The Pros And Cons of Long-Distance Dating

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plastic figures saying goodbye
Dating someone long distance? Advice on the LDR (long-distance relationship).

Sunday Tollefson lives in Tacoma, Washington while her boyfriend of six months lives 2,306 frequent flier miles away in Ashburn, Virginia: a classic LDR. "I never imagined I could develop a romantic relationship with someone who lived on the opposite side of the country," she says. "But I did, and I'm so glad." 

New Yorker Melissa Braverman, on the other hand, hasn't had the same luck. She had a long-distance romance for well over a year with a man in Los Angeles. "We went through all of the highs and lows of long-distance love," she says. "But the number-one high ended up being cancelled out by the corresponding low—namely that the excitement and drama of being so far apart became impossible to live up to during our brief stolen moments together."

So what makes Tollefson's relationship work when so many others fizzle? Most dating experts agree that the extra mileage adds a major challenge in the quest for lasting love. The relationship becomes harder to maintain after the newness wears off, and you have to start addressing if, when and how you'll live in the same zip code. 5 Questions To Ask Before Relocating For Love

To make it work, you and your other half will have to jump in with both feet and put in a lot of extra effort. So before you begin a long-distance love affair, consider what's involved—the success or failure of your relationship may depend on it. 

First thing first: Can you go the distance? If you have a deep bank account, lots of frequent flier miles, a flexible work schedule or a desire to get out of town, seeing a partner far away can be feasible and fun. But if you're already on a budget, hurting for vacation days or hate traveling, flying off to see a partner can become miserable—well before you reach elite traveler status. And Brandi Hamrick, a Florida-based relationship coach, warns against relying on credit cards to foot the bill, saying that the debt could lead to resentment.