Do Long-Distance Relationships Work?

Do Long-Distance Relationships Work

If you are about to start a long-distance relationship with a new or existing partner, you probably want to know whether or not your relationship can work over a long-distance.

Long-distance relationships work very well for some partners under the right circumstances. They can work if you want to meet someone new online. They can also work for couples who are living together but have to separate for some time. Two things are needed to make your long-distance relationship work: money to visit each other and effective communication.

People see long-distance relationships as a struggle, something innately hard and inevitably troublesome. But long-distance relationships can be great if you understand what they are and how they work. Approach them the right way, and you can have a lot of fun.

In this article, we will explore how long-distance relationships work and how you can make the most out of them.

Can a Long-Distance Relationship Work?

Long-distance relationships can work if you take the time to understand what they are and what they aren’t. Once you know what long-distance relationships are, you can learn to handle them the right way. Knowing what long-distance relationships aren’t will help you avoid unfulfilled expectations from false hopes and empty promises.

Long-distance relationships are romantic relationships with a geographical distance. The fact that it’s a romantic relationship implies the need for physical intimacy. The fact that it’s long-distance implies you are not going to get much of it.

But does it mean it can’t work?

While you may not be able to see your partner every day, long-distance relationships can still work. You can use online means to get to know someone new or maintain an emotional connection with your partner.

To maintain physical closeness you can visit each other or travel together to different places. One thing you need is the means to see each other as much as you’d like.

Many couples, however, don’t have the time, money or both to visit each other frequently. This can create negative feelings from unfulfilled physical needs. If this lasts a few months, you can find ways to deal with it by doing things online with your partner and in real with your friends and family.

But if this situation lasts a long time, you will face more hard feelings and growing misunderstandings. This is how a long-distance relationship turns into a struggle and becomes a burden for everyone involved.

How Does a Long-Distance Relationship Work?

Long-distance relationships can work in two ways. You can either enjoy the good parts that long-distance brings into a relationship. Or you can see it as a punishment that you have to survive.

While some circumstances make it hard to see the good things about being apart, but if you use your time apart wisely, each of you could benefit and make your relationship way more interesting. One thing for sure is that if you see being apart as a punishment or an inconvenience, it will become harder to handle.

After some time of struggle, you’ll see your relationship as a chore. When this happens, it can be tough to find your way back to the harmonious relationship that it should be.

One of the keys to making a long-distance relationship work is effective communication.

When you have effective communication, you can express your feelings freely, knowing your partner will hear them. Clear communication also builds understanding and trust while decreasing confusion and doubts.

How Do Long-Distance Relationships Work Sexually?

A long-distance relationship means you won’t have as much physical closeness with your partner. With that goes sexual intimacy. On the bright side, when you meet, it’s much more special.

If you have the means to see each other as much as you like, this lack of physical intimacy probably won’t affect your relationship as much. But if you are limited in how often you can travel to see each other, it can become an issue. This is particularly true when your long-distance relationship lasts longer than you’d like.

Even though gadgets can’t replace physical closeness to the person you love, couples in long-distance relationships can satisfy themselves sexually while being apart.

There are many interactive gadgets on the market today that work through the internet. They range from kissing gadgets to remote-controlled underwear.

How Well Do Long-Distance Relationships Work?

Relationships work well when both people understand themselves and know what they want. This makes it easier to have effective communication.

It is important to set up your goals and expectations of the relationship from the beginning. Once you know what you want out of your long-distance relationship, you can make a plan to get what you both want.

Making a plan and use it with a timeline will help you to keep track of how your long-distance relationship is going and recognise when things are not quite right or adjust as your feelings and circumstances change.

How Long Do Long-Distance Relationships Work?

Long-distance relationships work as long as a couple makes them work. The real question is how can you make your long-distance relationship work?

You can make it work by sacrificing your needs, holding back your thoughts and feelings. This is more like surviving a long-distance relationship.

But, you can also make it work for real. You can have a healthy working relationship that brings you fun and joy. You can do this by freely expressing what you want in a way that your partner understands you. Trust and understanding are a must in your relationship if you are to make it work.

By having effective communication, you will be able to recognise when something isn’t working. Once you can identify what’s not working, you can talk about it and fix it.

In truth, long-distance relationships can be great if you see them for what they are: a temporary situation.

Do Long-Distance Relationships Work Long Term?

