Are you feeling overwhelmed by the obstacles in your long-distance relationship, desperately looking for guidance on how to navigate through challenges and fix the problems that arise along the way?
Problems are part of life and every relationship has its challenges. While every relationship is unique with it’s own strengths and limitations, most long-distance relationships come with a set of problems that all long-distance couples go through. Being aware of these problems in advance gives you a headstart to know what hurdles to expect. It gives you time to prepare for these challenges in advance and put together a strategy to overcome every obstacle you will inevitably face.
Ideally, you would do this at the start of your long-distance journey and if that’s where you are, great, we have an article just for you! However, if you have found yourself in a long-distance relationship already, getting overwhelmed with all the problems, then you are in the right place.
In this article, you’ll find a strategy that you can apply to fix any problem in your long-distance relationship. Here, you will find an overview and practical steps to start recovering your balance. Along the way, you will find links to other articles that cover specific problems and how to fix them.
And, of course, if you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are here to offer you the guidance you need, wherever you are on your long-distance journey.
1. Learn About Common Problems in Long-Distance Relationships
While every relationship is unique, many long-distance couples face common problems. Knowing the potential problems can help you and your partner get ready to deal with them in a healthy way.
Intimacy and Sex
Long-distance relationships come with many challenges. Most of these challenges revolve around being physically apart from your romantic partner for long periods. Can you imagine a long-distance romance without physical touch? Well, that’s long-distance relationships in a nutshell.
Due to physical separation, intimacy and sex are by far the biggest challenges in long-distance relationships that lead to many problems. A romantic relationship implies having physical intimacy. However, long-distance couples go for weeks and months without seeing each other.
For some time, you can find ways to deal with a lack of physical intimacy with online dating, phone sex, sexy games, and masturbating together. Check out more long-distance relationship activities in a separate article.
None of these however fulfil the need for physical contact with your romantic partner. Physical touch is how partners stay connected in geographically close relationships.
When it comes to long-distance relationships, geographic separation for long periods makes it hard to stay positive. Negative feelings become part of the course causing many problems. Without a physical connection, you or your partner are likely to feel insecure about your relationship. And, a lack of physical touch will inevitably lead to sexual tension.
For some guidance, check out our article on intimacy in a long-distance relationship.
You can keep it going for a few months, but then what?
Regular and effective communication together with frequent visits will help you stay positive. But at some point, this unfulfilled need for physical connection can turn into a source of sexual frustration. This frustration will then affect other aspects of your relationship and your life as a whole.
When you feel insecure, unfulfilled and frustrated, many problems are inevitable.
That’s why having an end date is so extremely important. And, it’s equally important to make sure you continue your personal growth and stay focused on achieving your personal goals.
It can be easy enough to have a healthy relationship, even with geographic separation for a few months. But trying to maintain romantic relationships without regular physical contact indefinitely, often brings more suffering than joy.
The good news is that with some guidance and a bit of effort, you can soften the blow of physical distance and save your long-distance relationship from falling apart.
Communication is another common challenge in many long-distance couples. Distance involves talking online, meaning that any conversation you want to have, even about sensitive topics, has to be over a video call, messaging app or phone call.
Without seeing your partner in front of you, a big part of non-verbal communication through body language is missing. And, the intuitive feelings you get that can tell you how your partner is feeling are also harder to recognise.
With phone calls, you can only use verbal communication to express yourself and understand your partner’s feelings and intentions. That’s why effective communication over a video call is such an important aspect of a healthy long-distance relationship.
Without clear communication, one partner may not know how to talk about their feelings properly, leaving the other partner confused. This confusion may then lead to many unnecessary arguments and fights that can be avoided.
If you want to be proactive, our workbook on how to improve communication with your long-distance partner is what you need.
Many couples don’t give enough importance to the way they communicate. But clear communication is a must if you want to make your long-distance relationship work.
Poor communication leads to misunderstandings and puts even more strain on an already complicated situation.
It’s worth spending time to improve communication with your partner, so you can enjoy a more loving and harmonious relationship.
Distance and Time Zones
Being in different time zones means that when you are up and running and eager to talk, for your long-distance partner it could be bedtime and all they may want to do is to say good night.
So, when planning your virtual meet-ups, consider these time zone differences and each other’s schedules. Recognise your needs but also be understanding of your partner.
It may seem like a lot, but you’re not alone. Every long-distance couple goes through these challenges. the ones who know how to handle them, get to enjoy their long-distance relationship.
At the same time, long-distance couples that don’t learn to deal with their issue the right way, fail.
Don’t be that long-distance couple that ends up in a toxic relationship, thinking that phone sex can solve all their issues. Learn how distance affects a relationship by reading an article and consider a workbook to learn how to handle distance the right way.
Feel free to learn more about these and other common problems in long-distance relationships and how to fix them in a different article. For now, let’s move on to the next step of reflecting on the specifics of your current relationship.
2. Reflect on Your Long-Distance Relationship
Reflecting on your relationship can help you become aware of the problems that you may not have known about.
Try answering these questions to help you get started:
- How often do you find yourself having arguments and then asking yourself why?
- How often do you find yourself feeling unsettled or agitated without having a clear understanding of where this negativity comes from?
Talk about Important Topics
Reflecting on your relationship can in itself be quite a challenge. If you are having issues, it means that you were not able to handle them before. With time, it is reasonable to expect that these issues have accumulated and by now have become quite sensitive.
Bringing up sensitive topics is never easy, but is necessary if you want to fix problems and get your relationship back on track.
To help you out, we have created a complete guide that walks you through each area of a long-distance relationship step by step. It contains common problems and mistakes including some tips on how to avoid them. Here, you will also find a series of questions for you and your partner to work through.
Consider Spending Time Apart
It may help to spend time apart and reflect on your circumstances to see if you can make things work and how. You don’t have to make a drastic decision to end it. Just have some alone time to reflect on your situation and where you want to take it going forward.
A two-week break should give you the time you need to connect with yourself. After that, you may have a better idea of how to save your long-distance relationship, if that’s what you decide to do.
3. Identify the Problems in Your Long-Distance Relationship
Once you became familiar with potential problems and reflected on your relationship, it’s time to identify specific problems.
Being aware of your problems is the first step to fixing them. If you feel insecure, talk about it with your partner. Don’t let your doubts fester as it will only make things worse. Self-expression and sharing are essential to building an emotional connection with your partner.
While it is healthy to acknowledge and express your feelings, it is equally important to develop effective communication to build understanding and discuss the practical aspects of your situation.
If you feel stuck and don’t know where to begin, check out our step-by-step guide for guidance on how to identify if you are in a healthy relationship.
4. Separate Personal Issues from Relationship Problems
When things start to go wrong, one fundamental issue can affect many areas of your relationship causing a whole variety of problems. Naturally, this can quickly become confusing and overwhelming.
To help you get started, try to separate personal problems from relationship-related ones.
An example of personal issues can include:
- personal insecurities
- traumas from past experiences
- a lack of direction in life
- general sense of unfulfillment in personal life
- feeling lost without clear personal goals
Common relationship problems can include the following:
- a lack of direction
- poor communication
- a lack of physical and emotional intimacy
- unclear relationship goals
- unrealistic expectations
- no set plan to achieve your relationship goals
- no end date to close the distance and at least move to the same city
While relationship problems can be due to the lack of compatibility, when it comes to long-distance relationships, distance can also be a cause of many problems.
5. Discover the Root Cause of Your Problems
Often, long-distance couples are looking for easy solutions to fix their problems. But without spending time to figure out the root cause of the issues it’s near impossible to fix any long-distance relationship problems.
More often than not, the problems you are experiencing are likely to be a manifestation of an underlying core problem. Negative feelings point to unfulfilled needs.
Unless you address the root cause of your issues, you are likely to have more arguments and fights rather than working on solutions to fix these problems.
Your first step as a long-distance couple is to acknowledge your feelings and talk about them with your partner. Ideally, your long-distance partner has the time and care to hear you out and share how they feel about the situation.
Talk about your feelings and take the time to hear each other out, so you can understand every point of view. Once you do that, you should be in the right frame of mind to focus on fixing the problems at hand.
Successful long-distance relationships require effective communication where every partner feels comfortable sharing what’s on their mind without the fear of being misunderstood.
