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Can a Long Distance Relationship Really Last or Not?

Can a Long Distance Relationship Really Last or Not?

Looking for relationship advice about whether long distance relationships really last or not?

Well, around 14 million people manage long distance relationships in the US. An additional 3.75 million couples are in a long distance marriage![1] Seems like a lot, right? So, what’s the deal? Will these relationships make it for the long haul?

    Long Distance Relationships Are Indeed Challenging

    Before you commit to a long distance relationship (LDR), you should know they come with a special set of challenges that other relationships don’t have to endure. Just because so many people are in one doesn’t mean they are easy. In fact, most of the relationship advice out there talks about how they almost never work out.

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    That doesn’t have to happen to you. LDR’s are definitely challenging, you just have to ask yourself if you’re ready to take on this unique kind of relationship before you commit.

      Challenging, But Not Impossible

      With most of the relationship advice out there pointing to how LDR’s are most likely to fail, it can be pretty demotivating and make you start doubting if it’s a good idea or not. Seriously, how could a relationship ever overcome the obstacle of long distance?

      With the right relationship advice, you can work through these challenges and potentially end up with a lasting and fulfilling relationship – if you’re willing to put in the effort.

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      Don’t believe it? Plenty of people have given relationship advice about all the reasons that LDR’s really can work. Maybe you’re wondering, “if something is so difficult, why not search for a partner who lives closer to you?” Because if you are willing to put in the time and effort, you could build an incredibly strong emotional connection with your partner. By the time the two of you make the decision to be closer, or live together, or get married, you will likely have a more fulfilling and healthier relationship than a lot of other couples. The distance between you two can actually work to bring you closer.

      Overcoming the Challenges

      Ready to tackle the challenges of a LDR? Take a look at this relationship advice and find out what the biggest challenges are and what you can do to work your way through them.

      Growing Apart

      The two of you can’t see each other every day or even every week for that matter. You are forced to maintain your relationship via phone calls and video chats (if the internet connection is strong enough). You life continues wherever you are and so does your partner’s, and they aren’t the same. The two of you will be growing and changing with the real possibility that this will cause you to grow apart.

      How do you make sure to grow and change together despite the distance? The key here is to maintain regular and frequent communication. If your budget allows, try to visit each other as much as possible. This way, your individual changes don’t come as a surprise. Be honest with each other and bring it up the moment you start to feel like you’re growing apart.

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      Feeling Jealous

      You are both mature and intelligent adults, trying to be supportive of each other’s independence. But every so often, jealousy rears its ugly head. It’s so easy to start worrying about who your partner spends all their time with and it’s only natural that you wish it could be with you.

      Don’t let your jealousy control your interactions with your significant other. If you suspect they might have feelings for somebody else, ask. Don’t accuse. Recognize if your jealousy stems for your own insecurity and try to handle it together. It’s okay to ask for reassurance from time to time, that’s what relationships are for. But, make sure you fight jealousy early on so it doesn’t get out of control and take over your relationship.

      Misunderstanding the Other Person’s Intention

      When you’re in a long distance relationship, the two of you primarily rely on verbal or written communication. You don’t have the luxury of being face to face and seeing nonverbal behavior or facial expressions. It’s easy to misunderstand the intent behind what your significant other is saying. And these misunderstandings can lead to arguments.

      To avoid this problem, try to be as clear as possible when writing or speaking. Don’t assume that the other person will understand or even know exactly what you’re talking about. If you aren’t sure you understood your partner, ask for clarification. Get out of the habit of reacting, instead make sure you understand everything first.

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      Making it Last

      There is no doubt about it, being in a long distance relationship can be challenging. If you stick to this relationship advice, put in extra effort, and try to be patient, you may end up in one of the most fulfilling and emotionally rewarding relationships of your life.

      Featured photo credit: Tofros.com via pexels.com

      Reference

      [1] longdistancerelationshipstatistics.com: LongDistanceRelationshipStatistics

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      Amber Pariona

      EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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      Last Updated on February 19, 2019

      Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

      Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

      No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

      People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

      But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

      If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

      Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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      Pain Is Our Guardian

      Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

      In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

      Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

      While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

      Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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      No Pain, No Happiness

      You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

      In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

      In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

      This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

      Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

      Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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      This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

      Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

      Allow Room for the Inevitable

      Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

      Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

      “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

      Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

      The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

      While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

      Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

      Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

      To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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      You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

      Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

      Reference

      [1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
      [2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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