What Kills Long-distance Relationships and How to Save it

What Kills Long-distance Relationships and How to Save it

Partners in a long-distance relationship are often faced with some challenges, mainly because they are not in the same location. 

Each partner in such a relationship has fears, insecurities, doubts, and other pressing and subtle issues. When couples do not discuss such issues and solve them, it might be the beginning of quarrels, arguments, and misunderstandings.

What kills long-distance relationships can vary depending on the partners involved. Let take a look at common factors that kill long-distance relationships & ways you can save yours!

What Kills Long-distance Relationships?

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Every relationship, including family unions and friendships, requires constant effort from everyone involved to make it thrive. However, numerous factors contribute to why long-distance relationships fail, and one of the major reasons is poor communication. 

Communication plays a crucial role in every relationship, and people who are far apart from each other rely on constant and healthy communication to thrive. Both partners need to consistently keep each other abreast of whatever is going on in their lives – education, work, leisure activities, time out with friends, and family events. 

There should be no room for doubt, second guesses, or arguments, as any of these things can easily make room for a lack of trust, and without trust, a relationship is headed for doom.

Although what kills long-distance relationships varies, lack of physical intimacy is one factor that continues to top the list for most partners. Physical intimacy creates a connection and strengthens the bond between partners. For some partners, their love language is physical touch. 

Thus, for such people, maintaining a long-distance relationship is very challenging as they find it difficult to give and receive love in ways they prefer. Although many such people are willing to try, it is extremely challenging, and it is only a matter of time before they run out of patience and the will to try.

11 Reasons Why Long-distance Relationships Do Not Last

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Long-distance relationships are usually challenging for both partners. Truly, distance makes the heart grow fonder; however, after some time, it gets really draining and increasingly demanding. If you are currently in a long-distance relationship or will eventually get involved in one, it is pertinent for you to know the various factors that can threaten your relationship with the one you love. 

It is best to be aware of these factors so that you can avoid them. In this article, we will talk about eleven possible reasons why your long-distance relationship might fail. By exploring each point in detail, you will be able to understand how important each factor is and find ways to navigate and maintain a healthy relationship.

What kills long-distance relationships? In no particular order, the following factors top the list.

1. Trust issues

How do you feel when your partner does not trust you? Can you date someone you do not trust? Trust is essential and is usually the bedrock of every relationship. Just like in the relationship you share with your family and friends, trust becomes the center of your union in a long-distance relationship. 

Differences in location can trigger a lot of issues; it can lead to doubts and insecurities as you begin to query your partner and doubt certain things they do or say. Trust cannot be overlooked in any relationship; both partners should strive as much as possible to ensure that they are always honest, sincere, or truthful to one another.

Once trust is broken, it is almost impossible to rebuild it, let alone go back to how things were initially. The best bet is never to engage in activities that will make your partner question your honesty. Do not give room for doubt, second-guesses, or suspicions. Lack of trust is at the center of what kills long-distance relationships

How do you handle this?

If you ever feel like there is something amiss or that there is any information your partner is withholding from you, do not make assumptions. Instead, speak to them about it, confront your partner politely, and make it known to him/her that you do not feel comfortable with such things. This way, they can be honest with you and clear your doubts, thereby strengthening your relationship and solidifying trust.

Also Read: What Guys Want In a Long Distance Relationship?

2. Poor communication

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Can a relationship survive when there is poor communication? Certainly not. Picture a scenario when you do not speak with your partner for a few days or even weeks. The communication will begin to reduce, and the bond you share will gradually fade away.

How do you handle this?

Long-distance relationships require each other to be intentional about what they want in the relationship. You can set goals with your partner for things you wish to do together. Ensure that you share your daily experiences. If the time zone varies, you can both pick a convenient time to talk every day. This does not exclude text messages that you both can share during your work hours on WhatsApp or any other suitable social media platform of your choice. 

Be open with each other and communicate your feelings properly without feeling shy or inadequate. Always ensure your partner knows about your daily activities as well as events and achievements in your life.

3. Emotional drift

Humans have emotional needs that often need to be fueled and satisfied by their partners. The absence of physical interaction and shared experiences can lead to emotional drift. 

When anyone fails to meet the emotional needs of his/her partner, it hampers their joy and happiness. 

How do you handle this?

Do not act distant from your partner; irrespective of the difference in location, you should be there for your partner, be empathetic, and provide adequate emotional support for them during challenging times. 

If your partner had a long day or probably had issues at work, lost someone, or lost something important to them, you need to be there for them, serve as a shoulder to lean on, and provide all the love and support that you can. When this is not done, the emotional bond may weaken over time and subsequently affect the relationship.

4. Lack of physical intimacy

What kills long-distance relationships

Physical touch, intimacy, and sex are important in romantic relationships. Physical touch is a form of love language for many people. If your partner’s love language is physical touch and quality time, it is going to be very challenging for him due to the distance. 