When you start breaking down the problems, you are likely to discover underlying issues that you may not have seen before. It is these “undercover” issues that in fact need to be fixed.
6. Fix the Problems Together with Your Partner
When it comes to fixing personal problems, each partner has to take full responsibility for addressing the issues. It’s okay for you to help each other with personal issues by providing support and giving feedback. One caveat is that you should not expect your partner to fix your problems for you.
Relationship problems, on the other hand, have to be fixed by both of you.
When discussing possible solutions to your relationship problems you and your partner have to get on the same page and be willing to make your relationship work and be ready to put in the effort towards building a healthy relationship.
Trust, Understanding and Effective Communication
Trust and understanding are key to having a healthy relationship. Without trust, it’s hard to talk about feelings and true intentions. Without understanding, it’s near impossible to fix any problems.
Effective communication can help you build trust and develop understanding. Check out our article on effective communication in a long-distance relationship to learn more about what it involves.
How Healthy is Your Long-Distance Relationship?
One thing you should keep in mind is that not all problems in a long-distance relationship can be fixed. While there are effective ways to address relationship problems, sometimes a long-distance relationship just doesn’t work and all you can do is to let it go.
If your relationship is toxic or unhealthy, it could be healthier to let go of a long-distance relationship that doesn’t work, rather than trying to fix something that cannot be fixed.
You can also use our workbook to check how healthy is your long-distance relationship. This guide will help you and your partner reassess your relationship and make an educated decision going forward that works for both of you.
The problem with long-distance love is that a romance without physical closeness at some point becomes a friendship. An inherent lack of physical intimacy makes a whole idea of a long-distance romance difficult and confusing and it’s just a matter of time before sexual frustration kicks in and takes over the whole relationship.
Many long-distance relationship problems come as a result of that. So, we created a dedicated step-by-step guide to show you how to be intimate in a long-distance relationship, even when you are physically apart.
Here are some things you can agree on that will help you avoid unnecessary problems in your long-distance relationship:
- First, share your feelings and give each other empathy. Once you and your partner feel heard and understood, it’s much easier to have a productive discussion about fixing your problems.
- Keep your communication open and flowing, so you feel comfortable voicing your opinions and preferences without the fear of judgement and criticism.
- Communicate regularly and keep your communication open, so each partner feels comfortable sharing their feelings, doubts and concerns. Regular communication doesn’t mean that you need to talk constantly and bombard your partner with non-stop phone calls.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with saying good morning and good night and taking a few minutes to connect or catch up on the day’s events. Just try to avoid excessive communication and focus on your own life and make the most of your free time, which will become more scarce once you will be sharing the same space with your partner.
- Poor communication makes it hard for people in long-distance relationships to stay on the same page. If you can’t find the right words to express yourselves clearly, it can lead to confusion, misunderstanding, and unnecessary fights and arguments. Talk things out and don’t hold back. You can’t be in a long-distance relationship forever, and eventually, you’ll have to make a decision to move in or break up.
- Get as much in-person time as you can because without physical touch your long-distance romance can only last for so long.
- Try to avoid compromises where possible and look for solutions that work for both of you.
We’ve created a complete guide for long-distance couples, so you and your partner can work together towards a better long-distance relationship.
7. Get Professional Help
Trying to fix long-distance relationship problems can become emotionally overwhelming. When you feel emotionally sensitive, it becomes very difficult to approach the problems in a way that is healthy and productive on our website, you can find articles on every aspect of a long-distance relationship.
For a more hands-on approach take a look at our article on how to make a long-distance relationship work, where we cover all the main areas, common problems, and how you can address them in a healthy way.
We also have a whole library of workbooks and guides to help you address specific problems.
If you struggle to process your emotions and to find a satisfying solution to your problems consider booking an introductory coaching session. During this session, we will hear you out and give you neutral and unbiased feedback on your situation.
We specialise in helping long-distance couples create and maintain a healthy relationship by building intimacy, trust and effective communication. If you are starting a long-distance relationship or are already in one, send us a message or book a coaching session for you alone or with your partner.
Tips on How to Fix Problems in Long-Distance Relationships
Here are some tips on how to fix problems in long-distance relationships:
- Figure out what isn’t working in your long-distance relationship.
