ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Gender and Relationships»
  • Relationship Problems & Advice

What Statistics Tell Us About Long Distance Relationships

Updated on June 4, 2016
Long Distance Relationships
Long Distance Relationships

How Common Are Long Distance Relationships?

Is it really a long distance relationship when you can send an exquisite bouquet of red roses to your girlfriend in almost real time at the touch of a button? Plus, you have a heart to heart, face to face, thanks to all the video calling apps. I guess one must call it long distance when you have to hug yourself to make yourself feel better because your partner is in another city, another country and maybe in a few years, on Mars! According to a study, conducted by the Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships, way back in 2005, and quoted much more recently in an article in, 2.9% of marriages in the United Stated were considered to be long distance, with one in 10 reporting time spent apart within the first three years of marriage. What this essentially suggests is that there were more than three and a half million people in the US alone in 2005 who were in a long distance relationship. The study also revealed that 4.0-4.5 million college going couples in the country were estimated to have been in a non-marital long distance relationship (LDR).

It is only reasonable to assume that given how small the world is becoming with advances in technology and globalization, LDRs have been on the rise. In fact, according to, one-third of the married couples living in large cities across the world are estimated to actually be living apart due to various reasons, such as job commitments, military deployment or education.

Long Distance Relationship Statistics at a Glance

Long Distance Relationship Statistics
Total percentage of U.S. marriages that are considered long distance relationships
Average amount of time for long distance relationship to break up if it?s not going to work
4.5 months
Total percentage of long distance relationships that fail when changes aren?t planned for
Total amount of couple who claim they?re in a long distance relationship
14 million
Total percentage of marriages in U.S. that start as a long distance relationship
Total percentage of college relationships that are long distance
Total percent of long distance relationships that break-up
Total percentage of engaged couples that have been in a long distance relationship
Total amount of marriages that are long distance relationships
3.75 million
Do LDRs Work?
Do LDRs Work?

Do LDRs Really Work?

According to statistics revealed by Science of Relationships, 40% of all LDRs fail, including those where the partners are married, and 70% of these failures are due to unplanned situations that one of the partners finds themselves in. The good news is that not all relationships fail and if it is doomed to collapse, it usually does no within the first five months of the partners living away from each other.

Figures released in 2015 by Long Distance Relationship Statistics, say that the average distance in LDRs is 125 miles, while the average number of times partners visit each other per month is 1.5 times, with an average of three letters written each months and an average of 2.7 days between phone calls. On an average, the couple does not expect to move back together before the next 14 months. What the statistics basically tell us is that LDRs don’t fail any more than proximal relationships do and this is definitely contrary to popular belief.

What Statistics Say About Whether Long Distance Relationships Work Out
What Statistics Say About Whether Long Distance Relationships Work Out
When Long Distance Relationships Don't Work
When Long Distance Relationships Don't Work
Long Distance Relationships Can Work
Long Distance Relationships Can Work

What Makes LDRs Successful?

According to a 2014 article in Huffington Post, there are four characteristics that seem to define most successful LDRs. Firstly, when each partner prioritizes the other above almost all other social commitments, local or otherwise, there is less resentment about the effort needed to keep the relationship going. Secondly, when partners commit to spending more time together, rather than just meeting on the weekends, the bond is more likely to strengthen, given that there will be greater opportunity to get to know each other.

The unfortunate reality of LDRs is that there isn’t that much time to spend together. However, if there can be a way to share each other’s social and/or family worlds, they become part of the same community, which goes a long way to sustain the bond. Lastly, planning is key to keeping the spark alive. Given that the couple might live miles apart from each other, it will take some serious planning to ensure that they meet regularly. Leaving things to chance might lead to long periods of being away, which in turn will eat into the bond.

Long Distance vs Proximal Relationships
Long Distance vs Proximal Relationships
Making LDRs Work
Making LDRs Work

Sustaining the Relationship

What statistics tell us is that LDRs tend to fail as often as proximal relationships do. The important thing is to understand the challenges of such relationships and the fact that these obstacles will be different from those faced by those in proximal relationships. According to, there are benefits of LDRs that the couple should keep in mind while coping with the challenges, such as the space and independence it affords each partner, the opportunity to try different methods of communication or even the fact that it helps you value your bond more that you otherwise would.

Also, according for the Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships, there are some things that you can do to make it work. For instance, it is important to stay optimistic, reminded yourself and each other of the positives, while debunking the common myths. Communication is key. Couples who are able to share their everyday experiences or plan together for the next day feel more connected. Also, keeping track of each other’s important events and dates helps. Most, importantly though, learning how to be intimate despite the distance needs special attention. Most people in long distance relationships say that the biggest hurdle is sexual intimacy. In fact, experts at say that if the partners are able to find a way to have sexual release with each other on a regular basis, the relationship is more likely to be sustained for a longer period of time. And with technological advancements that allow people to video call and even “self-pleasure,” the means to stay intimate have definitely increased.

Pros and Cons of Long Distance Relationships
Pros and Cons of Long Distance Relationships


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 21 months ago

      Long distance relationships were meant to be temporary!

      The goal of any relationship is to be with the person you love!

      You have to decide what does making a long distance relation "work" mean. Is it lasting one year, two years, or relocating and getting married?

      One major error people make with LDRs is confusing (calendar time) with (actual time together). A couple that has been together one weekend per quarter will say they've been "together" for a year but in truth their "actual time" together would be (8) days. Unfortunately some of these couples become engaged or get married without truly knowing one another. There is no substitute for spending time with a person in order to get to know them well enough before marrying them.

      One of the big reasons why so many long distance relationships fail is because there is no "light at the end of the tunnel."

      At some point someone must be willing to relocate.

      A long distance relationship without “a light at the end of the tunnel” is likely to fail. It’s the counting down the months, weeks, and days until you are finally done with the inconvenience of being in a long distance relationship that keeps it strong!

      The only reason for being in a long distance relationship is the belief she or he might be “the one”. If you’re just passing the time with someone you might as well do that locally. One man's opinion!:)