Long Distance Relationships

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Long distance relationships can be any type of relationship, including family, romantic or a friendship.

Benefits of long distance relationships. Long distance relationships can be as good as regular relationships. Some positive things about having a long distance relationship include:

  • Space and independence. Not having someone living nearby can be an opportunity for you to explore your interests, your dreams, and other relationships that you may have. 
  • Exploring different ways to communicate. Being able to talk on the phone or email/write to someone can be a great way to find out more about each other. 
  • Valuing the relationship. Being away from someone can help you to better appreciate them and you may be less likely to take them for granted (or just focus on the physical side). 

Challenges of long distance relationships and ways to overcome them. All relationships have challenges, however, long distance relationships often present additional ones. Some of the tough things about being in a long distance relationship might include:

  • Physical distance - Not having someone that you care about close to you, especially when you might need them for emotional support (or a hug!) can be tough. If you are feeling this way, you might ask for support from another friend or family member. 
  • Loneliness - If you are feeling this way, give that person a call to say hi - hearing their voice might help you to work through the loneliness and look forward to your next meeting. 
  • Jealousy and insecurity - If you are feeling this way, it might help to talk to someone outside the relationship, such as a family member, friend or counselor who can help you work through why you might be feeling that way and provide ideas that can help you deal with those feelings. 

Sustaining a long distance relationship. Sustaining a long distance relationship can be challenging and, like most relationships, needs commitment, trust, patience and honesty to work. Some things that might help to create and sustain a fulfilling long distance relationship include:

  • Regular communication. Conversation via phone, instant messaging, emails, texts, and letters can be a great way to express your feelings, share your experience and allow them to stay involved in your life. 
  • Talking to other friends and family about your relationship. This can be a great way to remind yourself and others that this person is still an important part of your life even though they live miles away. 
  • Trust and openness. It is important to have trust in a relationship, and to have confidence that they are faithful and are thinking of you. 
  • Plan times to meet up. It might be helpful for you to plan when you are next seeing the person you are away from as this can give you something to look forward to. 

Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.


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