Why Long Distance Relationships Fail

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By Jesse
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Understand the common reasons LDRs fail and learn how to avoid these pitfalls. Save your relationship now!

Reasons Why LDR are not working

Long-distance relationships are a whole entity on their own when it comes to love and romance. Couples in these types of setups face unique challenges that continuously threaten to ruin the bonds they work so hard to build. If you are in an LDR, you know what I am talking about. 

Did you know that the percentage of long-distance relationships that fail is around 42%?

From time and schedule conflicts to trust issues, here is why long-distance relationships don’t often work out. That way, if you are currently in one or considering entering one, you know exactly what signs to pay attention to. 

20 Reasons why long-distance relationships Fail

lonely in ldr

Poor Quality And Quantity Of Communication

Without contest, poor communication is the number one reason why long-distance relationships fail. That goes for both quality and quantity. 

With the former, your conversations tend to be very unproductive. Maybe you argue too much. Maybe one or both of you hold back on expressing real emotions. Anyway, this lack of communication is what kills your long-distance relationship.

With quantity, on the other hand, it is an issue of not spending enough time talking. It could be intentional as you feel the routine is monotonous and burdening. But in some cases, it is purely out of your control, whether it be time zone differences or schedule conflicts. 

Monotonous Date Ideas

The whole movie marathon while on a live video call as a date thing is quite honestly overplayed. There is so much more you can do together as a couple despite the distance. To prevent this monotony from ruining your romantic relationship, here are a few virtual date ideas and games you could try:

  • Taking a class together
  • Virtual tours of each other’s location
  • Virtual escape room adventures
  • Online LDR games, including video games and board games
  • Cooking together
  • Working out together

Different Social Lives

The partners’ individual social lifestyles play an important role in the survival of the long-distance relationship. 

 You may be working on your master’s degree in rural Nebraska while your partner is sipping after-work cocktails with their colleagues in Miami. You may be running home after work to catch up with your long-distance partner, while they may be partying in a different time zone. 

 Such a big social gap usually adds a third wheel to the relationship, and that’s, almost always, jealousy. 

 If you notice issues creeping up in your relationship, be sincere with one another and talk about expectations. If there are irreconcilable differences, it’s better to walk away than cling to something that will leave you hurt.

External Interference

Speaking of friends and family, they may be another reason why long-distance relationships fail. That is particularly the case when they are openly against the setup or the choice of your romantic partner. The lack of support will weigh down on both of you and make you more and more detached. Sometimes you may need to cut ties with your family to live a healthy life and a healthy relationship. 

If you genuinely believe in your love and want to fight for it, then surround yourself with people who support the relationship. This positive energy will go a long way towards keeping you sane through the tough times until you are together at last. 

Lack Of Personal Growth And Interests

If you are not working on yourself as an individual in a long-distance relationship, it will most likely fail. The lack of positive distraction leaves you with all the time in the world to obsess over simple things in the relationship. Instead of devoting your entire life to dissecting the relationship, why not try personal growth by:

  • Learning a new skill
  • Going back to school
  • Furthering your career
  • Picking up a new hobby
  • Getting a pet or a plant
  • Working on your relationship with friends and family

Lack of Patience

Patience is a virtue… and the key to a long-lasting relationship!

 You’d be surprised at how many long-distance relationships end up in shambles just because partners weren’t patient with one another.

 There are so many different things to juggle when you are hundreds or maybe even thousands of miles away that you simply don’t have the time nor the will to deal with things that test your patience. 

 But if you see the future together, you will have to put more effort and be as tolerant as you can with each other. Otherwise, having a “short fuse” will only lead to more misunderstandings and unnecessary long distance relationship fights, and eventually, it will break the bond!

Lack of Support 

Another dealbreaker when it comes to long-distance relationships is the lack of support.

 Support has many faces. Sometimes it comes in the form of help and services, and sometimes it’s expressed through words and emotions. But usually, it comes from the people closest to us. So, how can LDR partners give each other support with all those miles in between?

Well, even though it’s tricky, it’s far from impossible! Maybe you can’t hug them, but you can definitely notice a change in their voice, mood, or demeanor! 

 You will have to compensate for your absence by being more observant and showing compassion, understanding, and emotional support.

You’ve Both Changed

It’s not easy to admit, but our environment changes us on many levels. Whoever said “You are what you love” was onto something. 

 And don’t get me wrong, change is far from being bad. But it’s also one of the common reasons long-distance relationships fall apart. 

 Let’s say a small-town guy decided to move into the big world and underwent a huge change of values and worldview, but his girl remained local and didn’t change at all. Experiencing such a significant change has the power to make or break a relationship. It all depends on how ready you are to work hard to keep the love alive. 

The Relationship Isn’t Progressing

Like all relationships, LDRs, too, need forward momentum. For a long-distance relationship to be successful, you need to feel that the relationship is moving towards something better and that it is growing.

Most LDR challenges, like fighting over money or decreased physical intimacy, can be overcome, but if you and your partner don’t make the effort to grow and deepen your connection, your relationship may not work out in the end.

Increasing emotional intimacy, learning from each other, and exploring the world together as a couple are an important part of progress. If you’ve stopped doing that, your relationship might hit the rocks soon.

Emotional Instability

Like any other relationships, long-distance relationships, too, go through their ups and downs. The difference is that distance and lack of physical presence make these emotional spikes worse.

One moment, you are super excited about your Skype date, but as soon as it’s over, you feel disappointed and lonely because you wish you could be having dinner face to face, not staring at a screen. 

