Five Tips for Surviving an International Long Distance Relationship

Surviving a long distance relationship is not impossible.

No, it’s not easy-but it is doable.

I dated my husband five years long distance-he was in southern Italy, I was in southeast Texas-and they were the longest five years of my life.

They were also instrumental in helping us nurture our relationship and establish the foundation we have today.

Every now and then I get emails from people, usually women, who are dating an Italian man long distance and looking for some tips, advice or just a caring “ear” from someone who’s been there.

Today, I’ll share those tips with you.

Here are five tips for surviving an international long distance relationship.

1. Talk, Talk, Talk, Talk, Talk

… and then talk some more.

Long distance partners have it easier today than we had it just four or five  years ago. With Skype chat and video you can actually engage in conversations without having to rush through phone calls that are costing you a fortune.

Still, that’s what we did.

We called each other three or four times a day, sometimes just to check in and say hi, other times to share a funny story about something that had just happened and other times when we had planned a phone call.

In fact, getting into a routine and knowing when you will hear from your partner is good idea. It helps cement expectations and helps you avoid manic why-hasn’t-he-called moments.

2. Have a Plan

Some relationship experts will tell you to have a plan on when the two of you will be together-forever. Personally, I think that is a little extreme. When my husband and I decided to try our hands at a long distance relationship, we had no idea how it would work out.

Instead of adding to an already stressful relationship by forcing a plan that may or may not be easy to make, take baby steps.

Have a plan on when you will see each other next.

Airport goodbyes are always sad and tearful, but knowing when you will see each other again is essential for moving forward.

3. Get a Life

You absolutely can not have a positive long distance relationship if you crawl into your bed and turn off the lights until he resurfaces. You have to have a life.

Finding your groove when you are apart will fill the time and help you feel more independent-an attractive quality in any partner.

That being said, I attribute much of our success to the fact that we were both over the going-out-every-night-drinking-and-dancing stages of our lives. One night of alcohol-induced craziness can kill any relationship … imagine what it could do after months of missing your long distance lover.

Make sure you and your partner are on the same page.

4. Stay Connected

And I’m not talking Internet, phone or Skype here. I’m talking about you.

Staying connected and ensuring you remain on the same page is instrumental to the success of your LDR. It is also a good idea to put yourself in his/her shoes. Before we’d make any big decision, we would think of what we would have wanted the other person to do in that situation.

If you wouldn’t be comfortable with your boyfriend going out and having drinks with a same-city ex, then you shouldn’t go. But again … make sure you are on the same page.

5. Stay Positive

We were lucky. Our friends and family members were totally on board and supportive of us throughout our relationship, but we still had some Negative Nellies who insisted on sharing their gloom.

“It’ll never work.”

“How are you going to make it?”

“I wonder what he/she is doing now.”

You don’t have room for these thoughts in your long distance relationship, so kick ’em out. Either refuse to talk about your relationship with negative people or distance yourself from them all together.

Your relationship has enough stress. Don’t let someone else dump their stress onto you.

Did you survive a long distance relationship? What other tips would you share?

Traveling to southern Italy? Click here to see how I can help you plan the trip of a lifetime.

57 Responses
  1. I wish you have written this sooner so that I could have passed it on to a friend. She had a LDR and it didn’t work out.. primarily because of reasons #3 &#4. She didn’t have a life!! She would sit at home and actually wait to hear from him. It was so bad that I gave up trying to help her.

    As for #4, they said they wanted the same things… only he had a timeline of when he wanted to accomplish things.. he wanted them instantly… and because of that, their LDR ended.. badly!

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s sadness. LDRs are definitely hard work, even when both people are on the same page. Like Vanessa said in the next comment, I enjoyed my freedom, as well. You will be miserable and resentful if you wait around. ๐Ÿ™

    .-= Soniaยดs last blog ..International Women’s Day =-.

  2. Vanessa

    Five YEARS! Complementi! Before I moved to Italy we had a 5 month LDR but it was easy as we did pretty much follow the steps you have outlined. PLus, we were only a few hours away by flight and probably once a month at least saw each other. I quite enjoyed step 3 as I was able to do my own thing without having to check in with someone else all the time. This phase of my life was certainly much easier than the first 6months we were together in Italy….

