Have you ever felt the strain of distance slowly pulling your long-distance relationship apart, leaving you wondering how to save what you hold dear?
You’re not alone – in most long-distance relationships couples face bigger challenges than they can handle. So, how can you rewrite the story of your long-distance relationship, transforming it from the brink of falling apart into a tale of triumph? As the miles and time zone differences pile up, it’s easy for the love and connection to fade away. But don’t give up just yet – with a little effort and a lot of heart, you can overcome the obstacles and reignite the flames of passion and intimacy, even from afar.
Maintaining a long-distance relationship can be a test of patience, trust, and love. With distance and time zone differences, it’s easy to feel isolated, disconnected, and unsure of your future together. At some point, you may start losing interest or your feelings may begin to fade away. And, unless you take specific action, your relationship will start falling apart.
In this article, we’ll take a look into the reasons why long-distance relationships fall apart and give you a list of warning signs to go through. We’ll then cover specific steps on how to save a long-distance relationship from falling apart and will leave you with some practical tips.
When you are hitting a rough patch with your long-distance partner, it can really affect your life and well-being. So, use this article as a reference on how to get out of struggles and feel free to jump to the sections that interest you the most by clicking the navigation menu.
Why do Long-Distance Relationships Fall Apart?
When late-night video calls and countless love letters only make you feel more lonely in your long-distance relationship, there might be a few reasons for that. Let’s take a look at the most common ones.
Your Long-Distance Relationship Lasts Longer Than It Should
A long-distance relationship can start falling apart when one partner doesn’t want or isn’t ready to make a move to be together. Without a plan, it may start feeling like you will be in this long-distance relationship forever. When distance lasts longer than a few months, many issues begin to pile up. Sexual frustration becomes part of the course, feelings change, it becomes harder to stay positive and the relationship falls apart.
The lack of physical intimacy is one of the main issues. In a romantic relationship, you expect to be physically close to your partner. This physical closeness allows couples to fulfil their needs for touch and sexual contact.
But, how can you expect to maintain a healthy romantic relationship with a long-distance partner who is away from you most of the time?
Managing your expectations is the first step. The longer you are apart the harder it gets. Try to find a healthy way to address your concerns and resolve the issues. To do that, you will need clear and open communication, so you can talk openly about your feelings and doubts. Regular communication and positive energy are essential to keep the romance alive across miles and time zones.
Online communication may lead to misunderstandings and unnecessary arguments because it’s hard to express your thoughts and feelings over text messages and phone calls. A video call is a great way to connect, hear each other’s voices and see each other’s faces, but it still doesn’t replace physical closeness.
There comes a point where one partner gets tired of waiting to be physically close. Their feelings change, and the whole relationship starts falling apart.
Drifting Apart in a Long-Distance Relationship
When you are in a long-distance relationship, you and your partner go through life experiences separately. These experiences change you, and after a while, you are no longer the same people. In regular relationships, partners grow and change together. But, when you are physically apart, this change happens independently for each of you.
While you can maintain feelings through effective communication online, you also need to maintain closeness by having shared physical experiences. In a healthy romantic relationship, partners spend as much time together as they’d like (sometimes even too much). For long-distance couples in an ideal relationship, it means having regular and frequent visits that allow them to maintain feelings of closeness and connection.
Fading Feelings in a Long-Distance Relationship
To maintain feelings in a long-distance relationship, you need to keep emotional intimacy via effective communication and physical intimacy through frequent visits and occasional fun trips together.
Without clear and open communication and frequent visits, it’s hard to maintain closeness. A lack of closeness can also make it difficult to maintain trust.
Without intimacy of meaningful conversations and physical closeness, the feelings that you once shared for each other may begin to fade away.
The more time you spend apart, the higher the chances you have of meeting someone else. If you come across someone you like in real life, you may develop feelings towards that person. And if you spend a little bit more time with them, fading feelings for your partner may spell the end of your relationship.
Find the right balance between alone time and shared experiences. Alone time will help you keep on top of your personal goals. Sharing time and experiences, be they virtual, will help you maintain feelings towards each other.
