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Long distance relationship problems
Every relationship comes with problems; even the most “perfect” relationship isn’t always in perfect harmony. Trust me, I know after a year of my own relationship being an LDR (Long Distance Relationship). The struggle is real. Long distance relationship problems can happen more often and be more stressful for tons of reasons, the big reason being that it’s harder to create the happy, lovey feelings that make romantic relationships so great.
Long distance relationship can get complicated, so the best practice is to find the perfect mix of expectations from the very beginning. That way a lot of us can stop the most common long distance relationship problems before they even start!
Starting a long distance relationship
Starting a long distance relationship can be…prickly. Any good couple needs to discuss boundaries from the beginning, but boundaries can be hard when you can’t actually physically touch your long distance partner. Depending on the situation, your long distance relationship status could mean no cuddling with anybody ever, since you never actually get to see your partner (and we all love our cuddling).
That being said, once you start developing a long distance crush (or future long distance, but currently short distance crush), you really need to think about what you expect from someone. It can be really hard not getting to share many experiences with each other – you can’t even just go to the grocery store together!
You really need to think about what you expect to be your long distance relationship rules so you can communicate with your partner and figure out the best way to compromise between what both of you want/can be content with. That initial long distance relationship conversation is a super important one, so make sure you know how you’re going to interact with each other!
Starting a long distance relationship online
Fortunately for us, we live in the age of the internet! Instead of impatiently waiting for your lover’s letter to come in the mail (can you imagine only hearing from your partner once a week or so?), we’ve been granted instant gratification! From wherever we are in the world, as long as we can get ahold of some type of signal, we can get a message to our long distance partner.
Long distance online dating gives us the opportunity to see our partners every day if we want. When my relationship was long distance, we Skyped every day; because of our time zones, it was when I went to bed, and when he was driving home from work. But whatever rituals work for you, online long distance relationships usually do require some sort of scheduled time, so make sure you discuss that with your partner. How often and how long do you want to talk? Do you want to video chat or does just a phone call work for you? There are no rules for this kind of thing, as long as both of you are happy!
Whatever the case, starting a long distance relationship online needs to begin with strict, well-understood boundaries. Trust is important in most every type of relationship, but trust in a long distance relationship is paramount. If you can never see each other, how is your relationship supposed to survive if you don’t have trust?
Common long distance relationship problems
Long distance relationship challenges can be much more stressful and more persistent than in a regular relationship. The whole inability-to-spend-time-with-each-other thing definitely puts a damper on these things. It’s important to be aware of the challenges you have faced in past relationships, like jealousy, trouble communicating, lack of trust, and clinginess. Believe it or not, the most common long distance relationship challenges are problems that we face in all our other relationships, too – just exacerbated a lot.
Ideally, being able to talk to your partner about these things and coming to an agreement about how to either prevent them from happening or fix them
Things to do in a long distance relationship
In my own personal experience, the worst part about long distance dating is that it’s so hard to connect with your partner! For a lot of people this can be really scary and lead to a bunch of different feelings that nobody wants (ie. jealousy, loneliness, codependency, etc.) so it’s important that you talk about it and figure out what you need.
While you should definitely make sure to actually enjoy your life away from your partner (no avoiding life to hang out online – go live your life!), this can make it difficult to figure out how to show love in a long distance relationship. But if talking about the things that are going on in your life and how your day went isn’t enough for you, you’ll need a few long distance relationship activities that are perfect for you to connect with your partner, no matter how far away you are. Here’s how to keep a long distance relationship spicy!
How to be romantic in a long distance relationship
Okay, so we have to get a little creative when we’re long distance, right? Again, thanks to the internet, we’ve got some options when it comes to showing our partners we really care and getting love back. Hint: make a deal that whenever one of you does something sweet long distance, the other should post it on social media. It feels great, plus it can help with jealousy and loneliness if that’s something you’re dealing with!
Order them takeout, or (better yet) get it delivered
If food is the way to your partner’s heart, this is a great idea, especially for those of us with busy lives. Call up their favorite restaurant and order their favorite meal for them. If they deliver, great, but if not, just make sure it’s all paid, and all they have to do is walk in and grab some yummy food that their partner got them!
It’s a fabulous way to remind them that you care about them, and make their lives a little easier too. If you order too much food, then you can sleep well knowing that they’ll be thinking of you for 2 or 3 meals.
Send them a gift or card
When I was in a long distance relationship, I sent a personalized card and a bouquet of Star Wars plushies for Valentine’s Day. It was a small, easy thing to do, and once again I had the chance to remind him of me.
If you can’t think of anything cute to send, a gift card to a store will do. It’s still a small token of love that reminds your partner that you care, and that you want to get them a gift – gifts for a long distance boyfriend or girlfriend should be whatever they want! Here’s some inspo if you need it:
- “If you miss me hug this pillow”
- “I love you more than the miles between us” keychain
- “Hug this pillow until you can hug me”
- “You are my rock”
- “Missing someone is a part of loving them” wallet card
Send each other long distance relationship letters
We all love receiving letters in the mail, so imagine how amazing it’ll feel to read a letter from your long distance partner? Especially if you have a hard time connecting online or during the day, this is a great way to share your lives and experiences with each other. You can even include pictures, momentos, magazine clippings, or anything that speaks to you.
