9 Things That Kill Long-Distance Relationships

November 23, 2022 |
things that kill long distance relationships
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Relationships are difficult as it is, they require a lot of attention, love, and care. And then distance gets added to the equation, and your relationship complicates tenfold. Yet contrary to popular belief, distance is not what kills long-distance relationships. It might act as a catalyst or a contributing cause but it is not completely at fault all the time. 

The mere possibility of an LDR can shake up the strongest relationships out there. If you’re here reading this, you may have said things along the lines of “I love him, but I can’t do long-distance” or “I can’t deal with being away from her for so long, it is not something I can do”. And no one can blame you for it, it is very hard to stay away from a loved one over such long periods. After all, a survey suggests that around 40% of LDRs do not make it. So what are the things that kill long-distance relationships? Let us dig a little deeper to find out.  

9 Things That Kill Long-Distance Relationships

Relationships tend to get tricky over time and long-distance relationships are no exception to this phenomenon. LDRs can get all kinds of tricky if not tended to properly. According to the above survey, here’s one of the harsh facts about long-distance relationships: they face lack of physical intimacy as their biggest challenge (as said by 66% of respondents) with 31% saying they missed sex the most. It further says, “But if your long-distance relationship can survive the eight-month milestone, it gets a lot easier.”

Also, small issues in a long-distance relationship, that crop up might seem trivial in the beginning but over time they can destroy a long-distance relationship. A couple needs to keep an eye out for these issues and resolve them before they pile up. Below is a list of what kills long-distance relationships.

1.     You are glued to your partner virtually

Communication is important in a relationship. In a long-distance relationship, the importance becomes tenfold. But communication doesn’t mean you are glued to your phone, texting or calling your partner all the time, ignoring everything else and the people in your life, and voluntarily isolating yourself. Things that ruin a long-distance relationship are constant togetherness and no concept of mutual space.

No matter whether you are in a long-distance or a local relationship, there will come a time when you will run out of words. And while in a local relationship, you can still enjoy each other’s company in silence, but this same silence becomes deafening in an LDR. Talk to your partner by all means, but also take time out to grow as your own person. Remember at the end of the day you are the one responsible for your happiness.  

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2.     Unresolved fights destroy a long-distance relationship

One of the things that ruins a long-distance relationship is unhealthy conflict resolution. You miss your partner so much and you are meeting them after ages. It is normal to want to hold off any unpleasantness and sometimes entirely let go of your upset. In a study conducted on 385 participants, the researchers found that video chat resulted in the most validating conflict style. Email was correlated with a hostile conflict style, and phone calls resulted in a mix of volatile and hostile conflict styles. Face-to-face conflict was associated with avoidance, as couples do not want to argue in the little time they have together. Understandable, but not healthy.

Fights are normal in every relationship, and to an extent, healthy. However, there is nothing more damaging to a relationship where the conflicts are swept under the rug. Healthy conflict resolution and using the right medium are very important details to make a relationship last and should not be compromised on. Even if it means fighting a little during your time together.

3.     You have different expectations from the relationship

Long-distance relationships become difficult when both partners expect different things from the relationship. While one partner might see this as a positive opportunity to work on themselves, the other partner might be more focused on the negative aspects of the LDR. The latter would focus on how they can’t be together as much as they would like, and will have frequent thoughts like “This long-distance relationship is killing me”.

It is very important to air out what you want in a relationship you and your partner have and reach an agreement. Maybe you want texts and calls every day but your partner is completely okay with talking to you properly once a week. Or you might be okay meeting up once in 3 months but your partner wants to see you more often. You must talk it out and reach an arrangement both of you agree on. It is differences like these that lead to resentment and what kills long-distance relationships.

Related Reading: Expectations In Relationships: The Right Way To Manage Them

4.     Insecurities can drive you apart

Now this one requires a little introspection because here are some unpopular harsh facts, long-distance relationships are not meant for you if you get insecure rather easily. If you are a jealous partner who perceives every other person as competition, then a long-distance relationship will do a number on both you and your partner. A little faith is required in every relationship and more so in an LDR where you can’t be with your partner a lot.

