8 Long-distance Relationship Problems (And How To Make It Work)
It’s a known fact that maintaining a long-distance relationship is a burden many are extremely hesitant to take on.
Preserving a romantic relationship over Skype with your loved one brings on common problems that many couples should never get to experience.
At the end of the day, long-distance love doesn’t provide you with that face-to-face touch that brings warmth and security during bad days and nourishes you during good ones.
Relationships are hard work as is. But when life takes you on a journey far away from your loved one (sometimes even to different time zones), it puts everything you and your partner have built to the test.
It’s extremely emotionally exhausting, and most long-distance relationships don’t go the distance (pun intended), particularly for that reason. You need your partner right by your side.
Texting isn’t going to cut it when you’re balling your eyes out at midnight.
Phone calls can’t replace the touch of your significant other.
Watching Netflix together over Skype becomes so sad, and your LDR brings on so much unwarranted miscommunication that you end up imagining your imminent break-up no matter how hard you’re fighting for your long-distance relationship.
A healthy relationship doesn’t make you feel paranoid and lonely on a daily basis.
But a long-distance partner might start having problems with possessiveness when they can’t be there to check in every day in person.
In order to make your long-distance relationship work, you need trust.
And if your long-distance partner can’t give you that, how long until many other long-distance relationship problems start plaguing your love?
How long until your Skype sessions turn into heated arguments over what your partner saw on your social media yesterday?
How long until text messages turn into a passive-aggressive conversation that you start dreading?
How long until you realize you’re neglecting your own lives while trying to salvage what’s left of your LDR?
And before you know it, with tears streaming down your cheeks and barely being able to utter a word, you’re looking for a way out…
It shouldn’t be this hard. You love your significant other more than anything and you know you’re with the right person.
But how did you manage to underestimate the severity of distance? Why did you think that a Skype date could entirely replace eye contact and physical presence?
Did you honestly believe that this wouldn‘t be happening? Were you naive to think that you two could survive this?
How Do You Make It Work?
First and foremost, if the love is as strong and passionate as you believe it is, never give up.
The roads will get bumpy, all of the LDR problems are going to start messing with your head, but a long-distance relationship CAN survive if you two are a united front.
If you’re willing to fight for each other, then all of these problems will be merely obstacles that can’t touch the bond of your commitment to each other.
It’s foolish to think that you two are going to be the ones to break the mold.
You’re not. Most people realize they’re in way over their heads within the first weeks of their LDR.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it. It only means you’re going to have to fight a little bit harder and stick by each other, no matter what your head tells you during the bad days.
Long-distance couples are those with the hardest jobs.
They don’t have the warmth of their partner’s body keeping them feel safe and protected at night.
They can’t rush over to their partner in times of need and rest their head on their loved one‘s chest.
And not seeing each other face-to-face gets more challenging and frustrating with each passing day.
But this is why you work on it twice as hard. This is why you tell your partner you love them even when your heart is breaking in two while saying it. You’ll be feeling sadness you didn’t know existed.
One whole part of you will be far away and you’ll be the only one picking up your pieces.
But this isn’t forever. Let that keep you sane during times when you want to explode.
You can salvage your relationship and survive this for as long as you keep putting each other first.
Fight through those pesky time zones and stick to your Skype date nights.
Keep to your routine and remember that for as long as you persevere in this, you’re one step closer to a permanent solution.
Here are the most common long-distance relationship problems that are going to start creeping up on you sooner than you think.
But if you’re ready to fight for your person, you’ll find ways to make it work. Love as strong as yours deserves a fighting chance.
1. Lack of healthy communication
Miscommunication is one of the greatest obstacles to a successful LDR. Sure, you’ve got your Skype dates, constant texting and communicating through social media.
But what nobody tells you is that a lot of the times things get lost in translation.
When you don’t see your loved one regularly, you develop this defense mechanism that helps you navigate this new reality, but it also makes you paranoid and suspicious.
There doesn’t even have to be a legit reason for your anxiety, but it still happens.
This is when you take it out on your significant other in a very poorly executed manner, instead of openly sharing your issues.
It’s normal to feel a certain way and to get things stuck in your head that distance makes you believe are true.
But oftentimes, instead of talking about it, it results in yelling matches and hurtful statements.
How do you fix it?
Instead of pointing fingers and pinning unnecessary blame, take a deep breath, count to three and ask them kindly about the issues bothering you.
If they said something you took the wrong way, don’t accuse them prematurely but rather ask them politely.