    Thanks, V. And I agree about it being easier than the initial move. It was *such* a difficult adjustment.

  3. Great article, Cherrye. When I was 19 I had an LDR for 8 months (it was supposed to be 10, but he came home early). He was in Australia doing his gap year thing, and I was in England. This was well before easy access to email/Skype etc, and, as we were both so young and broke, we couldn’t afford phone calls. We therefore wrote letters. Lots of them. Once a week, pretty much religiously. It was a wonderfully romantic way of conducting a relationship. Sadly, once he got back to the UK things changed. I put this down to the fact that, while I was still in London, he was in Newcastle. Theoretically, the distance was easily surmountable (3 hours on the train), but, again for reasons of youth and brokeness, we couldn’t make the journey very often. This was far more frustrating for both of us than when he was the other side of the world. A plane journey to/from Australia was absolutely out of the question, but a 3-hour train journey *could* have been possible. Arguments ensued about who should be making more effort, and slowly but surely we fell out of love.

    On a far more wonderful note, my grandparents conducted their entire courtship long-distance, due to the war. They had only met a few times, all of them chaperoned, before war broke out and my grandfather was posted to Burma. Their relationship grew via love letters – and, obviously, as this was wartime, these were limited by army censorship and availability of post boxes in the Burmese jungle. My grandmother’s engagement ring arrived in a sparkplug box, given to a member of my grandfather’s regiment who had been posted back to the UK, and thereby delivered third-person. Happily, she accepted, and they got married on VE Day, going on to have a 50-something year marriage. A truly lovely example of how love really can conquer all.

    What a fabulous story about your grandparents! I love it. I could kinda picture them writing letters and her waiting to receive news of him. So sweet. Also, I *totally* agree on the distance of the LDR having an impact. When you are just a few hours away and/or have money and time to easily fly, it is a new dynamic!

    .-= Katja | Driving Like a Maniacยดs last blog ..Not Without My Children =-.

  4. Very interesting. I am curious how you two met if you don’t mind sharing sometime.

    We were both working for Disneyland Paris and lived in the same apt complex. Most of Disney’s cast members who were from abroad like we were all hung out at the same places and so … lucky us!

    .-= running42kยดs last blog ..Half way through Lent =-.

  5. Irish jen

    LOVE this post Cherr…..well done!

    There are plenty of LDR’s out there that need to stay focused and keep TALKING…..


    Thx, Irish Jen! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. A very interesting post. We have been married for 17 years and it is only in the last 7 years that things have changed. Hubby works for a Formula 1 team and is hardly at home between March and November.. so we have a sort of long distance relationship.. it is hard when he comes home. He is tired he is stressed sometimes, jet lag has set in.. and then off he goes again. We hardly have time together, but in November he is in the country from then until February.. and off work for about 7 weeks of it. Now that is hard, for both of us, I have been doing my own thing, and now he is here.. we both get a bit stressed out by it.

    Yea, Anne. I found that being together so much after all of those years LDR was quite an adjustment!

    .-= anneยดs last blog ..Port Isaac – Part two….. =-.

  7. I’m in my first and only relationship and it’s a long-distance one at that. I’m in NYC. He’s in Boston. We talk on the phone every single night. We try to see each other every other weekend and we’ve made future plans to go to grad school together. Right now we’re working on getting ready for our GMATs. Having plans for the future gives us something to work toward together and our passion for travel definitely gives something to bond over.

    I love that your passion for travel is what is helping you bond! Having a common passion like that is *so* important. Good luck to you!

  8. My husband and I dated long distance- he in England, me in Portland, OR. Our life-savor was Skype. On weekends we would just keep our computers on and do housework together. Hearing his music play while he was cleaning his kitchen and I was cleaning the bathroom, made me feel like we were just in separate rooms of the same house. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I love that!! Auguri for coming up with such a great idea.

  9. Kaitlyn

    These are great tips, and I agree that having your own life and having a good amount of communication is essential while having a LDR. I am currently in a LDR with my boyfriend in Italy, and have had to do this before in the first year of our relationship with me in the States and him in Italy. It is quite the difficult transition, but you get used to it, and if you have a common goal for the two of you, the light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t seem so far away. When you get to see that person the next time, you appreciate it so much more! Enjoy it, don’t wait around, be honest with each other about everything, and don’t have any expectations of when and how long you are going to talk each day is my best advice. Have one time that is planned out, and if you talk more..well thats great! Skype definitely makes everything so much better these days because you actually get to see that person.

