So recently a girl by the name of Laura, contacted me for an interview.
And although I don’t agree for a lot of interviews, she was very sweet because she said she needs the interview for her university paper. She’s studying to be a journalist, and needs to interview an expert on long distance relationships, so I agreed to answer her questions.
And after she sent me the questions and I answered them, I realized that there is a lot of great insight in these answers, and I should probably send you this interview too. Because you can learn A LOT from it.
Check it out and enjoy the insights.
Making a Long Distance Relationship Work – Interview With Livius Besski
1. What do you think is the most important factor in a long-distance relationship?
You see, the advice I give is different than most, because I don’t believe so much in the “circumstance” of a relationship. People tend to believe that the type of relationship makes it more or less successful. In my experience I found that long distance or not, the success of a relationship lies in how secure the people are. This means that if two people are mature enough to not NEED each other, but CHOOSE to be together, because they enjoy each other’s presence – then a relationship will work no matter the circumstance, for as long as that relationship makes sense for those two people.
So here I said a few things. One is that we must be mature enough to not need our partner. This means to recognize that we are whole and complete human beings, that can function autonomously, without vitally needing another person. We can live a very exciting and complete life just by ourselves. Especially if we realize that “I am the love of my life” not my partner.
Therefore I must treat myself like I am the love of my life. I must give myself the love and respect, and exciting life that I want. From this place our partner is not someone we cling onto, but someone we ALLOW into our life, if they are a good fit for us, and if it makes sense for both of us. From this place we can be totally honest and authentic in our relationship, because we’re not trying to “protect” the relationship by sacrificing our authenticity (and happiness) like most people do.
The other thing that I said is that we stay with someone as long as it makes sense. So no matter if it’s long distance or not, just because we start a relationship doesn’t mean we must die together. It means we stay for as long as this relationship is making both our lives better. It’s only out of fear that we can cling onto a relationship that is clearly not making sense, and nothing that we try to do to fix it works.
Therefore the most important factor to make a long distance relationship work is becoming a secure and autonomous person. From that place any relationship can work and be enjoyed.
2. Why do you think long-distance relationships are not that appealing to people?
They are not appealing to some people because they have a lot of misunderstandings about them like — it’s too hard, it’s gonna lead to cheating, it’s not worth being without someone if they are far away, and so on. Now these preconceptions have their truth, but they are not deal breakers, and are quite easy to overcome.
Are LDRs too hard? Not really, they are quite simple actually, more simple than classic relationship I would say. All you have to do is to talk everyday on Skype or on the phone, send a few texts and pictures here and there about your day, and that’s pretty much it. Then you have the rest of your day to yourself, no one to distract you and so on. You have time to work on your projects, enjoy your passions. I actually enjoy LDRs, because I have so much space and time for myself.
But of course for a person who’s too dependent on their partner to make them happy, LDRs are devastating, it’s killing them. And the advice for them is to refocus on their own life, interests and passions. Remember, your partner is just a slice of your happiness, not the whole cake.
Cheating does happen in an LDRs, but not more than in a classic relationship. There are studies actually that suggest that. You see it’s not the distance that leads to cheating, it’s the lack of desire and attraction in the relationship. So it’s the same cause that leads to cheating whether it’s a long distance or a classic relationship.
If you want your partner to not cheat on you, you must make them happy. I know, that’s a general piece of advice. But it only seems like that if you don’t know what it means to make a person happy.
Most people think that it’s all about being loving and caring, so they give lots of affection in the form of compliments, I love you’s, and creative gifts. But this is only PART of making someone happy.
If you only focus on affection, it will lead to boredom and being taken for granted. So you must understand that we as human beings need also ATTRACTION to be in love, and be happy.
So LOVE = affection + attraction. Most people miss the attraction element, and naturally their partner looks for that challenge and desire with someone else.
Now attraction is created not by feeding your partner all the time with affection, but actually letting them get hungry too. You do that authentically by HAVING A LIFE, by being independent, and not always giving up everything just to talk to them.
Your independence in life as a person, and also emotional independence (not being afraid to lose her) are the biggest source of attraction for your partner.
If your partner thinks about you that “This is a great person, a great catch, AND they are not dependent on me, they have a life so are not afraid to lose me” then you’ll become the most attractive person in the world for them.
3. Do you think that long-distance relationships tend to need more dedication than just a normal relationship?
Not really. After being for many years in both long distance and living together with my partner, I feel that long distance actually need less dedication.
Like I said before, you only need to talk to your partner for a few minutes, send a few texts, think of some little creative ways to make them feel loved from time to time, and that’s it. While in a classic relationship, you gotta do a lot more.
4. What do you think is the most common problem in long-distance relationships?
The most common problem is that at some point one partner starts being more independent, while the other gets scared and becomes more needy. And that neediness makes ‘the independent partner’ even more cold and feel suffocated. Which naturally leads to a break-up at some point.
The solution here is that if you’re the needy partner, you must learn to relax, rebuild your self esteem and confidence, overcome your insecure thinking, and take some time for yourself as well, and create a more enjoyable life.
At the same time, if you partner is too independent, you can bring up the issue, and honestly communicate to them that you’re not satisfied with how things are. From that place you can come to a solution for keeping in touch that works for both, or being open to letting go the relationship, if it no longer makes sense.
5. What do you think makes strong a long-distance relationship?
A strong long distance relationship is based on a strong bond between the two partners. And that bond is based on how secure they are, and how well they understand the two opposing needs of love: affection and attraction, or closeness and space.
If you’re a secure and confident person (as opposed to needy) and can balance the affection you give to your partner with some attraction. You’ll have a lasting relationship, that conquers everything.
6. What kind of advice would you give to someone wanting to have a long-distance relationship, or someone that is currently in one?
My advice would obviously be to overcome neediness and learn how love works. Besides that, there are of course many other surface things you can do like — talk everyday, to be a part of each other’s life, even if you’re apart. Find different kinds of activities to do together, like cooking, watching movies, playing some games either online or conversation games, find creative ways to show that you care, and so on.
But the success of your relationship is not based on these things, it’s based on how strong that bond is between you. If you find that the bond is not strong enough, just let it go. You have to respect yourself enough to not fight for something not worth keeping.
Okay, so this is it.
I hope this interview was useful to you, and you learned what it really takes to make a long distance relationship work.
And as always, if you have any questions about your relationships, I am always here, ready to answer them for you. Of course, it may take a few days, because I get lots of emails from readers, but I’ll do my best to reply to yours as well.