Last Updated on November 15, 2022 by Sammie

10 Harsh Realities of Long Distance Relationships

harsh facts of a long distance relationship

Long Distance Relationships usually aren’t something we do out of choice. Life happens and we try our best to adapt and accommodate to retain normalcy the best we can. Deciding to go the distance is like doing a massive trust fall with your beau. You might get caught after you heart comes to your throat, or maybe the one who was supposed to catch you wasn’t ready. LDR’s aren’t for everyone. They require work and sacrifice but they can also be rewarding and a way to grow your relationship and yourself in a way that would be difficult while together. Below are 10 harsh facts of long distance relationships. 

This list is created to give you an idea of what to expect and how to get through this challenge as painlessly as possible. I’ll give you a hint, it requires a lot of communication. 

*Did I mention I’m trying to take my own advice?

long distance relationship

1. You need to work to progress your relationship or it will stall.

Just like our careers, our relationships need TLC to keep them chugging along. This is especially true when dealing with long distance. Whether you’re a few hundred or thousand miles a part, when you are separated from your SO the relationship will naturally stall. Think of it as pressing a pause button on your relationship. You tend to want to think of this time as temporary, as something to just get through but just because you aren’t physically together doesn’t mean you aren’t together.

This is the moment you need to work harder to let your relationship grow with the times. Nobody wants to outgrow their relationship. But this can be an easy thing to do if you aren’t prepared to go to extra lengths to keep your partnership growing as fast as you are.

2. You need to leave a space in your life for that person.

This may not be the harshest fact within the harsh facts of long distance relationships but it deserves a spot on the list. Being apart means going on with your separate lives. However, leaving your person a space in your life physically and mentally is needed to make it easier for yourself as well as your SO. Without consciously leaving physical space for the person while they are away you are setting yourself up for a difficult adjustment when you come together again. Nobody wants to feel as if they are imposing on someone in their own home, no matter how deep the love is. If you do not actively create space, you’ll naturally push them out.

There will always be an adjustment time on the bookends of doing a long distance relationship. By always having a dedicated space for them to fill in their return you’ll feel more ease when adjusting to living together again and they will feel welcome in their return. Or vice versa!

harsh facts of a long distance relationship

3. You will need to learn to trust way more than you ever realized.

Oooooooh how ldr’s test you. Boy oh boy… At times there will be too much time to think. Thankfully just because you think it, doesn’t mean it’s true. Keep the communication lines open. You might go into this thinking your partner will have a hard time when you forget to text them goodnight. Then one missed call later and your insecurities are rearing their ugly faces into your life. Being separated from your partner could potentially show some nasty sides to yourself. Take it in, recognize you miss them, and let it go.

This is a great time to work on yourself. If you are spending most of the day preoccupied with what the other is doing, maybe it is time to preoccupy yourself with whether you are happy with your own life and how you can improve it. It sometimes pays to remind yourself that you were a you before you were a we. 

4. There has to be a plan in place.

Going with the flow is an easy way to drift apart. For those of the more spontaneous nature, I’m looking at you. Among the harsh facts of long distance relationships, having a plan is essential. We aren’t in a Disney Channel Movie, things aren’t going to just happen because we are sad. We have to plan. Bring on the communication! Once again, talk to your partner. How long are either of you willing to do long distance, why are you doing long distance, why are you staying together, and how often do either of you need to see each other physically to feel connected. It won’t be the same for both of you. But life gets in the way and if you don’t take the time to plan the time, the time won’t be there for you two to connect.

long distance relationship

5. You will become a master storyteller in your mind.

This goes along with number three. Either you or your partner will undoubtedly spin a story once or twice before you come together in blissful harmony once more. What I mean by this is, either one of you is going to end up assuming that either person is doing something or thinking something vastly different from reality simply because of lack of communication. It might be a missed text or call, or a lengthy amount of time not speaking to each other.

Be honest with each other. One of you might only need one text a day. The other one might need to know when you will be available at night and in the morning to have a quick chat on the phone. There will be compromise and you or the other person will undoubtedly get pissed off in the process. We know, long distance is not easy. It’s annoying and painful and that’s why it’s temporary. And if you’re enjoying it more than being together then I beg the question of why you are planning on getting back together in the end. 

