Long distance romance can work with a bit of effort, but just what form does that effort take?

Japanese couples treat Christmas Eve as one of the most romantic holidays of the year, a perfect time to take your partner out on a date. However, even for couples living in the same city, it can be hard to make the time.

So imagine how difficult it becomes when you live apart.

▼ The red string of fate can stretch far, but the strain is real

Kenichi Oiwa, a radio announcer for FM Nakano, came up with the idea for a romantic holiday just for those distant lovers: December 21. The rationale is that 12/21, written out, looks like two people standing alone on the outside (represented by “1”) and then there’s a couple (represented by “2”) in the middle. The idea is that long-distance beaus can travel to see each other on this day to express their love, or otherwise make time in their day to remind each other how much they care.

It’s true that even when your hearts are one, being physically separate takes a toll on romantic partners. A survey from the opinion site Minna no Koe (Everyone’s Voice) posed this question to readers:

“I’m worried about my long-distance relationship. What should I do?”

Results were as follows:

1. “Make time to meet up as much as you can” (35 percent)
2. “Just try your best to have faith in your partner” (23 percent)
3. “Discuss your future as a couple together” (19 percent)
4. “Draw up rules for text and e-mail” (7 percent)
5. “Focus on your hobbies or part-time job” (5 percent)

The longer the article goes on the more obvious it becomes that you need to put the effort in to make a long-distance relationship worth its while. Minna no Koe posed another question:

“Why do people in long-distance relationships split up?”

The results make it plain what the biggest alleged cause is:

1. “Hearts growing apart” (41 percent)
2. “Loneliness from not being able to meet” (25 percent)
3. “A new romantic interest showed up” (14 percent)
4. “Boyfriend cheated” (9 percent)
5. “Difficulty when talking about tough topics” (4 percent)

In the new hyper-connected world we all live in, it’s easier than ever before to just pick up the phone and connect with someone. But as the results allude to, there are too many things that just can’t be relayed as effectively as they can be in person.

▼ There are some things you just need to convey in real life

Add that to long time spent apart, feeling lonely, and meeting new potential partners, it’s understandable that people’s feelings might fade. That’s what makes it so vital to make time to talk, trust each other, and spend time together when possible.

December 21 can be a day where partners can rise above their doubts and fears about their relationship to validate their love. As it falls on a weekday this year, it may be a little hard to go visit your beloved in perso,: but how about a phone call or a FaceTime session? And if you’re in the market for a new love, long-distance or otherwise, you could always spend the day choosing a virtual reality visit for the holiday.

Source: NNH, Minna no Koe (1, 2)
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (12)

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