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The Pros and Cons of International Long Distance Relationships

The Pros and Cons of International Long Distance Relationships

When you’re abroad, the number of people that you meet while travelling are almost innumerable, but the people that you will build lasting relationships with and maintain contact with are a select few. Once in awhile, you meet a very special soul that you connect with on a level above the rest. However, as nomads, whether you were lucky enough to spend some significant time developing a relationship with this person, or if you were only able to share one fleeting moment of magic but were able to exchange contact information, you now find yourself in a long distance relationship (LDR) due to the fact that you move around so frequently. 

Some people are unable to grasp the concept of long distance relationships, supporting the argument that humans need their partner to be present and that it’s unnatural to have a LDR. But with the incredible advancements in technology, the Internet has made it possible for long distance relationships to survive at a much higher rate than they used to. Thanks to programs like Skype, Viber, What’s App (and of course the internet as a whole) we are able to connect with our loved ones no matter how far away they may be. 

As a veteran of long distance relationships, here is a list of the pros and cons of being in a LDR, that anyone who has experienced the torture and bliss of LDRs will understand. 


Time zones



Waking up to a text from your loved one because they woke up 4 hours ahead of you since they are in the future. 


Not being able to find an appropriate time to talk because the time difference is so obscure.





Since you don’t have your significant other to distract you in person, you can spend time hanging out with your friends and meeting new people.


You still end up huddled in your room with your computer, devoting large chunks of time to Skype sessions for hours.





You have the whole bed to yourself! No one to steal the blankets or to keep you awake snoring.


Missing the warm cuddles that you share with your special someone as you intertwine into together. (Also, depending on your time zone situation, you might not be sleeping very much if you are staying awake chatting till 5:00 am)





You can see what your partner is up to in their daily life without them having to divulge every detail. 


You can see what your partner is up to in their daily life and now they had better divulge every detail (Who’s that good looking person next to you in all these photos?)


Buying Plane Tickets



You get to take a trip somewhere different and you get to see your special someone once you get there!


Airline prices have gone up in the past few years, so hopefully you’ll be alternating with who has to afford the tickets each time. Either way, you’ll probably end up fairly broke most of the time. 





Sending the most excellent birthday package complete with their favourite candies, sweet notes and the most perfect present that you have been planning for months and getting to watch their excitement as they open it on Skype. 


Not being able to celebrate in person. 





A way that we can see each other and talk, thank you to whoever invented video calling!


“Can you hear me?” “You’re frozen, call me back.” “Can you hear me now?” “Just message it to me, I can’t understand you.” The perpetual battle of frozen pixelated video, bad audio, lagging video and audio and the torturous process that is trying to Skype your significant other.





You can focus on work without the distraction or physical commitments of having your partner in the same place as you. Time to focus and hustle!


You still end up day dreaming about them for a good majority of the day, thinking about what time it is, whether they have finished with work, if they’re about to text you, etc. 


Time Till You Reunite



Each day is another day to improve yourself until you see your special someone.


Time moves extremely slow as you count down every single second until you see them.




In order for the LDR to work, you must establish a solid level of trust with your partner. And by solid, unbreakable undeniable fortress of trust is more accurate. But if your trust can last through an LDR, you can bet that your relationship is one of the strongest around. 


Trust can be difficult to earn, build and maintain and not being able to see the person face to face or spend time with them on a daily basis does not help. 





Communication is all you have, so you will not only get a heap of practice, but you will be able to discover new techniques that work well, while spending time getting to know each other by communicating openly.  


Everyone has different communication methods, and sometimes they don’t all mesh that well. Oh there’s a language barrier too? Good luck.


Daily Conversations



Keeping your partner in the loop about what’s going on in your life allows them to feel included in your daily existence. Little details and anecdotes are important as they allow you to connect despite the lack of presence.


If you’re living a fairly routine existence, conversations have the potential to fall into an equation of my day, your day, I love you and I miss you. 


Watching Romance in Public or in Media



When you see someone else kissing, hugging or simply being loved, you are filled with butterflies because you are thinking about how amazing it will feel when you get to experience that with your own loved one.


It is absolute torture waiting till you can experience that comforting affection again. You immediately walk away or turn off the images. 





Because you have so much to look forward to, your planning skills have become exceptional with regards to affording plane tickets, time management and even being prepared with a birthday care package and planning how far in advance you need to send it so that it arrives on time. 


Your planning can get out of hand, as you plan your visits and everything you’re going to do once you get there, that your relationship and life seems to lack that freedom and spontaneity that makes life interesting.


Phone Dependence



You always have your phone with you in case your partner messages, calls or tries to set up a time to communicate. Especially when sleeping.


You ALWAYS have your phone with you; in fact you are so glued to your phone that your friends and family are a little worried.




You’ll have to harness your creativity to think of new ways to communicate, to express your love and to make the relationship work.


Sometimes you just want to be able to sit with your partner, and not have to think about anything but just being next to them. 





That first hug/kiss is so fulfilling and you rare very clearly reminded why you went through all that torturous time apart. 


You have to be apart for the reunion to happen in the first place, and as we all know, an LDR is no easy matter. 

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Comments 1

surviveldr on Friday, 13 March 2015 07:54

Simple and yet very accurate list. I would have not said it any better. Being in a LDR is really hard and it is up to you on how to nurture it. I have also put together some things that may come handy to people who are in a LDR.

Simple and yet very accurate list. I would have not said it any better. Being in a LDR is really hard and it is up to you on how to nurture it. I have also put together some things that may come handy to people who are in a LDR.
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29 November 2022

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