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From Close to Distant: Investigating What Kills Long-Distance Relationships

From Close to Distant: Investigating What Kills Long-Distance Relationships

Long-distance relationships are becoming more common in the modern world, thanks to the advancement of technology and globalization. However, they are more challenging than short-distance relationships, as they require more effort, commitment, and trust from both partners.

Many long-distance couples face various obstacles and difficulties that can threaten their relationship satisfaction and stability. In this article, we will explore some factors that can kill long-distance relationships and some strategies that can help long-distance couples survive and thrive.


Understanding what kills long-distance relationships

Long-distance relationships are not doomed to fail, but they have inherent disadvantages that can make them more vulnerable to problems and conflicts. Some of the common challenges that long-distance couples face are:

Challenge of Limited Physical Intimacy

From Close to Distant: Investigating What Kills Long-Distance Relationships

One of the long-distance relationships' most apparent and significant drawbacks is the lack of physical intimacy. Physical intimacy is not only about sex but also about cuddling, kissing, holding hands, and other forms of affection that can enhance the emotional connection and bond between partners.

Physical intimacy can also release hormones such as oxytocin and dopamine, reducing stress, improving mood, and increasing trust and attachment. Without physical intimacy, long-distance couples may feel less satisfied, less loved, and less secure. They may also experience sexual frustration, boredom, and temptation to seek other sexual partners.

Reduced Relationship Contentment

From Close to Distant: Investigating What Kills Long-Distance Relationships

Another challenge that long-distance couples face is reduced relationship contentment. Relationship contentment refers to the degree of happiness and satisfaction that partners feel with their relationship.

Various factors influence it, such as compatibility, communication, support, trust, commitment, and shared values and goals. Long-distance couples may have lower relationship contentment than short-distance couples because they have fewer opportunities to share experiences, activities, and interests and to express their feelings and needs.

They may also have more conflicts, misunderstandings, and disagreements due to the need for nonverbal cues, tone of voice, and context. They may also feel more lonely, isolated, and depressed as they miss their partner and their presence.

Challenges in Communication

From Close to Distant: Investigating What Kills Long-Distance Relationships

Communication is the key to any successful relationship, but it is significant for long-distance relationships. Communication can help long-distance couples maintain emotional connection, resolve issues, and cope with challenges.

However, communication can also be difficult and frustrating for long-distance couples, as they have to rely on technology and adjust to different time zones, schedules, and preferences. Technology can be a blessing and a curse for long-distance couples, as it can facilitate their communication but also create problems such as technical glitches, distractions, interruptions, and misunderstandings.

Long-distance couples may also need help to balance the quantity and quality of their communication, as they may either communicate too much or too little or communicate superficially or intensely.

Challenge of Limited Togetherness

From Close to Distant: Investigating What Kills Long-Distance Relationships

Togetherness is the sense of closeness and unity that partners feel. It is fostered by spending quality time together, doing things that both enjoy and creating memories and traditions. Togetherness can enhance partners' relationship satisfaction, commitment, and trust and make them feel more like a team.

However, long-distance couples have limited togetherness, as they have to cope with the physical distance and separation that prevent them from being together as often and as long as they want. Long-distance couples may feel more like individuals than couples and lose the sense of belonging and partnership they need. They may also feel disconnected, distant from their partner, and less involved and invested in their relationship.

Communication Gap

From Close to Distant: Investigating What Kills Long-Distance Relationships

A communication gap is when partners must communicate more effectively and understand each other. Various factors, such as language barriers, cultural differences, personality differences, and emotional states can cause it.

A communication gap can lead to confusion, misunderstanding, misinterpretation, and conflict, damaging the relationship quality and trust. Long-distance couples are more prone to communication gaps, as they have fewer nonverbal cues, feedback, and context to aid their communication. They may also have different expectations, assumptions, and communication styles that can create confusion and frustration. They may also have difficulty expressing their emotions, needs, and concerns and understanding their partner’s perspective and feelings.

Lack of Resilience

From Close to Distant: Investigating What Kills Long-Distance Relationships

Resilience is the ability to cope with stress, adversity, and change and to bounce back from difficulties and challenges. Resilience is essential for long-distance couples, as they have to deal with various stressors and uncertainties, such as physical distance, the lack of physical intimacy, reduced relationship contentment, challenges in communication, limited togetherness, and the communication gap.

They also have to face external pressures and influences, such as family, friends, work, school, and social norms, that can affect their relationships. Long-distance couples need resilience to overcome these obstacles and maintain the quality and stability of their relationship. However, some long-distance couples may lack resilience and succumb to the harmful effects of stress and adversity. They may lose hope, confidence, and motivation and abandon their relationship.

