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How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship

by Anna3510

It’s a bad idea to have long-distance relationships. But you should learn How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship. I have never met someone who said “Yeah my boyfriend lives 14 hour away in Finland. It’s great!” I was shocked to discover that long-distance relationships are a disaster because love disappears. I get it. I have been there. Each of my significant relationships involved long distance. I was a young man terrified of making a commitment. I realized that it was impossible for me to fall in love with a girl more than 500 miles away. 

Here’s my advice for surviving long-distance relationship:


The constant uncertainty about everything is one of the main reasons long-distance relationships are destroyed. These questions can take over one’s thoughts. Uncertainty can make it difficult to think clearly. Perhaps we are both terrible for each other, but I don’t know.

These uncertainties can become legitimate existential crises if they are not addressed immediately.

It is crucial that both of you look forward to a date when trying to make a long-distance relationship work. This will usually be your next chance to meet each other. It can also be a major life moment, such as applying for jobs in another city or looking at apartments that you might both like, or even a vacation.

If you don’t have something to look forward too, it’s harder to keep the same optimism and enthusiasm in your relationship. In a long-distance relationship, growth is even more important. You must have a common goal. There must be a cause that unites all of you. You must have a converging path. You will eventually drift apart if you don’t.


It can take many forms in a long-distance relationship. Sometimes, this can manifest itself in a long-distance relationship as an extreme jealousy or obsession. I need to know who this Dan guy is and why he is posting on your Facebook wall. Oh, he is your stepbrother. I didn’t know that you had a stepbrother. Why didn’t I know you had a stepbrother. Is there something you are hiding from me? Okay, I may not have been listening when you said it, but I don’t want Dan hanging out with me.

Sometimes, people can become too critical and neurotic, to the point that any small mistake could spell doom for the relationship. The power goes out, and the partner misses the nightly Skype call. This is the end of the relationship, he has forgotten all about me.

Some people go the other way and begin to think of their partner as perfect.5 It’s easy for you to forget the annoying parts of your partner’s personality. It’s nice to think that there is a picture-perfect partner out there, “the one”, and that it’s only the logistical issues that keep you apart.

These irrational fantasies can be very harmful. It’s important to be skeptical of your feelings when you are stuck in a long-distance situation. You don’t really know what’s happening and it’s important to remember that you are not able to predict what will happen. Talking to your partner about how they feel and what you feel is the best thing you can to do.


Many long distance couples make rules about how many calls they can have or when they must talk each night. This behavior is easy to find online.

While this approach might work for some people it is not the best. I believe communication should be organic. Talk to your partner when you feel like it, not because you need to. Even if it means that you have to go a few days without speaking, so be it. People get busy, after all. It is quite healthy to have a few days off from work every now and again.

Communication is essential in any relationship. Two things can happen when you force communication. The first is that you will have days where you don’t want to talk (or feel like talking) and you’ll start to resent your partner. You are invited to every shitty marital ever.8

This type of uninspired and filler-filled communication can often cause more problems than it solves. You should hang up if your partner is more interested in your tax returns than you are in catching up on your day. Overexposure is a real thing.

This resentment then sparks stupid fights which almost always devolve into some form of, “I’m sacrificing more than you are!” “No, I’m sacrificing more than you are!” And playing the I-sacrificed-more-than-you game never solved anything.


Hope is essential for a long-distance relationship to survive. There must be hope that both of them will be reunited and have a Happily Ever afterTM.

Everything else without a shared vision of Happily Ever after will soon feel meaningless.

Love is not enough

Both of you need to share life visions, values, and common interests. No matter how much they love one another, if she takes a 10-year contract to work for the Singaporean government and he is dogsledding around polar ice caps, there is no hope for their relationship.

You must share a vision for the future together. But, you must also feel like you are working towards that vision. He or she may be in Los Angeles, but he or she is in New York. Nothing will destroy a relationship quicker than one of you applying for jobs in London. The other person in Hong Kong. It wasn’t an easy conversation, but it was something we needed to have if we wanted to keep going. Six months later, we made the decision to return to Brazil with her to help us find a long-term plan.

Both partners must put their money where there genitals. Long-distance relationships will only work if they are willing to invest. That sounds strange. . . But what I really mean is that it must be a logistical and life-rearranging commitment. You end up with a strange dynamic in which the distance relationship forces you make more significant commitments towards someone to whom you haven’t had much exposure than you would to in a regular relationship. It’s similar to buying a car if you have only seen a photo of it.

Is it worth the effort?

This is the most common question I receive from readers. It’s worth it on one level. Even if you end up in a relationship that is not working out, you will still have learned a lot about yourself and intimacy.

It’s difficult to know on another level. You don’t know the full reality of a long-distance relationship. Instead, you have a vague idea about what it is like to be in that situation. You may know a little about their personalities and attractive qualities but not the whole truth. It’s not possible to know their ticks. You don’t know how they react to each other.

It’s easy to romanticize and idealize someone when they are apart. It is easy to forget the important, but mundane differences. It is easy to lose sight of the simple, yet important, truths within our hearts and get lost in the drama of our minds. It can work. It can. Is it possible? Usually, no. However, this is true for most relationships.10 But that doesn’t mean we should never try.

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