Living in Bolivia, you have probably become familiar with the term “amor de lejos es amor de *endejos.” We have been led to believe that long-distance relationships are bound to fail due to the lack of conventional contact, but the numbers will shock you: about 60% of long-distance relationships work. Most people will decide to not get into a long-distance relationship in the first place, and they have many reasons not to do so. It is definitely not as easy-breezy as a normal relationship. If you see yourself being with other people then it’s probably better to consider the options you have near you; however, if there is only one person who you see yourself with, then go ahead and give it a try. It is definitely worth it in the long run. If you are thinking about getting into a long-distance relationship, here are some key points to remember:
Be Clear, Set a Schedule
There are two major reasons for failing a long-distance relationship: someone cheats or there is no clear date as to when the distance will no longer be an issue. The first one is not really something you can control. If they decide to do that, you dodged a bullet. The second one, however, is something both parties should work on. Before getting into a relationship in the first place, you need to decide what the goal is. Will you wait for them for how many years you are apart and happily use the internet as the basis of your relationship? Will you have specific dates as to when you will see each other until you can finally be together? Is this the first time you will meet and you’re really just feeling the thing out?
This is where the idea of “if they wanted to, they would” and prioritizing comes in. Sometimes, this will depend on the connection you have with the person or the person’s behavior towards commitment and relationships overall. If you have no idea of when you will see each other in person, it will most likely not work. For example, I once had a brief period of time in which a past relationship had to become long-distance and it failed. This was a long time ago which is why I can now clearly recognize all of the red flags that arose in that situation. My partner and I could not make things work because both parties had issues with either prioritizing or commitment. Personally, I didn’t even try to set up any concrete dates for future visits. The flight would have only been about 3 hours long and we had been together for a relatively long time, but I could not see myself ever making that trip. Recently, I got involved with someone else, and with no hesitation, I booked a 13-hour flight to see him. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t care for the other person, but it did show me that perhaps I didn’t feel everything I thought I felt towards this person. It showed me that we were not right for each other, so it would never work. That is the one beneficial factor of distance, it helps you see the true potential of a relationship.
This is the most important factor in any relationship, whether it’s long-distance or not. You should state what makes you comfortable and what doesn’t. With people our age, “sexting” has become one of the dominant ways to show affection online. If your partner uses the long-distance excuse(or any excuse for that matter) to talk you into sending him pictures, run. The right person will never complain about this. If you feel comfortable and ready to take this step with someone, nobody’s stopping you and it is entirely your choice; however, be aware that this is not something to take lightly. Some people are not who they seem to be and they might violate your privacy. Another thing that you should talk about to keep your partner and yourself from feeling uncomfortable are boundaries and “rules”. Determine what you both think is right and wrong in the relationship and communicate about your actions if you do something that they would not be very happy about.
How often you text or call really depends on you and your partner. For some people, talking every day is exactly what they need while for others it could be harmful to the relationship. When you do talk, don’t be dry and general about occurrences in your life. Most times, it’s not that you run out of things to say, you just aren’t fueling the conversation as you should be.
Long-distance is not for the impatient. If you want to have fun and enjoy the company of many, focus on the people around you. There is no right or wrong way of being in a relationship, but if you do decide to get on a long-distance relationship, know that it will take a lot of patience and perseverance. There will be exciting days as well as “boring” ones. It will not always be perfect, but it will always be worth it if the right person is by your side.