- Write down your thoughts and feelings on different aspects of your relationship.
- Share your feelings, thoughts, and concerns with your long-distance partner.
- Allow your partner the time to reflect on what you said.
- Take time to listen to your partner’s feelings, thoughts, doubts, and concerns.
- Together with your partner, look for solutions that work for both you and your relationship.
- See your long-distance relationship for what it is and not for what you want it to be.
- Work on communicating openly and clearly with your long-distance partner.
- Maintain trust in your long-distance relationship by sharing your feelings, thoughts, doubts, and concerns with your partner.
- If something is bothering you, try to express it straight away.
- If you feel strong emotions, take some time to understand them better before you share them with your partner.
- Communicate regularly but avoid excessive communication.
- Find a balance between maintaining a connection with your long-distance partner/communication and living your life and doing the things you enjoy with your friends, family, or by yourself.
- Don’t rush to any decisions! Spend time talking, sharing and hearing each other out.
- Talking about your romantic and sexual desires will help you keep the attraction alive until your next visit.
- If the problems are more profound and complicated, it is best to discuss them when you see each other during your next visit.
- During your visit, talk about the state of your relationship and plan the date for when you can finally move in together.
- Make a realistic plan to move in together at some point in the not-so-distant future.
- Long-distance relationships work best when at least one partner is in a position to make regular visits.
In long-distance relationships all problems can be divided in three categories:
For the most part, long-distance couples face similar problems as regular couples, only manifested in a slightly different way. The one problem that is specific to long-distance relationships is a lack of physical intimacy.
Once you have a clear strategy on how to approach the issue as they arise, fixing problems in a long-distance relationship becomes realistic. Find a way to deal with them in a way that is kind and respectful to both you and your partner.
You can use effective communication to build understanding and maintain trust. One of your ground rules could be communicating openly. It will help you avoid bottling down negative feelings and will give you an opportunity to address any problems you may face.
Romantic relationships imply physical intimacy. However, in a long-distance relationship, you will have a lack of physical intimacy for weeks or months at a time. So, visit each other regularly to maintain a physical connection.
A healthy and successful long-distance relationship requires the following:
- Trust and effective communication to maintain an emotional connection.
- Willingness to hear your partner and understand their point of view.
- Frequent visits to maintain physical intimacy.
- An end date for when you can move in together or be in the same city.
- Recognise your long-distance relationship for what it is, and not for what you want it to be.
- If you have doubts about your long-distance relationship, talk to your partner about it.
When facing long-distance relationship problems, your first step is to acknowledge that something isn’t working. After that, you can delve deeper and identify what’s really causing it.
Talk about your observations with your partner and find a solution that works for both of you.
Lastly, consider getting professional help from a relationship coach who specialises in long-distance relationships. Every day we are helping long-distance couples fix their relationship problems. Within a few sessions, we can identify what’s really going on in your relationship and offer some solutions. So, if in doubt, don’t hesitate to get in touch, we are here to help.
Frequently Asked Questions about Fixing Problems in Long-Distance Relationships
How can I fix my long-distance relationship?
You can fix your long-distance relationship by discussing the problems with your partner. After considering all possible solutions, you may decide to find something that can fix your relationship. However, you may also find that things have changed and your long-distance relationship has come to an end. If this happens, discuss it with your long-distance partner all the same. You don’t need to break up with lots of hate and arguments. There might be a way where you can remain friends and be there for each other in time of need.
How to fix a long-distance relationship breakup?
Once you decide to break up, you should probably move on with your life. Clinging to something that is no longer there will do more harm than good. Why spend time suffering in a relationship that ended? It could be more fun to create an exciting relationship with an interesting person.
How do you fix a long-distance relationship after a fight?
After you fought for a long-distance relationship, take a few days or a week away from the relationship. A bit of space will help you and your partner reflect on your relationship and on the problems you may have. It will also give you a chance to calm down and look at your relationship more rationally. Sometimes overwhelming emotions can blind us from seeing what’s right in front of us. Having a different perspective can open your eyes to some of the solutions and how you can fix your relationship problems.
How do you fix a struggling long-distance relationship?
