debt, fame, ailing spouses, war, disease, responsibilities
towards an ex spouse or children, career obligations, can
There are a million reasons why you can be forced to say
good-bye, but does it have to be forever?
The first thing to understand is that a relationship
conducted across great distances does not necessarily
qualify as a 'relationship' in the ordinary sense.
For instance, if a girl has been dating a guy for four years
and he suddenly decides to travel across Europe with nothing
but a backpack and pocket change to find himself, where does
this leave her?
Rather than ever be left wondering, it is crucial for the
two of you to establish some rules and boundaries around the
relationship long before anyone starts packing.
It is not going to work if you are still trying to figure
out "where you stand" in the relationship as your loved one
is boarding the plane.
First of all there must be some kind of mutual agreement
that you are in a long-distance relationship and that there
should be no infidelity.
Many long-distance relationships fail because of mixed
messages from one partner or the other. Usually one person
believes that the "out of sight, out of mind" rule applies
and that while there is distance between you "anything
The other party in the relationship might believe the
opposite (that absence makes the heart grow fonder) and then
get a rude shock when they don't receive emails or phone
calls or do receive one that describes a budding new
The rule of thumb is to establish the ground rules before
this type of scenario is allowed to blossom.
You need to agree on how much you are going to communicate
with each other and which rule applies best "out of sight,
out of mind" or "absence makes the heart grow fonder."
** Establishing Ground Rules **
Before you are separated by distance you have three basic
things you need to ask each other so that you can figure out
well in advance what actually constitutes a betrayal
according to the rules of your long distance relationship.
1. Are we going to be faithful to each other?
2. Are we allowed to have sex with other people, but
remain in faithful in our hearts?
3. Does this separation allow us to explore other
One option is to keep everything the way it is -- whether
you are five miles or 5,000 miles away from each other.
This way of thinking is very popular among young lovebirds,
who have difficulty believing that their relationship could
They tend to believe that physical space between them will
not affect the solidity of the relationship because their
"undying" love for each other can surpass the seemingly
small obstacle of distance.
Unfortunately, this is not an option that often allows the
other person their essential humanity and it is a point of
view that is considered immature by counselors or
The "nothing has changed" approach is often a position of
denial. Lots has changed, you are not physically together
Usually this type of denial applies to high school
sweethearts who are separated because of the necessity of
attending different colleges.
If one or the other partner slips up due to temptation (all
it takes is a boozy night and a one-night stand) it is way
too easy for the other partner to take it personally.
The above example tells us that one of the keys to keeping a
long distance relationship is to keep your expectations
Know your partner by clearly communicating with him or her,
but also, make sure that you know thyself! Know what you can
tolerate and what is acceptable to you.
Long distance relationships based on humoring the other
person or making promises that you can't keep simply don't
work. This will spare you the feelings of betrayal,
suspicion and jealousy that often set in after a couple of
months of being apart.
Unfortunately the sad truth about most long distance
relationships is that they don't make the heart grow fonder,
they make the heart grow harder.
About the Author
Debbie Anderson is author of: "Love At A Distance '47 Ways to Improve Your Long-Distance Relationship Today!" You can get it free for a limited time at: