21 Harsh Facts About Long Distance Relationships & Benefits (2024)

Long-distance relationships have become more prevalent lately for many reasons. If this is your lifestyle right now, it could be a great experience, keeping in touch with someone miles away on a regular basis, or it could become frustrating. 

Harsh Facts About Long Distance Relationships
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Let’s dive in.

Harsh facts about long distance relationships and the benefits

1. Physical Intimacy

You can feel like you’re in a relationship with your phone or your laptop instead of an actual human being.

The lack of physical intimacy, hugs, and kisses, just being physically close to someone is difficult when you’re longing to be close. Those times are necessary to make partners feel connected to each other and to strengthen the bond through non-verbal language.

2. Comparisons

Comparisons are never healthy, and in your relationship, this can only make your beloved feel bad for not being able to be what you need and want.

Instead, appreciate what you have and think about the fact that you have someone special who cares about you.

3. Finding Intimacy With Others

Without your partner being around most of the time, you may be drawn to being close to another person.

Just for support at first, but it could build to the point of being intimate with them. This could leave your significant other very hurt and in the end, hurt your relationship.

4. Getting Into A Rut

Since your dates consist of virtually being together, either by phone or video, there is the risk of a rut setting in. 

So instead of letting your dates become routine, you could be creative and try out new, amazing adventures available online.

5. Emotional Challenges

Of the many harsh facts, long-distance relationships can be very demanding emotionally.

The emotional challenges of this partnership could be quite a burden and lead to serious issues in time, like depression. 

For people going on this emotional journey, be prepared with lots of self-care.

6. Missing Each Other

More harsh facts – long distance relationships leave long periods of time for couples to spend apart. As a result, some partners have difficulties dealing with missing each other and the feelings of loneliness that go with it.

Being alone for most of your relationship increases the need for security and reinsurance from your loved one. Focus on enjoying the wonderful moments together and the joy you’ll feel the next time.

7. Lack Of Commitment

Sometimes, couples assume low expectations that the relationship will work out, even if it’s subconsciously, so they’re more reluctant to invest time, effort, and feelings into their relationship. 

This affects how they act in the present. However, this attitude could be construed as a lack of interest and commitment and undermine your relationship in the long run.

8. Difficult To Maintain Contact

The distance can create distinct issues for couples. Setting up regular online meetings and video calls while balancing busy schedules could become overwhelming from time to time. 

Having to juggle different time zones can make this even more of a challenge. In the end, all this time management adds to the usual stress of a relationship.

9. Maintaining Individuality

The most important relationship focus is the one you have with yourself. Keep doing what you love, and make time for your friendships.

It’s not beneficial to be too obsessed with one person in your life. Plus, it gives you things to talk about when you come together. After all, those things are most likely what attracted them to you in the first place.

10. Pressure To Keep It Exciting

Putting too much pressure on your time together can create a lot of unachievable expectations and anxiety. It’s easy to want to fit as much as possible into one weekend together, but it can leave you feeling a little exhausted at the end of it all. This is your time to enjoy each other’s company, so don’t worry about the rest.

11. Missing Out On The Little Things

What is their favorite candy? What kind of body wash does he use? Is there a certain movie or book she’s been talking about? It’s not creepy because these things in the back of your mind can come in handy.

If he’s having a bad week, you can send him a little care package. Or, you can surprise him when he arrives at your place. Sometimes the small details can make the biggest impact.

12. People Will Judge

It’s not difficult to see that distance really sucks. Yet no one else around you fully understands what you’re going through.

It’s so easy to complain about anything and everything when you’re apart from the one person you want to be with the most. Allow yourself a certain amount of time in the day to let all your pent-up emotions out. Don’t engulf yourself in it, though.

13. Needs And Expectations

She can’t read your mind, and you can’t read hers. Solidify plans, be clear about what’s on your mind, and make sure you’re on the same page.

If you feel like you’re overcommunicating with your partner, you’re probably communicating the perfect amount.

14. Intense Feelings

Being apart can make your actual time together seem a lot more intense and fast-paced, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

When you’re in a long-distance relationship, your time together is precious; it forces you to be more open about your feelings and take things to the next level. Set a pace that you can both keep up with.

15. Clashing Habits And Routines

You go to bed at 9 p.m. every night. Your boyfriend is a night owl. You keep your apartment very clean. Your girlfriend uses her floor as her laundry basket.

Figuring out how to make it all work once you spend more time together is important to the longevity of your relationship. It’s perfectly normal to have different habits and schedules, yet it can all be blended together if you’re determined.

16. Look Within

It takes mutual respect, an end goal in mind, dedication to putting in the travel time, and being on the same page when it comes to your individual expectations.

It’s important to look within yourself and decide if you are personally ready for this type of commitment before it gets too intimate.

It takes a certain kind of person to work through the separation, the lack of communication, the loneliness, and the uncertainty that can come with long-distance relationships.