There are various forms of physical intimacy, such as holding hands, kissing, sex, caressing, spending quality time together, etc. Many of them cannot be excluded in a relationship, thus, when you are in a long-distance relationship, you cannot engage in any of them and it can lead to frustration. These forms of intimacy help to build bonds and emotional connections between lovers, and absence can greatly affect your relationship.

Sex is a popular form of intimacy, and people involved in long-distance relationships usually find it hard to cope without sex. For partners who do not believe in abstinence, being sex-starved for a very long time messes with their emotions.

How do you handle this?

Talk about your needs and see whether you both can survive without it.


Also Read: What Happens When A Man Is Not Sexually Satisfied & 6 Things to Do

5. Infidelity

Infidelity is one of the leading causes of separation and divorce in marriages; it also stands as what kills long-distance relationships. For a lot of people, infidelity is a deal breaker, which is why trust and commitment are very important in any relationship. At the beginning of most romantic relationships, both partners promise to be committed to one another and to be faithful.

However, in a long-distance relationship, due to geographical separation, a partner may default and cheat with someone else. If your partner finds out that you cheated on them, it could be the end of your relationship. Infidelity erodes trust and commitment and goes on to kill the love that exists between two partners.

How do you handle this?

It is best to stay true to oneself and be loyal to your partner. For someone whose love language is physical touch, it is quite challenging to stay long without your partner. However, effective communication can help both partners to stay committed to each other.

Also Read: Is It OK to Have Sex Without a Relationship?

6. Dishonesty

Honesty and transparency are other important attributes necessary for maintaining any relationship; they even become more pertinent in long-distance relationships and should be seriously upheld. 

When you are far away from your partner, it can be tempting to tell lies about certain things that you do, probably because your partner does not approve of such things as clubbing, going on dates with the opposite sex, or even sightseeing with someone who has an interest in you.

No one loves to be lied to, so when you are in a long-distance relationship, it is important to be honest with your partner. When you form a habit of telling lies, your partner gradually begins to lose trust in you, and your relationship gradually begins to die.

How do you handle this?

It does not matter the kind or extent of lie told, white lie or not; it is best to be transparent and honest with your partner. Both of you should conclude things that you want to do irrespective of the distance and their absence. Seemingly, little lies can pile up and erode trust in your relationship, thereby ultimately killing your relationship.


7. Insecurity

What kills long-distance relationships

Insecurity can occur in any relationship, but it is more common in long-distance relationships. It can arise due to past experiences or a lack of trust in your partner. Sometimes, it may be due to fear, which gradually grows and manifests as a lack of trust.

Some people in long-distance relationships are against their partners going clubbing or hanging out with the opposite sex for fear of infidelity. Truly, some of these fears are valid as every sane person wants to protect their interest and of course, the one they love.

How do you handle this?

It is best to communicate your concerns to your partner clearly and reasonably. Acknowledge your fears, look at things objectively, be open-minded, and calmly explain to your partner why you believe that certain actions of theirs are inappropriate and how such actions could harm your relationship.

This way, both of you can communicate openly and explore alternatives. The fact that you are not in the same location does not mean that either of you should not associate with other people. As long as you trust each other, you can each have an excellent social life and even go out with partners of the opposite sex without cheating or hurting your relationship.

Also Read: How to Reconnect After A Relationship Break: Your Go-To Guide

8. Limited prospect

This factor makes the list of what kills long-distance relationships. The truth is, a relationship ideally should not be long-distance forever. An ideal relationship is one in which both partners cohabit or live in the same city such that it is easy for them to see each other frequently, go on dates, and even spend the weekend together.

How do you handle this?

Long-distance relationships require a clear vision and plan for the future. Both partners should have a concrete plan and decide how long it will take for them to reunite. It could involve a partner relocating to the same city as the partner or ultimately, both of them getting married and building a home together.

Whichever one it is, lovers must have a clear plan as to how and when they hope to bridge the distance between themselves. Having the end in sight encourages both partners to be committed and honest, knowing fully well that it is just a matter of time before they reunite.

However, if you are uncertain about when and how you will reunite, it can create anxiety and doubt, which gradually sinks the relationship.

9. Boredom 

What kills long-distance relationships

One thing people fail to acknowledge is the fact that, at some point, a relationship begins to get boring, especially when they do not see each other often. This is almost unavoidable in so many long-distance relationships as it is easy for communication to dwindle, especially when one partner does not put in good effort. 

How do you handle this?

If you love your partner and want to keep the fire of love burning between the both of you, there are various ways to avoid boredom and burnout in your relationship. You can try out new things together; you can play online games and discuss your jobs, politics, and other trending issues in the world and the entertainment industry.

If you run out of topics to discuss, you can check Google for topic ideas to discuss with your partner; there are so many such resources online. There are also applications that you can download on the Play Store or Apple Store that will help you maintain healthy communication with your partner. It all boils down to willingness and intentionality. 

If you are willing to make your relationship work, you will put in the needed effort, and things will go well. There are also e-dates. It is gradually gaining popularity and is a concept whereby partners in a relationship decide to go on a virtual date. 

