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How to make a long distance relationship work?


kamurj
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I think a lot depends on individual personalities. From personal experience and observation, those who have successful LDR's tend to have more independent and pragmatic type personalities.

The thing about LDR's is that you have to have some very serious discussions very early on regarding your dating and relationship goals. Your finances and ability to travel and see each other. Your ability to move and so on. These are pretty heavy conversations you have to have quickly that normally, would be put way off in normal dating timelines. You pretty much have to start out with these kind of heavy discussions before you invest further. For example, if neither one  of you can move, then there is no point in investing further into getting to know each other because it's already dead in the water.

In that respect, I think there is a benefit to LDR's in that you are not going to waste time or invest in someone you aren't really that into because it's just too much effort/expense to do so. (I'm not considering cyber relationships as LDR's here) There is less chance that you will be a placeholder relationship.

In terms of visiting and spending in person time together, again, it's kind of flipped on its head. You are going to abruptly spend a lot of intimate time together for an extended period of time rather than just go out on dates for a few hours. This means that you'll see a whole lot more of how the person is really like and whether or not you actually can get along living together or not. Again, it's kind of accelerated compare to regular dating where anyone can be on their best for a few hours a week.

Where people get in trouble is treating that visiting time as a vacation, rather than day to day living. This is where pragmatic type personalities are important. You want to see your SO in their native normal environment, living their normal life, rather than it be special time exclusively tailored to your visit. It's critical to see how you get along in that mundane, day to day kind of life.

Ultimately, whether you date locally or long distance, the most critical thing is understanding clearly what your partner's expectations are when it comes to relationships and marriage. I cannot count the number of times I've come across men who have expressed double standards when it comes to what they will tolerate when it comes to dating v. what they expect from a wife. Beware and be sure you figure it out before it's too late.

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Sometimes we are long distance if my husband is deployed or on course. ( military family) My point of view you need a very strong relationship that was based in reality to begin with. You need strong communication skills , you need communication that is not text centred. You need trust in each other and patience. You need to be independent and have your own life and hobbies, friends , work and resilience. Sometimes you and your relationship need to take a backseat for a short time for the greater good.  Visit each other when you can. 

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I agree with Seraphim.

Both parties need to be in unison, possess integrity and remain in lockstep otherwise it won't work. 

Absence doesn't always make the heart grow fonder.  To the contrary, too much absence causes two people to eventually drift apart, unfortunately. 

Remain realistic and know that both sides require immense amounts of emotional intelligence in order to succeed in LDRs.

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I was in one with my husband. I think it works only if:

both people already have been seriously dating in person regularly for at least 5-6 months.  
both are on the same page as far as future potential 

there is flexibility in one person relocating if that is needed. 
the couple can afford to see each other at least every two weeks and agree on how to divide up the burdens of travel 

both enjoy talking by phone or face time and are on the same page as far as how frequently 

the goal is marriage or similar. 
Otherwise I wouldn’t invest the time or money or emotions. 

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When I first met my husband, we were in 2 different countries.

We had lots of people advise us that it's not going to work, that long distance is too hard.

Not gonna lie, it is hard, very hard.

You need to have two very dedicated people who are 100% loyal, and who are 100% invested no matter how difficult it gets, otherwise it won't work.

We spent two years long distance, visiting back and forth. Then we had to do mountains of paperwork and a lot of cost.

Even when things were starting to get where we would end up in the same country, things kept coming up and we spent another 6 months apart.

No matter though, our love seen us through.

It was a mountain to climb, but so, so worth it. We are now married and live together in the same country, and will be for the rest of our lives.

What worked for us? Talking every single day, sleeping on cam on Skype..yes, we would keep it on all night so we could be together while we slept.

Reminding one another that we would make it through this. Lifting each other up when things got hard, believing in one another, trusting one another.

Texting small messages through out the day to again remind each other that we were there, and that we loved each other. "Hey just on my lunch break, I love you".

When we had more time together to spend, we found games online to play together, we chatted about our day, we worked out how to watch movies together, and discussed news articles together that we would read online. We even would have dinners together sometimes on cam (even with candle light!!) 🥰

The bottom line is, if you have two people who truly are in love and want to make it work, it will work.

We are living proof of that. 

 

Edited by SherrySher
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3 hours ago, SherrySher said:

Yes, this is a very important point. We are talking marriage here, or it's truly not worth it.

Ah, so marriage must be the end goal for all relationships, or just the LDRs?

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6 hours ago, LikeWater said:

Ah, so marriage must be the end goal for all relationships, or just the LDRs?

Mainly LDR's. Why you ask? Well because a huge amount of work goes into them, far more than if your partner was living just down the street.