Do long-distance relationships survive?

From Close to Distant: Investigating What Kills Long-Distance Relationships

The answer to this question is complex and complex, as it depends on various factors, such as the partners' characteristics, the nature of the relationship, and the situation's circumstances. Some long-distance relationships do survive and even thrive, while others do not.

According to some studies, the survival rate of long-distance relationships ranges from 40% to 75%, depending on the definition and measurement of long-distance relationships and survival. However, these statistics do not tell the whole story, as they do not account for the quality and satisfaction of the relationship and the reasons and outcomes of the survival or breakup. Therefore, it is more important to focus on the factors that can influence the success or failure of long-distance relationships rather than the numbers.


Strategies for Successfully Navigating a Long-Distance Relationship

From Close to Distant: Investigating What Kills Long-Distance Relationships

1. Don't make quick judgments

 One of the biggest challenges of long-distance relationships is the lack of nonverbal cues and contextual information that can help us interpret our partner's words and actions. We need to see their facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice to read their messages, assume the worst, or jump to conclusions. For example, we may think they are angry, bored, or uninterested when busy, tired, or distracted.

To avoid this, we should refrain from making quick judgments based on our assumptions or expectations but instead ask for clarification, confirmation, and feedback from our partners. We should also give them the benefit of the doubt and trust that they have good intentions and care about us.


2. Plan accordingly

 Another challenge of long-distance relationships is the uncertainty and unpredictability of being apart. We may not know when we will see our partner again, how long we will be separated, or what will happen. This can cause anxiety, frustration, and disappointment, especially if our plans change or fall through.

To cope with this, we should plan and communicate clearly with our partners about our schedules, expectations, and goals. We should also be flexible and adaptable and understand that things may go differently. We should also make the most of our time together and cherish every moment.


3. Don't allow jealousy to seep in

 A third challenge of long-distance relationships is the temptation and insecurity arising from being away from our partner. We may wonder what they are doing, who they are with, and whether they are faithful to us. We may also feel threatened by our friends, co-workers, or classmates and fear that they may replace or lose interest in us. To prevent this, we should not allow jealousy to seep in and instead focus on building trust and confidence in our relationship.

We should respect our partner's privacy and boundaries and not demand or expect them to share everything. We should also avoid comparing our relationship to others and appreciate what we have.


4. Strive to make the relationship work

 A fourth challenge of long-distance relationships is their required effort and commitment. Long-distance relationships are only for some and are not easy to maintain. They require a lot of patience, dedication, and sacrifice, and they may only sometimes be rewarding or satisfying.

To overcome this, we should strive to make the relationship work and not give up easily. We should also remind ourselves of the reasons why we love our partner and why we chose to be in a long-distance relationship. We should also express our love and gratitude to our partners and show them that we care and support them.


5. When in doubt, see your partner

 A fifth challenge of long-distance relationships is the emotional and physical distance that can create a gap between us and our partner. We may feel lonely, isolated, disconnected from them, and miss their presence, touch, and intimacy. We may also grow apart and lose the sense of closeness and connection we once had.

To avoid this, we should see our partner as often as possible and make the visits meaningful and memorable. We should also use technology to stay in touch and communicate regularly and frequently. We should also share our feelings, thoughts, and experiences with our partner and listen to theirs. We should also do things together, such as watching a movie, playing a game, reading a book, and creating shared memories and experiences.


6. Look at the bigger picture

 A sixth challenge of long-distance relationships is our perspective and attitude towards them. We may focus on the negative aspects and overlook the positive ones. We may also lose sight of the purpose and value of our relationship and question whether it is worth it or not. To combat this, we should look at the bigger picture and remember that long-distance relationships are not permanent but temporary.

We should also remember that long-distance relationships have many benefits, such as enhancing our independence, creativity, and communication skills and strengthening our bond and commitment to our partner. We should also remember that long-distance relationships are a test of our love and a challenge we can overcome together.



while long-distance relationships face challenges like limited physical intimacy, communication gaps, and reduced togetherness, they can thrive with strategic approaches. Couples should avoid quick judgments, plan effectively, manage jealousy, invest effort, prioritize visits, and maintain a positive perspective.

Success in long-distance relationships depends on the partners' commitment, resilience, and communication skills. While not all long-distance relationships survive, focusing on the factors influencing success rather than statistical outcomes is crucial. By employing these strategies, couples can strengthen their connection, navigate challenges, and increase the likelihood of a fulfilling and lasting long-distance relationship.

Written by: Khushi Bhatia

Edited by: Aniket Joshi

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