Love and Time Zones: Why Long-Distance Relationships Can Work

They say that love “knows no bounds” and sometimes, it doesn’t care what time zone you’re in either. And in an age when technology can bring people from everywhere closer together, long-distance relationships appear to be more prevalent than ever. But the question still remains: Can long-distance relationships really work?

Reaching across space and time can be a struggle

Reaching across space and time can be a struggle in your relationship | iStock / Getty Images Plus

Long-distance relationships can work, but …

Both parties have to put in the effort to make it worthwhile. And that all starts with proper communication. “There are seemingly infinite methods of communicating with loved ones,” INSIDER reminds us, “making it easier for couples to have a functioning and healthy long-distance relationship.”

Of course, regular communication goes beyond texting each other a few times day. INSIDER explains that couples in healthy long-distance relationships use a variety of mediums to communicate. Video chat platforms such as FaceTime and Skype can help the distance seem a bit smaller. If you and your long-distance S.O. have different work schedules, having time set aside to see each other’s faces can make a world of difference.

Additionally, keeping your significant other “visible” helps to strengthen a long-distance bond. This may involve keeping pictures of your partner on your work desk or regularly referencing phone conversations with your S.O. to your friends.  Psych Central explains that “being so visibly ‘coupled’ helps create a context” for the community around you. It makes people around you see you “as part of a couple, not as single and available.”

Communication is key | iStock / Getty Images Plus

Consider “how”

How you communicate, that is. Long-distance couples who ask about each other’s days and listen to each other’s problems are more likely to have a successful relationship. Long story short: Active listening should be exercised daily, INSIDER says. “If you mention that your back has been sore, an active listener will remember your pain and ask about your back after a particularly strenuous day,” the article says. “(Your partner doesn’t) have to remember your boss’s name, but if they remember that your boss made you stay late on your birthday, that shows that they’ve been listening.”

And remember: Commitment is a two-way street

Both parties in a long-distance relationship have to put in the effort even if things get tough. If there is an argument or any instance where one of you feels misheard, both of you need to address it. Actress Vanessa Hudgens, who is in a long-distance relationship herself, addressed this very topic in an interview with PEOPLE earlier this year. ” “I think that if anything’s bothering you, don’t hold it in,” she advised. “Always bring it up and just talk about it. Uncensor yourself and just be open.”

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