There are wrongdoings that will kill any relationship, and then there are crimes unique to long-distance relationships. I’ve had to learn about some of these the hard way: My first relationship ever was a long-distance relationship, but luckily, three and a half years later, here we are.
Having distance be a part of my first relationship wasn’t easy. It was like skipping the tutorial and all of the levels in a video game to go head to head with the Boss. A long-distance relationship requires 10 times more effort, trust and communication than a regular relationship. I wish I had had someone to give me guidance on what to do or what not to do in a relationship, much less a long-distance one.
That’s why I’m here: to give you the basics of what I’ve learned about the seven deadly mistakes that could potentially end your long-distance relationship.
7 Deadly Mistakes of LDR
Comparing your relationship with other people’s relationships
Constantly comparing your relationship with other people’s relationships only makes your partner feel horrible for not being able to give you what you want in the relationship. Be thankful for what you have, and understand that you’re not the only one dealing with the distance—your partner is, too.
Being intimate with another person
Obviously don’t “Netflix and chill” with another person. But what might not be so obvious is that you can cheat by being emotionally intimate with someone. There will be times when you might not have much time to spend with your significant other on romantic Skype dates. But that isn’t an excuse fill that void with the attention of another potential love interest. Your significant other might still consider that cheating, even if nothing sexual was involved.
Letting your relationship get boring
Because there are oceans between you and only technology to bridge the gap, boredom can silently creep into a long-distance relationship. Sure, the first few weeks were lovely—you had so much to talk about as you were getting to know each other—but a common problem that people in long-distance relationships face is running out of things to say. Don’t constrain your relationship to just texting. Be creative, and find new ways to spend time together.
Not communicating or listening properly
During conflicts, some people run their mouth and don’t listen while others stay quiet and don’t talk at all. Both are bad. For one, if all you’re doing is blabbing your mouth, then you’re not being respectful of your significant other’s feelings and what they have to say. On the flip side, if you’re just sitting there not expressing your feelings, then not only will nothing be resolved, but also those feelings will probably be bottled up and will explode on another day. Learn how to handle conflict even when you’re 1,000 miles apart.
Being in love with the idea of love
You need to know that there will be ups and downs in your relationship. You are both human with your own personalities and flaws. There will be times when you mess up, and other times when they mess up. There will also be times when your significant other is going through a rough time, so they won’t be able to be as romantic or attentive to you. It’s important that you are in love with them and not just the idea of them.
Not giving enough time to your partner—or giving too much time
Why bother being in a relationship if you’re not willing to put time into it? A relationship is a commitment, and you can’t neglect it and expect your relationship to live. On the flip side, you cannot spend every hour, every minute or every second with your significant other—no matter how much some of us might want to. Make sure you talk at least once every few days, and plan your Skype dates ahead of time so you’re on the same page.
Denying that you’re wrong and not taking responsibility
No one said swallowing your pride was easy. But think of it this way: Is protecting your own pride worth losing your relationship? By repeatedly denying that what you did to your significant other was wrong, you are belittling them and invalidating their feelings. Acknowledge that you hurt them, and apologize. (Your apology shouldn’t include the word “but.”
The Hardest Thing in a Long-Distance Relationship
The hardest thing in a long-distance relationship can vary from person to person, but some common challenges include:
- Physical Separation: Being physically apart from your partner, especially for extended periods, can be incredibly tough.
- Time Zone Differences: Dealing with different time zones can make coordinating schedules and communication tricky.
- Loneliness: Feeling lonely or isolated due to the absence of your partner’s physical presence can be emotionally challenging.
- Trust Issues: Trusting your partner completely when you can’t always be there to see their actions and choices can be a significant hurdle.
- Communication Struggles: Overcoming communication barriers, such as language differences or misinterpretations, can be frustrating.
- Missed Milestones: Not being able to share in important life events or special occasions can be emotionally painful.
Signs That Suggest It’s Time to End a Long-Distance Relationship
Deciding when to call it quits in a long-distance relationship can be a difficult and personal decision. Here are some signs and situations that may indicate it’s time to end the relationship:
- Communication Breakdown: If you can’t remember the last time you had a decent conversation with your partner because communication has become as rare as a unicorn sighting, it might be time to reconsider.
- Trust Issues: When your trust-o-meter is running on empty because of constant doubts, jealousy, or sneaky behavior, it’s a sign you might want to hit the exit.
- Emotional Disconnect: If you’re feeling as emotionally connected as a brick wall and no amount of effort seems to reignite that spark, it could be time to hang up the LDR jersey.
- Lack of Future Plans: When you and your partner aren’t even making vague plans about your future together, and it feels like you’re stuck in relationship limbo, it’s worth thinking about.
- Frequent Arguments: If you find yourself in endless arguments, and your lovey-dovey conversations have turned into constant bickering sessions, it might be a sign that the magic has fizzled out.
- Feeling Lonely and Unfulfilled: If you’re feeling lonelier with your partner than you do when you’re actually alone, something’s definitely off-kilter.
Repeated Betrayals: If your partner has betrayed your trust one too many times, and it feels like your heart’s been run over by a truck, maybe it’s time to hit the brakes.