talking too much long distance relationships

Are You Talking Too Much In Your Long Distance Relationship? 4 Practical Strategies For Healthy Communication In A LDR

Lisa McKay Advice, Communication & Conflict 30 Comments

Wait just a minute, you might be wondering. Doesn’t everyone rave about how the biggest benefit of a long distance relationship is that it forces you to communicate? Is it even possible to talk too much when you’re in a LDR?

Yes. It really is.

Talking or writing to someone you’re dating long distance is obviously essential. Developing good communication patterns and habits will serve you well in the future, whether that future is long distance or up close and personal.

But…

As in most things, moderation is also good. This is particularly true early in a new relationship, or if you’re finding that being in a long distance relationship is narrowing your focus and crowding out other important interests and people in your life.

Let’s look at this new relationship issue first.

Why talking too much, too early, is a bad idea in a new long distance relationship

Jumping into the deep end in a new relationship is easy to do! When you’re first getting to know someone, the exhilarating intensity of these early connections can feel so good. Any call, email, or text can give you a fireworks burst of heart-happiness. During this period it can be so tempting to talk for hours on end, write long letters every day, or text every hour.

However, starting out a long distance relationship this way does a couple of things. First, it breeds an intensity that can move you along too fast. You can throw a budding relationship out of whack by jumping into bed with someone too quickly. You can also throw it out of whack by spending too much time, too quickly, connecting deeply into someone’s life.

Second, it establishes intense communication patterns that can be difficult to change later. Maybe you’ll be able to maintain a pattern of talking to your long distance partner for several hours every day indefinitely. Maybe you’ll want to. Or … maybe you’ll come up for air after a month or two and realize that you have a life outside of this new relationship that needs some more time and attention.

Besides, spending all day every day on the phone or Skype with someone doesn’t make you connected—it makes you needy. Or, rather, it makes you both connected and needy.

When talking too much is a bad idea in an established relationship

What about if you’ve been together for ages, and you’re as committed as committed can be? It’s fine to spend hours every day talking then, right?

Well, maybe. If you both really want that. And if you don’t have school or a full time job. Or other family and friends you should be paying some attention too. Or any outside hobbies or interests.

So, in other words: No, it’s not fine to spend so much time talking to your long distance love that other important areas of your life wither and die.

Here are some signs that you might have the balance between your love and the rest of your life a bit skewed:

  • You spend all your spare time on your phone or computer.
  • You feel as if the rest of your life is on hold until you can be together.
  • It always seems like too much effort to go out with friends or do something by yourself.
  • You haven’t had a decent conversation with anyone but your long distance love all week.

Healthy communication in long distance relationships

When you’re in a long distance relationship, it’s alarmingly easy to allow important things in life—family, friendships, hobbies, exercise—to stall. But this will only make you more depressed in the short term, and hurt you in the long run.

Do not spend every spare minute talking to your partner (or daydreaming about said partner). Right from the beginning of your long distance relationship, remember to keep building a life where you are—a life full of friends and fun.

Do things that make you fitter, smarter, and happier. Stay in contact with other people you love, too. Do things that interest you. Do these things alone, if need be. Remember, investing in yourself is another way of investing in your most important relationship. Start now!

Here are some tips on building measured communication patterns into your LDR:

1. Talk, text, or email at a rate that feels sustainable

If you’re blowing off huge chunks of work time emailing them (or, even worse, checking out their Facebook photo albums and reading their wall) that’s not sustainable unless you have a very forgiving or extraordinarily absent-minded employer. If you’re staying up until 2 am talking to them every night, likewise.

2. If you’re starting to resent the amount of time you’re spending communicating with your new long distance partner, tell them!

Don’t deal with the problem by ignoring their calls or emails. Say something like, “I really like you and I think we might have potential, but I’d like to slow a little so that I can pay some attention to other parts of my life. How do you feel about giving things a bit more time to breathe right now by only talking every two or three days?”

3. If you sense that your long distance partner needs a bit of space, give it to them.

It can be hard to hold off calling or texting for a day or two, but sometimes giving someone space is the best thing we can do.

4. Keep a journal or talk to a friend.

Don’t spend all day talking or emailing your new love. Talk to someone you trust or write about your thoughts and feelings. Both can help you think things through and help provide some perspective.

Questions to think about

Finally, think though this set of questions. Even better, think them through and then talk about them with your partner. You might be surprised at what you learn about each other along the way. And, after all, the best part of being in a long distance relationship is that it forces you to communicate. Right?

