One in five Brits would be happy with a long-distance relationship, but most want partner nearby, says new survey

Couple in a long-distance relationship
As one in five people say they could do a long-distance relationship, an expert explains how to make one last. (Getty Images)

How far would you be willing to go to find love? While most people prefer to date someone closer to home, almost half of people would be willing to fly to keep up a long-distance relationship with a partner.

A new survey has found that one in five Brits would be fine to enter a long-distance relationship from the outset, 46% of people would jump on a plane to see their partner, and 30% would happily relocate for love.

The survey of 2,000 Brits from South Western Railway found that most Brits even set their dating profile radius to as far as 28 miles, which is the equivalent of central London to Windsor, or Leicester to Coventry. A further 2% of people set their radius to 100 miles in a bid to find the perfect match.

However, most Brits would prefer to find love close by, with the average distance between couples who don’t live together being just 11 to 20 minutes.

Read more: Couple say living five hours apart makes love stronger: 'A lot of people want to own somebody' - Yahoo Life UK, 6-min read

"One of the greatest challenges in long-distance relationships is maintaining emotional intimacy without the physical closeness," says psychologist and relationship adviser, Barbara Santini.

"While technology helps bridge the gap, it's essential to go beyond surface-level conversations. Invest time and effort into deepening your emotional connection by discussing your fears, dreams and vulnerabilities. Explore creative ways to cultivate emotional intimacy, such as sharing personal journals or engaging in meaningful activities together, even from afar."

Young woman lying on bed and using smartphone
Communication is key for a lasting long-distance relationship. (Getty Images)

If you do happen to find yourself in a long-distance relationship, all is not lost. Noor Mubarak, psychological wellbeing practitioner at The Private Therapy Clinic, says that “no challenges are insurmountable with effective communication.”

Tips to make a long-distance relationship last

Keep connecting

People in long-distance relationships often miss out on those moments of connection that people within ‘in-person’ relationships share, so Murbarak says it’s important to get creative.

"Ordering each other surprise meals from a local delivery service and checking in with each other throughout the day using video calls where possible are all ways to try to make the distance seem smaller," she says.

Read more: As 'silent divorce' interest spikes, relationship expert lists the warning signs - Yahoo Life UK, 2-min read

"Shared contributions to a longer-term project or goal can also maintain a sense of connection – perhaps you can both save for a trip together, or work together towards a shared goal such as training for a half marathon."

Embrace your hobbies

"The absence of a partner's physical presence can lead to feelings of loneliness and frustration," Santini explains. “It's crucial to acknowledge and address these emotions.

"Cultivate a support system of friends, family, or online communities who understand your situation. Engage in self-care activities, pursue hobbies, and invest in personal growth to combat feelings of isolation. Remember, a fulfilled and confident individual contributes positively to the relationship."

woman doing pottery
It's important to have hobbies when you're in a long-distance relationship. (Getty Images)

Explore new ways to be intimate

"It is essential to have open communication with your partner about any concerns regarding sex and intimacy, so that both partners feel fulfilled in this aspect of a relationship," Murbarak says.

"Exploring new experiences together as well as new techniques, using different senses, utilising the sense of anticipation, and allowing uninterrupted quality time when you do get intimate can help both partners feel as connected as possible, despite the distance."

Santini suggests focusing on maintaining sexual satisfaction through "open and honest communication about your desires and fantasies".

"Explore new ways of expressing intimacy, such as engaging in sensual video chats or exchanging playful, teasing messages," she adds. "Additionally, consider planning a special rendezvous to ignite the flames of passion during your visits."

Have shared rituals

"Creating shared rituals and traditions can provide a sense of stability and connection despite the distance," Santini says.

"Establish a weekly movie night where you synchronise watching a film and discuss it afterwards. Have virtual cooking sessions, where you both prepare a meal together while video chatting. These unique rituals create a shared experience and deepen your bond."

Read more: Half of men (and almost as many women) schedule sex - Yahoo Life UK, 3-min read

Embrace spontaneity

In long-distance relationships, many things can feel planned: you plan when to call them and when you’re next going to see them. But Santini says that surprise and spontaneity are key elements to keeping the spark in a long-distance relationship alive.

"Send unexpected gifts or heartfelt letters in the mail," she advises. "Plan surprise visits or organise virtual dates with themes and activities that evoke nostalgia or create new memories. These acts of spontaneity demonstrate your love and dedication, making the distance seem more bearable."