    Yea, video wasn’t really our friend back then. he he Also, we had the “planned” talk time and spontaneous calls, as well. More “real” that way.

  10. Nice post! This is something that I can advice my sister in-law with. Her husband works and lives abroad and coping with the depression is her problem most of the time. Its nice to know that there are reliable post that couples in long distance relationshiops can read.

    Thanks for coming by.

  11. grace

    I can relate! Thanks for these tips, Cherr. I’m into long distance “friendship” not a relationship yet, but we both know we are toward that line. He’s in Australia and he’ll be coming over for a visit next month. We have a lot of things in common and we both feel that we are attuned with how we feel and what we think most of the time. Yes, I agree with all of the points you raised! and ALL I say :)… my good friend and I talk through skype or yahoo or gmail talk every single night, that it’s like a nightly “date” for us. There are times, when we don’t have much to say and being with each other online is good enough, like when he’s working on his photos (we both love photography!) while I’m preparing my lesson for the next day, and we comment or say something here and there just like a couple actually together. Mind you, I feel some level of intimacy in those situations ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks, thanks, thanks, Cherr. Keep it up!

    Prego! And good luck with your LDR!

    1. Cherr,
      I’m still with the same guy I mentioned to you about back in 2010. We’ve finally met and officially “sealed” our relationship last Nov 2011. We’re on our 5th month now and I’ve been to his place last month. Next month he’ll be going to visit me again and we’re already talking and inquiring about applying for migration visa and possibility of marriage. We hope to finalize things when he gets here.

      I write again because of 2 things: we were able to maintain our nightly “tryst” as he calls it thru skype and sometimes phone calls. But for a few months now, he wants to lessen the nightly calls. He says there’s nothing to talk about, etc. and 5 – 10 mins is enough. And it seems to him like I’ve been bugging him about it because I am adamant to keep this nightly calls. It’s our only way of being together in my opinion so I don’t like to drop it off this routine for the longest time.

      And then, coupled with this, I found out that he has been having dinner or lunch with a friend who is a girl along the time we are getting to know each other all these years. He told me that she’s nothing and just a friend, but I also found out that he didn’t tell this girl that he already has a girlfriend a few months ago. Because of this, I took the liberty of informing the girl that he is already in a relationship with me, because he said I can even call the girl if I want to. So that’s exactly what I did. He was very reactive every time I bring out the topic of him seeing that other girl, and it was only the other week that I asked him to promise that he will not spend time with another woman anymore. He agreed to my request, but last night, he said what’s wrong with it. He said he doesn’t feel jealous about me seeing other men, and so why would I feel wronged if he ‘spends time with another girl.’ I don’t get this part, really. I also found out that they see each other in the girl’s favorite pub when he’s in town, sometimes he’s the one who invites and the girl will not agree but after a day, the girl will text and invite him to dinner instead.

      But on the other side, and in fairness with him, he introduced me to his few friends as his girlfriend (except to that girl), he’s talking about me migrating to his country and that when he gets here in June this year, he’ll be applying for the visa for me and last night, mentioned about getting married nonchalantly. I say nonchalantly because it sounds like nothing romantic for him, just like a requirement to get the visa, something like that LOL. But he follows up the inquiry and processing, like calling the immigration center, etc. and is really keen on coming here next month. We already have plans of him meeting the rest of my family and friends when he comes here, and for me to transfer to his place in the very near future. But inspite of this, I feel troubled about him seeing that girl when he’s in town (by the girl’s reaction, i knew they didn’t have a relationship going on, and the girl confirmed it by saying “my friend” in a message sent). And he seems to be withdrawing by asking me to lessen the nightly calls. Please enlighten me what is this about and what shall I do. I refused to give in to his request to schedule our calls because of what I learned recently about that girl. Should I be threatened about this? Or shall I just stay put and wait anyway he’s coming here next month?

  12. Ivy

    I am in LDR right now, and just returned to the US, where I currently reside. I was my my boyfriend for 2 months this summer, after having a LDr since january. The points are great, but I am worried because ever since I came back he has’t skypied me all week. Suddenly he started texting me. What should I do? Please if someone could give me an advice.