  1. What sort of communication patterns have you established during the early stages of your relationship? How often are you talking, and for how long? How frequently are you emailing or texting?
  2. How do you feel about those patterns now? What are you getting out of this? What are you giving up?
  3. Do you think these patterns are sustainable indefinitely? If not, how might you redefine those patterns when the time comes to spend less time talking or emailing?
  4. Ideally, how frequently would you like to be talking, emailing, or texting? How do you think your partner would answer this question? If you haven’t discussed this openly with them, do. You might be surprised by their answer. Discussing this issue now will also make it easier to raise again if you want to cut down—or increase—your communication at some point in the future.

What do you think?
Is it possible to talk too much when you’re in a long distance relationship?
How have you established healthy communication patterns in your relationship?

Comments 30

  1. I’m in month 3 of my first LDR & wow what a emotional roller coaster. We met in early April & were able to visit each other twice by end of May. Communication was very frequent & mushy via text & hour+ calls daily. We’ve had 3 great visits since too. However after the last 6 day visit, he’s really cooled off with communication. 3-4 days no calls, still texting but more friendly than intimate. He’s always active with friends, family & work (has a very flexible work life allowing him to do whatever being a remote employee). I don’t have that & do spend a lot of homebody time during the week (we are 34 & 35) & find myself feeling left out & lonely lately. Do I just deal with the fact the intensity of conversation simmers way down? I guess I feel if we are going to stay emotionally connected I need at least some form of mushy stuff to know he’s still in this. At our age, I’m not looking to drag this out without talking about the future & at least a rough timeline for us. But maybe he likes the distance as it allows his to live his life normally while enjoying a part-time girlfriend during visits. I don’t want to press the issue but also don’t want to avoid it. Thoughts??

  2. Hi my boyfriend and I have been dating for a year. We go to the same college but now its the summer and I dont see him as often as it used to be. Where I live I have no friends close to me and its about 2 hours to my closest friend. And I only live with my dad and he works all he time. So the mass of the time I am alone and I’ll text my other friends, but of course the main person I want to talk to is my boyfriend. But he has his friends over a lot, so its not like we are texting that much probably about 30 texts a day with us combined. We text through out the day sometimes. But I feel like at least every two days i want to call him. Like I called him on July 6th at night and now its the 9th and all I want to do is hear his voice and talk to him. And let me tell you our calls are long they range from 1-4 hours sometimes (mass of the time 2-3). Is it crazy that with all the time talking I still want more? Its been 2 months already being away from him and we’ve seen each other 3 times already. Is this me being too needy? How long do you think is the right amount to call in each week? We usually call about 2 times a week. Please can I have your input. Thank you for ytour time too.

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      Hi there. That’s so hard. And it’s totally understandable given your schedule that you want to talk to him more, but also smart of you to realize he has other things and people on his plate and probably doesn’t have as much time/energy for that as you do. You are at real risk in this situation of becoming too needy, and 1-4 hour calls are very difficult to sustain over time especially if they become more frequent than two times a week. I suggest you be upfront with your bf about how you feel, but also reassure him that you’re not saying this to make him feel guilty. Tell him you just want to let him know where you’re at, and tell him about some of the other things you’re doing to stay busy and grow as a person so that you don’t find yourself just wanting to call him all the time (and think of some things to do if you’re not doing anything specific yet). Also, ask him what HE wants in terms of communication, and what sorts of calls/lengths/connections make him feel closest to you.

  3. Well me and my woman are in.a 5 months LDR. Im from the U.S and she from the Philippines. We talk on facebook messenger and skype . And we talked like everday but lately since she been in school now we havent talk like we been. Even through i work at amazon i always manage to hit her up before i work, on breaks and after i get off work. thing is she doesnt get on messenger everyday like she do and we gone a week without hitting me up once before and ofcorse im a patient guy so how should i take this situation?I know she go to school everyday so should we have daily plan?

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      It sounds like things are changing/slipping in your communication, so do be honest with her at this stage. Tell her you’ve noticed things changing, and you’re OK to shift patterns if she needs to, but you want to know where you stands. Suggest a daily plan (or every two days, etc) and see how she reacts.

