The long-distance relationship is a partnership of people whose physical home are not at the same place or close to each other.
The definition of the term “long distance relationship” and the frequently used equivalent “weekend relationship” is applied inconsistently in the literature. The term “long distance relationship” can, however, be used for a special form of love relationship or relationship between two people. The long distance relationship couples are the couples who build their relationships across spatial distances. Regardless of reasons or causes for the typically separate households, there is common between all long-distance relationship couples: the relationship curve is determined by a constant change of separation time and common time. Of central importance is the self-image of the pair: long-distance relationship couples do not see themselves as “having an affair” or “a liaison” in addition to any other existing relationships, but this may be so in some cases.
The long-distance relationship typically face the following problem: it is more difficult to maintain a due level of intensity in the exchange of experiences and emotions during periods of separation.
The exchange must go through (in the case of the weekend relationship as a form of long-distance relationship during the weekend) telecommunication or during their time together.
Due to the spread of the Internet and its global communications opportunities, there are increasingly more cases of the long-distance relationships in which the partners live so far apart that their time together is reduced to a few days per year, communication through e-mail and phone and video calls to the partner to bridge the separation periods perceived by some as inadequate for a relationship.
Reasons and causes for long-distance relationships have to be considered separately. Reasons may be personally motivated or be explained by profession. This contrasts with common social causes, such as expectations on the part of the labor market. “Social causes that form the platform for decisions of this type, especially to be found in educational and vocational sector.
Increasing mobility requirements and changing career, which are accompanied by the expansion of education, are the most important,” writes Eva-Christina Edinger in their empirical study about long-distance romance. As a long-distance romance with the general understanding implies any relationships in which the partners see each other over short periods, for example, only on weekends.
In rare cases, the long-distance relationship is not due to external circumstances, but because of the desire of the participants. The increasingly individualized lifestyle often results in individualized relationship. Couples prefer to live in separate apartments, for each can find a refuge and a personal retreat. However, only under a third of all long-distance relationship couples have this kind of relation at their will.
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