    I’d ask him what was up with the new mode of communication. It could be that he is away from his computer more often than before, but I think texting is still a good sign. If he had dropped off all communication, then I’d really worry. Communication is the biggest issue, so just ask him. He probably doesn’t even know it has you concerned.

  13. MIssFrothie

    Hi! I am currently in a relationship with an amazing italian man from Turin–we’ve been together for about a year and a half now-not all long-distance- but now it’s getting real hard. We’re both young post-grads and still trying to figure out our lives. He lived with me for the past three months in NY-now, he’s back in Turin. I’m going to see him in March- but after that- I might not see him until June- and after that-who knows. He’s saying that the most rational decision is to think with our minds and not our hearts – to be career focused- then worry about our lives together. I think most of it comes from him wanting to be financially stable in a career before asking me to change my life for him (like find work at a Italian university next year). Oh life. If there’re any advice you can give-that will be great! Now, i’m doing #3! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good for you for staying busy and having your own life while you are in an LDR. For the most part, my husband was more logical during our LDR, as well. I remember him saying “my heart wants it work, but my mind can’t figure it out.” I was the one who kept the “faith.” FWIW, I think it is great-and you guys are lucky-if you get to see each other every few months. We often went 6-7 months without seeing each other. Just make sure you are-and that you stay on-the same page. Sounds promising to me! In bocca al lupo!

  14. maureen

    this is very inspiring. Im about to get into an LDR with my boyfriend of one year. we are both moving to different towns for job opportunities that will jumpstart both our careers.we will be 10hours apart but being a doctor and him an engineer it will require some major acrobatics to make time to visit each other.we are both very determined to make this work but im realy scared it will be a strain on our so far wonderful relationship.

    I’m glad you liked the post! In bocca al lupo with your LDR!

  15. Shirley

    I love your post! I am in my first and long distance international relationship right now! We met when I was studying abroad in Japan (we were “short distance” for only 3 weeks!) and we have been together for almost 8 months!
    He is coming in 5 days and we will be spending 1 month together!!!! I do constantly have doubts about our relationship especially my mom strongly disagrees with our relationship. But we are still trying! I am just worried when would be the next time after this visit. And we have a totally unusual way of communicating: he speaks Japanese and I speak English and even though we might have times when we are like “huh?” but we still managed to understand each other! <3 Can't wait to see him!

  16. Melissa

    My husband live’s in Tunisia, I am in the U.S it is hard to have your spouse so far away! I miss him terribly! Today’s technology has made it possible to keep our relationship strong and enjoy spending every night together as though we are in the same house. Having lot’s of picture’s, card’s, video’s etc. help keep them in front of your eye’s to avoid any temptation’s when feeling lonely. I made a video for my husband of our time’s together in Tunisia, I watch it when I’m feeling down and it alway’s make’s me smile and remember why I have to keep strong! Love brought us together and love will conquer all!

  17. Michelle

    Hey thanks for this, i’m a missionary in the Philippines and i’ve left my boyfriend there for 9 months while I come home to the UK to fundraise. i’ve only just left him in the last week and I was searchin the net for help on knowing how to survive. Thispost has really helped. Now i just need to hope and pray we are strong enough to make it!

  18. Lyss

    Thank you for writing this article! I think some of the tips will help a lot. I’m about to enter a LDR (Me in Germany, her staying here in the US).
    The only potential problem is communication. Her parents don’t approve of our relationship, therefore we can’t communicate with each other. Our only means of communication now is through Facebook messaging and email, and we can only be online for so long. It’s hard when we’re right down the street from each other but will still go a day or two without speaking to each other because it’s just impossible. I can only imagine how it’ll be in a few weeks when I’m in Germany.
    And may I say, five years without your husband. That must have been terrible. But congrats on getting through it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. Kiawna Brewster

    This is a great article. And very personal to me. I have been in a long distance relationship for over a year; I’m in California and he’s in Northern Italy. It has been extremely hard at times, however he’s worth the world to me. I have been back to visit since he left three times in the last eight months, and he will be coming in less than two months. Luckily, my dad’s a pilot so it’s a lot easier to see each other; we are so blessed. It’s so reassuring to see that I’m not alone, and there are others who have been through and are going through something so similar to my situation and it works out. I strongly believe that he is the one for me; he is my lover and my best friend and I will do anything and everything to have him by my side forever.

