Know You Actually Are in Love when in a Long Distance Relationship

Edited by Kathy McGraw

Whether you are in a long-distance relationship because you met online and they live hundreds or even thousands of miles away from you, or your partner had to move away due to a military deployment, you're not alone. While we don't have good numbers for how many couples live apart from each other, the circumstances in the world suggest that there would be more long-distance relationships now than in the past.

More Couples are Meeting Online

A Pew Research poll found that 5 percent of Americans who are married or in a long-term relationship and 11 percent of those who have been in a committed relationship for 10 years or less met their mates online. Furthermore, the proportion of couples who have met online has doubled in the past eight years. While online dating still takes a distant second seat to the in-person variety, it's becoming far more common.

The availability of the Internet all over the world has enabled people to connect with each other from the most far-flung places, and they can stay in touch in ways that were not possible even 10 to 15 years ago. This means that whether your sweetheart is deployed on an extended tour in Afghanistan or the love of your life lives in New Zealand while your home is in Canada, you can have a relationship with them, even though you are oceans apart.

Good News for Long-distance Lovers

Despite what common wisdom has to say, there is some good news for long-distance lovers about the success and longevity of their relationships. It seems that long-distance relationships offer benefits that their close-distance counterparts do not, namely:

  1. 1
    You get to know each other on a deeper, more intimate level. Talking on the phone lowers your inhibitions, and you may tell your partner things that you might be hesitant to disclose face-to-face.
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  2. 2
    Because you aren't always in your partner's presence, that heady in-love period lasts longer.
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  3. 3
    You appreciate each other more because it's true that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
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  4. 4
    You retain your independence. Since your partner is not always around, you have more time for yourself.
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  5. 5
    You are committed to each other completely. It isn't possible to be "half-in" a long-distance relationship because it takes a level of commitment to manage the logistics alone; you have to make time to chat with each other and time to visit one another.
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So, if you happen to be in a long-distance relationship, take heart: the odds are not as much against you as you think. And if you're wondering if that feeling you think may be love is really love, then read on to find out how to tell.

You Know You're In Love with Your Long-distance Partner When

  1. 1
    You would rather talk to them than spend time with anyone else. There is no other person with whom you would rather spend time with. You would rather talk your partner than do almost anything else. It isn't that you don't enjoy time with your friends, or other activities, it's that your priorities have shifted.
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  • 2
    You think about them all the time. Your partner is always on your mind: when you hear a funny joke, you wonder if they would find it funny. You find yourself dressing with them in mind, choosing clothing you know they would like. They are the one you think about when you wake and when you go to sleep. They become your world.
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  • 3
    You can't wait to get on the phone or Skype with them. You spend all day on tenterhooks waiting to get home and chat with your partner. You can't wait to share your day with them and hear about how theirs went. You live for those moments, video optional.
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  • 4
    You would do anything for them. You care enough about them to make sacrifices for them. You prioritize their needs above your own, and you do so without reluctance or resentment. Being in love means that your loved one's needs and happiness are paramount.
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  • 5
    You trust them. Trust is a key element in any loving relationship; if you don't trust your partner, your relationship won't last. Distrust breeds resentment, which can quickly rip apart even the strongest bond. You trust your partner implicitly to stay true within the context of the boundaries you've set up in your relationship. Beyond that, you always give them the benefit of the doubt, and you characterize their actions as benign by default.
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  • 6
    Your heart trips over when you hear their voice. There is something about hearing their voice that sends your heart into overdrive. You love to listen to them and to hear them talk feels like the purest heaven. It's part of that heady feeling you get when you're around your lover; you get all tingly, and maybe you even feel a little lightheaded. Is it love, or the flu?
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  • 7
    They're your best friend. Your partner is the person you tell all your secrets to and with whom you share your innermost thoughts, fears, and desires. Likewise, you listen when they share their hopes and fears with you.
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  • 8
    You can see a future with them. You make plans for a life together, and you can see yourself growing old with them. You picture them at your side for future milestones in your life and can't imagine them not being there.
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  • 9
    You could lose hours talking to them. Whenever you get on the phone or chat with them, you easily lose hours talking to each other. They seem to fly by, and afterward, you look at the clock and wonder where all the time went.
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  • 10
    You think of your partner as one-of-a-kind. You think of them as special; you think that there is no one in the world quite like them. You could've sworn that they hung the moon and the stars in the sky.
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  • 11
    You idealize them. You always think the best of your partner, emphasizing their positive traits while ignoring their negative ones. It's a special feeling that only happens during that magical in-love period where the relationship is shiny and new.
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  • 12
    You don't want to be with anyone else. You are ready to be monogamous with your partner. In fact, the thought of being with anyone else is repugnant; you can't even imagine it. Of course, whether you feel this way depends on the kind of relationship you and your partner have: if you are in an open relationship, then this would not apply.
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  • Tips and Tricks

    • Make sure that you communicate with each other. Since you aren't in physical proximity with each other and you may not interact on a daily basis, it's important to communicate clearly with each other. Miscommunication is the breeding ground of misunderstandings and resentments.
    • Set up regular phone or Skype chats.
    • Make plans to eventually move closer to one another. It doesn't have to be anytime soon, but knowing that there is an end in sight to being apart can help get you through the loneliness and longing that comes from so much time away from your lover.
    • Make sure your partner knows that you appreciate them, even though you're apart. This could take the form of silly emails or sending little gifts to them in the mail.

    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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