As more people meet through online dating or at events away from home, and as people move to other cities for work, long-distance relationships have become more common. Sometimes they are very challenging and sometimes they work well.
If you’re an insecure, anxious, needy, or jealous person, then a long-distance relationship probably isn’t for you. Until you learn to love yourself enough not to worry about what your partner is doing and to lovingly deal with your own feelings, it is likely to be very stressful for you.
If you are an extrovert who rejuvenates with your partner and others, not seeing your partner on a daily basis can be very hard on you, especially if you are a stay-at-home parent or work a job in you don’t live don’t have much interaction with others.
If you are a working mother or father or have several young children, it can be quite difficult for you without the help of your partner.
If consistent, daily personal connection and affection is important to you, then a long-distance lifestyle would not work well for you.
If you’re a more introverted person who needs a lot of alone time to rejuvenate, not being with a partner on a daily basis may work well for you.
If you or your partner are both very busy, achievement-oriented people, meeting up on weekends or even once a month for a weekend could be a lifestyle that works for you.
If both you and your partner love alone time, then a long distance relationship could be ideal for you.
If you both love each other but often trigger each other in ways that lead to distance or conflict, then maybe not seeing each other that often is what saves your relationship.
If you love to travel and are a very social person who makes friends everywhere, and your partner is a quieter person who stays at home, you may find that a long distance relationship can both meet your needs.
If you tend to give yourself up a lot and are afraid of being devoured, you may feel a lot more secure in a long-distance relationship.
Sometimes people who live in different cities meet and enjoy their relationship to the fullest – as long as they live apart. But fears of entanglement could be triggered as they make plans to live together.
Beth and her partner Danny both enjoyed their weekends and vacations together once a month. They figured the next step would be to live together. But when Danny’s job finally allowed him to move to the same town as Beth, she became terrified. During their seven-year long-distance relationship, Beth often gave up on their weekends together and even on the phone, sometimes exhaling a sigh of relief when Danny returned to his house. Though she complained that she and Danny weren’t getting enough time together, Beth suddenly found herself reevaluating the relationship when the opportunity finally presented itself to make it a reality. Her fear of being engulfed was so great that she ended the relationship. She told me that Danny was a very demanding person and that she could handle that in a long distance relationship but not in a cohabiting relationship.
Beth could have done the necessary inner work to develop her loving adult into not giving up anymore, but she had convinced herself that the relationship would end anyway if she stopped being a caretaker. She may have been right, but she could also have been wrong. The only way she could have known the truth was to stop nursing and see what happened. But she wasn’t willing to take that risk.
It’s important to be honest with yourself about whether or not a long-distance relationship is for you.
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