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  • Writer's pictureSum Yuet Lee

๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ’ž Do Long-Distance Relationships Really Work Out?

Yes, I hear the university students going on exchange in Semester 2 frantically clicking in to see our answer to this question right now. Yes, yours truly was also stressing out about it when writing this article and mapping her modules.

Image Credit: Joan Alturo from NPR

Long-distance relationships (LDRs) have always been a topic of debate and intrigue. Are they destined to fail, or can they truly stand the test of time and distance? In a world where physical proximity seems essential for a successful relationship, let's dive into the complexities and nuances of LDRs to determine if they can, in fact, work out!


The Challenges of Long-Distance Love

Distance Takes Its Toll

Image Credit: Alessandra De Cristofaro

The first challenge in an LDR is, of course, the distance itself. Physical separation can lead to feelings of loneliness, longing, and frustration. The absence of regular face-to-face interactions can make it difficult to sustain emotional intimacy. Couples in LDRs also miss out on the simple joys of everyday life together. They can't spontaneously go on dates, attend events, or share meals, which can lead to a sense of disconnect.


Communication Hurdles

Image Credit: CurvaBezier on iStockPhoto

Effective communication is the bedrock of any relationship. In an LDR, couples often rely on text messages, phone calls, or video chats. These methods, while essential, can sometimes lead to misunderstandings due to the absence of non-verbal cues. Speaking as someone who honestly can't read tone from a couple of pixels on WhatsApp, this can be a little bit of a problem!


Trust and Jealousy

Image Credit: My Sweet LDR

Trust issues can creep into any relationship, but they can be magnified in an LDR. Insecurities and jealousy may arise when one partner feels unsure about the other's activities and interactions in their distant location. I'm just saying, if you already get jealous in Singapore, with around 3 million people of the other gender, imagine South Korea with nearly 26 million of each...


The Dateideas Team's 5 Tips To Make It Work!

Let's cut to the chase: of course, we still want our relationships to stay intact regardless of the time difference. With this, we happily present to you our 5 tips to make your LDRs work!

1. Switching Up Communication Modes!

Image Credit: Adventures.com

Once, when my mother used to disable my WhatsApp at night to force me to go to sleep, 14-year-old me would literally resort to using Google Hangouts just to call my friends. If texting is getting boring, sending everything from audio memos, to Telegram video messages, to GIFs can help to bring your partner into your world a lot more! My boyfriend and I particularly love this one -- from his 1-month Japan trip alone, I've gotten a full 20-page PowerPoint slide presentation, complete with video messages at different points of his hike up Mount Fuji.


2. Say What You Want To Say

Image Credit: Web in Travel

The weight of maintaining carefree conversations and revisiting the exciting early stages of your relationship, marked by unpredictability, can be overwhelming. However, now, if you wish to delve into particular topics or favour a specific communication approach, express your desires openly!


3. Establishing Trust and Transparency

Image Credit: iStock

Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship, and it's even more crucial in an LDR. Trust your partner, give them the benefit of the doubt, and be transparent about your daily life, activities, and interactions. This transparency helps build trust and reduce misunderstandings!


4. Setting Goals and Future Plans

Image Credit: Adobe Stock

When I was thinking about going for exchange this semester, I was primarily worried about missing a LOT of milestones for me and my boyfriend as a couple -- his 21st birthday, MY 21st birthday, our 4-year anniversary, celebrating Halloween and Christmas together... But, for those couples who just can't make it for those big moments, always make sure to set aside some time to have a virtual celebration for them! It's also always handy to have an end date for the LDR to become an IRL relationship by keeping a countdown clock on both of your schedules.


5. Psst, Surprise 'Em!

Image Credit: Marriage.com

Keep your LDR spicy with thoughtful gestures! Whether it's sending a surprise care package, writing love letters, or a really. really cringey 'Welcome Home' sign, this is perfect for partners who adore gift giving or acts of service. Psst, if you can, plan a surprise trip as well (Don't tell my boyfriend, but I'm secretly coming back to Singapore in the middle of my exchange to see him for Chinese New Year)!


Our Final Verdict!

Remember that every LDR is unique, and what works for one couple may not work for another. Adapt these tips to fit your specific circumstances and prioritise open communication and trust to build a strong and lasting connection with your partner, no matter the distance! Good luck to all uni exchangers, and please, remember that absence makes the heart grow fonder.


with Love,

The Dateideas Team

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