  4. I’m in a relationship now with someone from Germany and I am from the Philippines. At first we we’re not talking a lot; maybe just 2-3 time per week? That time, I was thinking that we should improve the way we communicate to each other because that’s what I think that would strengthen our relationship. It took a while before our commutation improved; we talk everyday messaging, skype calls/vid.calls and I really enjoyed it because I feel like I’m important because he makes time for me and I’m being informed about the things happened on his day. But right now he got busy with his work as a manager and we don’t talk too much like we use to do. Although we still talk everyday but not as often as before. I understand that his busy and has to prioritize some things with regards to his work, but I felt lonely and unwanted whenever I’m not receiving any updates from him especially if it reaches the whole day that he’s not even messaging me at least. I feel like I’m being needy. Although he’s always making me understand that he’s just busy and he’s not forgetting his obligations to give time for me. I know and I can feel that he loves me but I also wanna help myself to stop thinking negative because I’m so paranoid that maybe he’s like that cos he is just slowly detaching himself from me, something like that. I need help. I think I’m really the one who has problems with regards to this kind of issues. He already knows about my issues and he said he understands and he knows what I feel but I still cant help be to be negative.

    1. Can understand the feeling Ken, the same for me, girlfriend wanted to have some space because we started our relationship by talking everytime. Then she progressively started to message less and I felt so bad. That’s why communication is important. Stopping the “needy” feeling is very difficult, especially when jealousy and paranoïa are involved. I’m sure your lover is not falling out of love, but you have to be careful that YOU do not fall out of love. I know it can also be pretty disappointing when you expect to share everything with your lover, but he/she does not.
      Be strong in this !

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      Gosh, it’s hard not to feel unsettled and insecure when we’ve gotten used to a certain level of contact, and then the other person gets busy or needs a bit more time to themselves and has to pull back. Hang in there. It sounds like you’re trying to find a good balance between trying not to be needy and crowd him, but also recognizing how you’re feeling and wanting to be honest with that.

  5. So if it goes from talking everyday to maybe once every two or three days, that’s not a bad thing?

    If that’s a good thing, then my nerves are at ease, and maybe I should let her call me most of the time since we have better and longer conversations when she calls.

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      It sort of depends on how you’re both feeling about it. If you’re both feeling at ease and comfortable with it and with each other, and still committed to the relationship, I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all–especially if it means you have better and longer conversations when you do talk. If you start to feel less connected and like you’re drifting apart after a while it might be time to switch things up again and try more frequent, shorter calls. I would recommend actually talking about this with her though, ask her how she’s feeling and check that you’re on the same page.

  6. Hi Lisa,

    Only if I came across your post a lot earlier and knew that constant communication’s not healthy for long distance relationship. 🙁 Me and my long distance boyfriend have been togther for around two years and we met up 2/3 times per year to us to visit each other in our own countries or going on vacation together. So recently, I took a break after graduation to go to his country and lived with him togther for two months before heading back to my country. And just a few days before me leaving his country, he has requested for a break because he really hated the idea of always having to constantly check his phone to message me. Also, he said he didn’t like the thought of always having to worry if he dissapointed me whenever he couldn’t message me right away. He said he wanted a break and wanted to spend all those time messaging/skyping me to study instead. (he has recently found out what he would want to do in the future and has been worring about money/jobs because he’s hitting 30 and he
    still doesn’t have a full time job yet) We did start off our relationship by constantly messaging all the time and I think now is up to that point when he couldn’t take it anymore. Even though I didn’t want to, I agreeded to the break to give him some space. He has reassured to me that this’s not a break up and we have both agreeded that we will reacess our status and our relationship in 3 months to see if’s worth keep pursuing our relationship. But to be honest, I am not exactly sure where our relationship stands at this point. Does he still love me or he simply just want to gradually break up with me? During this time, we are still saying hi to each other once or twice per week, sometime he will send me funny videos on facebook or tells me he misses me. It has only been two weeks but it already feels like forever for me. I know I should be focusing on my own life but my heart just acnes whenever I think of the possibility that he will eventually realize he doesn’t need me in his life and wants to break up with me after 3 months. He keeps giving me hope and I honestly don’t know what to expect at this point. For example right before me flying off, when I sent him a bye message saying that I really hope everything will work out eventually, he replied me saying that he thinks it will work out between us with a smiley emoji. I have been restraining myself from messaging him all the time because I knows that he does need the time to focus on his study and career. I just don’t know if he does love me and still wants to be with me anymore or maybe he’s just dragging the break out to give himself more time? Is three months of a break too much of a break? Should I ask him if we could reassess our relationship earlier? ( I am currently applying for jobs in his country, while he’s studying hard to get his certification by the end of July) I love my boyfriend so much, and I really did think he loves me too, but to be honest, I really don’t know what I should do now, I am missing him so much, he’s being so cold to me. 🙁

