Will Your Long-Distance Relationship Work? Ask These 4 Questions

If you find yourself currently in a long-distance relationship – or “situationship” – then I made this video for you, my loyal friend.

In it, I give you the 4 questions you should ask to figure out if it’s all worth it…

Let’s Get Closer in OUR Long-Distance Relationship.
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Matthew:

Are long-distance relationships a waste of time?

I think one of the inherent dangers that isn’t talked about nearly enough in long-distance relationships is that it’s very easy to say things that are romantic. You know, “I really like you… You’re really special… I haven’t met anyone like you in a long time, or forever… You and I would be so great together…” without paying the tax for saying those things. See, when someone lives next door, there’s an actual investment tax. Someone can say, “You’re really special. Oh my God, you and I would be great together.” But if they live next door, you’d go, “Okay. So why aren’t we together then?” Someone would actually have to back that up.

Long distance, you can get away with saying all of these romantic things, and at the same time going, “But oh no, you live all the way over the other side of the world. I’m here. It’s like a Romeo and Juliet scenario. How are we going to make it work? It’s so difficult, isn’t it? But you’re so special. I really like you.” You get to say all of these romantic things with complete impunity, because someone couldn’t reasonably expect us to do all of these difficult things to make it work in the moment.

We can for a very long time be in a long-distance relationship or situationship or tunnel vision with a person, to the exclusion of all of our other options that are on our doorstep, not knowing that it’s ultimately going to be fruitless. That when push comes to shove, this person isn’t going to make any sacrifices to make it work with us.

That begs the question: How do we read someone’s intentions in a long-distance relationship so that we have some idea of whether we might be wasting our time or not.

Here’s a couple of simple questions you can ask.

First, what would be the next practical, logical action they would take in this situation if they meant what they say?

Or, to put it a different way, if I felt the way they say they’re feeling, what would I be doing? What sacrifices would I be making? What actions would I be taking? How would I be going out of my way to make this work? And if the answer to that question is drastically different from what they’re doing right now, then you know that, at the very least, you’re in a situation where what the two of you are prepared to do varies massively.

Now, in this situation someone is going to tell you all of these reasons why they can’t take certain actions, why they can’t fly to see you or clear space in their schedule so that you can come to see them, or meet you halfway. You may then look at those excuses and say, “They’re legitimate. I can’t argue with those. They’re logical. They make sense. It is difficult.”

But here’s the way you have to look at it. There’s a principle called Occam’s Razor: Of two explanations that take account of all of the facts, the simplest explanation is likely to be the correct one. So for example, when someone gives you all of their reasoning about why they can’t invest, why they can’t take action on your relationship, why they can’t sacrifice, you can look at all of that and try to decipher their excuses and understand these complex arguments as to why someone can’t do what you’re willing to do. Or you could look at the other explanation. They’re not willing to do what I’m willing to do in this situation to make it work. They are not committed enough to make this relationship work. It’s the simpler explanation, and it’s therefore more likely to be the correct one.

So look, I’m not saying you shouldn’t invest in long-distance relationships. Are all long-distance relationships a waste of time? Of course they’re not, Harry. How could they be? Yours and I relationship is long distance, isn’t it? Would you say that that’s a waste of time?

 

Harry:

Hmm. No, I guess, I guess it’s not.

 

Matthew:

Hesitation was rude. Do you know why it’s not a waste of time? Because at the end of the day, if you picked up the phone and said you needed me, or I picked up the phone and said I needed you, either of us would be on the next damn plane.

 

Harry:

Yeah, that’s true.

 

Matthew:

We would both risk COVID. You wouldn’t? Eh, we found his limit.

 

Harry:

Depends how much you need it.

 

Matthew:

We found the line.

Not all long-distance relationships are a waste of time. But, if you are going to invest in a long-distance relationship, or dare I say any relationship that is logistically difficult, then be aware that something that is inherently very difficult requires grand measures to make it work.

Do you have someone who is willing to take those grand measures to make it work? Are you willing to take those grand measures to make it work?

