Long Distance Relationship Statistics – Do they work? How common are LDRs?

By Benjamin Jorgensen / November 26, 2022

We go where no research has gone before by looking at the most comprehensive data set ever compiled to provide real insight into long distance relationships.

Feel free to use any information from the study with reference too https://bedbible.com. For any additional details, access to the raw dataset, quotes from relationship experts, or couples feel free to reach out to Lead Researcher, Benjamin Jorgensen, at benjamin@bedbible.com.

In this dataset we have surveyed and aggregated over 1,330,000 data points from 33,910 respondents. It is by far the largest study of long distance relationships ever made.

This report provides a comprehensive walk-through of how prevelant long distance relationships are. How successful couples living in long distance relationships are at making it work out. We also cover infidelity rates, average distance between couples, the biggest reported obstacles and reasons for splitting as well as much much more.

The below presentation is a tabulation in standard tables. For access to dynamic data in other formats (SPSS, Stata, R, or CSV files) please reach out at benjamin@bedbible.com.

Updated data: 14/11-2022

How many are in a long distance relationship

The main focus of this study was creating a nationally representative dataset – and keep it updated throughout the years. The primary aim of having a large sample size (big N) was being able to precisely estimate nationally representative insights.

The below data shows some of the key insights in the data such as the current rate of long distance relationships, how many have previously been in one, how many started their relationship out in one and oit

AllUS, %US, Total
Currently in a LDR16.09%14.1M
Have been in a LDR with current partner21.20%18.44M
Have been in a LDR with any partner81.12%70.57M
Started as a LDR51.11%44.5M
Have never been in a LDR18.88%16.42M
Experienced infidelity in any LDR 25.14%21.87M
: Cheated yourself39.29%8.59M
: Was cheated on61.32%13.41M

Married couples and long distance relationsships

Married couplesUS, %US, Total
Currently in a LDR5.95%3.75M
Have been in a LDR with current partner14.71%9.17M
Started as a LDR10.32%6.43M
% of total LDR22.84%
Experienced infidelity in any LDR 27.29%17.01M
: Cheated yourself35.71%6.07M
: Was cheated on64.29%10.94M

College students in long distance relationship

College studentsUS, %US, Total
Currently in a LDR32.51%6.14M
Have been in a LDR with current partner35.28%6.67M
Started as a LDR14.11%2.67M
% of total LDR32.51%
Experienced infidelity in any LDR 19.75%3.73M
: Cheated39.95%1.49M
: Was cheated on60.05%2.24M

Success and fail rates: How many long distance relationships work out?

The following section is a rough tabulation of the data on how many of the long distance relationships that work out. Additionally we asked respondents to provide insight into what obstacles they experienced. And, if their long distance relationship did not work out, we asked why it did not succeed?

% or months
LDR that work out58%
LDR that fail42%
: Split after re-uniting37%
: Average time in LDR before split4.5 months

Reasons respondents report for failed long distance relationship

Reasons for split%Rank
Fail to plan70%#1
Cheating12%#2
Grew apart9%#3
Worrying about future3%#4
Other6%#5

Biggest obstacles respondents report

Biggest obstacles%Rank
Loneliness72%#1
Absence of physical intimacy66%#2
Jealousy54%#3
Drifting apart45%#4
Sadness17%#5
Insecurity11%#6

Contact and meeting in a long distance relationship

One of the last main things we chose to focuse on in the data collection is the contact between couples. Both the physical meetings as well as messaging, calling and more traditionally – letters sent.

per weekper monthdays betweenLength
Any contact4 times17.3 times1.75 days
: Online messaging347 messages1502 messages0.61 days
: Calls2.59 times11.25 times2.74 days30 minutes per call
: Meetups0.35 times1.5 times20 daysSpends 3 days together
: Letters0.69 times3 times10 days

More insights in the dataset

To avoid extensive use of tables and work on tabulation here is a summary of the most interesting findings in the dataset. This should also give an idea of what data is available and thereby which types of tabulations, correlations and other statistical analysis is possible with the dataset.

  • On average long distance couples live 125 miles apart.
  • 33% of couples that reunite break up after just 3 months of reuniting.
  • Couples living in long distance relationships expect to reunite on average within 14 months.
  • We looked into how many long distance relationships agreed on an open relationship, and found that 5.1% of couples have decided on an open relationship. The data additionally showed that the older the couples the more likely it is that the couple decided on opening up their relationship.
  • 11% of long distance relationships have never met in person before.
  • 81% report being more intimate with their partner after reuniting.
  • Only 5 % report to feeling closer together.
  • 32% of people who were in a long distance relationship would not do it again.
  • Just 2% og high-school couples survive becoming long-distance when starting college.