Long-distance relationship problems often prove to be a deterrent to love. The idea of building an intimate, meaningful relationship – or even sustaining an existing romantic partnership – with someone who is not physically proximate seems daunting to say the least. In part, the idea that long-distance relationships are untenable is also propagated by societal prejudices.
When you mention being in a long-distance relationship in any social setting, it attracts a lot of sympathetic reactions because people assume that you are having a really hard time. People may even try to give you long-distance relationship advice that may be completely unwarranted.
While these may seem a little annoying, their intentions are justified. After all, long-distance relationship struggles are real. That said, it does not mean that your relationship is doomed to fail or that the distance will invariably take its toll. By learning how to navigate long-distance relationship problems the right way, you and your partner can sail through.
18 Long-Distance Problems You Should Know About
Long-distance relationship problems can often leave you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Unlike a regular relationship, you cannot possibly make an argument melt away with a hug or find solace in your SO’s embrace at the end of a long, exhausting day. The feeling of loneliness in a long-distance relationship definitely augments existing problems, making them appear worse than they are.
While absence does make the heart grow fonder, you also need to know the right tips and tricks to prevent this yearning and longing from taking its toll on your emotional health and relationship. The most essential element to counter problems faced in a long-distance relationship is to have faith that your love is strong.
Once you have that conviction, making that extra effort in overcoming obstacles and keeping your bond intact becomes that much easier. The next order of business is to have a tactful approach for solving long-distance relationship problems. To that end, life coach Dr. Neelu Khanna advises that respecting each other’s feelings and sorting things out amicably is essential to stop feeling disconnected in a long-distance relationship.
What more can you do? We break it down for you with this lowdown on 18 common problems in a long-distance relationship and the right way to deal with them:
1. Talking too much
Yes! Talking too much is one of the long-distance relationship problems that can threaten your bond. We can hold on to our relationships so much that we forget everything else around us. While a healthy amount of communication is necessary, you really should not be glued to your phone all day. Doing so can be an indication that you’re in a clingy relationship, and that’s not healthy by any measure.
The constant longing is just one of the harsh facts of long-distance relationships, and you have to accept it to be able to carry without it adversely impacting your bond or your life. Strike the balance between staying emotionally connected in a long-distance relationship and having a life. It is important to ensure you do not sacrifice too much in order to sustain your relationship.
2. Physical distance can fan jealousy
If your partner sees a new person in your profile picture, they may start panicking even if there is nothing to worry about. Staying apart takes away all kinds of security and trust that one feels in regular relationships. Building and sustaining trust is important but can take some time.
Jealousy in relationships often brings its unique set of challenges, even more so when you and your partner are not physically together to assuage each other’s insecurities. The best way to counter it is to prioritize honesty and transparency in the relationship whilst also giving each other enough space.
It can seem like a tricky balance to strike, but it’s the only way to avoid feeling disconnected in a long-distance relationship and at the same time keep the green-eyed monster of jealousy out of the equation.
Related Reading: 10 Tips To Turn Jealousy In Relationships Into Motivation
3. Worrying about the future
One of the most doom-like long-distance relationship problems is uncertainty about the future. It can be anxiety-inducing to plan a future when you already live in a different city than your partner. While you must contemplate it, do not spend every second stressing about it.
Thinking about the prospect of marriage and aligning your careers or even picking a city to live in calls for some long conversations and difficult decisions. This might make you constantly evaluate where and how you should be taking things, taking away from the value of the present.
You can counter a host of long-distance relationship struggles by merely taking things one step at a time, and not overthinking about the future.
4. Loneliness is among the top long-distance relationship problems
Starting a long-distance relationship may seem easy at first but loneliness creeps in soon after. The feeling of loneliness in a long-distance relationship can make you feel like things are falling apart. This might make you feel like you are in a failed relationship.
One of the problems in a long-distance relationship is feeling like you have nobody even when you actually do. The distance can make it difficult to feel safe and surrounded by love. You can address this issue by making sure you and bae spend quality time together every single day.
You don’t have to be constantly virtually connected, but do take out at least half-an-hour each day where you can really connect and focus on one another.
5. You can grow apart and out of sync
Even though you two are together, you still have a lot of time to focus on the other things in your life. Friends, family, career, and hobbies can take up a lot of your energy in any relationship. When you become too focused on those, your relationship could take a backseat.
