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Degrees of Separation: Long-Distance Relationships

“Long distance is the wrong distance,” Tina Fey’s character, Liz Lemon, proclaimed on an episode of 30 Rock a few seasons ago. The statement was meant as a comical bit of advice, delivered to a colleague, so I laughed, much like half of America undoubtedly did. But, now, as I reflect back, having been a part of numerous long distance relationships, I wonder if it’s the distance that makes the situation “wrong”, or if it is the conditions of the relationship.

No relationship is easy; this is evident by the couples that we witness in real life, on television and in our favorite movies. The strains of relationships are further tested when put under the strenuous concerns of division. Some can’t deal with the lack of physical proximity, while some thrive on the freedom. To know if you can survive a long distance relationship, you have to first be aware of the types of long distance relationships, and what degree/type of relationship that you have. Below, I’ve listed three types of long distance relationships, one of which you and your partner may qualify as.

When in Town-ers: This relationship is easy, compared to the others. Essentially, when these two are in the same city, things of the sexual variety happen. The connection doesn’t have to be emotional, and there is no relationship expectation pressure. “Fly-by hookups” are an easy term for this particular situation, but more than that, there still has to be a degree of communication in order to keep a connection like this flourishing. It doesn’t require the same amount of conditioning and affection as the other relationships, but the occasional check-up is necessary.

The Casuals: While these two love birds are connected, they allow for one another to fly freely when they are not together. When they are together, they are devoted; no one else and nothing else matters. This relationship is motivated by honesty. These two may wander from time to time, but they care enough to stop and discuss discourse so they continuously remain connected to one another.

The Dedicated: An exclusive couple, the distance of relationship is merely meant to be temporary. This love duo supplements time apart with letters, messages and heightened communication, so that their relationship remains rich.

Perhaps you don’t know the status of your long distance relationship, and you’d like to. Firstly, some relationships don’t fit into categories, but for those that do –the easiest way to establish where you are in your relationship is to have a discussion with your partner about your possible relationship goals. Other advice is to make the most of your time when you are together, take turns visiting one another –don’t lay the responsibility on one person, be understanding when your significant other falls out of touch, schedule time to communicate with your lover/partner (using the phone, social media outlets and video conferencing), and be more trusting.

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