That’s a different video, isn’t it, Harry? Are you really looking to do what it takes to make it work? Or is this relationship just filling a hole for you right now because you’re not happy? And deep down you know it’s not right, but you keep investing in it anyway because it seems better than nothing. It’s a distraction from your existential melancholy that is keeping you in a depressed state. God forbid you go there and explore that. No. Instead, just keep this fire burning with someone that you can pretend is right for you as a distraction from your misery. Different video.

 

Harry:

I don’t why you were looking at me when you said all that.

 

Matthew:

And of course, is it equal? That’s what it always comes down to, isn’t it? At the very least, make sure that this person is willing to make it work in the same way that you are. Not just through their flowery language, but through the gravitas of their actions. And by the way, that doesn’t mean that the sacrifices will always be equal. I think that that’s a bit of a oversimplification. It could be that one person has this big life that another person has to move to come and be involved in, because the reverse just isn’t possible. Right? It might be that one person is making a bigger sacrifice, but is that sacrifice welcomed? Is that sacrifice something someone respects? Do they then make space for the person that moves in their life when that happens? Sometimes the actions aren’t the same, but you see that the intentions are the same through what both people give to the relationship, for the space that they make for the relationship in their lives.

Make sure you’ve got one of those if you’re going to do something as difficult as a long-distance relationship, because it’s bloody hard, Harry. It’s bloody hard.

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10 Replies to “Will Your Long-Distance Relationship Work? Ask These 4 Questions”

  1. If the relationship is important to you…you will find a way to see each other…there are no excuses…anything is possible. It’s called compromise. It can work if you want to make it work. If your partner is not trying to see you or making lame excuses ..it may be time to see someone else. It’s all about the investment from both parties. It’s what you are willing to put up with…your standards. The ball is always in your court. It’s about making the right decisions. The right decisions for you.

  2. Love the drama component of this video! Great questions for LD relationship convo. BTW, drop Harry…he’s a little ambivalent I’d say…great tech skills though :)

  3. My relationship is so new with a man I met. He’s a cargo pilot so only see him a couple times a month when he’s home (he lives 15 minutes from me!). We talked very much about everything from trust to COVID before getting involved. We are both in our early 60’s and I decided to give this a try. We have so much fun when we are together! We’ll see where this goes as I’m in no rush. Good luck everyone!

  4. Estoy de acuerdo con Julie, ni el tiempo ni el espacio son barreras si existe interes en mantener una relación del tipo que sea, estoy hablando entre personas con la cabeza y el corazon medianamente amueblados. De no ser así lo podríamos denominar de cualquier manera, no como una relación.

  5. I have been i a long term relationship for 6 close to 7 years . All I can say is it’s getting stronger than ever before . It’s based on trust , understanding and no drama . It’s not a bed of roses but it’s a wonderful relationship getting better and better. My reason – religion . Know Gods limitations n His dos snd donts . Stay within His limits . It’s a fantastic journey . No need any guru advice . Of coz this doesn’t apply to people who don’t believe or practise religion .
    So to each his own .

  6. Is it true that women are wired to hearing rather than seeing?I realise that most of my decisions and actions are usually based on what i hear and not what i see.That is how i have been operating and i am ready to change that!!!I was in a long distance relationship more than once in my life and they all ended because they are hard work.There were times i really needed him to be there physically and even get cuddled by my man but all i got were excuses.In the end ,we became strangers in a realtionship.I don’t know if what I’m saying makes sense to you.

  7. Women will never wait. Its way too easy for them to stray, and loyalty is a foreign concept to selfish and emotional individuals.
    Long distance relationships are doomed to failure

  8. Undet my view, long distance relationships can work if:
    Both are serious, see each other from time to time and one of them it is moving to the others city in a short period of time. If that is not the case, it will end up soon!

  9. Lessons to learn: It is far more useful to take a deep look into ourselves and solve that, that going into a relationship because of fear to dive into our deepest self.

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