Keeping your collection of letters for as long as you’re long distance would also make a great memory for when this part of your relationship is in the past. It’s also a nice way to keep the positive emotions going!
Set up date night
Who says you can’t have date night? Set up a time where you both can make yourselves available for an hour or two and turn on Skype. If you’re nearby the same chain restaurants you can even order the same meals and eat them together; if not, nothing wrong with grabbing whatever makes you happy, popping open a bottle of wine, and spending some time together.
Just like in short distance relationships, this is a really great way to connect with your partner, something that is much more important if you can’t physically be near each other. The point is that all of your attention is reserved for each other, and you can share a nice, relaxing experience together.
Long distance relationship games
If you like to play games, whether of the board or online variety, there’s no reason why you can’t play with your significant other just because they’re not right next to you! For example, you can play all sorts of Facebook games like Words With Friends together, or maybe you connect on an online game or gaming console where you can play together.
Worst case scenario, pick up Scrabble and go for it! While it may not be 100% the same as an in-person game, you can still play together and enjoy a nice, easy couple of hours with your significant other.
Watch TV shows or movies together
Got Netflix? Then you’ve got an easy date night. Just start the movie at the same time and hang out on Skype or over the phone while you watch! It’s an easy way to connect with your significant other while you keep up with pop culture.
Buy a ticket
If you can do this, you can really figure out how to spice up a long distance relationship! If it’s feasible, get yourself or your partner a ticket to each other. There’s no better surprise than showing up on a doorstep or telling your partner “hey guess what, you’re coming on a trip with me!”. Or vice versa, of course. While this option might night be the most realistic for everybody (money? Work schedules? Commitments? Whaaaa?), I think this is a great way to put some happiness into a relationship.
How to keep him interested long distance
Now, while connecting regularly and sharing your lives together are still super important, we can’t ignore the lack of physical touch. While I don’t claim that women don’t also experience this, it’s generally more common that men complain about the lack of physical intimacy. This is tough, because usually in long distance relationships, we can’t just hop over to our boyfriend’s house and fix it. So we have to think outside the box.
Thinking about how to make your boyfriend happy in a long distance relationship, we have to think about what we’re able to do and what we feel comfortable doing. If pictures make you both happy, go for it. If words are more your style, anchors away!
There are lots of options for things to say to your long distance boyfriend, and it’s the same as with any other kind of relationship: talk to him and figure out what he wants. He’s in it with you and has agreed on whatever time frame that you’ll be long distance, but he (and you) has needs too!
Is it worth it?
When the going gets rough in a long distance relationship it gets…really rough. It’s so easy to just fall into a cycle of negativity, constantly nagging at each other over this and being mad at each other for that; then, when you go about your life that is completely independent from them at the moment, you forget why you’re even in the relationship, until one day you decide not to be anymore. And that’s why long distance relationships don’t work. At least, some of them.
Moreso than any other kind of romantic relationship you could be in, it’s so important that you know where you stand – if you’re willing to fight for it no matter what, or if you’ve become two different people and would be better off as friends. Both options are okay, but definitely make sure you’re making these decisions for the right reasons.
Not because you’re mad at each other, because it’s incredibly easy to stay mad at someone who you never see. Not because it’s hard, because any relationship is hard. Unfortunately, there’s no answer I or anybody else can give you, because it depends completely on you.
The best advice I can give you is how to fix a long distance relationship, and that’s a lot of good, calm, honest communication and a hell of a lot of work. It’s real tough, I’m not going to lie. But it can be worth it. In-person relationship problems, long distance relationship problems, even long distance marriage problems – it’s all the same.
You have to think about whether it’s worth it for you. The only way to figure out how to save a long distance relationship is you and your partner decide that it’s worth it and that you are committed to working through any problems that may come up.
If you decide it’s not
If, at the end of the day, you decide it’s not worth it, it’s time to end it. As to how to end a long distance relationship, it really depends on you, your partner, and your relationship, but the number one thing that I believe one should keep in mind is respect. Don’t do it over text, and don’t do it as a passing notion.
If it’s been a healthy relationship, respect them, make sure you have each other’s complete, undivided attention, and explain what’s going on. Be a decent human being. Be aware that you’re going to hurt their feelings, but also be aware that their feelings aren’t necessarily your responsibility.
Then, once that’s over, you need to figure out how to get over a long distance relationship. Fortunately for you, it should be significantly easier considering you’re long distance. If it’s better for you to either stay off social media or just hide their accounts for a while, you do you. Whatever it is that you need to do to live happily without that relationship being in your life.
How do you keep a long distance relationship exciting?
Let’s end this on a positive note. I’ve shared with you some of the things that I’ve done to remind my significant other that I care, so what have you done? is there something that’s worked for you in the past that I haven’t talked about? Let me know in the comments!