Maybe you found a special someone who lives far away. Maybe you are in a relationship, and one of you needs to move away for studies or work. Whatever your situation, you might be facing a long-distance relationship for some time.

If you are away for a few months, a long-distance relationship can work just fine until you get back together. But if you’re planning to be away for longer, you should discuss it to make sure that both of you are happy with this situation.

If one of you feels that it’s not going to work, then you can consider an open long-distance relationship or having a break until you can be together again. You can always try a long-distance relationship for a few months and see how you get on. Just remember always to keep an eye on your feelings.

Couples in long-distance relationships sometimes tend to ignore their feelings. They maintain their long-distance relationship despite feeling sad and frustrated most of the time. While you can push through the hardships for a short while, it may have a negative effect on your relationship and your life if you do it for along time.

Do Long-Distance Relationships Work in Different Countries?

Long-distance relationships in different countries are quite common. You can come across someone on holiday or through a dating site.

There are many reasons why some people decide to have a long-distance relationship with someone from another country. Some of those include a better life (a hope for a better life), exploring other cultures, or simply clicking with someone who happened to live across the border.

From personal experience, I can say that moving to another country is a completely life-changing experience. It has its pros and cons and within the cons it can leave you feeling lost, alone and confused, questioning every aspect of your reality.

This experience can also open your eyes to the world outside of your pond, making you realise that all norms, social and cultural, are relative.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that the grass is not always greener on the other side, it’s just a different kind of grass. You should be careful committing to something that may not be for you. You are in charge of your choices, and you are the one responsible for your decisions and most of the outcomes.

If you find yourself at a crossroads of deciding whether you should move for a relationship or not, check out this article.

How Do You Know if Your Long-Distance Relationship Is Working?

You know your long-distance relationship is working when you can tell your partner all that you think and feel knowing that they will hear you out, understand what you mean, and help you find the solution to any problem.

In a long-distance relationship, it’s essential to maintain understanding and good communication. These are important in any relationship, but when you can’t see and feel your partner, communication becomes more challenging.

When you are away from your partner, you have a lot of time to think. Some thoughts stem from doubts. Unexpressed doubts become toxic and with time can destroy your relationship. Doubts and insecurities also lead to jealousy and distrust.

As long as you have clear and open communication, you can solve most of the problems that arise in your long-distance relationship.

The moment you are holding something back, you know your relationship is getting on the wrong path. This is the time to have “the talk” about your relationship to see where it’s going.

You will have a few options, making your long-distance relationship work, break up temporarily or end your relationship altogether. Any of these options is ok as long as you decide together what is best for both of you.

Why Long-Distance Relationships Don’t Work?

When a person feels insecure, it is more likely to do guilt-tripping and emotional blackmail. It’ll look something like: “if you loved me, you would…”. This kind of expression is a clear sign of an unhealthy relationship.

You can tell that your relationship has become a struggle or a chore when one of the partners avoids communicating as much.

Lack of communication or not enough communication in a long-distance relationship could be a sign that your relationship is not working. But be careful jumping to conclusions. Because it’s also possible that you want to talk too much and your partner is really busy with their things.

In a long-distance relationship, if you or your partner don’t say something that’s on your mind, it leaves a lot of room for assumptions. Even when you do say what you want, your partner may not hear it the way you intend it, which can lead to misunderstandings.

Assumptions and misunderstanding are notorious and very common for destroying relationships. In long-distance relationships, they are even more so.

Can You Make Long-Distance Relationships Work?

Unless this is your first relationship, you can use your previous ones as references. Looking at your previous experiences, you can figure out what worked and what didn’t.

If you are in a long-distance relationship, you should also consider how the distance affects your relationship. Decide if a long-distance relationship is for you and how you can make the most of it.

You can make your long-distance relationship work. But first, you need to know why you want to make it work and how long it will last. If you don’t do it properly, it will be hard work. If you do it the right way, you will achieve your goals and have lots of fun along the way.

If your previous relationship didn’t work, did you figure out why? Until you understand why your previous relationships didn’t work, you will be prone to making the same mistakes again and again.

Try to avoid compromising and find a solution that works for both of you. Talk about what’s important for each of you personally. Figure out what each of you wants from this relationship.

The more open and honest you can be, the better your chances of getting it right with choosing the person to share your life with and to make it work through long-distance and living together.