How does it work? They both agree on a particular date and time, and then each of them chooses their preferred eatery, lounge, hotel, or coffee shop, after which they jump on a video call and then eat and have beautiful conversations about their relationship, work, or family.

It is a beautiful thing and can be done once every month or quarterly, depending on the partners involved. It can serve as an opportunity to reflect on your relationship and explore ways to improve, notwithstanding the distance barrier.

10. Change in goals and aspirations

You need to understand that it is normal for your goals and interests to suddenly change. This could be a result of differences in exposure, environment, or change in values and ideologies. It could also be a result of a change in love interest.

It is not uncommon for an individual to fall out of love, irrespective of how long they have been dating and how much effort they have made to see the relationship work. These things can alter the love in a long-distance relationship, and both partners may agree to put an end to the relationship.

How do you handle this?

Sometimes, depending on the partners and how great their communication is, they might opt for therapy or a counseling session to see if they can revive their relationship, patch things up, and get back to how things used to be when they first met. 

11. Financial constraints

Often, when people are asked what kills long-distance relationshipsfinance always makes it to the list. Just like in every relationship, finance plays a significant role in long-distance relationships. 

This is necessary to cover travel expenses, especially when they have to travel frequently to see each other. International calls, surprise gifts, vacations, and even as much support for your partner’s business are some of the ways through which money is spent in a long-distance relationship. 

Poor finances can affect the relationship as the couple may not be able to comfortably afford travel costs, especially if they stay in different countries or continents. Surprise gifts and financial support to each other are also important, and when these are lacking, it might affect the bond you share with your partner.

How do you handle this?

Be open about your financial issues and how that’s stopping you from doing things from them. Alongside, focus on your career & look for ways to make more money.


When to Call it Quits in a Long-distance Relationship

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Knowing when to end a long-distance relationship could be difficult for some people, and eventually, deciding to call it quits is even more challenging as it comes with a lot of emotional stress. However, having exhaustively discussed what kills long-distance relationships, the following are potential indicators that it may finally be time to end your relationship.

1. When communication has dwindled beyond repair

Communication is essential for long-distance relationships. Thus, when the communication has gotten so bad that you rarely speak to each other via video call, phone calls, text message, social media, or even email, then you know that it is finally ready to let go.

There is no need to stay in a relationship when both partners no longer communicate with each other. Politely end things and move on with your life.

2. When therapy or counseling fails

Some people resort to counseling when they notice that their relationship is becoming sour and things are no longer as they used to be. It is known that relationship counselors and therapists help repair relationships and marriages, especially when both partners are willing to try. 

However, if, after a series of counseling sessions, things do not improve, both partners can decide to call it quits.

3. When the relationship becomes one-sided

A long-distance relationship requires the collective effort of both partners to work. Each of them has to devote their time and other resources to see that things go well. Thus, when one partner fails to put effort into the relationship, things begin to turn sour.

If your calls and messages are not returned or if your partner no longer fills you in on events that occur in their life and, in extreme cases, deliberately ignores your calls and messages for days, then you know it is time to call it quits.

4. When your goals no longer align

Partners in a long-distance relationship should always be in sync with each other. Your values, goals, and ideologies should align. Thus, when you no longer agree on things, it might be an indication for you to quit.

Importantly, if your partner has no plan of putting an end to the distance, either by relocating or uniting through marriage, then it is time to quit such a relationship.


What kills long-distance relationships

What kills long-distance relationships varies, as earlier discussed, and it is inevitable for some people due to academics or work. However, it is important to know that such relationships are not designed for failure; with the right effort from both partners, the relationship will thrive. It is possible to overcome the challenges encountered in a long-distance relationship and have a healthy, fulfilling relationship.

We believe that when you know these factors that can kill long-distance relationships, you can avoid them and find better ways to improve your relationship. Ultimately, being intentional about what you want from your relationship and putting in the required effort is key to a fulfilling relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Some couples can stay for a week without seeing each other. Some can stay for months while others can stay for some years without seeing each other largely due to work or further studies in foreign countries. Generally, there is no specific duration. It all depends on you and your partner.
It varies for partners. For some people, it does. While for others, it does not. Some partners believe in abstinence probably due to religious doctrine or personal choices., thus, such people can comfortably deal with the absence of sexual intimacy. On the other hand, some people cannot deal without sex in their relationship as they believe it strengthens their bond with their partner. It is best to be open and have such conversations with your partner.
No, it is not. However, there is no doubt that it is going to be quite difficult for your partner and even for you. However, if they are only going to be away for a short time and both of you have concrete plans on when and how to reunite, it is best to maintain the relationship since it is only going to be temporarily long-distance. If, however, it is something that you cannot do, calmly speak to your partner about it.

Aastha Kochar
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Aastha Kochar

Aastha is a freelance writer who helps brands rank on the 1st page of Google, generate organic traffic and get leads. She also helps freelancers start or scale their business by mentoring them.

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