Still, Hamrick believes that every successful long-distance couple should look at the future concretely, not just abstractly. For example, partners may live in different states because one has children in school while the other has a good job. But they may reassess their arrangement once the children start college, perhaps considering marriage and/or a relocation.
Of course, it's easy to get bound up in fantasy when you see each other so rarely. Each reunion brings heightened sexual excitement, yet you miss out on the comfort and pleasure of becoming relaxed and familiar with each other. Tessina indicates that "when you do make a face-to-face visit, it's playtime—like vacation, where the two of you play house." The vital thing is to make sure you have extended time together, so that you can get a realistic sense of your compatibility before you convince yourselves that he or she is "the one."
The bottom line is that good love is hard to find. So when you feel strongly about a potential partner, it's a shame to rule out a relationship due to distance. "There are problems with every relationship, but it's how the problems get handled that matters," says Hamrick. "The long-distance relationships I have seen that didn't work probably wouldn't have worked if the people lived next door to each other—sure, it might be more convenient to stay around longer if you live nearby, but it would have more than likely ended." If you both understand the pros and cons, and think that you can both handle the extra effort that long-distance dating requires, why not give it a try?