How Often Should You See Your Long-Distance Partner? Here’s What Experts Say To Aim For
Every relationship takes work, but long-distance relationships can feel even more challenging. You have the everyday relationship maintenance work everyone else has, but you're in two different places and you're not spending as much time together. It's not easy, and whether you and your partner have always been long-distance, or you're about to start that journey soon, it can take some time to adjust. But one thing that can help couples work through the distance is having a plan for when you'll see each other again. How often should you see your long-distance partner? Well, according to relationship experts, it depends on several factors.
"I don't think there is an exact formula or amount of time for long-distance couples to see each other," Tyler Turk, CEO and Founder of Crafted With Love, tells Elite Daily. "Overall, you should see each other enough to progress the relationship and build that bond. Trying to force too many meetings when you both have obligations (school, work, etc.) can create a scenario where you are unable to have time for yourself, which can have a negative impact on your relationship. On the other hand, not seeing each other enough can lead to regression in your relationship because you aren't able to build that connection with one another — which is why finding creative ways to do that remotely is important."
Every person and every relationship is different. "Some people might be OK with a quarterly visit, where others can't go a week without hopping on a plane," Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, and well-being coach, tells Elite Daily. Figuring out how often you and your partner would like to see each other really comes down to each of your needs and how much flexibility you both have to travel back and forth. "If one person has more flexibility and doesn't mind traveling that could be a great arrangement," Melamed says. "If both are working and do not have a lot of flexibility, make sure to have some dates on the calendar to look forward to and commit to them."
"It is the space of absence between visits that makes the long-distance relationship so hard," Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist, author of The Self-Aware Parent, and regular expert child psychologist on The Doctors, tells Elite Daily. "The relationship is in constant transition." To avoid this unpleasant feeling of constant transition, the best thing you and your partner can do is talk about it. "The most important ingredient when trying to find out how much you should see each other is communication," Turk says. "Being upfront and open with each of your emotional needs can help create a good balance when it comes to creating a strong and sustaining long-distance relationship." Honest communication is key in every relationship, but it makes an even bigger difference in LDRs. "Making time every day to connect, for at least 30 quality minutes on the phone/Skype/FaceTime, is a key to making an LDR work," relationship expert Kim Anami tells Elite Daily.
While most experts agree how often you should see your long-distance partner depends on your relationship and what you each need, Anami says seeing each other monthly or every two weeks, if possible, is ideal. "Minimizing the time apart keeps you connected and means there is less chance of you drifting apart," she says. "If you can maintain a regular rhythm with your contact, it will help a lot." If, however, life keeps you from being able to see each other that often, Anami recommends taking full advantage of video-chat sex. "Don’t downplay the idea of regular Skype sex," she states. "It has the same hormone-balancing effects as the real thing, so all of your neurotransmitters and happy body and brain chemicals keep firing."
Being apart can also be easier to manage if you and your partner have a timeline of when you'll be living in the same city again, if ever, because it allows you to feel like you're working toward a specific goal. "It helps build the kind of intimacy only shared purpose can," says Melamed. "Discuss if/how you will end the long-distance nature of the relationship. Knowing that there is a plan, or a plan for a plan, to move near to one another (if living near one and other is a goal) is important."
Whether you make plans to see each other every two weeks, monthly, quarterly, or however often, it's important that you do make those plans. "Building anticipation for these moments can give you something to look forward to in the stretches where you are returning home alone, missing the other person," Melamed says. Long-distance relationships can be tough, but the more you and your partner work toward it because you genuinely want to be together, the better, Dr. Walfish says. "The best relationships work when you have two willing partners who are both ready for a sustained commitment with continuity over the long haul." Your LDR is going to take work, but it's work worth doing.