If you’re struggling in a long-distance relationship, ask yourself if your relationship is worth it. When you start a relationship with someone, you expect it to bring joy and fulfilment into your life. Every relationship has problems. But, if all you have in your relationship is a struggle, you might be better off moving on. Some problems are easy to fix. But sometimes the best thing you can do is to end the relationship that isn’t working and create a more healthy one with someone else.
How do you fix a long-distance relationship that’s falling apart?
If you feel that your long-distance relationship is falling apart, try to find out why. Identify the problems that are causing dysfunction in your relationship. Once you know what’s not working, you can talk about it with your long-distance partner and find a solution for it. If you can change your circumstances, then do it. If you’re not in a position to change things, consider a different form of relationship or breaking up.
Can you fix a long-distance relationship break-up?
After you’ve broken up, in most cases, you should probably move on. Being stuck in a relationship that has ended is a bit silly. Understandably, it isn’t easy because you are used to having someone special in your life. But you don’t have to say goodbye. If you are getting on well together but can’t be physically close, you can consider remaining friends.
How to fix problems in a long-distance relationship?
To fix problems in a long-distance relationship, you need to know what these problems are. Once you identify the problems, see if they are worth fixing. As long as you and your partner have a willingness to fix problems in your relationship, you can try to do so. However, if your feelings have changed and you drifted apart, perhaps it’s time to move on from your relationship altogether.
What is the best way to deal with long-distance relationship problems?
The best way to deal with long-distance relationships is to have a plan on how long a long-distance relationship would last and what you expect at the end of it. A romantic relationship implies having physical intimacy. It means that to have a healthy and successful romantic relationship, you should live with your magic button. If you have to do a long-distance relationship that’s fine, as long as it doesn’t last for more than a few months.
How to deal with a temporary long-distance relationship?
It’s a lot easier to deal with a temporary long-distance relationship that lasts for a few months. All you have to do is to maintain the physical and emotional connection and intimacy. You can maintain emotional intimacy by having clear communication and talking about meaningful things like your thoughts and feelings. You can maintain physical intimacy by visiting each other regularly and going on fun trips together.
How to deal with a long-distance relationship while pregnant?
To deal with a long-distance relationship while pregnant, you need to have a supportive partner. It can help to have a plan and a timeline in a long-distance relationship. It’s even more important to have a plan if you’re expecting a baby. Make sure you plan how your long-distance relationship will work, how long it will last, and when you will be able to move in together.
How to save a dying long-distance relationship?
To save a dying long-distance relationship, consider opening up about your feelings and reservations. Discuss openly and honestly how you feel about each other, your relationship and the matter of being apart. Once you identify the culprit of your troubles, you will be in a position to deal with them effectively.
How to fix a broken long-distance relationship?
To fix a broken long-distance relationship start by reflecting on how it evolved and what got in the way of you making it work. Many problems come from poor communication or a lack of physical and emotional intimacy. The first step to mending your relationship is to have open and honest communication about your feelings, doubts and concerns. Once you are clear on what exactly is broken, you can focus your attention on finding the root cause of these problems. Sometimes, the relationship may have run its course and perhaps a breakup is the right thing to do.
How to deal with a break up of a long-distance relationship?
If your long-distance relationship isn’t working, try to find the reasons why. Once you know what isn’t working, you can try to fix it, or you may decide to break up. As long as you decide together, you will avoid unnecessary pain and heartbreak.
What are common problems in long-distance relationships?
Some common problems in long-distance relationships include feeling disconnected, experiencing trust issues, and difficulty maintaining physical intimacy. It’s important to address these challenges head-on and work together as a team to overcome them.
I love him but I can’t do long-distance. What should I do?
It can be difficult to maintain a long-distance relationship, and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. However, it’s important to have open and honest communication with your long-distance partner to determine if the relationship is worth continuing.
What are the signs of an unhealthy long-distance relationship?
Some signs of an unhealthy long-distance relationship include feeling disconnected, experiencing trust issues, and difficulty maintaining physical intimacy. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it may be helpful to seek support from a couples coach to work through them.
When should you call it quits in a long-distance relationship?
There is no one right answer to this question, as it ultimately depends on the individuals involved. If a long-distance relationship is causing more harm than good, and you and your partner are unable to address the issues and find a solution, it may be time to consider ending the relationship.