Can Long-Distance Relationships Work – What Do The Stats Say?

Yes, statistics and studies show that long-distance relationships can work. However, LDR couples face many challenges due to the distance that separates them.

If you are in a long-distance relationship, you might be wondering what the chances are that it will work out. Perhaps you want to know what is normal when dating at a distance.

Although LDR statistics and facts won’t write your own story, they can tell you the big picture about LDRs in general. And thankfully, many studies and researches have been published on the subject.

In this article, we’ve compiled reliable statistics on the subject of long-distance relationships.

General LDR Statistics

58%

of long-distance relationship will survive

Long-distance relationships have often been labeled high-maintenance or even impossible.

However, a research paper published in the Journal of Communication states that LDR couples are actually forming deeper and more meaningful bonds thanks to frequent and open communication.

Another survey, conducted by KIIROO and SWNS on 1000 Americans, reveals shocking information — long-distance relationships actually have a whopping 58% success rate.

So…

What is considered a long-distance relationship?

132

miles away from each others

According to the latter survey, couples who stay more than 132 miles away are considered to be in an LDR. They would also exchange about 343 texts and spend approximately 8 hours on video calls every week.

How many people are or have been in an LDR?

14

million couples in the USA consider to be in a LDR

Couples stay apart for many reasons. Besides attending college and serving in the military, some of the most common reasons are work, taking care of an elderly parent, and even prison.

The survey results show that 1 in 7 couples consider themselves to be long-distance, which roughly translates into about 14 million couples in the USA. The same results state that 3% of marriages are or have been long-distance at some point. 

Recent statistics also reveal that:

  • 3 million of all US married couples live at different locations
  • 25-50% of college students are currently involved in an LDR, and an incredible 75% of them have been in over the course of their relationship.

However, they all agree about one thing — as couples, they rely heavily on technology to keep the relationship alive and thriving. 

Are people open to LDRs?

38%

of people would consider entering a LDR

It’s more than obvious that we live in a different world than the one we knew before 2020. The pandemic is reshaping the dating scene, and people are becoming more open to alternative ways of meeting romantic partners.

In their latest in-App surveys, one of the biggest dating platforms, OkCupid, found that about 1.5 million of their active users are open to a long-distance relationship. 

According to the same dating app, 38% of people would consider entering a long-distance relationship, but only if it’s for less than a year.

Can LDRs work?

2/3

of LDR work out to be long term

Keeping a long-distance relationship alive requires a different skillset, which doesn’t necessarily apply when couples finally reunite.

Fortunately, a research article published by the Ohio State University research team suggests that 2 out of 3 LDR couples stay together after their physical reunion, and 58% work out to be long-term. 

How often do LDR couples see each other

60%

of couples can reunite at least once a month

According to the same research paper published in the Journal of Communication we mentioned previously:

  • 7% of long-distance couples can see each other face to face at least once a week
  • 30% were lucky enough to meet up to 2 to 3 times per month
  • 30% can physically reunite once a month
  • 33% see each other less than once per month

What are the main challenges of LDRs?

66%

of couples think that the lack of intimacy is the main LDR challenge

LDRs can totally work, but they do come with a number of challenges you will have to overcome together as a couple. 

Despite all the technological advances that have helped couples bridge many gaps, 66% of the KIIROO and SWNS survey respondents say that the lack of physical intimacy still remains one of the biggest tests for long-distance couples. 

55% of them are concerned that their partner may find a better match, while 45% expressed concern regarding traveling expenses. 

Unfortunately, 43% are worried that they are growing apart, and 40% find it hard to establish healthy and stable communication. 

When we throw a big time difference into the mix, 33% say they are bad at managing the time zones and matching schedules, and 24% can’t stay in touch regularly despite the availability of new technologies. 

Also, not being able to see each other for longer than four months gets really hard for long-distance couples. 

What is Helping LDR Couples Survive?

8

hours of Face call a week help LDR couples be stronger

As we already mentioned, technology and social media took long-distance dating to the next level. Not only do they help couples survive the distance, but they also improve the way they communicate and meet each other on a deeper level. 

When you are in an LDR, your phone/computer is your ‘best friend.’ On average, LDR couples send 343 texts and spend 8 hours Skyping or FaceTiming a week. 

Furthermore, setting a reunion date will definitely help LDR couples cope with the miles keeping them apart. 

Research indicates that the participants who haven’t decided on the exact date of their next reunion showed signs of heightened stress and dissatisfaction and had trouble communicate compared to those who had a defined reunion date.

Another thing working in favor of LDR couples is the excellent communication they establish (or at least those who do). 

All those hours spent on texts and video calls help them develop understanding, compassion, trust and even improve their intimate lives. These are the cornerstones of every relationship, regardless of them being local or long-distance.

In fact, this is what makes LDR couples stronger than their geographically close counterparts!

According to Laura Stafford, most studies and surveys show that long-distance couples showed equal or higher fulfillment levels, loyalty, dedication, trust, and security than partners who stay close.

Bottom Line

When it comes to long-distance dating, a general rule of thumb is to walk, not run.

Remember that you and your partner are the ones who shape your relationship. While it’s great to have numbers to put things into perspective, try to put the time and effort into building a successful and nurturing relationship that won’t just become part of the statistics. 

Every LDR is different, and it deserves to be given a chance to develop into something meaningful.

We are Max from France and Ella from Finland. We met in Australia in 2008 while we were both backpacking around this amazing country. After returning to Europe, we went through all the hardships of a long-distance relationship for almost three years! And we survived it!

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