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Communication Problems in a Long Distance Relationship LDR, How to Fix Them

This is a full fledged article on how to fix communication problems in a long distance relationship.

It includes the meaning, struggles and problems, dangerous situations, do(s) and don’t (s) and up to 40 tips from my LDR experience from start to finish.

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To avoid confusion, here are the meanings of the two acronyms I have used all through this article.

SO – the abbreviation for Significant Other which could mean a spouse, life partner, or someone in a long-term, committed relationship


LDR(s) – Long Distance Relationship(s)

What is Long Distance Relationship?

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long-distance relationship (LDR) or long-distance romantic relationship LDRR is an intimate relationship between partners who are geographically separated from one another.

It is a unique connection between two souls to the next level. A level of connect that you cannot have with anyone else of the same category.

Your bonding can be with your parents, with your sibling, pet, partner, with someone whom you have not met yet, etc.

This Bonding develops with time and you soon get comfortable and accustomed to each other.

In their absence, when you are unable to spend time with each other, you feel that something is missing.

You are no longer at peace; feel uncomfortable; and miss their company.

It’s not easy to carry on with your regular activities in a smooth manner as you used to in their presence.

Does Long Distance Relationship (LDR) work?

A Big YES! Long-distance relationships do work! Provided that both parties know and understand what it takes to make it work.

You will hear a lot of people saying that long distance relationships are not meant to last. Since you are not together, eventually your priorities change and you will come to the breaking point where you have no choice but to end the relationship altogether.

Even your friends and family might discourage having a long distance relationship because, one of the two people don’t take it seriously and then the one who truly wanted it to work remains heartbroken.

Sometimes people are separated by financial or professional obligations.

I have been in multiple LDRs of both types, for various reasons.

How can you make it work?

Be sure you want it. Distance is hard.

Almost every kind of challenge becomes harder. That’s why some people just break up when one needs, or strongly desires, to move.

That’s why many people don’t start relationships beyond a certain distance. But if the other person is interesting enough that you think you can rise to the challenge, maybe try it.

Begin with the end in mind

Unless you’re one of those rare birds who can handle indefinite separation, LDR is usually a means to an end – again, whether you started out in a more traditional relationship or not.

Either you’re so interested in someone that you pursue them from afar, or you begin a relationship and life circumstances force you to choose between ending it and continuing via distance.

Either way, most of us need to have some hope of ending up in the same town, maybe under the same roof, etc.

Be clear about your goal for this, what you would each need to do to make it happen, and how long it is likely to take.

What is the most dangerous situation in long distance relationships LDRs?

Simply put, the lack of physical intimacy.

No matter how explicit you are with video calls (Skype, FaceTime, whatever) speaking as someone currently enduring the 4th year of LDR, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s impossible to truly share your passion with your partner.

I believe that over time, the need to feel the heat of intimacy can drive a person to distraction. Let’s use the following not-so-hypothetical scenario as an example…

Assuming your relationship started out on solid foundations, you love each other and for whatever reason a LDR has been forced upon you.

At first everything is fine, you talk everyday on the phone and most times the call ends with … well, you know, a happy ending.

But over time you start to feel dissatisfied, frustrated or bored even, that as fun and exciting phone/video sex is, it’s not the same as being there in bed together.

And with that comes disillusion and doubt whether you can last out the time waiting until you can be together for real again.

And with those feelings, starts to come mistrust and fear that your partner is thinking the same way.

It could be temptation by that nice guy at the office who’s always friendly and flirty, or that pretty girl that catches your eye every morning on the bus to work.

Before you know it, the thrill of making out with someone new becomes overwhelming and no matter how committed you are to your partner, the simple fact is they’re not there to satisfy your physical intimate needs.

We’re only human after all and some would say we’re not suited to monogamy in any case, never mind when there’s 1000’s of kilometres separating us from our loved one.

So for mine, that’s the hardest and most dangerous situation in a long distance relationship.

Additionally, the dangerous situations in LDR are :

When there is no communication at all:

  • You cannot go to them instantly.
  • You keep praying somewhere in your mind that everything is good.
  • You just start screaming from inside.
  • You start getting angry.

When you get to know he/she is cheating:

  • You don’t know how to react.
  • You don’t know how to tell anyone else.
  • You don’t know how to confront them.

When you want to do breakup:

  • You don’t know how to start.
  • You are searching for the right time.
  • You don’t how the person will react and will not do anything in rash.

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What are the common struggles or problems that Long Distance Relationships (LDRs) face?

