The up side of a long distance relationship

Originally Published: December 6, 1996 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: April 30, 2014
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Alice,

My friend and I have been involved in a long distance relationship for six months now. We keep in touch with each other on a regular basis, calling and visiting each other. I feel that the distance between us will cause our relationship to end. We have been seeing each other for a year and a half. What are our chances of being together in the future?

—Miles away

Dear Miles away,

There's no crystal ball that can predict how long a relationship (long-distance or not) will last, but your current feelings may offer some clues about what the future holds for you and your friend. For some couples distance is a deal-breaker that brings the relationship to a close; however, for others absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

To consider the future of your relationship, it might be helpful to take a few steps back and evaluate your own feelings. Do you still care deeply for your friend, or have your feelings waned after six months apart? Is your relationship still fulfilling, or would you be happier on your own? Depending on how you feel, it may provide clues to a future direction.

Despite how hard it is be far away from someone you care about, distance can be a blessing in disguise. Proximity can lead us to take people for granted, whereas being apart allows us to know someone in a truly different way. The extra effort you both make to keep in touch, whether through phone calls, email, texts, video chats, or snail-mail, can foster a special intimacy. In the end, you may learn more about each other's personalities, values, ideas, and dreams than folks who spend time together every day. Face-to-face relationships can grow stale and filled with superficial conversations and few, if any, meaningful heart-to-hearts.

Have you considered talking with your partner about how you're feeling? Maybe s/he is wondering about the same things. If both of you want to be together, then you might begin to strategize about ways to make this happen. Will you need to wait until you graduate? Is it feasible for one of you to transfer schools? Or change jobs? Also leaving the possibility open that you may continue in this long-distance arrangement for a while — that would be okay, too.

Before running away from your long-distance relationship, consider taking some time to think about your feelings and ways to make the most out of being apart. There are many "right" ways to be involved in a loving relationship, and only time will tell if yours will last.

Alice