I know plenty of LDR success stories—couples who met at distance, started dating, closed the gap, and lived happily ever after together (or, uh, happily most of the time.)
Heck, I’m one of them.
But here’s something we don’t talk a lot about on this blog…
Many long distance relationships don’t work out. In fact, most of them will end in a long distance relationship break up rather than wedding bells.
And you know what else?
For most people, dating is the process of trying to figure out if you’re a good match, and if you want to be with this person for the long haul—the really long haul.
This is a complicated enough thing to do if you live in the same city and can see each other regularly. It gets even more complicated if you’re in a long distance relationship.
But here’s the really interesting twist…
Being in a long distance relationship can actually make it harder to break up, not easier!
When you’re in a LDR you can get to know someone else quite quickly, and on quite a deep level. However, it can take more time to figure out other things, like whether there’s actual in-person chemistry between you, and whether it just feels easy and right when you’re sharing the same space.
And sometimes, when things start to feel like they’re not working out or we get those little warning bells in our mind that tells us something about this relationship isn’t working, we can delay acting on that and breaking things off, because we’re busy trying to figure out if it’s the distance that’s the main problem or the relationship itself.
So today we thought we’d talk about some of the main signs that are good predictors that you’re headed towards a dead-end in your LDR. Here are seven of them, and links to extra resources to help you learn more:
1. You find yourself feeling suspicious all the time
Where are they? What are they doing? Who are they out with? Why haven’t they texted me back? Are they cheating? Do they really love me? Are they as “into” this relationship as I am? Are they thinking about breaking it off???
Everyone in a long distance relationship has thoughts like these now and again. But when you find yourself fretting and feeling anxious when they are out of contact or offline for any length of time, you have a problem.
And when you find yourself constantly wanting to check up on them, needing them to pick up whenever you call, or always text you back straight away, you definitelyhave a problem.
Being constantly in touch does not guarantee things are working between you two. In fact, checking up on each other every hour is more like stalking your partner rather than caring for them.
And don’t blame the distance for this dynamic. It’s usually not the distance that makes you want to stay in touch all the time. It’s usually a lack of trust and your own personal insecurities . And if there’s not some baseline level of trust and ease in a relationship, it often means the expiration date is near (or should be, anyway.)
Struggling with this? Check out: 6 Ways to Build Trust in a Long Distance Relationship and 14 Subtle Signs Your Long Distance Partner May Be Cheating On You.
2. You Don’t Make Plans Anymore
When’s the next time you’ll see each other? Where? What are you really looking forward to doing when you’re next together? What’s a big adventure you’d like to take together? Have you started to talk about whether and how you might close the gap?
As long as you are dreaming and scheming together, it matters less if you aren’t sleeping in the same bed because you’re still actively focused on and working towards seeing each other, having new experiences, and a shared future.
It may not be time to talk about closing the gap yet, but if you’re not planning and talking about your next visit, something’s wrong. Your long distance relationship is sinking if you’re not working together to make plans to see each other, and you don’t even know when will be the next time you’ll get to hug them. And things are especially bad when you just don’t feel that excited by the thought of being with the person you used to wish you were with all the time.
If you find yourself in this situation and things stay this way for more than a week or two, then alarm bells should be going off. And, honestly, it’s probably time to hit the STOP button since the feelings you had for each other are unlikely to wake up again.
Struggling with this? Check out: Make A Together List
3. There Are No More Romantic Surprises
When is the last time you received or sent those lovely open-when letters sprinkled with their favorite perfume, or cute happy snaps of two of you having fun together?
What did you get them on their birthday, at Christmas, or for Valentine’s Day (no matter how much they may have protested that they weren’t really “into” Valentine’s Day. When was the last real “just because” sweet surprise?
Let’s face it, Skype sessions and web chats are not quite enough in a long distance relationship. They are the flour, salt, and eggs in the cake, sure. But every cake needs some sugar, too. And a little bit of icing goes a long way, as well.
Just remember: Doing something extraordinary isn’t necessary to keep the spark alive in a long distance relationship. Sometimes, small gestures (like simply sending an “I Love You” text every now and then and cute pictures that your partner loves) can reignite passion and affection, too. But if it seems all of those ‘small sweet gestures’ are gone, this might indicate your affection for them is too.
Struggling with this? Check out: 20 Romantic Gifts For Couples In Long Distance Relationshipsand 80 Awesome Gift Ideas For Couples.
4. You No Longer Feel Supported
Do you feel like you’re the one putting in all the effort? Do things feel like a one-way street? Have they felt like that for a while?
If your long distance relationship is going to last, you need to be a team. Both of you fight the difficulties together. When one of you stops fighting to make it work, the relationship will stop working too.
When your partner starts doing all the talking… about themselves. Or they don’t ask you many questions, or ever really seem interested in how you are. Or they expect you to be the one that always makes the effort to come visit, or reorganize schedules to talk…
There are all signals that your partner is not even trying to understand you. That they’re not really there for you. If there’s not some decent give and take, the relationship isn’t doomed to endnecessarily (‘cuz they’re getting what theywant) but it’s not a healthy or good relationship for you to be in.
Struggling with this? Check out: He Is Acting Needy And Controlling: Should I Break Up?and 7 Signs You Should Probably End Your Long Distance Relationship.
5. All Your Thoughts Become Negative
Do you feel generally happy and secure about your relationship most of the time? Or do you find yourself drowning in pessimism, insecurity, sadness, and other negative thoughts?
If you find yourself starting to overthink every situation of your relationship or swirling in insecurity, it can be a sign that the relationship isn’t working. Everyone has a bad day or two now and again, but if you find yourself having these sorts of thoughts all the time, your LDR is in serious trouble:
- Comparing yourself with other people’s relationships
- Knowing deep down you’ll never close the gap
- Constantly worrying they will cheat on you
- Feeling sure they just don’t love you.
Struggling with this? Check out Try These 7 Tips When You Feel Scared And Insecure In Your Relationshipand this guide for maintaining a long distance relationship.
6. The Intimacy In Your Relationship Is Gone
Intimacy is an important part of any relationship. Whatever the “normal” level of intimacy is in your relationship, there’s a problem if that intimacy disappears.
For example, if you’re used to talking every second day for about an hour or so, and they suddenly want to only chat once a week…. Something’s up.
Or if sexual intimacy is part of your relationship and you suddenly stop engaging in phone sex without making a clear decision about it, this suggests a lack of chemistry and passion between both of you.
Or if thereis less and less intimacy with each visit, you can be pretty sure that your relationship is about to hit a dead end.
Struggling with this? Check out: 10 Pro Tips For Staying Well Connected In A Long Distance Relationship and Why Meeting Someone Online Promotes Casual Intimacy (And How To Protect Yourself)
7. Your Communication Becomes Boring
Everyone in a long distance relationship goes through dry spells sometimes where talking feels harder and you feel like you’re struggling to connect well over the phone.
But if you’ve stopped having those longer and in-depth conversations or you start making excuses about how you can’t find time to talk, it can be a sign that you are slowly giving up.
Can you spot some of these signs in your own relationship?
What did we miss? What other signs indicate a long distance relationship break up is imminent?
Adil is a life-style writer, music-lover and a Sagittarius. He enjoys writing about dating hacks, relationship tips and love advice. You can find out more here.
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