Signs Your Long-Distance Relationship Is Falling Apart
It’s not always easy to tell when a long-distance relationship is in trouble, but there are some common signs that something may be wrong. Here are some of the most common ones:
A Lack of Communication
One of the most obvious signs that your long-distance relationship is falling apart is a decrease in communication. When you used to talk every day, now you struggle to find time for a quick text or call.
If you’re finding it increasingly hard to connect with your long-distance partner and neither of you is making an effort to communicate regularly, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
Without regular communication, it’s hard to maintain emotional closeness. So, if the frequency and quality of your communication have declined, this may be a red flag. Take a look at our article about communication in long-distance relationships to get familiar with common communication problems and how to avoid them. You can also learn to communicate better with your long-distance partner by following this step-by-step guide.
Reduced Quality of Communication
Another warning sign is if the quality of your conversations has changed. If you’re no longer having meaningful conversations, or if your long-distance partner seems uninterested in what you have to say, it’s a red flag.
Online communication makes it difficult to have in-depth conversations because of the lack of tactile feedback that lets you know how receptive or defensive your partner is to what you are saying. Here, clear and open communication is even more paramount to help you avoid interpreting something your partner says the wrong way and make sure you understand each other’s points of view.
The most effective communication online can be achieved through a video call. Phone calls tend to work better for lighter conversations like sharing your day’s events or for those moments when you just want to hear each other’s voices.
You may feel like you’re growing apart and losing the emotional familiarity that once brought you together. If you no longer feel a strong emotional connection with your partner, it may be a sign that your long-distance relationship is falling apart.
Don’t despair, check out our article for practical guidance on how to stay emotionally connected in a long-distance relationship.
If you are eager to get hands-on, here’s a workbook just for you.
A Lack of Effort
When one or both partners stop making an effort to maintain the relationship, it can be a sign that the relationship is in trouble. If you or your long-distance partner are no longer putting in the effort to maintain the relationship, it may be a sign that your feelings are fading. If you’re feeling neglected or ignored, it may be time to have an honest conversation with your partner about what’s going on.
Fun trips, be they virtual or in real life should be a part of your relationship. Physical experiences bring positive energy into your lives and will help you keep the romance alive, particularly if you have to be apart for a few months.
Whatever your limitations in terms of travelling to see each other, you can always show your love by maintaining regular communication with phone calls and text messages.
Increased Arguments and Fights
If you and your partner are arguing more frequently, it could also be a sign of a union that’s falling apart. Disagreements are normal. People have different opinions and that’s ok. It becomes an issue when one partner isn’t willing to hear another. When small conversations seem to escalate to unnecessary arguments, leaving you both feeling frustrated and unheard, that’s when the alarm bells should start ringing.
From sexual frustration to managing time zones you have no shortage of areas to disagree on. And, it’s important to voice your opinions and preferences. The key is to have clear and open communication, so you can discuss things and deal with any issue head-on.
Loss of Trust
Trust is the foundation of any relationship. If you’re experiencing trust issues, such as finding yourself doubting your partner’s actions or intentions, it may be time to take a step back and reassess your dynamic.
Avoidance to Make Plans for Your Future Together
You can’t seem to agree on a timeline for when you’ll be together again, or you’re not making any plans at all. If you and your partner are no longer making plans for the future together, it may indicate that the relationship is no longer a priority for either of you.
The primary goal of long-distance relationships is to be together in real life. So if you or your long-distance partner avoid talking about living together, it can be a red flag. Without a set date for moving, you are essentially in a long-distance relationship indefinitely.
If you’re in a long-distance relationship and you’re experiencing any of these warning signs, don’t panic. It’s possible to get your relationship on track, but you really should address all the issues before they get worse. It may be time to have an honest and open conversation with your long-distance partner about the future of your relationship.
5 Steps to Save Your Long-Distance Relationship from Falling Apart
To save a long-distance relationship from falling apart, it’s crucial that you know how to identify the core problems and address issues as soon as they arise.
Consider having a look at our article where we talk about the most common problems in long-distance relationships and give you practical tips on how to fix them.
The following steps are a blueprint for addressing critical issues and saving your long-distance relationship from falling apart. It can work wonders, provided you still have clear and open communication, so you can talk openly about your feelings and address your doubts and concerns.
Identify the Problems in Your Long-Distance Relationship
Problems are inevitable in any relationship. The key to a happy relationship is to address these problems as they arise, so they don’t accumulate and grow into something irreparable. The more issues you ignore, the more hard work you will have to do to fix them.