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      Oh, this is such a hard place to be in for you! I see a lot of maturity and restraint in your comment, though. I think you’re asking good questions about whether three months is too long of a break, but I also think you’re doing the right thing by giving him time and space right now and not texting, calling and messaging. You mentioned he’s studying for something at the end of July. How would you feel about waiting until he completes those exams, and then giving him one more week and THEN letting him know that you’d like to reassess things as soon as he feels ready to reconnect. That way you give him the time and space he’s requested for now, and a bit of a breather after his exams, and then let him know where you’re at. I know it means 5-6 more weeks of waiting but I think you’re strong, you can do it, and I’m not sure if you have a lot to loose at this point by being restrained and holding back.

  7. Hi I need your advice am in a long distance relationship with a very sweet guy but then we have never seen each other not even once so all we do is calls nd chatting but the problem is my boyfriend is always angry whenever we don’t talk for a day and it’s starting to annoy me….when we started we talk all d tym and everyday because then I was still in high school but now that I am in the university I have a lot on my hands and he doesn’t understand that. please what should I do?should I tell him he is too needy and he needs to stop or what?

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  8. Omg yes im going through the same thing right now. We started dating In December 2016 and weve met twice. I just feel as if he ignoring me at time even though he says he not. I feel like communication is essential in a LDR!

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  9. Been in LDR for6m now but my Bf is so busy all the time i don’t think he has time for a healthy relationship. Especially a LDR . I met him once since we have been together and i started talking to him in December 2016 . He says he loves me and i believe him. But i still believe you make time for the people you love

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  10. This article is not very helpful. LDR is very complicated kind of relationship and it is very hard to find the right balance. Calling once in 5 days? Come on! Such relationship cannot be called relationship and are going to end. I can share my story. I had relationship with a guy. At the beginning communication was too intense. I injoyed it a lot, but at one time it took too much time from my life, so I decided to cut the time. I sent just couple text messages a day, avoided skype calls. At the beginning guy was still sending me lots of messages, then less and less often. I was too obsessed with my career, school. My mistake was that I put my BF on very low priority. 5 minutes a day cannot be called relationship. The spring came and sometimes even I had to wait for hours or day for his reply. Till he announced that he had met another one, real person, who loves him more. I really loved that guy and now I have to admit my mistakes. I thing first we must realize what are our goals and priorities. Do we really need relationships? Maybe we need just penpall, random stranger from the chat room, regular sex partner? Healthy relationship cannot exist without frequent communication. I’m still single and can’t overcome this, even after 2 years. What would I do differently? Call him little bit more often. Calling 3 times a day or more it’s ok. Sharing is very crucial, especially to establish trust and let your partner feel like part of your relationship – share your dreams, thoughts, things from your daily life. I would also involve my partner in important decisions, and make a common vision for our future and the time when we will be together, just give hope, and also support him in his life – to be happy with him, empower him or support him on bad moments.

  11. So I’ve been with my lover for 4 years and we always talked everyday. Sometimes he would go out with friends or go to work and i would be at home doing my own thing but at the same checking my phone constantly. He gets super jealous and he’s always upset when it comes to any of my guy friends. So i dropped most of them. Because he is my priority and in the end he is the one I’m gunna stay with and who matters the most to me. Well today he got super mad at me again and as i tried talking sense into him he called me an idiot and said he didnt understand how i couldnt see how blind and dumb i was being. Finally i just laid on my bed.. Took a deep breath and after him saying he didnt want to waste his time, i told him calmly that it wasnt a waste of time. Its never a waste when you’re dealing with someone you love. He gets mad and insecure thinking sometimes that im purposefully talking to guys for more sinister purposes, but thats just because of stuff he’s done in the past. And although he doesnt do anything anymore, i think he’s scared that I’m doing what he used to. Anyways, in the end i was reminding him how much i love him and how everything i do is for us and that we always are planning trying to get money to see eachother and how he is very much worth it and blah blah. He stopped yelling and told me we should stop talking all the time for a while. Initially my heart broke but then he said we’re not breaking up and we’re not taking a break, but that he thinks we shouldn’t talk as much as we do. He said he gives up a lot of time with his friends to be with me on skype and (honestly im always home simply because i have nothing to do but the few times i am able to do something i stay home so that i can talk to him although sometimes he ends up having plans anyway). He kept repeating “for a WHILE” & I know all of this is healthy or our relationship because we obviously talk a lot. But. Both of us are crazy about each other. Idk Why does it hurt so much and why am i crying typing this. I’m trying to read as much as i can so that i feel better but it’s hard. Hopefully you can help me out.