  20. marcus

    hi, my friend is having a problem with his LDR
    his girlfriend said that she loves him but she can’t
    wait no more. my friend is trying his best to secure there
    financial future. she said she wants to start dating
    but my friend is so scarred that if she does, it might
    evolve into something else and that by the time
    he will b there in the same state the girl will have a change
    of heart ๐Ÿ™ they really are a good couple, I would be
    very sad if it will go to waste. help:(

    So sorry to hear this, I hope the best for your friend and his girlfriend.

  21. Noelle

    I just googled surveying a LDR. I have been with my guy in England about a year and a half now. Due to cermatances neither one of us can control it’s gonna be at least another two. He is dead certain about us. And we do use your advice. I thank goodness for my iPhone and IM messengers. We are never fat apart from each other.
    I just am having that ” when will it ever end ” moment. It was very inspirational to read so many positive stories. It really helps me to keep my chin up and believe in us. This distance will only make the mental better. making the physical the icing on a yummy cake.

    ๐Ÿ™‚ It sounds like you the right attitude! Hang it there – I know it is tough.

  22. Ana

    I’m so glad to read you article. my bf and i have a LDRS. i love him so much. I’m from Indonesia while he lives in India. it’s a so so though LDRS. we will never know how long we will survive this but now we are trying so hard to make it works. mostly all u say are true, help me describes what i’m feeling about us exactly and the challenges and obstacles that come to our way. i try so hard to keep positive all the time though my weakest point is when we hardly talk for a day due to his busy. when he doesn’t talk, it’s hurt sometimes to think that maybe he has lost his interest to the word “us” then he just suddenly disappear from my life forever without explaining anything. but when such situation arise, all i do just try to “get a life” as u said. i know it’s hard for me and it must be hard for him too. love and respect are essential in any kind of RS more to LDRS, so does trust and honesty. i hope so much we can get through this. or at least when one day something bad happen to what we have, we can face it still positively. thank you for your great writing, hope will help to have a better me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Millie

    This is really good information. I am worried because I have been dating my boyfriend for about eight months, but have recently been given a fellowship to teach abroad in Spain for 9 months.

    He seems fine with this and has no doubts about the success of our relationship. I just recently graduated and he will be finishing off his senior year. I am confident it will suceed as well, but I’m also nervous about it.

    I dont want him to spend too much time waiting for me and I don’t want to be constantly missing him to the point where I dont feel comfortable doing things. I guess I just am freaked out about that initial stage when we are adjusting to it all. Any tips?

  24. Carly

    I am currently in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend in Germany and I am in California. We met while he was studying abroad at my university and we have been dating for 5 months now. I’m studying in Ireland for the following semester so we have plans to travel back and forth to see one another but it’s been really hard for me to adjust to not having him around all the time and even though we have plans to see one other (and I’m spending the holidays with him in Germany) we haven’t talked about what happens after that. Is it wrong for me to be worrying about the distant future? I don’t want to put any more added stress on our relationship but the not knowing is hard for me to deal with.

  25. mel

    im really young and still going to school. my boyfriends at uni though and we’ve been going out for 8 months now. longest relationship for both of us. he’s my first ever boyfriend so its new to me. i miss him so much and love him, but the distance is difficult for both of us. im keeping my head up, thinking positive and doing all i can. he on the other is finding it difficult? he says he loves me, he cant break up with me and says its real but if thats true why is he doubting. it probably more difficult for him… but he’s not the only one in the relationship.

    he’s also said i need to talk more, im trying i tell him about my day but he just seems bored. i dont know what to do. he’s the only thing that mkes me happy seeing as i go to boarding school. i just wan thim to think positivly

  26. LadyPeace

    This is a great post; i’m also in a LDR with a very beautiful man who loves me a lot and has a lotta respect 4 me and my dreams, we’ve planned 2 get married soon. Yet, i also need more tips 2 better and keep our relationship spiced up; i agree with them tips above. My boyfriend is currently based in Namibia, Windhoek and i’m based in South Africa; and i must say that ur post is really helpful and practical.