As per the data collected from a study done on 311 participants, it was seen that couples who didn’t meet face to face often had a lot of trust issues. It says, “Those in LDRs with ‘some’ face‐to‐face contact were significantly more certain of their relationships than were those in LDRs without face‐to‐face contact.” So if you can’t meet your partner enough and if you’re the jealous type, you will never have a moment’s peace, always thinking your partner is cheating on you. And your partner will get tired of justifying every word and action. Honestly, no one likes to be constantly suspected and falsely accused of cheating. These are the behaviors that ultimately destroy a long-distance relationship.

5.     You stop doing things together

Have you ever wondered: “Why do people lose interest in long-distance relationship?” The best thing about an LDR is that you get ample time to work on yourself. All the time that is not being spent on going on dates leaves you room for self-growth. But here’s the flip side: this ample time to do your own thing is one of the things that ruins a long-distance relationship.

Of course, self-growth is essential. However, one of the things that kills a long-distance relationship is not participating in activities together. It could be playing an online game together or even picking up the same skill as playing an instrument. When the focus of growth is entirely on oneself, there are chances you and your partner might start drifting apart and end up having nothing in common.

Stories on long distance relationships

6.     What kills long-distance relationships? No end date

Claire, a 28-year old lawyer from Florida, had been in a long-distance relationship with Joe for 2 years and the long-distance part was soon coming to an end. When she excitedly called Joe to tell him she would be waiting at the airport to pick him up, Joe told her he won’t be able to make it because his company was sending him to Korea to start their new project. When she asked him when he would be back, he said he wasn’t sure and it might take a couple of years.

Claire was devastated. She decided to break it off with Joe and told him, “This long-distance relationship is killing me. And I see no end here.” Claire explained to us, “I love him, but I can’t do long-distance relationship indefinitely. I need my partner to be with me and not knowing when will he be back, scares me.” She is not alone here. According to a study, nearly one-third of long-distance relationships end because plans changed suddenly and there was no fixed end date for the ‘long-distance’ part of the relationship.

7.     The threat of infidelity

Nothing damages a relationship more than infidelity. You begin to question everything, the relationship, your partner’s feelings toward you, and even your own self-worth. And a mere hint of cheating in a long-distance relationship can create havoc.

It is completely normal to find someone attractive, but if you find yourself wanting to act on the attraction or if you feel you are more emotionally invested in this other person than your own partner, then it is a sign you are straying from your relationship. This isn’t about the distance though. Plenty of cases of infidelity happen among couples who stay close to or with each other. An LDR just acts as a contributor; the degree of commitment always depends on the people involved.

Related Reading: 11 Common Reasons People Cheat In Relationships

8.     Letting the relationship become boring

Why do people lose interest in long-distance relationships? Most relationships lose their brilliance with time. And after a while boredom does set in. And in a relationship which is primarily dependent on communication, with very little time spent on doing things together, boredom creeps in rather quickly. After all, there will come a time when you have run out of stories to tell and exhausted all your discussions regarding the origin of the universe and gender identity. What do you do then?

Clearly, you forgot that it is important to spend quality time together. Playing multiplayer games, going on virtual dates, or just reading out a book to your partner, all are examples of things couples can do in long-distance relationships to keep boredom in relationships at bay.

9.     Taking each other for granted is one of the things that kills long-distance relationships 

The only people you can take for granted are the ones you trust the most. You trust them to have your back, you trust them to be there for you in your time of need. And to an extent, it does feel good to be the person who can be depended on.  However, if you are taken for granted all the time, then it can lead to a lot of resentment between the couple.

Here’s what kills long-distance relationships. Not calling or texting when you promised, delaying plans to meet up, and not communicating, or giving attention – these are the small ways that couples take each other for granted in LDRs. These acts might seem rather trivial once in a while but they can be extremely damaging over a long term.

harsh facts long-distance relationships
A couple having a virtual date over video call

When To Call It Quits In A Long-Distance Relationship?