 The longer you stay apart, the harder it will be to bridge this emotional gap. Sometimes, feelings can get the better of you, no matter how much love and passion there is. 

Insecurities And Lack Of Trust

When you are away from each other, there is no way to find out what your partner is doing alone. It is a perfect medium for mistrust and insecurities to thrive. Maybe he missed a call at night, and you think he was with someone else. Her detached attitude could make you suspect she is not all in anymore. 

These insecurities turn toxic fast and will ruin your relationship in a heartbeat. The best way to salvage the situation is simply through communication. Let your beau know what you feel and have them reassure you. Keeping it to yourself really won’t help. 


infidelity in ldr

Unfortunately, cheating does happen with long-distance relationships. Again, it is an issue of lack of supervision. Unfaithful partners take advantage of this to hide their indiscretions. When you find out that they are cheating, it is entirely up to you to decide what to do. 

To lift any suspicion, make sure to read these two posts:

How To Know If Your Girlfriend Is Cheating On You In A Long Distance Relationship

How to Know if Your Boyfriend Is Cheating on You in a Long-Distance Relationship

Leaving would be the best choice as it is highly likely that the cheating may occur again with the maintained distance. However, if you choose to stay, you need to take significant steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

You’re Not Growing Together

In most aspects, a long-distance relationship is like any other. So, when it comes to keeping a strong, long-lasting relationship, if you don’t grow together as a couple, it won’t matter whether you live next door or on the other side of the world. 

Long-distance relationships involve a lot of little sacrifices of your time. If you decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Europe and your partner moved to sunny California, your relationship may be on the back burner and it isn’t growing stronger. Instead of meeting each other on a deeper level, you take totally different life paths. 

 A compromise may seem like the perfect solution, but it’s better to call quits if none of you is happy to be part of it.

You’re Not Willing To Make Sacrifices

If there is one thing that marks any long-distance relationship, it would be making sacrifices. If you’ve already embarked on this joy ride, you probably know there are all kinds of small sacrifices you will have to make overtime to keep the LDR boat afloat.

 But not everyone is ready to give up on so much, despite being in love and caring for their partner deeply. 

 It boils down to commitment and consistency. But with today’s pace of living, it’s hard to meet your partner’s needs, especially if you are staying in two different parts of the country pursuing different careers. 

LDRs Are Expensive

Long-distance relationships do not come cheap. Sometimes, the weight of this financial burden takes a toll on the relationship leading to serious problems. From plane tickets and long-distance call rates to LDR birthday gift deliveries, the charges are more or less inevitable. 

However, there are ways to ensure that green paper is not what comes between both you and your true love. Some great solutions here include:

  • Have a joint kitty where you save for things like plane tickets
  • Plan your visits during the low travel season for discounts
  • Use free communication apps for free calls and video chats
  • Get friends or family nearby to buy and deliver gifts instead of ordering online to save on shipping costs

The Death Of Your Sex Life 

Sweet Innocent Sexts to Send ldr

Intimacy takes a huge hit in relationships where distance is a significant factor. If you both value sex and physical intimacy and are not willing to wait, you will have to find alternatives. Talk about options like toys, virtual sex, phone sex, and raunchy texts to keep things interesting. Planning your visits in close succession may also help a lot. 

You’re Growing Apart

One common reason why many couples become long-distance is that they are going through different stages in life. One may be still in college, carelessly enjoying their early twenties, and the other one may be pursuing a serious career and thinking of settling down. 

 As hard as it is to make someone change, it’s equally hard to stop them from changing. Different life circumstances often change what makes us fall in love with our partners as well. 

 And even though reunion after a certain stage is still in play, you might be coming back to a different person. 

Lack Of A Definitive Finish Line

Many long-distance relationships that work owe their success to having an end goal in mind. It could be that you plan on moving somewhere new together, or maybe the traveling partner will settle down for a career closer home. Not having this goal in mind will leave you miserable and foster hopelessness, which makes you not interested enough to make things work. 

You’re Not Ready for It 

You are simply not ready to dip your toes in the LDR world, and that’s okay. Not everyone is cut out for a long-distance relationship and all the obstacles (and beauties) that it comes with. 

 The best way to go about it is to be sincere, first with yourself and then with your LDR partner. You won’t need to do damage control if there is no damage in the first place. 

 LDRs require a certain level of maturity and a sense of commitment to get a fair chance at succeeding. Lacking these crucial traits is one of the main reasons why young long-distance couples fall apart.  

You Don’t Love Each Other

Last but not least, the simplest yet most painful reason for a long-distance relationship to end is the lack of love. 

 LDRs are beautiful if you know how to sail through rough waters. Otherwise, they can be tiring and very demanding. Unfortunately, all those obstacles, combined with time and distance, often put the spark out. 

 What looked a lot like love in the beginning is now a time-consuming chore that weakens your emotional connection. 

If you are not sure you want to stay with your LDR partner, it’s better to be honest and find a way to tell them how you feel. No one deserves to be led on and have their time wasted. 

Bottom Line

With this information, you have all the ammo to fight and win the battle for your love. Yeah, that’s a bit dramatic, but so are LDRs in general. The important thing is to communicate, work on yourself, and actively work towards moving your relationship forward.

jesse blogger at my long distance love


I'm Jesse, your long-distance relationship expert. I share tips and advice on my blog to help you navigate the ups and downs of long-distance love. Whether you're just starting out or have been apart for years, my blog is here to help you stay connected and happy despite the distance.