LDR's are miserable. I'm not kidding. You spend more time alone than you do with your partner and you have to work twice as hard to remain close...even then, the lack of being physically in the same location makes things really strained.

Why do all that unless your end goal was to finally be in the same place and in a serious long term relationship?

 

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You misunderstand me.  I am asking you what is so special between an unmarried couple and one who's tied the knot?  I can tell you a difference.  The loving couple are not bound by anything.  No promises to hold up to, no feeling of obligation, and no governmental interference.

Marriage is outdated.  Period.  I'm seeing more and more people fall in line.  Those vows mean nothing and never have.  If you need a ring and ceremony to feel like your partner will always be there for you, then I'd wonder if you ever trusted them at all.  And that song and dance will not ever change the person you are with.  It's a show.

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8 hours ago, LikeWater said:

Ah, so marriage must be the end goal for all relationships, or just the LDRs?

I think marriage or similarly long term relationship for an LDR or the time and $ etc isn't worth it.  My marriage wasn't an end goal.  It was a goal that was the beginning of a different level of and type of commitment.

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1 hour ago, LikeWater said:

You misunderstand me.  I am asking you what is so special between an unmarried couple and one who's tied the knot?  I can tell you a difference.  The loving couple are not bound by anything.  No promises to hold up to, no feeling of obligation, and no governmental interference.

Marriage is outdated.  Period.  I'm seeing more and more people fall in line.  Those vows mean nothing and never have.  If you need a ring and ceremony to feel like your partner will always be there for you, then I'd wonder if you ever trusted them at all.  And that song and dance will not ever change the person you are with.  It's a show.

Opinions vary

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1 hour ago, LikeWater said:

You misunderstand me.  I am asking you what is so special between an unmarried couple and one who's tied the knot?  I can tell you a difference.  The loving couple are not bound by anything.  No promises to hold up to, no feeling of obligation, and no governmental interference.

Marriage is outdated.  Period.  I'm seeing more and more people fall in line.  Those vows mean nothing and never have.  If you need a ring and ceremony to feel like your partner will always be there for you, then I'd wonder if you ever trusted them at all.  And that song and dance will not ever change the person you are with.  It's a show.

I didn't need a ring or a ceremony as far as trust or level of commitment.  I wanted it because we deeply believe in marriage -both religiously and otherwise and because it enhanced our commitment and I think it's better for a child and we both wanted to try to conceive a child (or potentially adopt).  The government is helping me not interfering.  I wouldn't have married anyone who had a cynical view of marriage. Our son who is 13 loves that we are married.  He likes hearing about how we got married, why (and he was there- I was pregnant -which not why we got married).  

I don't care if anyone else chooses marriage nor would I give my input unless asked.  I have friends in sham marriages/loveless marriages and friends in long term relationships who are committed forever and it's obvious the depth of their commitment.  I personally always wanted marriage no question.  I always wanted marriage to someone who valued marriage and would never dismiss it as just a piece of paper-how silly IMO. 

Sometimes my son says he's not sure he wants marriage and I tell him that's fine - and also you're young so you have lots of time to consider marriage and relationships and all of that. He is happy with that response.  It's from my heart.

I didn't fall in line. I always affirmatively wanted it as did my husband.  I don't buy that the date on a tradition involving commitment like that matters at all especially since there is so much room to write your own vows and for the couple to define their own relationship and boundaries.  

What I think is outdated is women pretending for the last 50 years give or take that they're fine with casual sex and they can have fun having casual sex just like a man.  Not all women.  There are women who enjoy casual sex, who don't experience downsides to it (except maybe STDs, or trips for the morning after pill if that is their thing), who are not lying to themselves who are not trying to fall in line and be "cool" about it as some kind of feminine power statement.  Those women very often grasp at euphemisms to define what they're doing so they can continue the lie.  It's really damaging. 

In long distance relationships, those women who lie to themselves then hide behind a screen, typing and talking to someone who uses geography as an excuse too so that they can meet up occasionally for a vacation type fling or hookup and feel like they are jet setting and having adventures and ignoring any growing emotional attachment. 

Yes it's more often the woman who gets attached.  And always the woman who risks pregnancy and if the man is long distance and the woman doesn't want/cannot have an abortion, ummmmmm.

There are women who would enjoy that sort of thing without lying to themselves- getting flown to another city or country for a fling, a vacation, not having to get close because it's impractical and having fun perhaps being wined and dined.  For sure. I think it's rare.  And it also informs my opinion.  

Edited by Batya33
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10 hours ago, LikeWater said:

I am asking you what is so special between an unmarried couple and one who's tied the knot?  I can tell you a difference.  The loving couple are not bound by anything.  No promises to hold up to, no feeling of obligation, and no governmental interference.

