Romance from afar.

While many are against long distance relationships and believe they are pointless, I believe long distance relationships prepare and force a couple to be committed to the relationship from the very start.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about a few things: my future, my job, what I’m going to have for lunch, and long distance relationships. I support them. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from getting into them and I wouldn’t shy away from one if I found someone I liked and they were in another country. Why? Because even though I can be a shrill nag, I believe love knows no bounds, boarders, or even visa.

I’ve always been one to love to date and get attention from boys, but when it came down to it, I’d run from the idea of a relationship. For the most part, I was not ready and I just wanted the attention – but now after a few years, I’ve realized love is a major priority in my life. I’ve been thinking long and hard to evaluate if I can offer anyone what I think a relationship takes: communication, time, effort, love, understanding, and above all, commitment. Then I got to thinking about what type of relationship demands this from the get go and I came up with a long distance relationship. I know from personal experience that today face-to-face relationships are hard to develop. I know that many of us are not willing to put in the time or effort for whatever reason; many friends complain that their face-to-face relationships are suffering because of Facebook, Twitter, text, BBM, and Ping. That all this “contact” is leaving them with an information overload – things about being sent but nothing is being said. So how is that couples in long distant relationships of any sort keep it going?

From what I see, LD’s force the couple to truly consider what they are walking into. There is no three day rule, three month grace period, or game playing. Each party must know what they want and state it then and there because otherwise it’s time to hit the road and move on. Rather than living in the world of possibilities they are pushed into the world of now and beyond. They have to consider if what they are jumping into is going to be what they want in a year rather than just “explore” for fun. Also, they have to communicate. When you can’t touch your partner, you talk. You engage with one another one a different level. Which means not only do you communicate through various mediums you also develop a better understanding of the ways your partner communicates. A smiley isn’t just a smiley anymore!

LD’s take planning, goals and commitment to the goals agreed upon by the couple. A weekend trip takes time, ending the long distance of the relationship takes sacrifice and a genuine commitment to each other. Not only do the time, money, and effort of the flying, driving, or sailing back and forth prove to be tiresome, but it also speaks volumes of the individuals involved. It says “God, I love ya!”

If you need a few stats to bring this all home for you while doing a simple Google search I found a few mind-blowing stats on long distance relationships. A shocking 7 million couples are in long distance relationships, 2.3 million are married couples, and the average expected time apart is 14 months. During that 14 months, the couple will visit each other about 1.4 times a month and talk to each other on the phone for about 30 minutes a day with an average of one phone call every 2-3 days. Of that 7 million, anywhere between 25-40% are college students or twenty-somethings. There is a bright side though: 75% of engaged couples have, at one point or another, been long distance and of that 75%, 25% of them are currently still long distance, which means there is an end to the long journey.

In all, I believe that long distance relationships have a really good chance of working out if the people involved are willing to put in the effort.

In any case: That’s a lot of facts. And it’s a lot of effort.