Thanks to the technology that we have today, distance is not that big of a problem anymore. Even if you are unable to meet your boo, you can at least see them over a video call when you miss them a lot. According to a survey, 55% of Americans that have been in an LDR said that their time apart actually made them feel closer to their partner in the long run. Another 81% said that being in a long-distance relationship made real-life visits a lot more intimate than usual, due to the speciality of the occasion.

But if you don’t resonate with these numbers and have reached the dreaded “This long-distance relationship is killing me” stage, then read ahead. When you started this relationship, you had hoped that your love for each other would overcome the trials of distance. But sometimes a relationship can get so damaged that no matter how hard we try, we can’t save it. In such situations, the best way to deal with a long-distance relationship is to call it quits. Here are some instances where your relationship is beyond repair.

1.     When you are unhappy in the relationship

It is one thing to be unhappy because you miss your boo, but you can at least do something about it. You can talk to them, see them on video calls, and meet up whenever possible. All these things help you feel better.

But if the prospect of meeting or talking to your partner doesn’t get you excited, if you see their calls and you don’t feel like picking up, or if your specific love language is not satisfied due to the distance, then that shows you are in an unhappy relationship, and it is better not to drag it on.

2.     When you and your partner have different goals

One of the things that kills a long-distance relationship is the difference in what you want out of it. If you are expecting that you will be reunited after a few years of long-distance, but your partner has no fixed date of returning and doesn’t mind continuing indefinitely, then in such situations, it is best to end the relationship.

Related Reading: 17 Signs You Are In An Incompatible Relationship

3.     When your partner stops investing in the relationship

The reason that an LDR is so difficult is that you miss your loved one a lot and sometimes, despite our best efforts of trying to be sane, uncertainties in a relationship creep in. And this can be dealt with by giving your partner lots of love, attention, and time. You need to put in the effort in the relationship to make your partner feel secure. That’s the best way to deal with long-distance relationship worries.   

But if your partner cannot be bothered to put in this little bit of effort, then you really need to rethink this relationship.

Infographic on things that kill a long-distance relationship
Infographic on things that kill a long-distance relationship

4.     When your partner is not the first person to get an update on your life

One major sign your long-distance relationship is in its last stages is that when you get good/bad news and you want to share it with someone, the first person who pops into your head is not your partner.

Our partners are like our best friends, they are the first person who we speak to about all that is happening in our life. If your partner has stopped being the first point of contact to share important updates, then it is a sign that your relationship is already over.

Key Pointers

  • According to a study conducted around 40% of long-distance relationships never make it to the end
  • Unplanned changes and indefinite waiting are things that kill a long-distance relationship
  • Letting insecurities and unresolved issues fester can overshadow your love for each other

It is never one thing that destroys an LDR, instead, it is a series of small acts. However, neglect, inconsideration, infidelity, and insecurities are some of the common problems that kill long-distance relationships. The good news is that these are things that can be sorted if caught and worked upon early on.

So now that you are aware of what kills long-distance relationships, here’s hoping this helps you save yours.


1.  How long can a long-distance relationship last without seeing each other?

An average long-distance relationship lasts about  14 months in which couples meet up about 1.5 times a month. However, it is entirely dependent on the couple. While some couples can stay for months without seeing each other, some need to meet their partner a lot more.

2.  Is it selfish to not want a long-distance relationship?

It is not selfish at all. A long-distance relationship is not everyone’s cup of tea as it can have a lot of complications like insecurities, an unfulfillment of love languages, and unresolved issues that can make the relationship stressful.

If you are a person who has trust issues and tends to get insecure, then an LDR is not meant for you. You will spend the entire duration of the relationship being suspicious, which can cause your partner to resent you in the long run.

3. Does love fade away in a long-distance relationship?

Romantic love only lasts for about a year, post that companionship comes into the picture. For a long-distance relationship, the romance lasts a bit longer as compared to other relationships. Distance makes the heart grow fonder and the novelty of the dynamic remains longer since the couples are not able to see each other very often.

However, if a person doesn’t give their LDR enough time and attention, then the relationship suffers immensely and might not last long at all. It all depends on how much effort one is willing to invest in it.

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