To save a long-distance relationship from falling apart, you should discuss your issues with your partner openly and honestly. Only after you identify the root cause of your problems, can start looking for solutions.
Get familiar with common problems as it will help you better navigate your relationship and avoid making common mistakes, so you can get on the same page and fix all your problems.
Long-distance couples tend to stick together even when their relationship isn’t working. You can try to connect with your long-distance partner, but if they aren’t willing to work things out, then it’s probably not worth your time doing it alone.
At the very least you should value your own time and be honest with yourself. Relationships are a big part of your life, so create the ones that contribute to your well-being.
Check if These Problems Are Personal or Relationship Related
A relationship is an interaction between two individuals. Each person has their life story, preferences, values, needs and beliefs. For a romantic relationship to work, every person needs to take responsibility for their personal lives, choices and behaviours.
Unresolved personal issues can negatively impact your relationship. Emotional baggage from personal history combined with a lack of physical intimacy because of the distance, can become too much to manage.
A good place to start is by discovering and addressing personal issues.
A key aspect of this step is responsibility. Each partner must take responsibility for their thoughts, feelings and behaviours because both partners are equally responsible for making their long-distance relationship work.
Address Your Personal Issues on Your Own
Personal issues like doubts, insecurities and distrust can make it harder for you to stay connected. Many long-distance relationships struggle because partners carry their past traumas, suppressed feelings and unprocessed emotions, which play a huge role in their behaviour and can eventually turn the enjoyment of being together into hard work.
It is normal to expect that every person has baggage. However, what makes or breaks a relationship is one’s ability to recognise their issues and be willing to address them.
You can ask your partner for help and support. However, the one thing you should keep in mind when it comes to your personal problems is that you need to take responsibility for solving them.
Don’t shy away from asking for help, but also avoid passing on the responsibility for your personal issues to any person other than yourself. Don’t be afraid to face your inner self and get professional advice if you need to.
One of the main problems that eventually ruin many long-distance relationships is the inability to maintain clear and open communication. When you’re away from your partner, it’s difficult to express yourself, and it’s easy for your partner to misunderstand what you mean.
If you want to save your relationship from falling apart, try to express yourself as clearly as you can. Give your partner a chance to reflect on what you’re saying. Ask them what they understood to make sure you’re on the same page.
Since conflicts and misunderstandings are so common, we have created a dedicated workbook to help long-distance couples develop effective communication, particularly online.
Once you and your partner have recognised your personal issues and accepted personal responsibility for addressing them, it is time to reflect on how your individual behaviours work together.
Address Your Relationship Issues Together
A healthy relationship relies on your ability to hear each other out and understand each other’s points of view.
For example, the expression of love can mean something different to each of you. So, while you express love your way, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your partner will see your actions as an expression of love.
In this example, the solution is to get clear on what love means for each of you. Knowing that will help you show love in a way your partner can appreciate.
This approach will help you set realistic expectations but it’s only possible if you and your partner can communicate effectively and understand each other on a deeper level. And, for that, you should build a strong foundation of trust.
If you are having any trust issues or concerns and don’t know how to bring them up, use our step-by-step guide on how to fix trust issues.
Poor communication can lead to confusion and cause many unnecessary arguments and fights. Naturally, effective communication is key to making your long-distance relationship work. For some practical guidance, our communication workbook will help you get clarity and find the much-needed understanding.
Get Professional Help
You can try to save your long-distance relationship from falling apart provided you and your long-distance partner have the willingness to be honest, talk about your issues and work things out.
As long as you and your partner want to make your long-distance relationship work, there is usually a possibility to fix your problems and survive the struggles of being apart. That said, if one of you has lost interest, you might be better off ending your relationship altogether.
Turning to friends and family for help is also a good idea, but don’t rely solely on the opinion of any one person.
If you would like to give it your best shot, here is a comprehensive article on how to make a long-distance relationship work.
If you would like a more practical and hands-on approach, check out our workbook, which is a complete guide on making a long-distance relationship work. It will help you cover every aspect and address any issues you might be facing. You can work on it together with your partner or by yourself on your own time around your job or family commitments.
