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5 Reasons Why Long-Distance Relationships Never Work

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M. Rose has a passion for writing and helping people any way she can.

Why don't long-distance relationships work out? Here are five possible reasons.

Why don't long-distance relationships work out? Here are five possible reasons.

5 Harsh Facts About Long-Distance Relationships

People in long-distance relationships are like the kid in your class who does the extra hard math problems at the end of each section just for fun. Or the person who wakes up at 4 AM to run 16 miles every day up a mountain in the rain.

They're doing what most of us do, except they're making it a thousand times harder than it needs to be. Relationships are often confusing, brain-hurting messes of enigmas, even without 5000 miles in between you and your significant other. Add distance in, and hoo boy, are you in for a bumpy ride.

Never is a harsh word. But it's easier to say than "More often than not, these relationships don't work out" or "In most cases, they usually don't work out." So what I really mean is: Here are some reasons why you should think twice before starting a long-distance relationship. Because they, more often than not, in most cases, don't work out.

  1. It's hard to trust someone you hardly see in person.
  2. It usually leads to cheating.
  3. Distance leads to frustration. Frustration leads to fighting. Fighting leads to break-ups. It's the inevitable cycle of long-distance relationships.
  4. These relationships go on way longer than they should.
  5. You'll never have a future unless you live in the same place.

1. It's Hard to Trust Someone You Hardly See in Person

You're putting a lot of faith in someone far, far away, who you often have no reliable means of checking up on (internet video chats don't count). Building trust is a key component in any relationship, and building that trust requires face time. It's being able to look into that person's face and see his commitment to you. Seeing it in person.

When it comes to trust, talk is cheap. Anybody can say they're trustworthy. Anyone can say they love you. But you need to see it to believe it. Real genuine trust is shown in a person's actions, not just words. In long-distance relationships, you see each other so infrequently that it's tough to build up that trust. You visit each other, then go back to your separate lives, without a clue what the other person is doing while you're away for the next five weeks. How are you supposed to build long-lasting trust?

2. It Usually Leads to Cheating

Unfortunate, but true. Not in every case, but in many. Let's face the facts: Your significant other is miles and miles away, you're lonely and depressed about it, and there are tons of single people in the town where you live. Statistically, you're probably going to think about cheating.

Unlike cheating when your significant other lives down the block, cheating in long-distance relationships is slightly understandable. [Though by a very meager percent. Cheating is terrible, and I highly suggest not doing it to anyone.] You can't see your significant other whenever you want, unlike in most relationships, and you're only human.

Most people would only be able to hold out for so long before the arms of somebody way more convenient (and local) start looking real good. If you're one of the good ones, you'll end your long-distance relationship before it comes to the cheating stage. But it's easy to be tempted if you think there's no way your significant other will find out about your straying.

3. Distance Leads to Frustration. Frustration Leads to Fighting. Fighting Leads to Break-Ups. It's the Inevitable Cycle of Long-Distance Relationships.

Nobody thinks about the distance in their relationship and goes, HOORAY! This is so much fun! It's frustrating for everyone. You're starting off your relationship at a point of frustration. Yes, frustration leads to fighting, which leads to breakups in general, but you're beginning your relationship with frustration.

Most relationships start off at a neutral point. If things get bad later, it's because differences and incompatibilities build up, creating a frustrating situation. With long-distance relationships, the frustration is built right into the fabric.

4) These Relationships Go on Way Longer Than They Should

In short distance relationships (nobody calls them that, but just go with it), when things start getting really bad, a breakup usually happens shortly after. [A lot of short-distance relationships also go on way longer than they should. People drag relationships out in general.] But the reason why long-distance relationships almost ALWAYS go on longer than they should is because of the distance.

If you see someone every day and fight with them every day, you'll only be able to take so much before you snap and break up. If you see someone once a month and fight with them once a month, there's way more time in between for you both to cool down, forget why you were fighting, and think your relationship is still working well.

And with the distance being so hard, it's easy to blame every fight you have (even the long phone ones) on the fact that you're so far away and missing each other. The fighting could mean that you're incompatible, but it takes way longer to figure that out when you have the easy scapegoat of distance to blame instead.

5. You'll Never Have a Future Unless You Live in the Same Place

It's pretty hard to start a family when you live in different states. This is obvious, but it seems to be something a lot of long-distance-ers don't truly think about until the relationship isn't going so well. You get frustrated by the distance, and then it's "You need to move here, or this isn't going to work."

Well, that was always true . . . even when you were thinking about starting the relationship. In order to have a real future with someone, you have to live in the same place. Relationships are hard enough. Starting a relationship off without even having that simple requirement met makes it a zillion times harder.

A Short-Term LDR Is the Best Option

If you really want a long-distance relationship to work, it's best to have a plan to end the distance soon. Don't make relationships harder than they have to be, for crying out loud. Life is hard enough. Think twice before you bring a situation into your life that's going to make life even harder for you. The person better be "the one," with bells and whistles and singing birds, to be worth all that effort. Otherwise, take a stroll down to the local watering hole and find a date there instead.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.