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      Oh, Ember. I’m sorry. This sounds so hard. And painful. It’s been a while since you posted this comment and I hope things are feeling better now. I also hope that you are looking for ways to broaden your horizons a little. It concerned me when you wrote above that you’ve dropped many friends, that you don’t go out much, and that you’re not sure what you’d do if you’re not talking to your lover. My main advice to you would be to start investing in other areas of life, and other friendships again. That doesn’t mean STOP investing in your lover, but it does mean working to build interest and connections in other areas, too.

  12. Hello

    just seeking for advise as i don’t understand about a lot of thing that i’m going through because this is my first relationship ever with someone and it a long distance relationship .
    i know him through language learning apps and he’s a Japanese guy.
    his a nice guy and we message everyday and one day i decide to confess to him and he told me he like me too but he said he need to meet me first to confirm whether if its love or not.
    so he decide to come this June to visit me.
    but recently he didn’t call as often as we used to be but we still messaging each other like normal.
    we discuss a lot about a lot of thing and most of the time our conversation will be our daily routines.
    I’m not sure whether is it me or is it normal to feel like this.
    i don’t know if it he serious about our relationship or not
    and i don’t know what he thinking
    i feel so bad if i burden him with my thoughts or i scared to tell him what is bothering me
    is this normal?
    what i should do?
    i scared of losing him
    i really like him and i scared if he will hate me or he wont like me anymore.
    please help me

  13. Yes, I’ve always felt that it’s necessary to pace one’s self in an LDR. I was recently in one, and we spoke quite often to her leading up to the moment where we actually met. Long story short, communication stopped cold turkey a month before we were to meet which felt so abrupt and felt like a huge chunk of my life was suddenly gone. Eventually we worked it out and met, and things were great, BUT..

    The ironic thing is that now we’re no longer talking as bf/gf, she tried to hide the fact she was talking to someone new since I left [her city], and now she seems to be spending huge chunks of her time talking to this new guy. My first thought was that they’re gonna blow their load way too fast with the amount they’re talking, but (here’s the irony), I think she was looking for excessive communication thinking it equates to commitment, and my ‘pacing’ of the communication was what drove her away.

    I also acknowledge that it’s probably not a healthy situation (for her) and she probably has other stuff going on, so in a way I am not that upset. But part of me hopes that we’ll reconcile one day, because we did connect nicely.

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      I think you’ve got the situation well figured out! And I agree with you about pacing. That’s what healthy, and her need for excessive intimacy too fast points to other issues. Good for you for holding the course and realizing that.

  14. I wish I could say this helped but it really didn’t. Now my girlfriend said we need to talk a break… not a small break a 5 year break. Like weeks and months before she read this article we were both happy and talking yeah we would talk all the time or FaceTime for long periods of the day. It was because we long each other and that we did want each other to leave. No it’s not being needy to talk for a long time, like she has work and I have college we would talk when we had the chance and when we both have enough time that’s when we would spend our days talking or our nights. Like one night I told her “I love you” like I always do before I go to sleep and she said,”I loved you.” I’m just shocked she never said that to me and I asked her why,” she says you have to love yourself first”. I’m telling her that I love you and myself. Yeah, so that happened. I’m not trying to bad mouth the article or anything, I’m just saying the article works for some people not all. ~Taz

      1. It’s not because she read this article and dedicded to follow it. She must felt drained or needed a break, hense why she searched up these kind of article and seek for advise to save the relationship.

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  15. Yeah it was a big problem when we realized that that we were not talking as much as we use to when we started our relationship…as months or years pass by, it is really difficult to maintain the same rate we use to talk in the beginning. In the beginning we use Skype like hours together, but that time i was free and so was he. but now both of us have career goals and things to achieve. So we let each other be busy with our own lives. And we talk we keep the matter light hearted and fun. we still Skype each other, but with a maturity and understanding. We give each other the space.

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      It sounds like you’ve managed that transition well from “full-on-talk-all-the-time” early relationship to a more sustainable, pragmatic approach. Well done. The challenge, now, of course is not to get too complacent and never have extended skype dates.

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