Loneliness and depression

You’re meant to be together, but you’re so far apart. Everyday things just aren’t fun anymore without your special someone at your side.

Jealousy and suspicion

During the time you spend away from each other, do you worry that you might not be the only one in his or her life?

Is the love of your life really everything he or she claims to be? Although some jealousy is natural, without an easy way to reassure yourself that all is indeed well, the feeling can eat you alive.

Time and expenses

One or both of you will have to travel every time you meet. Can you afford to pay your share of the travel expenses without turning your financial life into a shambles?

Can you afford to take time from work and other obligations without repercussions?

Values and expectations

It’s easy to assume that you are both seeking the same thing in a relationship, and share similar values.

Yet differences in culture — even a difference in background or education — can lead to confusion and conflict, even when you think you have much in common.

What are My 40 tips for long-distance Relationships (LDRs)? 

While being in a long-distance relationship, I wasn’t given any tips, I had to improvise and try to keep a positive mind.

I am in long distance relationship, I am 3900 km away from my love. We are still together, through the happy and hard time. These are what I value from my experience.

Not all things that glitter are gold

I purposefully put this point at number 1 because it is very crucial. I know this is a really tired saying, but believe me, it’s incredibly true.

An LDR makes a person VERY prone to glossing over serious personality defects in their SO, ignoring warning signs, overlooking bad behavior, and generally wearing rose-colored glasses.

If you’re still a teen, forget long distance relationships

If you’re still a teen, forget long distance #relationships Click To Tweet

Focus local. You haven’t the money, the freedom to be able to travel just like that. Your resources are limited. So forget it.

Focus local because no way you can manage this especially when you do need to meet the person. You haven’t the patience for this.

Find out if you’re compatible early on

Forget fixing and changing the person. If you do not know what you want in a relationship, you shouldn’t be even trying this.

Say “Goodnight” and “Good Morning” Everyday

This may be something you already do every day without even thinking. Some couples, however, may not be doing this.

It is very important to touch base with your partner each morning and each evening.

Couples that live together have the benefit of seeing one another every day at the start and at the end.

Long-distance couples need to put in the extra effort to call and communicate to their partner to say “goodnight” or “good morning.”

You want one another to know that your partner is the first thing on your mind in the morning and the last thing on your mind at night.

Be ready to grow

Prepare your mind to grow. Probably the person you are now is not ready for all the emotional challenges you’ll have to face.

A long distance relationship gives you the opportunity to become a better and more mature person.

Embrace it and be ready to be out of your comfort zone. You’ll have to learn how to better control your emotions and how to truly trust another person.

Be aware of your partner’s feeling

At times you will feel unloved and stressed out and you blame your feelings on the fact that you’re in a long-distance relationship.

But let me just say, if you are feeling stressed out, so is your partner.

My advice to overcome this is to express your feelings to your partner in a very positive way.

Plan With An Online Calendar

Nearly everyone has an online calendar, take advantage of the simplicity that a joined calendar will bring to your relationship.

You can plan when your next visit will be, who will go, where to go, and so forth.

As well as planning where you will be at all times so that you can schedule when to video chat or call one another. 

Create relationship goals together

Every couple should understand the benefits of creating relationship goals.

It may seem a bit silly now but you will thank me in two years when you are married and settled down with the love of your life.

A relationship goal can be as simple as making sure that you go on dates once a week to making sure that you are on track to spend the rest of your lives together and get married someday. 

Trust your partner

If you start listening to all the negative talks about long-distance relationships from your friends or family, you will go crazy.

Once you allow that to destroy the trust you have for your partner, you will be going down a roller coaster journey of bad, negative emotions.

If you start accusing him of being unfaithful, that could be because you are being unfaithful.

And you’re thinking, if I am being unfaithful he is as well. Sometimes we do things like being negative to our partner, which pushes him away to being unfaithful. So keep your emotions in check.

Play games online together

What a fun way to spend time together! Open up your video chat and find an online gaming forum that allows multiplayer’s.

You can play checkers, battleship, backgammon, etc. Normally couples that live together can play a game across the dinner table and have a nice fun evening in.

For long-distance couples, they need to use the internet and all it’s great resources to play games. 

You need to keep up regular contact

Although it depends on your personality, you need to be sending a text message at least once a day, preferably 3 times.

A “good morning” message, a “how’s your day going” mid-day message, and a “have a good sleep” message.

Ideally, a 15–30 minute video chat every night, or every other night, is desirable.

