In a long-distance relationship, feelings fading away from your relationship is a common occurrence. We don’t mean to tell you that all long-distance relationships (LDRs) are a farce or that you should steer clear of one at all costs. There are enough testimonials out there to prove that LDRs do have their own charm and can last longer than you think. But LDRs are a type of relationship that takes a certain kind of mettle and effort.
Being in a long-distance marriage or trying virtual dating is not everyone’s cup of tea. It not only takes love to make such a relationship work but also great commitment, fabulous communication skills, and an unrelenting attitude of never wanting to give up on one another. Sounds easy when you put it in a sentence but practicing this day in and day out can be harder than you think.
Bonobology received a query about the trials and tribulations of a long-distance relationship from one of the readers. Counseling psychologist and certified life-skills trainer Deepak Kashyap (Masters in Psychology of Education), who specializes in a range of mental health issues, including LGBTQ and closeted counseling, answers that question for them and for us.
My Long-Distance Relationship Is Falling Apart
Q: I recently married someone who lives in another country. He went back to his country two weeks after the wedding day. We maintain contact only through the phone, and he barely calls me at this point. We’ve spoken two times in the last ten days and that too was when I insisted that we do so. He is aware that I look forward to connecting virtually but he makes no effort to do so. Before the wedding, he would call me almost every day. Now it’s just a good morning and good night text, which is very dry considering we are a married couple and not just friends anymore. I don’t want to be a needy, clingy, girl but I do feel emotionally neglected, unloved, and strangely lonely; something I never felt when single.
It is incredibly painful that I am married to someone who does not want to speak to me for five minutes a day. Something needs to be done about this whole long-distance relationship drifting apart problem. I spend most days crying miserably and trying to accept my fate. If he has no time or interest to form/keep a connection so early in the marriage, will it really last? He is a good man otherwise and usually sweet and kind to the people around him. But his lack of any interest in me is distancing me emotionally. I can’t think of him as someone close. The relationship is already strained and I cannot share my thoughts with him because on the one occasion that I did, he accused me of not being supportive of him. I feel like I am married to an emotionally distant spouse.
That incident turned into a very long-winding, complicated discussion, which drove us further apart. I don’t know why I married someone who is both geographically and emotionally distant from me. All I expect is that he calls daily or at least on alternate days for five minutes. Are my expectations too high? Thanks for your patience. Please tell me how to fix a long-distance relationship that is completely falling apart. What do I do now?
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From the expert:
Ans: To be happy, we all desire different things. Some people need a lot more connection and communication than others; which in fact is not a reflection of or enough grounds to judge anyone as good or bad. And because of that inconsistency in your long-distance relationship, feelings fading becomes a consequence.
This explanation seems simple to anyone looking in from the outside, but for the involved parties, it is emotionally tough. You need to have honest communication with him, without the fear of him misrepresenting, misunderstanding, or merely rejecting your point as it being silly. What he understands is not your responsibility; the only thing that you are responsible for is presenting your thoughts in a bright, non-judgmental, and non-blaming style.
Always know that you are in control of your situation. You cannot control others but you can control how you react to them to a greater extent. If your romantic needs can be fulfilled in the way you would like, nothing like it. If they can’t, even after the negotiations that you are required to make at your end (you’ll know those after talking to him), then there is no shame in leaving the marriage to drive your point home; and later finally divorcing if it still seems mutually non-negotiable. You owe yourself happiness and can generate it for yourself. I wish you all the best.
How To Fix A Long-Distance Relationship That’s Falling Apart?
When you feel that in your long-distance relationship, feelings fading is something that happens every day, it’s time you do something about it. If you’re still in love with them, better to not call it quits so soon and give it your best shot to save the relationship. How to rekindle a long-distance relationship? Bonobology takes it away from here and gives you five ways to do so:
1. Make it a point to listen to each other’s voices every single day
Even if that’s a voice note and not a long phone call, this small trick can do wonders for your long-distance marriage falling apart. You both need to get habituated to this ritual of keeping in touch and having the other person by your side, even though they can’t literally be by your side. It’s about making it a routine that can make all the difference to your marriage.
Consider putting a reminder to send them a voice message talking about your day, if things in your marriage have become that rough. But do it. The more accustomed you two become to hearing each other’s voices every single day, the closer you will feel to one another again.
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2. Send care packages to one another
“I know John is terrible at shopping for himself so I was sure that he was still wearing his old run-down jeans back from when we got married and must not have bought himself a new pair. So I sent him a new pair and he really appreciated the gesture. Now, it has become a relationship ritual for us. I send him a few goodies from home every month. Things like fresh linen, shoes, perfume and some comfy boxers are things I’d send over to his house in Portland to give my husband a sweet surprise,” says Jacqueline.
Take it from Jacqueline and apply this in your own marriage today. Concerned that in your long-distance relationship, feelings fading has become an impending problem? Use these little ways to show someone how much you care about them. When they feel cared for, and seen by you, they might try to reciprocate the feeling too.
3. Playing online sex games
If you believe that for a while now you two have been growing apart in a long-distance relationship, maybe it’s time to spice things up in your sex life so you can remind each other how attracted you used to be to one another. Remember when on the first few dates, the sexual tension between you two was insane but perhaps now you can’t even remember the last time you thought about your partner that way.
It’s time to take charge and turn things around now that you’re convinced your long-distance marriage falling apart is not something you can just tolerate anymore. Work on the sexual attraction and maybe you two will remember how much you used to love one another.
4. Schedule dates if you are growing apart in a long-distance relationship
And also make them fun! Catching up over a virtual dinner can be really difficult because of different routines and sometimes because of being in different time zones. In that case, you need to stringently fix a time and place to be able to talk to one another when your LDR feelings are fading.
Maybe when you’re sipping on your morning cup of coffee, you can connect with your partner over their evening run to Starbucks. How cute is that? You could also try fun activities like playing online poker or connecting for a round of online chess during the day. This will keep you engaged and accountable to one another.
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5. How to rekindle a long-distance relationship? Sharing everyday details
In your long-distance relationship, feelings fading away can truly feel like such a tragic consequence. But to deal with that and get your relationship back on track, sharing everyday details, no matter how mundane they may be, is key. Why not send him a Snapchat of the burrito bowl you ordered for lunch at work? Or send her a picture of the sunrise you spotted on your morning jog. These little tokens serve as reminders and establish closeness with your partner, something that will do wonders for a long-distance relationship that’s falling apart.
If you’ve been saying, “My long-distance relationship is falling apart and I’m feeling so lost”, we hope we alleviated your troubles a little bit today. Remember, patience and consistency are key to making any long-term relationship work. Just because in your long-distance relationship, feelings fading is something that has been happening for a while, it does not mean that you cannot work on those feelings again. Give it a go and you’ll see things change soon!
Not necessarily. Just like a plant needs sunlight, water and nutrients, LDRs also need a great deal of time and effort. If you do that all right, in no time, you will see the flowers bloom!
Growing apart in a long-distance relationship is not uncommon if the two people stop putting effort into the relationship.
In a long-distance relationship, feelings fading is something that can happen quite normally given that you two haven’t seen each other for so long. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that your relationship is over. By using certain methods and trying to spend more time with each other, you can get your LDR back on track.