17. The Trust Factor

Researchers in a study found the presence of periodic face-to-face contact is a crucial factor in the satisfaction, commitment, and trust for long-distance relationship work

Those who didn’t experience this contact reported significantly lower levels of satisfaction, commitment, and trust. The possibility of suspecting your partner of infidelity seems to increase as face-to-face contact reduces.

18. Heartbreak

Both lack of trust and lack of intimacy often, if not always, lead to a breakup. According to Wikipedia, about 40% of couples in long-distance relationships break up. Problems can start around 4.5 months into the relationship.

Although a long-distance relationship might begin with so much romance and affection, 70% of couples in a long-distance relationship break up due to unplanned circumstances and events. Not clearing up misunderstandings kills long-distance relationships.

19. Tired

You want to make it work. You both will. Both of you are putting in the effort, so the fire doesn’t die out.

Although there are times you feel tired of doing all of this work. Sometimes, you just want it to be more simple.

20. An Expensive Relationship

It’ll be extremely hard to go weeks, months, and in some cases, a year or more without seeing your partner, depending on your budget.

The round-trip tickets and other expenses of traveling might be overwhelming after a point. This is one of the things that can make long-distance relationships hard. 

21. Social Circles

Most times, the partners of these relationships meet in areas halfway between the places of residence of each person, or they spend quality time together alone.

This means they don’t get to know each other’s social circles well. So it’s a missed opportunity to see the social aspect of your partner from another point of view.

What’s The Hardest Thing About Long-Distance Relationships?

The hardest thing that creates long-distance relationship problems is the lack of physical contact and physical touch. When you’re physically present with your partner, you can touch them, hug them, and kiss them.

Long-distance relationships require a lot of work to keep strong. A significant other who lives in another city (or, even worse, a different time zone) isn’t always available when you need them to be, which can cause strains on your relationship.

Their facial expressions and body language tell you volumes about how they’re feeling, and when you’re apart, you’re missing all of that. You can’t have lunch breaks together. Instead, you rely on a consistent internet connection to maintain your long-distance relationship through video chat or phone sex.

Relying on phone calls, video call, texts, and emails to try to understand what’s going on in your partner’s life doesn’t quite cut it. Even then, it’s not always easy to interpret their words correctly without the body language and intricacies of the facial expressions.

What Can Destroy A Long-Distance Relationship?

Maintaining a long-distance relationship can be difficult, time-consuming, and emotionally draining; these are the harsh facts long-distance relationships bring.

Long-Distance Relationship
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So here are several deadly mistakes that could potentially destroy your long-distance relationship.

1. Comparisons

Constantly comparing your relationship to geographically close relationships only makes your partner feel inferior for not being able to give you what you want. Instead, be thankful for what you have, and understand your partner is also dealing with the distance. All of these are real-life relationships, so don’t compare. You have a healthy relationship; be grateful for it.

2. Letting It Get Boring

Despite the first few weeks have been so lovely, the miles between you and only technology as the bridge, boredom can silently creep into a long-distance relationship. 

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.

3. Lack Of Communication

Different people handle conflicts very differently. If you’re not being respectful of your significant other’s feelings and what they have to say, you could really damage your relationship.

Learn to express your feelings respectfully and value your feelings and your partners, so you can handle conflict even when you’re miles apart

4. Being In Love With Love

It’s normal for there to be ups and downs in your relationship. You’re both human with your own personalities, flaws, and dreams.

You’ll mess up sometimes, and other times they’ll 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.

What Percent Of Couples Survive Long-Distance?

Long-distance relationships are more successful than you might think. 

  • 25% to 50% of college students are in an LDR at any given time
  • 75% of college students at some point have been in a long-distance relationship

Long-distance relationships have a 58 percent success rate, according to new research. A new study of 1,000 Americans who have been in a long-distance relationship found that whether or not you and your partner make it through the long-distance phase will come down to a coin flip.

In fact, half of those surveyed said they met their partner online, with 27 percent saying they never actually lived close to their partner, to begin with, even in long-term relationships.

According to the data, if your long-distance relationship can survive the eight-month milestone, it gets a lot easier thereafter.

Why Do Most Long-Distance Relationships Fail?

Long-distance relationships fail for many different reasons. In many cases, a lack of physical intimacy can be too much to bear. Sometimes it can be as simple as a couple deciding that they are not a match, although I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily a failure.

A long-distance relationship is an incomplete romantic relationship, so don’t expect it to fulfill your physical affection needs. Aside from communication, this expectation is another main reason why long-distance relationships fail.

Set aside a specific time each week to check in with your partner on an emotional level. Check-in with each other with these few simple prompts to initiate that conversation with your partner.

  • How are you feeling in our relationship this week?
  • What are we doing well in our relationship?
  • Is there anything worrying or stressing you that I can work on?

While asking these questions, make sure you receive the same safe space you are giving to your partner to share your individual thoughts and concerns within the relationship.

Psychological Facts About Long Distance Relationships

Depending on different factors, long-distance relationships can function just like those with partners living close to each other. However, distance certainly does create an impact on the success of your relationship as well as your mind.