Don’t rush into “talking dirty”

It’s really easy to get intimate way too fast when you are video chatting or sending text messages through your phone or social media.

It’s a recipe for disaster. Remember, I’m talking from experience. When you get yourself “worked up” online, you will end up saying things and making promises that later you regret.

I know this happens in normal relationships too, but in an LDR it’s WAY easier.

Be careful what you promise.

There is a “remoteness” to an LDR, it’s really easy to be insulated from the consequences of things one promises or says.

But unless you’re a really devious, sneaky person who easily makes and breaks promises, you will end up discovering that you’ve painted yourself into a corner by things said in the heat of the moment.

Spend time with friends and family

Even though you will have your special times when you will communicate with your partner, you should ensure that you spend time also with your friends and family.

This will help to keep your mind positive and you’ll have someone’s shoulder to lean on for support.

Include your partner in some of your daily activities

For example, you went for a walk in the park, or on the beach or even to an art gallery or museum. Video call him if he is available.

That could be a fun and healthy way of keeping the bond strong.

Respect your partner

There might be times when you would like to speak with your partner, but it isn’t convenient for him.

Be respectful of the reason why you two are so far away from each other. Maybe he’s away at school, or working.

As much as you would want his attention at that time, he really wants to give it to you. But at the moment, it isn’t convenient for him.

Surprise one another

Everyone loves a thoughtful surprise every once in a while. Spontaneity is a very healthy aspect to all relationships.

Not all surprises have to be a surprise visit to see your partner across the country. You can send them a love letter via email, you can send flowers or chocolates.

Anything that sends them a nice little, “I’m thinking of you and I love you” vibe.

No talk about ex’s

No talk about ex’s, no talk about you had sex accidently, none of these games.

The person may not say anything but guaranteed, you have made a crack in what could have been a beautiful connection and relationship by these immature behaviour.

Do a lot of virtual sex

Not joking. The beginning of every relationship is fire and also an LDR should be like that.

Keep teasing each other with messages during the day. Dress well and share photos of you.

And on the video call don’t be shy at all. Do a lot of virtual sex.

An active sex relationship will make you fantasize about each other during the day and will create a much higher desire to find time to meet even when you are tired.

Answer his/ her questions calmly

If your partner asks you question, regarding what’s going on due to whatever they feel, calm the fuck down.

Don’t go off rambling on telling your partner they are wrong, how their expectations is too much.

The only reason you do that is you are guilty of doing some mind games.

Be calm, ask questions on what the person means and if you have, stop it. Older person is, the smarter they are to detect such things.

Talk about how you feel without blaming your partner

Most of the time we share our feelings in a long-distance relationship, is to complain about something that our partner did.

This is destructive because the chance in an LDR to make “mistakes” and make our partner suffer is huge.

Talk honestly and openly about how you feel, but with the only aim of making your partner aware of them.

Don’t be obsessive

Trust your partner. He is living a different life than yours and he is probably passing through a completely different set of emotions.

Sometimes he may be busier or just he may have better control of his hard moments.

You can’t completely understand your partner’s feelings so don’t compare his behaviors with yours.

If you convince yourself he is not caring enough about you, you’ll become obsessive and you’ll put a lot of pressure on the other side.

I experienced it. Trust me, the pressure I felt in that period was the only thing that made me think about breaking up.

Be very loving

You expressong your love for him will reward you with him expressing his love for you. Do to him, what you’d like him to do to you.

Not all the time this will work, but just remember, you’re doing it to him because you love him. Love is usually unconditional.

Surprise your partner

You should do this anyway. But when you’re apart it’s a nice way to remind them that you haven’t forgotten about them, that you still care.

Surprises can come in many forms. Be creative. Make them an old-fashioned mix tap.

Send them a recording of yourself reading poetry or singing in the shower.

Be Consistent. You need to mind your emotions.

If you had a bad day, then do not communicate. Be consistent in your affection, reciprocating value and building on the chemistry.

If you had a bad day, then just let person know it was a long day and you don’t want the emotions from it trickle in conversation.

You’ll contact soon, tomorrow when you feel fine. That you value what you both have. The person will understand.

Keep your prove out of conversation

If you got something to prove, I don’t care if you’re feminist or not, political, religious, whatever – keep these out of your conversations.

These only create arguments, resentment and drama. This is not a time to preach but time to create a bond, build on chemistry you have.

Re-read the best text conversations

When I missed my partner or I was not able to message with her, instead of being obsessive, I used to re-read the best conversations I had with her.

