Sometimes we get involved and lose sight of where it’s going and how it’s really affecting our lives. Do long distance relationships work and last? Let’s find out.
Long distance relationships can work temporarily, but if they drag on, it can affect you negatively and you may be happier cutting ties, so let’s look at where yours is. We will look at how much your relationship is contributing to your happiness, make sure you’re both giving equally, make sure you have a solid grasp on who this person really is and if it’s safe to make changes for each other.
Sometimes when you’re in a relationship for a while, you get so used to it; you forget that you actually do have a choice to live your life a different way. Do long distance relationships work or are they doomed from the start? Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, shall we?
1. Why not make it real
If you love each other so much, why don’t you find a solution to make it real? Has a lot of time passed, and if you really wanted to, could you have made being together a reality? It’s important to look at who or what is stalling you.
Do you have some reservations about him? Do you maybe not like him as much as you tell yourself you do? What’s really standing in your way? Fear might be the one thing that keeps people from going all the way and actualizing their long distance relationships.
If you really want it more than anything in the world, then just go for it. You can find work, you can meet people and you can thrive if you change your life, but just read the rest of this article and make sure you feel really good about the status of your relationship.
I am a big supporter of taking risks in life, because in order to experience things, we truly must risk it. However, you should take calculated risks and not make rash decisions. Plan for things in a realistic way and don’t just make decisions based on pure emotion.
If everyone that knows you well is thinking you’re way off the deep end on considering someone, just hear them out and then make your decision. Some people have taken the risk and never looked back, they spent the rest of their lives with the person and it worked. But the approach is crucial, consider living separately, so you can have a real dating experience and get to know them.
Don’t rush it or it may fall apart. If it’s truly a good match, the dating phase will just add icing to the cake.
2. Have you considered what it takes
Now let’s take off the pink glasses and capture the reality. Are you ready to make a step and move to another country, to leave your friends and family, and your job? Have you ever made a life change that big before?
Adjusting to new cultures when you have no support system can be very hard, if you suddenly go from having lots of friends close by to knowing no one, you may find it hard to adjust. It can take years to find new friends that you really enjoy spending time with.
One of the most important considerations is what it will do to your career. Because the bottom line is, you need money, and you need to enjoy what you CHOOSE to do with the majority of your time. You should never just work to make money. To be happy, you must be passionate about what you do.
You should study up on the culture of the area you are considering moving. See what type of people live there, and if you could see yourself living there. See what the industries available are and if you have any skill sets that match. If you’ve been raised in the city or suburbs and are moving to a very rural area, you may experience a severe culture shock from the slower pace and different activities.
If you’re not into camping, hiking and growing your own food in the dirt, it might not be good to move to a rural area. Consider if you would be moving to a completely different climate as well and if you’re really prepared to do that. If you’re going to be giving up modern luxuries, consider how that might be.
On the other hand, if you’re moving from a rural location to a city, consider if you will be able to do things that you truly enjoy or if you will feel stifled and miss your connection to nature. These are all important factors to consider when moving to a new area.
If you lived in North Carolina and paid $400 to rent a room, you wouldn’t be able to find anything near that in New York City. Do some research to see if your plan is realistic and you will have a better idea of how much of a chance your relationship has.
3. Would he change his life for you?
If you are considering changing your whole life for this man, ask yourself a question, is he ready to do that for you? Next, you need to ask him. Don’t assume it’s you who needs to change everything. Have you discussed the pros and cons of what it would entail for either of you to move? There should be equality in these big decisions and you should feel empowered throughout the process.
Let’s be very clear about something. There’s no glory in being taken care of. If you think not working is your ticket out of misery, you are surely mistaken. If a man thinks his career is more important than yours because he makes more money, that has nothing to do with your future happiness. That just means he doesn’t view you as an equal.
If he is looking for a woman to be around the house to do the cooking and cleaning and organize the gardener with the house painter, you need to realize that you are setting yourself up to be the underdog. Remember, we are still coming out of a time of serious oppression as women. Men who are looking for a housewife are still at large.
When you quit your job to live with a wealthy man, you are also giving up your equality. You are now under his roof, subject to his whims and plans, and have given up your personal power. I am not willing to sugar coat this because it happens all the time and it’s extremely important.
4. Are you showing signs of depression?
Are you starting to isolate from people? Have you gained weight? Been drinking a lot or maybe sleeping a lot? These are all signs that you might be depressed. If you find that you aren’t happy unless you hear from him, this is a sign that you are seeking happiness in him and not providing it from within yourself.