As you grow as a person, you may not be able to keep tabs on your partner’s growth and experiences. You might become naturally inclined toward individuality and stop incorporating your partner into every single thing. That’s when you begin feeling disconnected in a long-distance relationship.
Trying to share new experiences with each other, and trying new long-distance relationship activities can help you bond and stay connected.
Related Reading: 7 Warning Signs You Are Growing Apart In Your Marriage
6. Miscommunication can augment long-distance relationship problems
The texting era has certainly made communication super easy but has also been the reason for a lot of conflicts and misunderstandings. Conveying tones over text or opening up your heart completely is not easy to do on text.
Certain remarks may convey the wrong feelings and leave your partner spinning in confusion and worry. When repressed, this can accumulate and lead to larger problems that you might miss completely at first. To avoid long-distance relationship communication problems from taking hold, make it a point to talk to your partner if something they said made you feel bad.
Likewise, if they felt thrown by something you said, listen with an open mind and explain your side calmly.
7. Missing physical intimacy can make sustaining LDR hard
In a long-distance relationship, you might be constantly yearning to feel your partner’s touch. This is particularly emerging as one of the pressing long-distance relationship problems during COVID, as travel restrictions and lockdown have forced most couples to go without meeting each other longer than they normally would.
Now that things are opening up again, watching other couples hold hands, cuddle or kiss can be a really difficult experience for you. You may even feel the need to try out an open relationship so you can still have physical experiences with other people.
This is truly a slippery slope because it can be difficult to manage your love and your need for a physical attraction. Unless you and your partner are equally open to the idea, it’s best avoided. Instead, you could use technology to your advantage to overcome long-distance relationship intimacy issues.
There are many apps for long-distance couples that can help you connect physically and sexually, albeit virtually. It may not be the same as having your partner next to you, but it is the next best thing.
8. Feelings of insecurity can sow seeds of doubt
One of the long-distance relationship struggles is having to brush away the constant insecurities. Even if your partner may love you a lot, it is not easy for them to care and be there for you always.
You may even start hiding things from them because sharing every little detail with them can seem like too much work. In turn, this can leave you worried about whether they too are doing the same.
Once the seed of doubt is sown, it can be difficult to overcome feelings of insecurity. It might make you wallow in feelings of worthlessness and despair. The solution, once again, is to make a conscious effort to not let long-distance relationship communication problems mushroom and be as honest and transparent as possible.
9. Space issues turn into long-distance relationship problems
Ensuring the need for space is key to sustaining a long-distance relationship. Space in a relationship or taking time off is not necessarily a bad thing. It allows one to step away and think smartly for themselves, and this can go a long way in avoiding long-distance relationship problems
If you love your partner, you must understand their need for space and their need to be themselves. Always needing their time and attention can lead to conflicts and emotionally suffocate them. Create space to allow them, and yourself, to breathe.
Your relationship is undoubtedly an important part of your life but it is not – and should not be – your whole life.
10. Not being able to share responsibilities
Finances and parenting are some big responsibilities that can appear even bigger in a long-distance relationship. One of the most overbearing long-distance relationship struggles can be trying to juggle too many different roles and responsibilities without your partner by your side.
When your head is not in the right place, it can be difficult to co-parent or co-manage the other important things. Your relationship with your partner needs to be really smooth in order for these other things to go smoothly.
If you’re raising children in a long-distance relationship, don’t hesitate to ask for or enlist all the help you can get from people around you. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child. If you’re the primary caregiver, do make it a point to take some time for yourself every once in a while and indulge in things that bring you joy.
11. Depressive episodes can take a toll on your mental health
If you’re wondering when to let go of a long-distance relationship, it is when the depressive episodes and panic attacks start pouring in. Long-distance relationship depression is a serious problem and is an indication that things are just not going well.
This is the point of no return. Once you are visibly depressed, anxious or stressed, there may not be much you can do to fix your relationship. It might be time to step away. If you’ve been together a long time, this can be a difficult decision to make.
Talk to your partner, tell them how the problems faced in a long-distance relationship are taking a toll on your mental health, and take a break. Whether you want this break to be permanent or temporary is entirely your choice. Don’t let anyone else – including your partner – influence your decision.
12. Feeling emotionally distant can drive you apart
When the emotionality fades away, what else is left in the relationship? One of the long-distance relationship problems is that you or your partner may turn into an emotionally distant person. Dr. Neelu says, ‘You must let go of any relationship when it creates more disturbance and when there is clearly too much disconnect.’