You can use Deary. It’s an app that automatically shows you the most beautiful conversations from your chat-history and helps you to create a digital diary full of your most meaningful messages.

You can just search “Deary App” in Google.

Do not stalk him on social media

Sometimes what you see on social media isn’t as it is. So instead of stalking him and seeing his whereabouts or who he’s hanging with, use that time to send him some really loving or gratitude text message.

Remember special dates and occasions, especially those that are important to your SO.

Arrange for flowers or some appropriate physical gift to be sent to your SO on their birthday and Valentine’s Day.

If you celebrate Easter and Christmas, those times also need to be “remembered”.

You don’t have to spend a fortune, but those kinds of “remembering” go a long way to making an LDR seem normal, and your SO will really appreciate such gestures and feel more loved / secure.

Do not judge or put too much pressure on each other

One of the consequences of being in a long distance relationship is that when you do see each other, it feels very urgent and weighty.

You might feel pressure to spend every second together, to be extra intimate, to have deep conversations and make every moment count.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of over-analyzing your time together and using it as a litmus test for the health of your relationship

Do activities together

We used to watch movies together (playing the movie at the same time and keep the video call active).

We also enjoyed to chose a book to read and then talk about it during the calls.

I think it’s a nice way to feel you are sharing a part of your life with the other person.

Don’t compare yourself with others

Accept the fact that a long-distance relationship is different than a normal one.

You can’t always rely on your partner and you can’t expect your partner to fulfill all your emotional needs.

Accept it. You chose this challenge because you deeply believe it’s worth it, so don’t compare your love story with others.

This is the first mistake I did, and it took me a while to realize how much pain I was giving to myself.

Make plans and stick with it

If both plan to meet in future, then don’t suddenly down the line start changing things.

It takes a lot for someone to plan this out. Make plans together, agree on them together and work together to make it happen, instead of sabotaging it.

Leave messages for the other to wake up to.

In different time zones, when you don’t have the opportunity to align your mornings and evenings, leave your lover messages to wake up to.

There’s nothing nicer than to start your day with an extra dose of love and to know a special someone has been thinking about you.

Also, don’t underestimate the value of a voice note. If you’re not quite at the letter writing stage, voice noting is definitely a step in the more wholesome direction.

Hearing the voice of someone you care about can really make your day!

Give each other some virtual space

Don’t rush to reply immediately to every text, email, or message that comes in. And don’t expect your partner to respond straight away to every text you send or message you leave.

Discuss how you deal with pressure

Sometime when you’re not tired and stressed, talk about how each of you typically acts and reacts when you are stressed and tired. Tell your partner how they can best help you during those times. Ask your partner to share these things with you, too.

Manage goodbyes in ways that minimize pain

Let’s be honest, goodbyes suck when you’re in a LDR. You can, however, learn to say goodbye in ways that work for you (or, at least, work better).

Saying goodbye to the one you love when it’ll be weeks or months before you see them again is brutal. Plan ahead for how to best treat or support yourself during the first day or two after a visit ends.

Send one picture a day with a memory you love

This is something I love doing. Scroll through your camera roll, your Facebook or your hard drives (wherever you store your photos) and select a random picture or selfie that you love.

Write a few lines about that day, how you were feeling and what it meant to you and share it with your loved one.

This is a lovely little routine to keep your love alive and your gratitude for each other rolling.

Make your LDR SO your best friend

This should be true for all relationships, but I mention it as a key ingredient to a successful LDR.

If your SO feels that they are genuinely your best friend, and you are theirs, you will have a lot less temptation to look outside of the relationship for fulfillment.

Make a plan to live together

Without a plan to live together the relationship doesn’t have a goal.

Without a plan to live together, the #relationship doesn't have a goal. Click To Tweet

This can be in 2 years when college is finished, in 3 years when that life situation is resolved and you’re able to move, but at least talk about it.

Make sure that one of you is willing to move and look how the process goes.

In some countries it can take up to two years before everything is sorted and you want to be able to have a stable life.

A new job might mean learning a new skill in your own country. Just make sure you both know the future

Bottom line

Lots of people say LDRs can’t work. They’re wrong. Maybe an LDR couldn’t work for them, or maybe they just have no idea what they’re talking about.

Don’t listen to them. Plenty of LDRs work out in the long run, and many couples credit the time they spent in an LDR for teaching them invaluable relationship skills….

These tips have saved countless struggling long term relationships and hopefully you’ve also learn how to fix communication problems in a long distance relationship.

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