 I get it that one would think there's no difference.  

Usually, the couple who makes the huge commitment to each other (marriage), often value each other more because they made that big commitment.  Not always of course, but in general, it's a genuine, special thing when one person commits only to you and vice versa, and for life... it's quite a huge deal and most young women crave that (no matter if you happen to think they shouldn't).  

Most young women that don't find that kind of passionate love where a man wants to fully, lifelong commit to only them and build a romantic life with them, children etc will end up having to mourn that dream or goal, because it mattered that much to them.  Just being a girlfriend... for life... is simply not enough for most women (I think the women who complain about it tend to say it feels empty, shallow, or like the relationship is going nowhere).  They want some kind of end or culmination of commitment usually, and that's actually a good thing since it leads to more stable societies.  

I think most women still view living together with their partner - indefinitely - as settling and not being taken seriously as an equal partner... being used... whatever you want to call it, it's usually something seen as more negative than positive.  

I'm sure there are women out there who don't feel that way about staying in an unmarried long term relationship, but I think that's more rare.

I wish that wasn't so harsh sounding, but scientifically we know when a person makes a huge commitment to a human (relative, sibling, child, etc), or even something as simple as an object like an expensive car that they work for and pay for themselves, we know scientifically (through testing their cognitive and emotional responses toward it or the person), that they simply value it a whole lot more.  It's part of our human nature to value more the things we strongly commit to or work harder for.  

And then in a marriage, you're much more likely to stay and work through problems (again, not always).  But you're more likely to in a marriage statistically, than if you're just together without a ring and can easily walk away at the first sign of trouble or hardships.  When it's easier to walk away, people don't work as hard for it... and that's also provable scientifically about a lot of subjects... not just marriage.

 

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My friend was married for about 7 years. Divorced in 2003. No kids. Really didn’t want to marry again.  Met a single guy a few years later.  He wanted to marry her. She didn’t want to marry again. There was an accidental pregnancy a year after they met. She miscarried.  They were conflicted.  
So they tried again. She was 40 and he was a few years older. They conceived and had a wonderful baby boy. They then became a legal type of partnership that wasn’t marriage but permitted him to be on her health insurance. And they still are about 15 years later.  Very committed. Very loyal. Loyal and faithful from day one of when they met. So to me that’s no different from a marriage. And they’re also great parents. Superlative. 

I think choosing to start a family together is a major commitment. Whether married or not. I don’t think living together is relevant to the strength of the emotional commitment.  Unless the couple sees it that way.  My husband and I didn’t live together before marriage. It would have tisgjt us nothing because shortly after we married I gave birth and we lived in my 500 square foot apartment for three months. It was great but nothing like just the 2 of us living together would have been. 
this ties into long distance. I don't think the issue is whether the couple lives together but whether they  have  consistent and regular in  person time that involves daily life stuff. You don’t need to live together to experience that. 

Edited by Batya33
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Another creative way of thinking about it, too, is that marriage gives value to that man or woman (kind of philosophical here... ).  I think most women simply feel more valued when someone has given them that huge commitment, for life... it may be an outdated thing but it still gives value and a status kind of proverbially announced to the world that they aren't alone anymore, even if that sounds kind of awful in a way.  It's very clear that unmarried women usually don't feel that same kind of value level, which is powerful.

Men are also rated as more attractive (to other women) IF those women rating them know he's already married.  Go figure lol.... So being married gives value to men, too... it actually makes them more attractive because it means he was valuable enough to another woman that she took him off the market. 

It's strange, and I don't completely understand it all, but it seems clear that making a huge commitment to only one person, for an entire lifetime, is a pretty big deal.

 

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1 hour ago, maritalbliss86 said:

Another creative way of thinking about it, too, is that marriage gives value to that man or woman (kind of philosophical here... ).  I think most women simply feel more valued when someone has given them that huge commitment, for life... it may be an outdated thing but it still gives value and a status kind of proverbially announced to the world that they aren't alone anymore, even if that sounds kind of awful in a way.  It's very clear that unmarried women usually don't feel that same kind of value level, which is powerful.

Men are also rated as more attractive (to other women) IF those women rating them know he's already married.  Go figure lol.... So being married gives value to men, too... it actually makes them more attractive because it means he was valuable enough to another woman that she took him off the market. 

It's strange, and I don't completely understand it all, but it seems clear that making a huge commitment to only one person, for an entire lifetime, is a pretty big deal.

 

Absolutely! There most definitely is a philosophical and psychological side to it all.

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1 hour ago, maritalbliss86 said:

In some states, they'd be considered common law marriage.