    It inspires me and makes me know and believe there is hope & i’m not alone in this!

    Peace oUT~

  27. Vidya

    I am currently in a long distance friendship for the past 5 months; not a relationship yet with an Italian man in Northern Italy and I am in NYC. He had been my solid support for the past 4 months especially when there was a death in the family. I appreciate him greatly but he has been distant from me in the past month. He does not initiate contact much and we have not been talking as much as we had done earlier. I still miss speaking with him but something seems to have changed with him.

    Any tips on what I can do here? Thanks!

  28. Sarah

    I’ve been with an amazing man for almost a year npw, and the relationship is long distance. we respect eachother and we’re happy. the only problem we have is that i lose faith in him wth the distance and cheat. he means everything to me. i want to change. how can i make it feel more like he’s really here?everytime i see him it gets better. but i don’t get to see him that often.

  29. alyssa

    I have been in a long distance international realtionship for a little over 3 years with my french boyfriend. I live in the us and he has lived in France. the most time we ever spent together consistently was 3 months. We are both in out twenties and still in school and have a while to go till we finish. our plan was that i would move to france, leave my friends and family, do online schooling and marry him within the first 3 months and then start working after we marry. Idealistically. of course government offices are not known for their efficiency.
    Anyway i recently re-evaluated this scenerio and realized i was the one carrying all the weight. His life hardly changes. He gets to stay in school and stay in france and would only have to work part time.
    my problem is the marriage thing. im 25, hes 21. and like i said we have not had a lot of time together. I would prefer to be there on a visitors visa/not a marriage visa so i dont also have the pressure of marrying him in 3 months.
    i grew up watching my parents fight all the time then ending in a very messy divorce.
    marriage is not just a technicallity to be together for me. i need to feel safe and secure to marry him. and 3 months wont do that for me.

    a realtionship means compromise and he may not be willing to do so understandably. i am asking him that when i come he takes a year off between his ba and masters to work to support us so we will have time to live together and we sure marriage is right for us.
    I do not believe he will stop school for a year to do this.

    anyway getting a workers visa is soo hard. almost impossible.
    this might be our only way unless he his willing to take a 1 year break.

    i dont know what to do. im really sad and confused right now. but i know i dont want to be the only one carrying the load. I feel like he is asking too much of me and with all that pressure it wouldn’t work but at the same time and for legitimate reasons he is not willing to take the pressure off of me.

    maybe we are just too young to make this work at this point in our lives. aside from figuring out how to ultimately be together we have taken all of the other advice.

    it always gets complicated when we try to have a plan. but honestly we need one. its been 3 years. i cant no longer just plan on the next trip. we need to plan for the last one at this point.

    do you have any advice on how to make this work?

    1. @alyssa, Ciao Alyssa,

      I’m sorry – I wish I had an easy answer for you but I think it is awesome that you are considering these things NOW – BEFORE you move. For the record, I agree with your thoughts on marriage .. that is one reason that Peppe and I dated so long before I made the move and we got married. We didn’t want to “have” to get married. And, you are also right that you are bearing the weight here. Of course, for an LDR to “end” successfully one of the parties always has to make the move. One of you will have to leave your security, friends, family and country if you want it to work.

      You said you have done the “three month” thing-right? Is there a reason (besides the fact that you are ready to move on with your relationship) that you can’t do that again or keep doing that until you feel you (or he) is ready to move? Of course, I’m not in your shoes anymore but why does it have to be planning for “the last trip” right now?

      The thing is, the one who gets to stay in his country doesn’t really “get it,” not really anyway. He might be sensitive about it and try to help you adjust but he isn’t going to understand. I remember thinking my husband got to keep everything, too – he just expected me to fit into this little section of his life, but wanted to keep on with his everyday activities. I think if you are already feeling this that you might end up being resentful – again, not useful in a marriage. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I remember being where you are and it ain’t fun! But I can also look back and see the times when we tried to push it and make it happen when it wasn’t “time.” These things tend to work themselves out, I think. I’m sure you have looked into it, but wouldn’t a study abroad for either (or both!) of you really help you out? You could both continue on your individual paths and get to live in the same country.