”Sorry, honey, I’m not sure what you meant by that, can you please repeat what you just said?” is how you can put it, and your partner will calmly explain what he said and it will all be resolved within seconds. Don’t attack – ask!
If you forego communication right from the start, you’ve got nothing to go on.
The only way to survive this is to openly talk about everything and never go to bed angry.
Air out all of your qualms and sleep knowing there’s someone out there wishing you were there.
2. You’re stuck in a rut
When you’ve been in a long-distance relationship for too long, with time, your topics of conversation will start feeling like you keep having the same dry talk every single day.
There’s no excitement, no novelty, just the same old things at the same time every day that you hope will help you keep your relationship on its feet. But it’s slowly making you feel like there’s nothing left to talk about.
You can’t actually BE with them, hug them, kiss them and feel safe around them, and it’s slowly killing your communication.
You get so tired of it all that you stop trying altogether.
These types of issues are very common for an LDR. It’s still frustrating and saddening, though.
How do you fix it?
First, you realize that it’s normal not wanting to talk every single day for hours and it’s totally expected to not have anything new to say all the time.
That doesn’t make it weird or worrying, it only means you’re human.
There will be dry spells where you’ll talk every few days and there will be times when you’ll talk every single day.
That’s what happens in a relationship, so don’t worry about it. My suggestion is to write down everything you want to share as it comes to mind throughout the day so you don’t forget it!
That way when they call you, you won’t be scratching your head wondering what it is you wanted to mention because you’ll have it right there. Help yourself not to forget anything and you’ll go to bed happier.
When you’re in a long-distance relationship, your patience slowly starts running out.
Things that used to be the least of your worries now bug you like crazy.
Normally, if your partner doesn’t reply immediately, you don’t even think about it because you know they’ll get back to you asap.
But in an LDR, you expect an answer immediately and if you don’t get it, you get anxious and start getting insane ideas in your head.
What the hell are they doing that’s more important than getting back to you?
Are they fooling around? Are they sick and tired of you texting them? What’s going on?
That’s just your paranoia talking. You can’t see them, so your need for their presence is stronger than ever, which makes you go mad if they don’t reply promptly.
How do you fix it?
Think about the root of your problem. What are your expectations? Do they make sense or are you letting your anxiety get the better of you?
Is your man really blowing you off or are you simply too impatient and insecure to think straight?
Is your uncertainty about their feelings for you making this seem bigger than it actually is?
Could it be that the distance is making you need constant validation and confirmation of their love?
Talk to your partner. Explain how hard it’s become for you to stay sane. Let them know that you really love it when they get back to you quickly because it puts your mind at ease.
And if they can’t always talk, they can shoot a simple ”Love you but too busy to talk right now. Call you later!” and you’ll know everything is okay.
4. Growing apart
Just because you’re now in a long-distance relationship, it doesn’t mean your individual lives stop progressing.
You’re going to go through life, accumulate new experiences, and fight your battles by yourself. Those things will change you in ways that will make you grow and drift apart from the person you used to be.
The same goes for your partner. His life will take him down a different path and who’s to say it won’t be as life-changing as yours might end up being? That’s just life.
And the unfortunate thing is, all of this will be happening without them present, which will inevitably make you feel like you’re growing apart.
You’ll both be in your own lane, not sure where your partner is headed, and that can cause emotional turmoil.
How do you fix it?
As this is one of the biggest LDR killers, take it very seriously and work on the following.
Keep regular communication and fill each other in about everything that goes on, no matter how seemingly irrelevant.
Discuss your new arrangement and how it makes you feel with regards to where your journey is taking you.
Remain a team throughout it all and squeeze in as much visitation as you possibly can.
Stick by each other and if your end goal is a future by each other’s side, keep each other in the loop and never let them question your loyalty.
5. Different time zones
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can personally do to change the fact that you live in different time zones.
But that doesn’t mean it won’t become an issue at some point.
When you’ve been in a long-distance relationship for too long, it’s so easy to get annoyed at the smallest things, and this will become one of them.
You’ll get sick and tired of always having to talk very early in the morning or late at night. You’re either too tired to have a full-on convo or it’s too early for any type of conversation.
How do you fix it?
You realize that this is what you signed up for. When you agreed to an LDR, you knew where your partner was going (or yourself) and you promised to make it work.
And now it’s time to accept this as a small sacrifice for your significant other.
It’s not easy for them either, you know? But if you want to remain in a happy, healthy relationship, a compromise must be made.
And if you’d rather not talk to your SO at all than get up early to see them, then what’s the point?
Long-distance is no picnic. Unless you’re ready to face the challenges, you’re only delaying the inevitable.