If it’s not the right time, but it may be the right person, maybe take it lightly with no obligations, expectations, or commitment. You could stay friends for a while and visit each other occasionally. Things tend to work themselves out one way or the other.

Just remember what’s important for you, respect the other and keep it light.

Think if you need your long-distance relationship to work and why? Maybe at this stage of your life, a meaningful relationship is what’s important for you or maybe it’s your career or education.

If you would like some help to make your long-distance relationship work, here’s a workbook for you.


To understand if long-distance relationships work or not, you should know what a long-distance relationship is, which is a temporary solution for keeping in touch with your partner or getting to know someone who lives far away. While it can work for a short while, long-term it isn’t healthy, nor is it sustainable.

There are as many situations as there are couples. If you are in a long-distance relationship that doesn’t bring you joy and fulfilment, ask yourself, why are you doing it?

It’s easy to say that if you are unhappy in a relationship, end it and move on. But in reality, there are many different situations, and very few of them are as straightforward.

Whatever your situation, there are ways you can make your long-distance relationship work, at least for some time. To do that you need to be honest with yourself and with your partner.

Throughout one’s life, there are many people who come and go. Some stay longer, others are just passing by. The only person who is there all the way is you.

So, whatever decisions you face, check in with your feelings, and what you want for yourself. If you are staying with somebody in a long-distance relationship despite feeling unhappy, ask yourself if it’s worth it.

We’ve seen that long-distance relationships can work for the right people in the right circumstances. But there are many ways these relationships can also fail. Often people blame the distance for all that’s not well with their long-distance relationship.

However, there are times when couples don’t understand how to handle a long-distance relationship. Other times it’s the relationship itself that may not be working due to different interests or values. Remember to be aware of your own needs and respect those of others.

We attract certain people in our lives by behaving the way we do and through the choices we make. Take some time to understand yourself better and know what you want, then you will be able to create relationships with people who share your values. Remember that the relationships you create can affect your life and your personality.

How Healthy Is Your Long-Distance Relationship?

If you are having doubts about your long-distance relationship and are not sure if you should try to fix it or let it go, here is our step by step guide to help you and your partner reassess your relationship and make an educated decision that works for both of you.

Relationship Coaching for Long-Distance Couples

Long-distance relationships are hard to maintain without knowing exactly what they involve.

However, once you understand what long-distance relationships are, what they are not and how to navigate them, you are a lot more likely to make it work.

We specialise in helping long-distance couples create and maintain a healthy relationship by building intimacy, trust and effective communication.

If you are starting a long-distance relationship or are already in one, send us a message to book an individual coaching session for yourself or a couples coaching session for you and your partner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do long-distance relationships work?

Long-distance relationships work for people who meet online and want to get to know each other better. They also work for couples who are relocating and have to be apart for some time. In any case, it’s important to make it a short phase.

Do online long-distance relationships work?

The Internet is the very thing that can make a long-distance relationship work. It allows us to meet new people online and to maintain existing relationships. The one thing it doesn’t replace is human contact.

Do long-distance relationships work in college?

Long-distance relationships can work in college, but they don’t tend to last. As a teenager, you are eager to explore the world and form many different relationships. Long-distance relationship in college becomes an inconvenience. Not only are you not getting any close interaction from the relationship you are in, but you are also closed to the rest of the world.

Do long-distance relationships really work?

The reality of a long-distance relationship is that it can work. But it can’t be a real romantic relationship without physical intimacy. You can make it work for a short while or if you have the means for unrestricted travel.

Why long-distance relationships can work?

Long-distance relationships can work because it’s possible to keep in touch via online means. Online relationships actually have a lot of benefits, and in some ways are even better than regular ones.

When do long-distance relationships work?

Long-distance relationships work when both partners agree on how their relationship will work long-distance. If you are about to start a long-distance relationship, you should have this talk with your partner before you separate. It will help if you agree on the means and frequency of your communication and how often you’ll be able to see each other.

When long-distance relationships don’t work?

Long-distance relationships don’t work when partners want to be together but can’t find a way to each other. This builds up frustration which leads to arguments. After that, you either find yourself in an unhealthy relationship or you end it altogether.

Do breaks in long-distance relationships work?

Breaks can work for some long-distance relationships. For example, you may need sexual intimacy, and there’s no way to have it with your partner. In this case, a solution can be to have an open long-distance relationship or have a temporary break. You can remain friends, and if circumstances change, you can get back together.

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