Long Distance Romance -- Keeping
the Love Alive
(ARA) - Youve heard the
saying absence makes the heart grow fonder. Or is
it more accurate to say out of sight, out of mind?
Either way, up to a million Americans are working to keep the
romance alive as they spend days, weeks and even months apart.
This includes everything from writing letters and e-mail to spending
hundreds of dollars a month on long distance phone calls or plane
According to the Love From Afar
survey conducted by voiceglo, a company that offers phone services
over the Internet, long distance relationships are more common
than you may think. Sixty-two percent of respondents have had
a love affair of at least 50 miles, with almost half (42 percent)
having had a romantic relationship with at least 250 miles between
them and their sweetie. But long distance love isnt cheap
-- 35 percent spent $100 or more on phone calls to keep their
love alive. Despite these challenges, many of those surveyed
believed that long distance love is not hopeless, in fact, 67
percent think that these relationships can work.
While conventional wisdom decrees
that long distance relationships cant last, the truth is
that long distance is no more likely to cause a break up than
staying local. At the same time, long distance relationships
do take more energy and create more stress and depression for
The reasons for long distance
relationships are most often college, and secondly, military
service. Surprisingly, U.S. Census data shows there are about
2.5 to 3 million long distance marriages in the United States.
Counting long distance couples who are not married is much more
"We know a great deal about
college students and their dating patterns," explains Dr.
Greg Guldner, author of Long Distance Relationships, The
Complete Guide, and director of The Center for the Study
of Long Distance Relationships. "Roughly one in four of
the 17 million students consider themselves in a long distance
relationship." That translates to an additional 4.4 million
Leslie Karsner, the author of
The Long Distance Romance Guide, and Dr. Guldner
feel that long distance love offers benefits such as improved
communication, not taking each other for granted and increased
independence and individuality. However, they both offer tips
to help couples keep the relationship strong, even across hundreds
1. Ensure clear and frequent
communication. Its important to keep touching base and
tickling fancies with gifts and chat. When you cant rely
on seeing facial gestures and body language, you must communicate
2. Stay optimistic. Long distance
relationships can and do work.
3. Have a support system. Surround
yourself with friends and family who are willing to listen and
support you in your extra efforts.
4. Have a life of your own. Dont
just keep busy, really accomplish things that matter to you.
Dont spend your time pining -- stay active with physical
and social diversions.
5. Avoid avoidance. Agree to
talk about tough issues during your next visit.
6. Don't expect perfection. Couples
in long distance relationships sometimes measure the success
of their relationship by the perceived quality of the most recent
time spent together. If the weekend was a disappointment then
the relationship is in trouble. Simply realizing that there will
be some disappointing times together -- and that this is normal
-- will help with those less than glorious weekends.
7. Find less expensive alternatives
to stay in touch. E-mail and letters are great ways to keep the
flame alive. Newer technology, such as phone calls over the Internet,
also provides low cost ways to hear that special someones
voice. For the month of February, voiceglo is offering free Internet
phone calls to its subscribers -- all you and your partner need
to do is sign up for the service and download the software.
Although it may be hard at times,
its often worth holding on to those long distance relationships.
Just remember to be creative and keep the lines of communication