  30. McKenna

    I am currently in a long distance relationship. I lived near him for a while and then i moved to a different country. We struggle a lot, he has been getting a lot of health issues and all i do is sit at home all day waiting to hear from him. He can’t work, he’s constantly throwing up and he will go days just laying in his room not talking to anybody including me, witch drives me crazy because my whole day revolves around hearing from him. He has a daughter who was taken from him by his ex and so he has both the women he loves the most far away from him, and he hardly gets to see her. We started arguing every day on the phone. and we both know its only because the distance from each-other because we argue about stupid things. it is really hard but we will only be away from each-other till october or november then im moving in with him. But until then we both cry everyday and i need help. I have No life, No job, No friends, I don’t take care of myself and i am an absolute wreck, but we both want to be together and he even brought up the idea of marriage. He is also my first sexual partner and planning on being my last. I search the internet almost everyday looking for something that might make me feel better and not stress so much and so far this one was the most helpful. So thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Alex

    This post is great ๐Ÿ™‚ my boyfriend And I met at homecoming in october and we quickly fell in love, everything between us has always just clicked and were both sure were made for each other. Unfortunately I’m a year ahead of him and so I got accepted to college that’s 10 hours away from home on a full ride. This great opportunity was way too great to pass up. Even though we will have only been together for 9 months, we’re both committed to making college work. There’s a lot of people out there that will say, oh well he’s just your first love, you’ll find another. But I’m a pretty level headed person and I feel like this is something different. He’s wanting to apply to the same college in the fall so were planning on using that to help us drive towards the future. He’s the greatest thing that has happened to me, and I’m willing to fight for him. To me that’s what’s going to make this work ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Kay

      @Alex, Good for you! That’s what everyone told me is to find someone else. My BF is military and they said “there are lots of military guys around here, find some stationed here.” I know they meant well, just trying to save me from what they thought would be heartbreak. But I looked at it like this…I break up with him…I miss him and no longer have him…I’m with him but he’s gone…I miss him but I know I have him and he’s coming back eventually. So it didn’t make any sense to me why they kept telling me to break it off. My man is worth fighting for and it sounds like yours is too!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Kay

    LDR are really hard but definitely worth it. I started dating my BF in January of this year and I had to wait until June to see him. We had two weeks together and it was great. He is stationed overseas and so now we have about 5 1/2 months until he is home again. He’s only been gone about a week and I miss him so much already. Constant communication has been the key for us. We make sure we Skype EVERYDAY even if it’s just for a few minutes. Sometimes he will call me at 3am my time and we just talk for about 5-10 minutes. Just knowing he is going to call and seeing his face, is a comfort. My best friend told me at the beginning of our relationship that the best way to survive it would be to only Skype once or twice a week and keep our texts and emails to only once or twice a day. We tried it for a few weeks and it was the hardest thing ever. Don’t DO IT! Talk to your boyfriend/girlfriend as much as possible! I send him at least one email a day, we text throughout the day and I hear his voice at LEAST once per day. Yes, I miss him lots and Skype doesn’t always seem like enough…but I love him so until he comes home…it has to be.

  33. CharlesJoy

    Hi my name is Joy from Philippines, I have LDR with this guy I met online, he is in US, our relationship is going to 3 months. I came across this article because I am honestly having a hard time accepting the waiting period.

    Our relationship is good not until one time I had some questions from his past makes him feel like Im accusing him of something, then changes started from there. He isnt being sweet at all when he calls, he actually told me to take a pause in our relationship but I cant help but seek more attention, because im getting enough attention from him before and now he just stopped, like the routine of the calls is no longer there, messaging me is not there anymore, he would message or call once i messaged but him initiating it is nothing at all. I used to get some good praising word about me, with his kids talking about me and it felt good, now its like it was gone, i even talk to his kids but since he talked to the kids about our situation, they dont ask about me at all. He told me that I need to be patient, more patient enough to wait for him, because the plan of him coming here in Philippines was supposd to be after summer, and he just told me that its impossible to happen for now, as he need to focus on his kids needs and coming here will make a lot of expense for him. I feel like he do love me but this waiting period just need to happen and he feels like i am not patient enough to wait, i did a lot of research online to make myself good and moved on not bothering him or bugging him that sometimes making him feel presured too. I dont know what to do, I love this man so much and I am willing to survive this waiting period with him, I know I need to talk to him about my concerns but I feel like whenever I talk to him he takes it like an attack, he answers some questions but he wouldnt discuss it longer. I just want him to bring back the way he was before, because I dont think we will survive the waiting if he is not even making time and more effort just like before. I will just constantly throw questions to him that will make him go away from me, which is not what i want. How will I make him understand that I wanted us to survive this stage of our relationship we have now if one of us has a closed mind to listen. Whatever his reasons behind of him changing a lot, I wont take it negatively but instead a very good answer for us to either move ahead together or just move on in each of our lives. But I am determined more on making this relationship possible and be together one day. I really hope he feel the same way.

