deepstash

Beta

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

The New Long-Distance Relationship

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/05/long-distance-relationships/589144/

theatlantic.com

The New Long-Distance Relationship
The same technological and economic developments that are pulling couples apart are also making geographic separation less stressful and more enjoyable.

5

Key Ideas

Save all ideas

Couples living apart

Couples living apart

In 2000, a government survey showed that about 2.7 million married Americans lived apart from their spouse. The number rose to about 3.9 million in 2017.

Long-distance relationships today are different from 15 years ago. Economic and technological developments are making couple's love lives more closely resemble those who live together.

145 SAVES

1.38k READS

VIEW

The evolution of romantic communication

  • Before video-chat and long-distance phone calls, written correspondence was used to exchange meaningful information. The goal was to write about the most important things that had happened since the last letter.
  • Although the telephone was invented in the mid-19th century, it was only used for long-distance relationships in the 1970s, when the cost of phoning for pleasure instead of just business became affordable.
  • The next major development in romantic communication was the internet. Email, instant messaging, and video-chatting were affordable for couples to share even the smallest details.
  • Many couples today do "background Skype" where everyday living comes to the surface and add to a level of intimacy.

145 SAVES

944 READS

The pressure to live apart

In the past, couples were more likely to accommodate only one partner's job - mostly the man's. But today, couples have dual-incomes, are well educated, professionally minded, and pursuing careers in separate places. It is contributing to the rise in long-distance relationships.

The pressure to live apart for work is worse for younger couples who are still establishing careers.

147 SAVES

820 READS

How well long-distance relationships work

Living apart is not a guarantee the relationship will come to an end. Long-distance relationships have powerful emotional and intimacy dynamics.

  • Research found couples living in different places have more stable and committed relationships, but when they do start living together, they're more likely to break up than couples who lived together all along.
  • Long-distance couples were more likely to idealize each other.
  • They tend to fight less since there was less to fight about and less time to fight.
  • They were also more likely to avoid conflict and withhold their real opinions.

198 SAVES

954 READS

When technology creates more opportunities

Communication technologies cannot reproduce the physical touch. It is also not suited for seeing how a partner treats other people.

However, studies show that the technological shift gives couples more opportunities to address potentially charged subjects and reduce idealization. Living apart over a long period gives some couples tools that help them deal with future conflicts.

144 SAVES

940 READS

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Unresolved conflicts

The idea that couples must communicate and resolve all of their problems is a myth. The truth is, trying to resolve a conflict can sometimes create more problems than it fixes.

Being honest

The last person you should ever have to censor yourself with is the person you love.

It’s important to make something more important in your relationship than merely making each other feel good all of the time. The feel-good stuff happens when you get the other stuff right.

Being willing to end it

Romantic sacrifice is idealized in our culture. 

Sometimes the only thing that can make a relationship successful is ending it at the appropriate time, before it becomes too damaging. And the willingness to do that allows us to establish the necessary boundaries to help ourselves and our partner grow together.

3 more ideas

You focus more on what's wrong

... rather than what's right.

You can focus on what a lazy, forgetful, good-for-nothing partner you have or you can see them as a wonderful and loving partne...

You'd rather be right

... than in love. Even though it may seem justified when your partner falls short or makes a mistake, choosing a righteous response will only damage trust and create lingering resentment. 

Give your partner the benefit of the doubt. It builds up appreciation, good will and a desire to do even better to please you next time.

Don't make it about you

  • Acknowledge that your partner has needs that also deserve to be met. Do your best to be the one who can help them meet their needs better than anyone else. 
  • When you take things personally and get your feelings hurt too easily, it closes off communication, makes problem-solving nearly impossible and leaves you both at risk. Look for the common ground instead of the insult.

Go Sooner Than Later

Most couples don't consider counseling until a real crisis or a catastrophe appears.

It is better to go to couples counseling during a specific life event, strengthening some piece of a rela...

Finding The Right Therapist

Finding a suitable therapist, right for both the partners can take time. Take into consideration:

  • Both partners are comfortable with the choice.
  • Any preferences (gender or cultural background) are taken into account.
  • It should be convenient to schedule an appointment with him, not interfering with other commitments too much.
  • At least two kinds of counselors are spoken to, and then a decision taken.
  • Check online for recommendations or ask for a referral within your friend circle.

Types of Therapies

A good therapist can utilize multiple approaches and will tailor the provided therapy based on the couple's needs. The common therapies are:

  • Gottman Method: Focused on positive communication
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT): helps couples with their emotional needs.
  • Imago Relationship Therapy: Connecting new relationships with old ones.
  • Other approaches like Hypnosis, sex therapy, etc.