That means you have an unhealthy relationship, not because of him, but because you’ve defaulted to looking for happiness outside of yourself and become codependent.
Codependency can lead to a low self-esteem, and you may feel like life is not possible without him, even though you barely ever see him. It’s important to know that women are prone to codependency and be able to spot the signs. For starters, if you know he’s not really treating you right, but you can’t help but go back to him, that’s a sign of codependency.
If your whole day is ruined when you don’t hear from him, that’s a sure sign of codependency too. When you realize you are codependent, that is the first step to understanding and getting over it. Don’t worry, you can overcome it.
Often we will receive compliments about our looks from the person we are codependent with. They essentially build our confidence until they have us wrapped around their finger. Well, luckily, we can unwrap and live our lives happily without them.
If your relationship is pulling from your happiness, it’s probably time to pull the plug.
5. Are you spending all your savings?
Are you working your tail off only to spend it all to go and see him? Do you feel like you’re running in sand and will never get ahead? Have you stopped to consider if you’re putting more of your heart and hard earned money into this than he is?
If you are a hard working person and a romantic, you probably have no problem throwing your money towards a relationship, but don’t throw your career away just for a relationship. Sometimes people feel pressured to get the highest paying job in order to make a life change for a long distance relationship, but they end up hating their job in the process.
There’s a fine line between sacrifice and self-sabotage. You worked hard to get where you are, so don’t throw it away for roses and a kiss. A career lasts a lifetime and he needs to understand that you must work your way up as you learn the ropes, not just take any evil corporate job so you can afford flights. You can’t sell your soul to save it.
6. Have you pictured your future with him?
Have you considered the particulars? Are you a meat and potatoes girl but he’s a straight edge vegan? Does he have cats that you’re allergic to that he’s unwilling to part with? Do your lifestyles match enough to make a future together? Does he have a temper or any issues that would be really hard to live with? Is one of you a neat freak and one of you a bit of a hoarder?
There are so many things to consider here going into religion, political views and if you want children. If he lives in another country, have you considered what language they speak, that you won’t know anyone else and that it might be very hard to find enjoyable work? You should think about what work you would be able to do and if it would be realistic to move for this man.
Also remember, whether he’s planning on moving for you or vice versa, consider not moving in together right away, so you don’t rush things. Just because you’ve been dating long distance, doesn’t mean you’re ready to move in together. Maybe try just casually dating, living near each other for a while, and see how that goes.
7. Do you really know him well?
The problem with long distance relationships is that people paint a picture in their mind of what they think a relationship with this person will be like, and use that to fuel their relationship. Not only is this not based in reality, it’s putting your happiness in some idea in the future, not in the present.
The danger with this is that your mind can make up many fanciful stories about how picturesque your life will be, when in reality, real people need to learn to communicate through the stresses of life by dealing with them. It’s only after you’ve spent an inordinate amount of time with someone that you really get to know them.
Moving to another country or state for someone you barely know is a flat out bad idea. Unless you can afford or they can afford to visit a lot, you will still only usually see them when they have little responsibilities, and it doesn’t give you the full picture of who this person is.
You need to see them in all aspects of their life, and see how they weather the seasons of life before making a commitment to change your whole life for someone. What if they are a drug addict and are keeping it from you? What if they are on house arrest awaiting trial and keeping that from you? Seriously, I know someone that this happened to.
They moved across country not knowing they were ‘dating’ someone who messed up with the law and found out when they got there. You really need to get your head out of the clouds when it comes to this and make sure your feet are on the ground. If he’s not willing to visit you, there might be a reason you want to know about.
Hopefully, this gave you some practical things to consider about your relationship. I believe they can work if you are pragmatic, responsible and adapt well to change. If you take time to get to know someone living near them, you will have the best picture of who they truly are. You can’t bake without cracking the egg first, so try not to skip the logical steps of getting to know someone just because you’re excited and feel like you’re in love.
Don’t give up your dreams for anyone. A good relationship will allow your dreams to flourish, and a good man will help you make your dreams a reality. Don’t settle for the sake of comfort and security, the only lasting security is what we provide for ourselves. In a relationship, we still need to be strong independent women.
If you feel like you are able to hold onto your personal power and have a strong voice in your relationship and your relationship is creating good things in this world, then by all means, make it work. Relationships that are focused on building each other up and making the world a better place, can do just that.