6. You are going to need to prioritize self improvement.

In a similar way to needing to work to progress your relationship while apart, you will need to prioritize yourself for a period of time. Without knowing it, we can mold ourselves and schedules to our partner. This is perfectly normal. This is what makes being apart so painful, it’s as if we lost a part of ourselves. But the reality is, we didn’t. And we can work with this new found time to feel complete as our individual self again. What feels counterintuitive will actually strengthen the relationship in the end. People are meant to grow and change as we age, you will and your partner will. What isn’t natural is neglecting this natural phenomenon and stalling to be the person you were when your partner last saw you. This won’t do you or your partner any good in the long run.

harsh facts of a long distance relationship

7. Being apart will test the limits of your relationship.

I think I may have said this once or twice before, LDR’s are VERY DIFFICULT. Ready for a harsh fact of long distance relationships you are not going to want to hear? It doesn’t matter how much you love this person. You’re going to get pissed off at them and possibly question what you are doing with your life. It’s natural, you’re not alone. This isn’t the norm, this whole distance thing. This is what you need to remember. It’s a temporary bandaid because real life is getting in the way of our love life. Communication will be your friend.

Take the advice or not but your partner will never be able to guess how you are feeling from telepathic waves being sent through satellite. You’re angry with the situation? Talk about it. You’re depressed you didn’t hear from them for 11 hours? Talk about it. You feel like you’ve lost the ZaZaZou? TALK ABOUT IT. Now you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

8. You will learn about your true dynamic and the imbalance of every part of it.

There’s something weird about having a partner in life. You naturally take on roles- maybe of the nurturer, the protector, the provider, the cleaner, the joker, the responsibility-er (that one didn’t work). It’s normal, we can’t do everything but this can make for the sudden change of going long distance very off putting. Like…’where’s my breakfast?’ off putting. But this is a harsh truth that will serve you very well.

The more you understand what you or your partner provided to the relationship the more gratitude you can bring with you when you come together again. Maybe you realize the amount your partner was doing was far too much compared to what your lazy butt was doing, or vice versa. This can be a welcomed opportunity to reestablish balance within the relationship. Or an opportunity to express the enormous gratitude you have for the roles you both take to live harmoniously (for the most part).

harsh facts of a long distance relationship

9. You will find out quickly if it’s worth it.

You won’t be able to escape this. I’m sorry but you might realize after a week, a month, a year whatever, that you’re better off alone. It’s going to happen if it’s meant to happen. Being apart from someone that you are normally entwined with has a way of highlighting how you would like to spend your days and weekends. If there is doubt in your mind that this might not be the route you want to take, I encourage you to voice it out loud.

We all have doubts sometimes. Maybe this doubt is coming from fear of the other not being able to handle the distance, or maybe it’s personal. Talking about the doubt will keep both parties on the same page. As humans we rely a bit too heavily on body language and assumption. This is absolutely useless in a long distance relationship. All you have is words. Get used to using them, you owe it to yourself and you owe it to your partner.

10. People tell you to choose between career and love.

The last on my list of 10 Harsh Facts of Long Distance Relationships. It may have been a clear choice for you, It might STILL be a clear choice for you. But that doesn’t stop you from needing to vent to your family and friends about the difficulties that come along with this challenging adventure. Prepare yourself for someone at some point to tell you that “it might not be worth it.” Or, “maybe it’s time to concentrate on your career.” They aren’t entirely wrong, but also don’t be surprised if people start trying to convince you that long distance isn’t worth it and you should think about moving on.

love relationship

There are plenty of harsh facts of long distance relationships. Taking on a LDR is a challenge to say the least but it’s also an unbelievable opportunity to establish growth and trust in your partner. When we decide we are going long distance we have decided to put enough trust in our relationship so we can pursue other things that might need more of our attention. As long as you remember this is temporary, I see it as more of an obstacle to overcome not an obstacle to stop you in your tracks. It won’t work out for everyone. But that’s okay. It might be a good way to realize you need to work on trusting others, or it will be an easy out for an unhealthy relationship.

All I want to suggest to anyone about to embark on or is currently going through a LDR is that it isn’t easy, but it can be done. It might require more work, but the best things in life aren’t free.

love letter

Any tips to get through the slug of a long distance relationship? Please comment below!

Need a little boost to get through a hard day of LDR-ing? Check out this list of 120 Long Distance Relationship Quotes to remind you why you do what you do.