Not in theirs which is why they did it.  We were in our early 40s when we married. I did not need the added value that people in society might put on me as married -I felt I brought and had a lot of value as a person, as a professional, as a friend, a partner, an aunt, etc.  I never felt the need to fling around "my husband" kind of thing.  Also I want everyone to feel valued in a committed relationship and until recently men and women couldn't marry same gender in many states and I would hate for either a man or a woman to feel less value than a married person just because the marital commitment wasn't available.  

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21 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Not in theirs which is why they did it.  We were in our early 40s when we married. I did not need the added value that people in society might put on me as married -I felt I brought and had a lot of value as a person, as a professional, as a friend, a partner, an aunt, etc.  I never felt the need to fling around "my husband" kind of thing.  Also I want everyone to feel valued in a committed relationship and until recently men and women couldn't marry same gender in many states and I would hate for either a man or a woman to feel less value than a married person just because the marital commitment wasn't available.  

I think it sounds wrong in a way, too.  It shouldn't make a person feel more valuable, hopefully they feel valuable as they are, bring value etc.  But when they value marriage and desire it so much, it becomes valuable. 

Something is only as valuable as people find it to be - or in an individual way, if one person finds it valuable to them, then it is valuable.

So even in a modern world where marriage is declining, if anything it may become *more* valuable as it gets harder to achieve or find. 

It may someday become *rare* to find a good marriage, which would mean it's a lot more valuable due to it's rarity.

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I preferred to be married. I wanted forever commitment. I wanted my child raised in a forever commitment. My family was broken apart 3 times as a child and I wasn’t going to have that for mine. I am so grateful and happy I was able to raise my child that way into adulthood. 

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Okay, I'm glad marriage has worked out for everyone chiming in here, and I really mean that.  My parents are still married after like 36 years, longer than my life.  Which is great for them and also truly wonderful for those of you who found a similar partner.  But my mom was also married before my father, believing everything you all are saying, only to learn he was a terrible scumbag.

You all keep saying the same things ignoring that half the people who get married end up divorced.  As long as divorce is an option, a ring isn't a sign of ultimate commitment.  You shouldn't need anything of the sort to be committed or to feel your partner is.  Let's face it, societal pressures and disney love stories push women to value this tradition more than anything else does.  It's not ingrained within you from birth, it's indoctrinated.  You're spoon-fed this fantasy from an early age, of course you seek it.

My argument is that I find it more powerful and meaningful when a couple can fully trust in their commitment to each other without need of such superficial expectations.  A couple who's lasted as long as my parents have without the nonsense, I would say their connection is even stronger.

And let's be honest.  Women fantasize about a wedding.  They don't fantasize about all the trials that will come after that honeymoon is over.

Edited by LikeWater
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7 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I think it sounds wrong in a way, too.  It shouldn't make a person feel more valuable, hopefully they feel valuable as they are, bring value etc.  But when they value marriage and desire it so much, it becomes valuable. 

Something is only as valuable as people find it to be - or in an individual way, if one person finds it valuable to them, then it is valuable.

So even in a modern world where marriage is declining, if anything it may become *more* valuable as it gets harder to achieve or find. 

It may someday become *rare* to find a good marriage, which would mean it's a lot more valuable due to it's rarity.

Sometimes things decline for good reason and there's no value in seeking it afterwards.  Marriage is on the decline because younger people are realizing it has no real inherit value.  The brainwash is dying off.  

If a company screws up catastrophically and the stock plummet, that doesn't mean it's time to take advantage and buy some shares.  Sometimes things just need to die.

Edited by LikeWater
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Certainly, signing a piece of paper that is certifying words printed on a sheet won't guarantee your marriage will weather the storm that life throws at you. Hey, that's life. Marriage is risky. It can be the greatest investment you ever made or a total flop. Doesn't always work out, but you try your hardest.

If a potential man were to believe that marriage is a mere contract that can be broken whenever or even feels that marriage is unnecessary, well then, we're not right for one another. End of story. 🙂

 

Now, going back on topic, as for LDR's I feel as long as they are temporary they have higher chances of surviving.

 

Edited by greendots
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2 minutes ago, greendots said:

Certainly, signing a piece of paper that is certifying words printed on a sheet won't guarantee your marriage will weather the storm that life throws at you. Hey, that's life. Marriage is risky. It can be the greatest investment you ever made or a total flop. Doesn't always work out, but you try your hardest.

If a potential man were to believe that marriage is a mere contract that can be broken whenever or even feels that marriage is unnecessary, well then, we're not right for one another. End of story. 🙂

 

Ah, and it would only ever be a man that could potentially view it that way, huh?

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