5 Signs Your Long-Distance Relationship is In Trouble
- Calls become infrequent
- Important Events are Forgotten
- There are long silences in the conversation
- There is only 1 form of communication
- They start making new friends
Long distance relationships are never easy. Maybe you met in person but life circumstances have forced you physically apart. Maybe you’ve never met in person and with the current climate meeting in person has been postponed indefinitely. Regardless of how the relationship started you now find yourself in the middle of an uncomfortable situation. As much as you care about your partner and want to be together you know in your gut (and maybe your heart) that something just isn’t right.
Your intuition is telling you something isn’t the same as it used to be. Initially you want to blame it on your insecurity. Of course being apart can trigger past wounds and create some doubt. You just want to know that they are still committed to being together. Is it so wrong to want some reassurance?
Facetime and video calls are not the same as a hug and a kiss. Maybe your insecurity is unwarranted. It could just be something you heard someone say or an article that you read that has stirred up some doubt. Or maybe there really is something wrong. If you are worried that you are losing your relationship and somehow drifting apart from your partner here are a few warning signs that might confirm your suspicions.
Lao Tzu teaches: “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
1. Calls Become Infrequent
Many couples who are in long distance relationships rely on phone communication to keep their bond strong. Unlike texting or online chat, talking over the phone stimulates more senses and can deepen an already strong connection. Many couples choose to set a time to speak to each other on a regular basis. This is typical in relationships that cross time zones so the conversation is at a time that is convenient for both. If you’re like many couples you likely opt to speak at least once a day over the phone.
In a traditional relationship this might seem excessive but for a long distance relationship this is sometimes the only way to maintain a close connection.
If you start to notice that your partner is making less and less time to speak on the phone this could be a sign of trouble in your relationship. It could mean that not only is your partner not actively missing you (possibly taking you for granted) but that they are no longer looking forward to speaking with you. The excitement is gone. Infrequent calling is a sign that their priorities have shifted in some way.
It could also mean that they are keeping you out of the mundane aspects of their life. If you notice a change in the frequency in which you speak on the phone to your partner don’t hesitate to talk it over.
2. Important Events are Forgotten
In long distance relationships keeping up with important events such as birthdays, anniversaries, milestones, and accomplishments is critical. Since you are not there to celebrate or congratulate your partner in person, the most thoughtful thing to do is to at least recognize and observe any special occasions. When important events are forgotten or diminished this can be heartbreaking.
Because prioritizing the relationship is important when dating long distance, any lack of thoughtlessness can be a sign that the both partners aren’t equally invested. If you are disappointed by your partner’s lack of interest or effort in acknowledging special dates and events that are meaningful to you, you have a right to be.
When you notice that your partner is no longer excited to celebrate with you, this could be a sign that the relationship has lost some steam. Maybe your partner just isn’t the anniversary type, or they are the type that forgets their own birthday. This doesn’t excuse the behavior if the event is special to you. What is important to you should be important or at least acknowledged by both parties in the relationship.
3. There Are Long Silences In The Conversation
When you are in constant communication with someone it might be inevitable that you run out of things to say. This seems so unfathomable in the beginning of any relationship when you can spend hours talking about anything but overtime conversations do tend to wane in relationships. Especially in long distance relationships when communication is frequent.
Long silences over the phone however could be a sign that your partner is pulling away, or retreating. This might have nothing to do with you. It could be just a habit of isolation. If that is that case, you might consider preparing some questions or fun quizzes that you and your partner participate in. You might also consider watching a series together so that you both feel excited about the topic of conversation. It isn’t unusually that one person walks to talk about the environment while the other person is bored to death.
By choosing a common topic, like a weekly program or movie, you ensure that you are on the same page. If you notice that even then your partner is shy, quiet, or resistant to engage in the conversation, they could be losing interest in the relationship as well.
4. There Is Only 1 Form Of Communication
In today’s world we are overly connected yet further apart. If your long distance relationship suddenly becomes reliant on only one form of communication, it could be a sign that your partner is pulling away. Typically you want to engage view text, phone, call and video chat. But if you are like many other couples, you probably engage on social media platforms as well not to mention, Skype, Houseparty, or Zoom.
If your relationship becomes designated to just one platform for communication (especially when you used multiple before) this could be a sign that your partner is losing interest. It could be a sign that they are putting your relationship in a box, and not allowing you to permeate other parts of their digital footprint for whatever reason. It’s okay to set boundaries and sometimes not following your partner on social media is healthy. If the relationship is at risk however, it could be the case that in the past you were easily engaging on numerous platforms, but now have been relinquished to just one.
5. They Start Making New Friends
Maintaining a life outside of a relationship is healthy for every couple whether long distance or not. You might find it worrisome however if your partner has made a new friend specifically of the opposite sex. This can happen very subtly if someone comes into their awareness such as a new study partner in University or a new colleague at work.
They could even be a neighbor, a relative of a close friend, or an old acquaintance new to the neighborhood. These relationships form very casually and without ill intent. However, when the longing or the missing of a romantic partner because of distance becomes overwhelming their new friend can easily become a confidant. In that case, instead of turning to you for their comfort and connection they are now relying on their new in person friend to ease their desire for a physical presence.
You’ll notice that as a relationship starts to unfold their name comes up more frequently in conversation. It’s natural to feel a bit of jealousy and your instincts aren’t too far off. Once your long distance partner starts bonding with someone else this poses a risk to your relationship. If you learn that your partner has formed a new friendship this could be a sign of their longing for closeness and connection.
You can’t blame them.
Long distance relationships are difficult. This isn’t to say that you should become distraught by every new friendship your partner acquires but if you are getting a gut feeling that something is wrong in your relationship don’t ignore any signs that could confirm your suspicions. Be open and honest in your communication and speak up right away if you sense a change.