Have you ever thought why long distance relationships fail?
Character traits, emotional drives, finances and dealing with unplanned circumstances will all play a major role in this. Big topics right!
Firstly, let me ask you this:
- Do you have a long-term plan?
- Can you envision your future together?
- While living at distance, can you adjust to the dynamics of a long distance relationship?
Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 reasons why long distance relationships fail:
1: Lack of communication
Living at a distance instantly creates a need for a surplus of verbal communication from both people. If either of you has had past relationships where you lived in the same city, this new dynamic will call for change and dedication.
If there’s a time difference, some people aren’t prepared for the planning and consideration the other person will need from them. If one or both of you are feeling neglected with a lack of messages or calls, the deficiency of attention will turn into loneliness and feelings of abandonment.
How to fix this: Go the extra mile by using all forms of communication. Skype, FaceTime, hand written letters, text message, online chat.
Improve your communication skills: Talk clearly, pay attention in conversations, listen attentively, write down important details, show empathy, and ask the right questions at the right time.
2: Trust issues & jealousy
Some people in their lives have dealt with an ex-partner cheating on them and this can cause lasting trust issues that continue into future relationships. Not believing your partner when they say they are with friends or at home alone is a simple situation that can quickly turn out of hand in the other partner’s mind.
When one partner doesn’t consider how their actions can be perceived by the other partner, the gap in expectations can doom the relationship. The lack of trust can erode a relationship’s stability if both partners aren’t able to feel trusted or believed by the other.
For instance: When I lived in America and Adam was based in England, he would get worried when I didn’t send a good morning Saturday text. The truth was, I would often save time by waking up early and rushing to beat the crowds for early morning food shopping and then text him once I returned home.
His view: He was suspicious because this broke the weekday routine of me texting him as soon as I woke up. He would ask “Why would you text later in the morning and not when your normal wake up?” He would wonder if I had a late night out partying on a friday night, and would make his mind wander.
Solution: Practice seeing from your significant other’s point of view. If I had explained in more detail that this routine saved me time, he would have known and felt more at peace.
3: Outside influences
Raise your hand of one of your friends thinks they know everything? Yep, so did we!
Often you will vent to your friends about the difficulties of your LDR and seek their advice on what they would do in your shoes. If they have never been through your situation, those questions are better off not asked in most cases.
Real stories: My friend Sam used to tell me that I should break up with Adam because 4 months apart was “way too long not to see someone“. It took me a while but I finally recognized her as a regularly negative person and saw that I didn’t want to live from her advice.
Adams old housemate used to encourage cheating by saying “what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her” and other “boys will be boys” excuses.
How to avoid this: Be confident in your choices. When your head is mixed with emotions this can be difficult. Change your environment, think from a new point of view.
Talking with others can help, but ultimately decisions will have to be your own. Avoid negative people, even if this means close friends and family.
4: Pressure to move too fast
When you are still learning about each other, putting pressure on moving closer or committing to milestones can bring points of tension. LDRs can be strained by unrealistic early expectations. As you both learn more about each other, the mutual feeling to make long-term plans will grow if you allow time to take its course.
Real life example: On my first trip to see Adam (only 2 months of knowing each other) he introduced me to his parents. Now that could have backfired and been too much for a person fresh into an LDR, especially when neither person knows where the relationship is going. His parents turned out to be lovely and made me feel right at home. The trip was made better by providing more insights into his life!
Our advice: A plan of action is vital in any LDR, this is one you both agree on and are happy working towards.
5: Failing due to anxiety about the future
Anxiety is a universal worry that affects most LDRs. Questions can often roll around in your mind. Will the distance between you soon be over? Will your relationship beat the time you have to spend apart? When will you see each other next?
With too much time apart, it’s easy for your brain to get lost in thinking about the what-ifs. Being anxious about how long you have until the next reunion will ruin your excitement for when you do get to see each other.
Further help: It’s natural to feel concerns and unsettled at times. learn to cope with the distance in a healthy manner. Concentrate on both small picture and big picture ideas. Keep yourself busy and stick with your long term plans. Practice gratitude daily.
6: Bad routines
There are many factors that can ruin or foster having a routine with your partner. If one of you are studying abroad or live on separate continents, you are likely around 6-8 hours in time difference. When one person is waking up the other is going to bed. Having mirroring schedules is a gift, but not creating a routine around them will weigh on your communication patterns.
We suggest: Communicate whenever possible. Having a steady pattern will be a major factor for success or why long distance relationships fail.
When you are in a relationship that requires travel, it is important that both partners exercise financial discipline in order to afford travel costs. Our flights to see each other averaged around $900 a trip, meaning we both stayed out of bars and clubs and ate meals at home for weeks on end, saving money to make our LDR work.
Quick answer: Prioritize where you spend your money. If a relationship doesn’t have the ability to depend on financial planning, paying for the next trip can soon seem impossible. Make your finances as important as your communication. Nurture them in order for you to afford taking time off from work, and the days when you’re together.
Having routines is just one aspect of time that your relationship requires. Just as if you were in the same city and dating, if you don’t raise your relationship with love and attentiveness, it will wilt and die.
The LDR mistake people make too often without realizing it is thinking that they can suffice with just a few texts and calls throughout the week. You need to discuss when you feel neglected or that you don’t talk enough.
Treating your relationship to the amount of time you would a friendship can kill off the intimacy that a relationship is based on.
One of the biggest reasons why long distance relationships fail is missing the physical touch of a partner. The only other human touch you can get is a hug from your family or friends and the odd handshake. How long you can go without touch varies from person to person.
Human touch is critical to living a healthy life, so not having the touch from the person you love the most is going to be challenging to say the least.
Sadly, when some people don’t have intimacy with their partner, they can look for it outside of the relationship. If a partner isn’t honest with themselves enough to cope with the delayed intimacy, it can end up breaking the relationship.
Ideas to help: Don’t ignore the fact that you can’t be intimate, and instead talk about what you can’t wait to do when you’re together. Use extensive verbal communication to bridge the gap of physical intimacy. It’s important to have self-care during these times apart.
The good news is Intimacy can be maintained at a distance >. See our article here for advice: How to be intimate in a long distance relationship
10: Not planning reunion or move-in dates
Generally, after 2/3 months you’ll be dying to see each other (some couples can go much longer)
Planning the next visit is just as important as the visit itself. This is something that will give hope and goals to reach for both partners. When neither person plans, or when one is hesitant to reunite or move closer with an opportunity, this shows the connection is fizzling right away.
Work or college commitments can get in the way of LDR’s, and often many sacrifices have to be made to keep the relationhip on track. A non-action decision might kill a once-in-a-lifetime chance for both of you.
You may also enjoy our article > 41 Insanely Actionable Long Distance Relationship Tips
We wish you all the success and happiness with your long distance relationship.
*Original picture by freepik