If you have done all you can but still struggling to make your long-distance relationship work, our relationship coaches specialise in long-distance relationships and are here to give you the support and guidance you need.
Practical Tips to Save Your Long-distance Relationship
Here are some practical tips for creating a positive and supportive environment and preventing your long-distance relationship from falling apart.
Establish Clear Communication
Good communication is essential for any relationship, and it’s even more important in a long-distance relationship. Set aside regular times each day or week to check in with each other and stay connected, even if it’s just for a quick text or call. Explore new and innovative ways to share your experiences and feelings with your partner, such as video calls, virtual reality, or even sending physical letters. Plan special virtual dates, share interests and activities and find creative ways to spend quality time together, even when you’re miles apart.
Strengthen Your Emotional Connection
A strong emotional connection is the cornerstone of any long-lasting relationship, and it’s even more important in a long-distance relationship. Consider couples coaching to help you navigate the challenges of your relationship and find ways to deepen your emotional connection, even from a distance. Share your hopes, fears, and dreams, and find ways to deepen your emotional connection through virtual dates, shared interests, and special gestures.
Share your experiences and activities, whether it’s through virtual cooking lessons, watching a movie together, or taking a virtual tour of a museum. Regularly express your love and affection for your partner through words, gestures, and physical tokens of affection, such as sending flowers or a special gift.
Make Future Plans
Having a plan for the future can help provide clarity and direction for your long-distance relationship and give you both something to work towards. Discuss your visions and aspirations for the future and set realistic goals for your long-distance relationship, such as visiting each other more frequently, or eventually closing the distance.
Make concrete plans for when you’ll be together again, whether it’s for a visit or a permanent reunion. Focus on building a strong foundation for your relationship through effective communication, emotional intimacy, and shared experiences, so that you’re both prepared for a future together when the time comes.
Practice Forgiveness and Understanding
Accept that distance can be challenging and learn to forgive each other’s mistakes and misunderstandings.
By taking steps to save your long-distance relationship, you can not only resolve the current problems but also build a stronger and more resilient bond for the future.
Many couples discover that the key to long-term success lies in creating an emotional connection that can withstand the test of time. It’s just a matter of finding innovative ways to stay positive despite the miles that separate you.
- Spend time with your families and friends but make it a point to have a date night when you can be together and feel connected.
- Recognise your long-distance relationship for what it is and not for what you want it to be.
- Get clear on how you feel about being in a long-distance relationship.
- Communicate regularly but not too long.
- Remind yourselves that it takes dedication and commitment to save a long-distance relationship.
- Make a long-term plan for your future together and talk about the change it will bring to your life.
- Keep a healthy work-life balance by finding ways to have fun together, through virtual games or shared experiences.
- Maintain trust by sharing your feelings, thoughts, doubts, and concerns with your partner.
Ending a relationship is one way to solve your relationship problems. However, unless you understand your part in creating these problems, you risk doing the same in your next relationship.
For example, your feelings may have changed, you may have drifted apart and you no longer have romantic feelings or regular physical intimacy with your partner. In this case, you may choose to end your relationship and find someone else with whom you can have a better relationship.
Should you decide to end your long-distance relationship, do it together with your partner. Way too often, one of the partners decides to end the relationship and then looks for a way to inform the other person about it. This is the wrong way to go about finishing your long-distance relationship.
If you and your long-distance partner experience some issues but are still very much in love, it’s worth trying to fix your long-distance relationship before it falls apart.
A long-distance relationship can start falling apart for several reasons. Depending on what went wrong, there are different things you can do to handle your relationship in a healthy way.
If you can, meet in real life to discuss your relationship if you can’t arrange a video call. Avoid talking about these critical issues over text or the phone.
When long-distance relationships last a long time, sooner or later there is a chance they will start falling apart. This happens for many reasons which we have discussed in this article. It’s important to understand what’s really going on in your long-distance relationship, so you can tackle any issues head-on before they become problems.
Hopefully, by now, you have an idea of what to do when your long-distance relationship is falling apart. In a nutshell, you can either find a way to fix it or consider ending your relationship altogether.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure to talk to your partner openly and honestly. Take time to listen to what they have to say and together make a decision that works for both of you.
When you hit the rough patch, remember that you’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, whether it’s through couples coaching or other resources on our website. Our coaches specialise in long-distance relationships and are here to help.