When one is not emotionally invested, there is little reason to keep things going. If you’re confused about when to call it quits in a long-distance relationship, it is probably when you stop being emotionally attached to them.
Feeling disconnected in a long-distance relationship is not unusual. But if you feel more out of sync than connected, it can be an ominous sign that your partnership has run its course.
13. Dealing with a possessive partner can be overwhelming
Your partner may become more possessive in a long-distance relationship than they are whenever you’re both together. It’s not hard to see why. One of the harsh facts of long-distance relationships is that being physically apart can make even the most level-headed person paranoid.
It is easy to panic about your partner’s whereabouts and activities when they are so far away from you. Dr Neelu suggests, “Having faith to not be overbearing and having trust is key to surviving a long-distance relationship.”
If your partner is internally scared all the time, it will result in possessive and suffocating behaviors. It may only be a phase but it can be a rough one to get through. Your best bet in such a situation is to do what you can to reassure them, but the onus of reining in these negative thoughts is really on them.
14. Resistance to change counts among long-distance relationship problems
When people are far away from each other, there are changes going on in each person’s life that the other person is not able to witness. It could be a stark shift in careers, or even making new lifestyle choices or finding a new residence.
However, these things are never anticipated by the other person. So they may appear sudden, leaving you feeling disconnected in a long-distance relationship. You might even feel like you do not know them anymore or vice-versa. While the changes may be benign in nature, they could seem threatening.
A simple solution to this seemingly complex long-distance relationship problem is to always keep each other in the loop about decisions big and small. Whether you’re trying the Keto diet or quitting your job, always talk to your partner before making a decision.
15. Making time for traveling or lack thereof
Being in a long-distance relationship means that you must now be ready to travel with your partner. Hopping on flights on free weekends or planning elaborately long vacations to Cancun, you will be seeing the airport a lot.
The fact that you and your partner may not have been able to do that because of the raging pandemic can be frustrating. At the moment, all you can do is find solace in knowing that you’re not alone in this. It is one of the most common long-distance relationship problems during COVID.
Even in a non-pandemic setting, it can be challenging to always find the time or money to travel. You might not be able to sacrifice every Saturday family dinner in order to fly to see your loved one. Managing your work and life with traveling can be a major struggle. But with some smart planning, you can pull it off.
Related Reading: Travel for two: Going away on a luxury vacation
16. Reconnecting might be different
Constantly, oscillating between being apart and together can have its own consequences. After those first few days or hours of heady romance and hot, steamy sex, you may feel out of sync with your partner. That’s because our energies often change with our movements and our emotions are also not stagnant.
Moving in and out of one’s space repeatedly can give birth to lots of mixed emotions of being happy, sad, fearful and insecure. Nobody can robotically be happy one day and then just go back to being the way it was once you are separated again.
17. Time will always be scarce
Dr. Khanna suggests that time management further poses a major issue to find common spaces to connect with each other. Whether it is the coffee-break phone conversation or your three-day trip to see your boyfriend, you might never see time the same way again.
The clock might always be ticking inside your mind. This can make one feel super anxious all the time because you feel the need to save a relationship. This constant worry can also ruin the actual physical time that you spend together. You will always be forced to wonder what it’ll be like when you get back on the train to go home and you will be all by yourself again.
A promise and tentative plan to meet again can help ease some of this anxiousness and that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, if not eliminate it altogether.
18. You will be annoyed with other couples
Watching other couples living it up might make you feel jealous in a way that is unfair to them. Looking at them might also make you want more from your own relationship which can induce unnecessary expectations.
In no situation ever, should another couple be used as a yardstick to measure the success of one’s own relationship. We do not know the troubles others are facing and we should just focus on our own.
Long-distance relationship problems can seem daunting and overwhelming at the outset. But together, you and your partner can find a way around them. Open and honest communication, combined with generous amounts of empathy and understanding, is what it takes to not let problems faced in a long-distance relationship drive you apart.
By talking things out, expressing yourself, being honest and willing to listen to the other person. You must keep putting yourself in the other person’s shoes if you want to make a long-distance relationship work.
The hardest part is missing your partner’s physical presence. Moreover, a lot of anxiety also comes in long-distance relationships from worrying about your partner and missing them.
You might feel lonely more often and question your relationship. You will also have to master the art of time management. You will miss your partner often and even undergo bouts of jealousy and doubt.
This is because most couples are unable to align their end goals with each other. It is important to practice healthy communication, conflict resolution and establish trust.