Here are some of the psychological effects that make it harder to make a long-distance relationship work:

1. Fear Of Missing Out

FOMO is a real thing. We’ve all felt it; the fear of missing out sucks. It’s one of the harsh facts long distance relationships can amplify FOMO when you feel like you’re missing out on the large chunks of their life and certain aspects of a relationship if you’re in the same city.

You begin to feel like you don’t really know the person, and they’re changing. It starts affecting you and your relationship. To get out of FOMO, the best thing would be to face it and fight it. 

2. Insecurity

A feeling of possessiveness or insecurity can be really difficult to overcome in many romantic relationships. You sometimes start panicking when the partner doesn’t reply back within a few minutes. 

Distance makes trust more difficult and aids in possessiveness. The reality is probably very different, of course. Feeling this way for a long stretch can affect your health and your relationship.

Remember your partner has chosen to be with you, and there will be a hundred reasons for that. Be confident about all the things that make you special.

3. Jealousy

Jealousy is an extreme case of possessiveness or insecurity. It signals you do care about your partner, but too much jealousy creates a negative impact on your relationship.

Also, being continually jealous and having arguments because of it can ruin a perfectly good relationship. Worrying about your partner cheating on you beforehand will do more harm than good. 

4. Stress

For long-distance couples, stress seems to be a part of it. Being apart from the person you want to be the most with is very stressful.

With stress, misunderstandings, and conflicts can arise easily. You can each get annoyed easily and start arguing over unimportant things more frequently than before. 

Try to smooth things out and have patience and motivation. Find ways to relieve stress that works for you.

5. Anxiety

You will have a lot going on in your mind with anxiety. Most of those thoughts will be hypothetical situations. You are constantly at the edge, thinking about what is going to happen next.

The distance makes it so much harder that you get stuck in a loop of what-ifs, and you may not be able to stop it. If your partner is having anxiety, be prepared to answer a lot of questions and comfort your partner. 

Listening to music, maintaining a journal, taking deep breaths, and visualizing a safe space for yourself can really help you to get out of the situation. 

6. Loneliness

It’s quite common to feel alone and lonely when you’re in a long-distance relationship. 

Yet, the reality is you’re not alone, and your partner is there to back you up. You just have your personal space. Your physical connection with each other, however, seems lost. 

Things like planning the future together, keeping alive emotional and physical intimacy, and having a communication schedule, can lessen your feelings of loneliness.

7. Depression

A harsh reality long distance relationships with negativity can lead to depression.

Depression darkens your thoughts and feelings and can slowly creep up on you. This will drag your partner and others into it, leading to their suffering. It just leaves your significant other with feelings of helplessness and confusion.

Talk to each other about your long-distance relationship depression, to family or friends and eat healthily, meditate, and do regular exercise to enrich your life. If you feel unable to lift out of it, you may consider consulting a professional.

8. Fear

The best thing to do is take care of fear initially in a new relationship so that issues like stress, anxiety, depression, insecurity, jealousy, and FOMO can be resolved right there. 

Be honest and vulnerable with yourself and your partner about the fears that come up. Otherwise, they’ll have power over you and the success of your relationship.

Write down your fears and where they’re coming from, and clarify trust issues to disperse the fears and their consequences.

Negative Effects Of Long Distance Relationships

Problems can arise if one partner believes the relationship is casual and open while the other is making sacrifices and putting effort into a monogamous relationship.

Negative Effects
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To reduce such confusion, engage in open and honest communication and discuss what each of you wants from such a relationship.

Here are some negative effects to be aware of:

  • Pressure to make sure time spent together is high quality
  • Pressure to avoid disagreements
  • Struggle to save money because of travel expenses
  • When separated again, you feel let down or feel sad to return to your everyday lifestyle without a partner.
  • Sometimes distance creates too much of a gap
  • Feelings of loneliness heighten the need for security
  • Difficulty maintaining intimacy

When To Call It Quits In A Long-Distance Relationship

You started your relationship together, so both of you are responsible for making it work or breaking up.

Here are some signs of when to call it quits:

  • You feel emotionally overwhelmed.
  • You no longer enjoy being with your partner or talking to them.
  • You and your partner have different life goals.
  • You don’t see that moving in together is realistic, given your current circumstances.
  • Your long-distance relationship lasted a long time, and you are tired of being apart.

Positive Aspects Of A Long-Distance Relationship

There are important traits for people to have in maintaining relationships that aren’t in the same town or even the same country, like:

  • Trust
  • Commitment
  • Independence
  • Organization

There are also very positive aspects that such a romantic challenge can bring. Here are some of them:

  • Appreciate the physical separation in order to focus on school and on each other when spending time together
  • Freedom and autonomy; not a lot of people have that same luxury
  • Sense of rejuvenation when you see your partner in person
  • Appreciation for the relationship
  • Better rested than those in a nearby relationship
  • Perform better academically

These are the harsh facts, long-distance relationships are emotionally challenging, but if you can make it, it can also be a very loving and fulfilling relationship.

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About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.