Long distance relationships are difficult for anyone. The very concepts of being miles apart and being figuratively ‘together’ are ones that simply do not gel. But necessity and other demands of life – family, career, study – sometimes force us into this tricky arrangement. There are now a vast community of long-distance-daters. In fact, advancing technology and our ability to communicate easily on a global scale has meant we are more likely to form and maintain relationships with those halfway across the world nowadays. For example what a dating website in Liverpool has to offer could be the means of meeting someone in Portugal, for example.
But how do we cope with these rather precarious relationships? And does our ability to cope differ across the sexes? Here are a few things to consider…
Distractions – Distraction is a very common way of dealing with any emotional upheaval, especially the problem of distance. You’ll try anything to distract yourself from the pangs of missing your other half. It is arguable that men have more opportunities to distance themselves here. Their conversations with male friends are rarely on an emotional level and they are more likely to be involved in competitive sports – the pursuit of which makes a great distraction. Women, however, are far more likely to wallow in their feelings and discuss them with others, as their distractions are more often based around spending time with and talking to their friends.
Loyalty – The question of loyalty is always a sensitive area with long distance relationships. Many people maintain that it’s hard to stay faithful when you’re so far apart. Men have always been branded as the ‘cheaters’ in this scenario. It is true that the pack mentality of hanging out with a group of predatory males might lead you astray far more easily than in the presence of female friends. Men are far more likely to miss the sexual part of the relationship and seek the satisfaction of this urge elsewhere. However, whilst this is simply a physical instinct, women in long distance relationships will miss the emotional side and could stray to find it. This means that although men may be more likely to cheat, women are more likely to grow emotionally attached to someone else – which in the end may be more damaging.
Communication – Men are typically worse at staying in contact, whatever the situation. When communication is key to the whole relationship and you can only use Skype, the phone or the Internet to keep in contact, there really is a problem. Women are generally okay with communicating in this way, but men can close up even more over these avenues of contact. This can certainly contribute to eroding a long distance relationship and destroying both male and female consolation in speaking to each other.
Singles beware; long distance relationships are not easy. When it comes to coping with them, men and women both have their strengths and weaknesses.