Long distance relationships (or LDR’s) occur when two people live far apart from each other and are unable to see each other except on holidays, weekends, or vacations. LDR’s can be very difficult for some people because they want to be together more often. But some people actually enjoy LDR’s because it gives them the time apart from each other so they can fully appreciate each other when they’re together.

A lot of long distance relationships may don’t last that long because they’re too difficult to deal with. Communicating by phone, email, and other methods just isn’t enough. Without physical affection present the relationship undergoes a lot of strain and this is ultimately why it doesn’t work.

Some people have made LDR’s work though, by agreeing to see other people. This is both responsible and dangerous at the same time. It is responsible because you have both acknowledged that you have to meet your needs for physicality and it is dangerous because there is always the chance that the other relationship can develop into something more serious.

The long distance relationships that I’ve seen fail, failed because people were afraid to lose each other and because of that fear, weren’t able to end the relationship at the right time (when someone moves for example). Instead of letting go, grieving the loss and moving on, they dragged it out into a longer, more difficult situation, invested much more of their emotional energy into it until one of them (rarely both of them) finally decided to do what was right and end it. By that time the process is much more difficult to recover from and I’ve seen people go into depressions that lasted for months, even (yikes!) years.

So, my advice is this. If you plan on being apart for 2 or 3 months, it’s worth holding out for. Maybe between 3 and 6 months, but I fell like that’s pushing it. Anything more than 6 months apart and it’s better to end it right away. These suggestions don’t always sit well with people, and these choices are hard to make. But now you are informed and so the choice is yours.

~Matt Adams