Frequently Asked Questions About Saving a Long-Distance Relationship
Is it normal to fall out of love in a long-distance relationship?
It’s not uncommon to experience fluctuating feelings in a long-distance relationship. Physical separation and lack of intimacy can affect emotions. Communicate openly about your feelings, concerns, and expectations. Assess the underlying reasons and seek ways to reignite love. Consider professional coaching or guidance from a relationship expert if needed.
How do you fix a long-distance relationship that is falling apart?
To save a long-distance relationship that’s falling apart, it’s important that you find a way to feel connected through open and honest communication. Have a heartfelt conversation with your partner to understand the underlying issues. Make an effort to spend quality time together, even through virtual means. Address challenges together and find solutions. Reinforce the emotional connection by engaging in shared activities. Trust and support each other’s goals. Remember, it takes effort and dedication from both partners to rebuild the relationship.
How do you revive love in a long-distance relationship?
To revive long-distance love, focus on nurturing emotional closeness. Regular and meaningful communication, surprise gestures, sharing experiences, and planning for the future together can help reignite the spark. Creating shared goals and finding ways to bridge the distance can also contribute to revitalizing the love between partners.
How do you restore a long-distance relationship?
To restore a long-distance relationship, acknowledge the challenges and express a genuine desire to rebuild. Improve communication and address issues that are causing the strain. Dedicate time for regular video calls or visits. Reestablish trust and create shared goals. Be patient and supportive. It takes time to rebuild, so persevere.
What are the red flags in a long-distance relationship?
Red flags in a long-distance relationship include lack of communication, decreased commitment, trust issues, infrequent visits, and reluctance to make future plans. Address these through open and honest communication. Evaluate the health of the relationship and both partners’ commitment to making it work.
How do you know if your relationship is worth saving?
Your relationship is worth saving when you and your partner have the willingness and resources to make it work. Aside from that, if you don’t know how to identify and fix your problems, you can always get professional help from a relationship coach.
What to do if my long-distance relationship is falling apart?
If you feel that your long-distance relationship isn’t working, you can explore why it isn’t working and what issues you need to address. The best way to go about it is by expressing your doubts and concerns to your long-distance partner. Also, take time to listen to their point of view. Once you understand each other, you can find solutions to most problems.
What is the best way to save a long-distance relationship?
The best way to save a long-distance relationship is to figure out why it did not work. To do that, you should take the time to hear each other out and find it in yourself to express your concerns as clearly as possible. Good communication and understanding will help you identify the areas of your relationship that need your attention.
How do you save a dying LDR?
To save a dying long-distance relationship, try to identify the root cause of the issues and work together with your partner to address them. Regular check-ins, technology-assisted communication, and shared experiences and activities can help strengthen your bond.
What ends long-distance relationships?
Some common reasons a long-distance relationship might fail include a lack of communication, difficulty maintaining an emotional connection, unrealistic expectations, limited physical intimacy, and a lack of plans for the future. Growing apart due to different life paths, or difficulties in managing the distance and the associated challenges are also quite common. However, with some willingness and effort, many long-distance relationships can thrive and overcome these obstacles.
How do you know if your long-distance relationship is failing?
Signs that a long-distance relationship might be failing, include a lack of communication, decreased emotional connection, unrealistic expectations, and a feeling of distance or disconnection from your partner.
How can I feel connected in my long-distance relationship?
Building and maintaining a strong emotional connection is key in a long-distance relationship. Try prioritising communication with regular check-ins and technology-assisted communication, such as video calls. You can also consider couples coaching to strengthen your bond, and plan shared experiences and activities to create shared memories.
What are the signs that my partner is losing interest in our long-distance relationship?
Some signs that your partner may be losing interest in a long-distance relationship include a lack of communication, decreased expressions of affection, and a lack of effort to maintain the relationship. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it’s important to address them head-on with your partner.
Should I end my long-distance relationship?
Ultimately, the decision to end a relationship is a personal one and only you can know what is right for you. However, some signs that your relationship may be in trouble include feeling disconnected, experiencing trust issues, and having difficulty maintaining physical intimacy. If you’re unsure, couples coaching can help provide you with the tools and support to work through any challenges together.