Relationships are hard, and long-distance relationships are even harder. It takes continuous effort to make LDRs work. But every once in awhile, things go a little sour, and you need a reality check. There are certain signs that you should pick up on and really stop to think about. No need to be scared. It doesn’t always mean that the end of the relationship is near. Sometimes we just get a little caught up in our lives, and the problem is repairable.

Read on to learn more about these telltale signs and red flags in long-distance relationship — and how to fix them.

You and your partner miss Skype dates — more often than not.

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As we all know, communication is the No. 1 thing to maintain in order to make a long-distance relationship work. Ultimately, without making an effort to communicate with your partner on a daily basis, your LDR is pretty much doomed. I am not saying that you should talk on Skype for hours on end every single day of the week, but I am saying that you need to communicate. And although it’s important to keep up with each other through text messages, emails and Snapchat every day, it’s also very important to set up at least a couple of Skype dates each week.

If you frequently miss these video chat dates with your partner, you might find yourself frustrated with your relationship. You miss your partner more than you would if you actually got to spend some quality time with them each week. That being said, if you feel like you no longer want to spend time with your partner on Skype or another video platform, you should probably ask yourself whether or not you really want to stay in this relationship. In that case, it’s time for a serious talk.

If the problem lies on the other end, you need to ask them what’s the matter. It’s not always the most serious thing. Sometimes either you or your partner are just so busy with hustling their life that they find it hard to squeeze in any time with you. The key here is to make time. Ask your partner to sit down with you just for a couple of minutes and check each other’s calendars for some free, quality time with each other. Even if you manage to fit in just an hour of Skyping on a weekend, that’s still a step in the right direction.

You fight about things that don’t really matter.

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This is one frustrating issue! My partner and I don’t fight very often, and when we do, it’s about little, insignificant things that throw us off. If you find that you and your SO are fighting all the time about how they always get to pick the movie or how you eat a little too loudly on the phone, you guys need to sit down and talk. I said communication is important, and I truly mean it.

Often the culprit of these fights is in the fact that you’re missing each other. You’re frustrated and sad about the fact that you can’t spend days cuddling your loved one or holding their hand. But you need to see past that and understand that getting angry at your partner will not solve that problem. Understanding that what you’re really frustrated about is the distance is the key to solving this problem.

Fighting is obviously normal, and all couples do it. But fighting over stupid, little things gets old quickly, and you might start dreading being with your partner, fearing that you will end up fighting about irrelevant matters. The only way to fix this is to get to the back of your mind and realize what’s really driving you up the wall. Usually, you can blame the distance.

You and your partner won’t talk about your future together.

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For me, I find that one of the most important ways to deal with the frustration of not being together is to talk about and plan our future together. My boyfriend and I won’t be closing the distance very soon, but we frequently talk about our future together in person. Not just closing the distance and what happens after that but also our future trips to see each other. These conversations are what keep us thriving and make us realize that all of this pain is totally, definitely worth it.

If you don’t talk about your future together, you are putting a strain on your relationship. It’s hard to keep on going in an LDR if you don’t know what is going to happen in the future. It’s hard to make any plans in your personal life if you don’t know where your relationship might be leading you. You’re also risking that you and your partner don’t want the same things, but it goes unnoticed because you’ve never talked about it. Who’s moving for whom? Are there going to be kids involved? When will you close the distance?

The only way to fix this is to just talk about it. You can start slowly. There is no need to rush to naming your babies! If you both feel like your futures don’t mesh, you probably need to schedule time for that serious talk again.

You have some serious trust issues.

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If you or your partner are the kinds of people who stalk each other on social media, get jealous easily when they spend time with their friends or have general anxiety when thinking about them going out without you, it’s definitely taking its toll on your health and your relationship. It can be overwhelming if you feel like you cannot trust your partner or if they suspect that you aren’t a trustworthy companion.

Like in all relationships, trust is a very important matter. It can either make or break the deal. I know I have said this before, but it is so important that I will say it again: TALK! There are no two ways around it. Prove each other trustworthy. You can voice your concerns to your partner, and they can reassure you that everything is fine. Maybe you can request for checkups during parties if that makes you feel better.

Remember that jealousy isn’t love. Also remember that no one in their right mind would stay in a long-distance relationship and go through all the hardships for a little time together in turn if they didn’t love you. Remember that love means respect. It means that you are honest with each other. You need to build trust in order for things to work out — and this is especially important in a long-distance relationship.

You’re not making an effort to meet each other.

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The best thing about LDRs is the time you finally get to spend together in person. It’s something that I look forward to most every single night I close my eyes. Similarly to planning your future, making an effort to see each other is crucial for a long-distance couple.

I get it. It takes a lot of effort to make visits happen. You need to figure out holidays, money, tickets, accommodation, planes, trains and automobiles. But it’s absolutely worth all the hassle. However, maybe you find yourself in a situation where neither of you are really actively working toward making a visit happen. You need to sit down again and ask yourself a question: “Do I not want to see my SO?” If you don’t know your answer, dig deeper.

If you’re anxious about travel and finances, tell your partner about it. It’s important that they know how you’re feeling and that they can help you solve this problem. Maybe they can come see you instead? Even if you’re not able to see each other in the foreseeable future (say, within six months), you can still make an effort toward it. Start saving money for the trip. We all know how expensive it can get. However, it feels good to know that you will be seeing your partner!

Have you experienced any of these red flags? How did you deal with them? Share in the comments below!

Written by Anna
Anna is a bibliophile and soon-to-be English student originally from Finland but moving to Scotland in autumn 2016. Her movie-loving boyfriend lives in California, and they’ve been successfully dating since 2013.

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