6. Lack of trust
Normally, you’re not the type of person who gets paranoid for no reason and questions their partner’s loyalty for no valid reasons.
But this distance thing is making you turn into a crazy person. Suddenly you find yourself questioning your partner for every little thing and it’s driving you insane.
Trust is the basis for every relationship. Without it, it’s hard work keeping it together.
And a long-distance love needs extra love and tenderness. Don’t let your bad days turn you into a detective.
You know what your partner’s role is in your life, so don’t let distance shake you up.
How do you fix it?
Simple. Trust the person who promised to take care of your heart.
If they weren’t trustworthy, you wouldn‘t have even agreed to an LDR in the first place. Unless your partner is giving you actual reasons to distrust them, have some faith in them.
Distance can only separate you if you let it. Yes, physically you’re miles and miles away. But if you know that this is the right person for you, then you should give them more credit.
It’s difficult for both of you. Don’t make it worse with unwarranted and misplaced outbursts.
You’re both trying to stay in the same lane while being physically far away from each other.
Trust and effort are the only ways to make it go the distance. Don’t sabotage a good thing just because it’s getting challenging. Always keep the end goal in mind.
7. Sudden jealousy
You need your partner to function normally. When they’re away from you, it’s like one whole part of your body is missing and it’s affecting you in big ways.
And since you can’t rest your head on their shoulder while snuggled up in front of the TV anymore, you can’t help but wonder if someone else is.
You know it’s crazy. You know there’s no basis for such thinking.
But what else are you supposed to do but create these fucked-up versions of events in your head now?
They’re not here to tell you that you’re being silly. They can’t kiss your forehead and soothe you with their presence.
Now, all you have left is your jealousy and it’s eating you alive.
How to fix it?
Remind yourself of all the times your partner gave you every reason to trust them.
Stop comparing what you have (a long-term, meaningful relationship with a future) to a superficial hookup you believe your partner to be having.
Do you honestly believe they would betray you this way? Or are you letting your imagination run wild?
Whenever you get those jealous outbursts, burst them immediately and shift your focus to a more positive thought.
Your partner is dealing with his own difficulties, so don’t add to them. Stop finding problems where there aren’t any.
Stop snooping around and wanting to find trouble. This destructive behavior is going to end up detrimental to your LDR until you activate reason, and deactivate paranoia.
Long-distance relationships aren’t immune to stonewalling and similar acts of passive-aggressive need for control.
I’m no stranger to such a thing, unfortunately.
In case you weren’t sure what stonewalling means, it’s purposefully not answering texts or getting back to a person for a few days as a way of controlling the situation.
It’s when one partner uses silence as a weapon in the most passive-aggressive way imaginable.
This can happen as a direct result of miscommunication, which is not uncommon in LDRs.
Instead of finding patience and trying to understand them in order to respond, you resort to a complete radio silence that slowly kills the other partner on the inside.
Then, the silence ensues and your gut is churning every single day.
How do you fix it?
If you’re the partner who’s doing the stonewalling, ask yourself why.
Are you trying to make your partner suffer by employing this hurtful tactic? Do they really deserve that?
Or are you simply activating your defense mechanism and it’s making you do stuff like this because otherwise, you’re going to break?
Silent treatment is never the answer. It only worsens the situation and makes you both feel like the other one is slipping away.
Communicate even when it’s the hardest. You’re going to thank yourself later.
And if you’re the one who’s being stonewalled, text your partner how disappointed you are that they chose to go this route.
It’s hurtful and low and you deserve better. Nothing will ever work itself out without healthy communication.
They’ll probably eventually realize this too and you’ll end up talking it out.
This one’s for all the long-distance lovers out there. Nobody understands the burden you bear better than you and your significant other.
All of the issues pointed out here are direct results of the pressure a long-distance relationship brings and the constant yearning for a partner who’s not there.
If you’ve found yourself in these, don’t let it get you down. I promise you, all long-distance lovers go through these at some point.
The trick is to keep fighting even when you want to end it all.
That’s the distance talking. And if you let it win, you’re going to be even more miserable than you are now.
Keep at it. Fight through the problems and try to find a middle ground no matter the issue.
Skype dates will be your best friend from now on. I know it’s not ideal and nothing can replace being able to hold your person in the flesh, but it’s the best thing you’ve got right now.
Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way. You can do this while knowing that this isn’t forever, that one day you’ll figure it all out.
One day, you’ll be waking up next to each other and going to bed together.
Isn’t that all you really need to keep persevering in making this work? The distance only wins if YOU let it.