Long Distance Relationships

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Many couples attempt long distance relationships but only a small fraction succeed. Psychologically speaking, these relationships falter for the same reason that all relationships falter, which is the loss of intimacy and trust. It seems to us that if you still have the intimacy you can rebuild the trust and if you still have the trust you can rebuild the intimacy but if you’ve lost both you’re pretty much doomed.

Obviously the long distance relationship puts a special kind of pressure on intimacy and trust. The two are inextricably intertwined and when one starts to diminish the other suffers. To give yourselves a chance you’ve got to think of ways to cultivate and reinforce both.

The same could be said for all relationships actually, but like we said when you’re geographically separated these issues stand in clear relief and need immediate attention. The paradox is that you’re both probably less likely to bring these issues up. You’re trying so hard not to rock the boat due to the fragile nature of your situation. If you don’t find a way to address them though they’ll probably fester. The key is bringing issues of intimacy and trust up in a way that puts the health of the relationship front and center, leaving jealousy and paranoia behind.

It’s important to come up with a concrete plan for how and when you are going to turn your long distance relationship into a close distance relationship. If you’re putting off having the conversation this probably tells you something about your true commitment level. But the longer you leave that question hanging the more existential anxiety will be generated and the more trust and intimacy will erode.