One can look at long distance relationship statistics to find out many different facts on long distance relationships.
Many people cringe at the thought of carrying on a long distance relationship. Not only are they a pain to maintain, but they also tend to be destined for failure in the long run.
True of false?
Lets have a look at the numbers.
Long Distance Relationship Statistics – Overall Numbers
First lets take a look at the overall numbers.
One of the first things to consider is how many people in the country are actually in a long distance relationship.
Statistics showed that about 14 to 15 million people in the United States considered themselves in a long distance relationship (in 2005).
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This number was more or less the same with an estimation of about 14 million in 2016.
Furthermore, of that 14 million, almost four to four and a half million of these couples are in a non-marital relationship.
- 14 million couples define themselves as having a long distance relationship
- 3.75 million married couples are in a long distance relationship
- 32.5 % of all long distance relationships are college relationships
- 75 % of all engaged couples have been (at some point) in a long distance relationship
- 2.9 % of all married couples in the states live in a long distance relationship
- 10 % of all marriages in the states started out as a long distance relationship
Why Long Distance Relationships?
There are many reasons why some relationships become long distance.
For instance, one or both partners may go away for military duty. Sometimes one partner has to be away for extended periods of time due to work. However, one of the most common reasons people end up in long distance relationships is because of college.
In fact, nearly a third of all people who claim they are in this type of relationship say these are college relationships.
Non-marital relationships are not the only ones in which long distance may be a factor.
The number of long distance marriages has also been on the rise in recent years.
These distances may be more likely to be the result of commuting and other work-related factors that may be too far away from home for a daily commute that may cost more than it is worth for the job.
Not surprisingly, the economy has played a part in long distance relationships. However, another factor has also been responsible for the increasing numbers of long distance relationships — the Internet. Online dating has made many more willing to give a long distance union a chance. Virtual relationships do indeed let people forge real connections even if they live on opposite ends of the country.
One of the myths around long distance relationships is that they are always or more likely to fail than other kinds of relationships.
However, there is actually no evidence to suggest that this is true.
Of course, not all long distance relationships will survive, but they are not any more likely to end in the demise than another kind of relationship. Still, long distance couples have to make an effort when they want the relationship to last.
For instance, the overwhelming majority of long distance relationships, more than two-thirds end when the couple does not plan for changes in the relationship. A couple that has been together but finds itself apart at some point will need to make some adjustments in order to make the relationship work. This does not mean that any relationship that does not plan for the changes is doomed to failure, but it does suggest long distance couples have more work to do.
While some couples on average think a separation may only last about 14 months, many may end after less than five if the couple feels it will not work. This could be in part because couples in long distance relationships are more likely to worry about their partners cheating than those in close proximity relationships.
However, there is no evidence to suggest that those in long distance relationships are more likely to cheat than others.
- 4.5 months – the average time before a long distance relationship breaks down
- 40 % of all long distance relationships ends with a break-up
- 70 % of all failed long distance relationships fails due to unplanned changes
Making a Long Distance Relationship Work
On average, most people in long distance relationships tend to be at least 125 miles away from each other.
They tend to visit each other less than twice a month and call each other at least once every three days.
Many couples even still write letters to each other, and on average this can be about three times a month.
There are also other tactics those in long distance relationships need to take in order to make the relationship work. For instance, many people tend to cut themselves off from friends and others as they wait for their partners to return. This is usually a mistake. Couples in long distance relationships may have a better chance at making it work if they find a way to lead separate lives as well as stay optimistic about each other during separation.
It is also crucial not to avoid unpleasant issues in the relationship when finally reunited. It is tempting to try to avoid discussing problems in the relationship when long distance couples are together for a short amount of time. However, it is particularly valuable to see the relationship for what it is and not idealize it in any way. Setting some ground rules for what can and cannot happen in absence is also vital.
As recommended by Jamie Miller, via e-mail to us, couples should purchase hands-free phones. This allows one to do laundry or daily treadmill runs or other chores while talking to their partner simultaneously (this is called “parallel communication” in the research world). This can change the whole feel of a telephone call and produce much greater intimacy in the long run.
Furthermore, keeping sexual intimacy alive is just as vital. While this may seem implausible from a long distance, there are ways work on having sexual intimacy while couples are separated such as writing erotic letters. It may be much easier for those who have webcams or other means of “seeing” each other to act out erotic fantasies or come up with creative ways of staying intimate no matter how far away they are from each other.
- 125 miles – the average distance in a long distance relationships
- 1.5 times – the average number of times couples visited each other (per month)
- 3 letters – the average number of letters couples write each other (per month)
- 2.7 days – the average number of days between couples calling each other
- 14 month – the average number of months before couples expect to move back together
Research, statistics and figures in courtesy of Dr. Guldner at The Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships, a division of JF Milne Publications. After reading this article about long distance relationship statistics, should you have any comments please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail, click here.