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What Exactly Does LDR Mean in Dating?

by Facetune Team / October 18, 2021

Most of us don’t mean to do it, but when you really fall in love with someone and you’re separated by distance, sometimes you find yourself in an LDR: long-distance relationship.

When I was in college, I was in an LDR with a partner (now my husband!) who was hours away. But you might also find yourself in an LDR if you’re #FacebookOfficial with someone you met online or if your current partner has to move away for work. Life happens. And this is why we have love captions.

The thing is, sometimes LDRs work out and you can stay together despite the distance. But they’re hard to pull off. Like, really hard. Sometimes long-distance relationships work, but the tremendous hardships that come with them can cause them to fizzle out. 

If you want an LDR that lasts, open communication and planning are key. Let’s dig into what LDRs are, the pros and cons of an LDR, and the five ingredients that make for a successful LDR. And if all else fails, you can embrace our list of I love you more than quotes.

What Does LDR Stand For?

As mentioned earlier, LDR stands for “long-distance relationship.” An LDR is an intimate relationship between (usually) two people who are separated from each other geographically, which makes it impossible for them to see each other whenever they want. The lack of face-to-face contact and physical intimacy makes it pretty tough to pull off an LDR. 

The cool thing about LDRs is that they rely on a deep emotional bond with your partner. With trust, fidelity, and communication, you can make an LDR work. Actually, 60% of all LDRs work out long-term, which isn’t too shabby.

Maybe distance makes the heart grow fonder!

via GIPHY

Few people set out to have an LDR — after all, you probably want to see your partner more often than not. LDRs just kinda happen for all sorts of reasons: 

  • You meet someone in a chat room or video game and want a relationship with them, but they live far away. 
  • Your partner is in the military. 
  • You had a conventional relationship, but your partner had to move away for work and you couldn’t go with them. 

The Pros of LDRs

Life circumstances are usually to blame for LDRs. While they might get a lot of bad publicity, though, there are some upsides to long-distance relationships. 

via GIPHY

  • Greater appreciation: When you finally do get to see your partner, you definitely make the most of your time together. You don’t take your partner for granted, which makes you value the relationship more and put in the effort needed to make it work. 
  • Acceptance and tolerance: A little bit of distance tends to make couples more tolerant of each other. Couples in an LDR are more accepting of each other’s less-than-appealing behavior because they’re so happy to be together when they are together.
  • Emotional connection: You don’t have to worry if your relationship is just about the sex if you’re in an LDR. Not a lot of sex is happening here, tbh. You can’t rely on physical chemistry in an LDR. You have to learn good communication skills and build your emotional connection to survive the distance. 
  • Independence: Too much independence is bad for your relationship, but you do need time for yourself. If you want to focus on your hobbies or hang out with your friends (then you’ll need some best friend hashtags), it’s easier to make time for those things without worrying about a live-in partner’s schedule. 

Basically, if you two can handle the distance, it means you have the right connection and skills to survive the significant stress of an LDR. It might not be right for everybody, but LDRs aren’t all doom and gloom. 

The Cons of LDRs

To be fair, there are some aspects of being in an LDR that kinda suck.

via GIPHY

  • Communication problems: Because you’re apart, you have to prioritize regular phone calls, video chats, and texts to stay in contact. That might get in the way of daily life, especially if you’re in different time zones. 
  • The expense: Airfare, gas, and hotels aren’t cheap, fam. LDRs can definitely be more expensive because you have to pay for travel, so the costs really add up if you want to see each other regularly. 
  • Jealousy or cheating: Trust is a MUST in an LDR. It’s too easy to question whether your partner is being truthful about who they’re with or where they’ve been. You both need to be 100% upfront and honest. If you’re feeling tempted to step outside of the relationship to meet your physical or emotional needs, talk to your partner before you do anything. Once you lose that trust, you’ll lose the entire relationship. 
  • Lack of physical intimacy: If sex and cuddling are really important to you, loving someone from a distance is going to take a toll on your well-being. If you or your partner express yourselves primarily through touch, this lack of physical connection can be a deal-breaker. 

5 Ingredients For a Good LDR

Now, an LDR is tough, but plenty of long-distance couples are able to make it work. If you want to make sure you and your boo stick together despite the distance, focus on these five things in your relationship: 

  • Set ground rules: Is it okay for your boo to have friends of the opposite sex? Do you feel comfortable with them going clubbing with friends? Set expectations early on so nobody’s feelings are hurt. 
  • Have a goal in mind: You can’t be in an LDR forever. It has to end at some point. Make a timeline with each other, making note of how long you estimate you’ll be apart. It’s really important for you both to be on the same page so you know what you’re working for in this relationship.
  • Be together, even if you’re apart: Schedule your partner into your daily routine. Maybe that means you Facetime them every weeknight so you can eat dinner “together.” You can also try playing video games together or doing a watch party together. 
  • Remember gifts: It’s good to have a physical object that reminds you of your partner. It could be a teddy bear, pictures, their favorite hoodie, etc. If you’re ever feeling lonely, you have something to make your love seem more tangible. 
  • Plan regular visits: You’ve still got to see each other in person if you’re in an LDR. If you’re about to embark on an LDR, it’s good to make a plan for how often you’ll see each other. Pick the dates and plan out all of the details in advance. You might be surprised how just planning a visit will help you both become closer. 

via GIPHY

An LDR Can Become an LTR (Long-Term Relationship)

Look, LDRs aren’t for everyone. But if you work hard at it, you can make it last. Distance doesn’t have to be the end of your relationship.

Be prepared to feel lonely and anxious at times, and know that it’s completely normal. When in doubt, talk things through with your partner. If you tackle the distance as a team, you’ll become an unstoppable force. 

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