    1. Noelle

      @CharlesJoy, I was frustrated too with the lack of response. It is very difficult these days to save enough money to travel, and when you have kids at home it’s even harder. Give him the benefit of the doubt. If it’s at all possible, consider going to meet him. Get your own hotel room, and don’t pressure him at all. Consider it a personal trip for you to the states. He’s a bonus. And when in doubt (and I know, you’ll doubt at least once a month. I know I do)Talk to yourself, be honest with yourself. Do you love him? Do you want to be with someone close to home? Is it really him you want to be with? If the answer is yes, then you have to accept that. Accept that it may take years. But don’t be negative. It’s easy to give up. This is the hard part. -Noelle in USA LDR with my fella in UK going on 3 years now. I met him once in real life, by going to him-

      1. CharlesJoy

        @Noelle, thanks so much for the response. I have thought of those questions already and I do want to be with him for the rest of my life. We had a talk last night and he told me about his schedule, he told me about it for me to know what to expect for now and that I do not need to look for him. Just so sad that we have to go through all this. He said he do loves me and all he asked is to wait for him, we will still have a time to talk but it wouldnt be as often as before, I also asked him to have a talk with me this tuesday his off, he said we will, Sunday will be his off too but he cant talk to me because he need some time to rest. Sometimes I get scared thinking that he might have someone else that he get busy with, but I keep putting in mind that I know he will always be true to me in a way that even if he has another girl, Im pretty sure he would tell me about it. It just made me so paranoid. I do lovebhim so much.

  34. Katana

    Hey um, thank you for the tips! I just have a question and i honestly don’t know what to do. Um, i live in Kansas, and my boyfriend lives in… Well, Holland. :/ And for awhile during our relationship we talked everyday for as long as possible, until school kicked in. Us being seven hours apart, we cannot talk often, AT ALL. The thing is, i go to online school, and he doesn’t. And often, we go a few days or so without any contact. And sense i go to online school, while I’m doing my work, i can’t help but to think. Like, “Couldn’t he at least contact me before he went to sleep, to say goodnight?” Or, “I wonder if he even misses me.” Nasty thoughts but um, i just don’t know what to do. I do NOT want to give up on him! But i don’t know how to tell if it’s just not going to work… Or even if he wants it too… Is there any advice you could give me? :/

    1. noelle

      @Katana, As hard as it is sometimes you have to devote a minute or two to a truthful heart to heart. I always hinted my issues and problems. But You have to be direct. Don’t be a shrew about it but you need to know where he stands. I’m in US, my fella is in UK. I have the 7 hours difference as well. So I know what your going through. Go back up and look at those tips. you need to communicate with him that you would like a simple goodnight (even if it’s 3 in the afternoon for you) Or ask him if he’d be open to sending you a simple e-mail. You can also help this. by sending him a e-mail before you go to bed, so he wakes up to a message from you. Nothing demanding, nothing stressful. just a simple hello, hope you have a great day. Little things add up. Best of luck!

  35. Katana

    Well thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚ I already send him a good night message every night, though. I talked to him today and his email was this:

    “Hey… -sighs- I just got back from school, I had the worst day EVER and I feel like s***. I love you, but we won’t be often from now on, my head is exploding from all the worries and stress so ya.. Leave me if you wish, stay if you wish. Do whatever you want. Just know I care about you and won’t hate you if you decide to move on.

    With love,

    So i’m not sure how to respond. I told him i don’t want to leave him, i just wish we could talk more, though… Probably won’t get a response until tomorrow. I don’t really know if him saying that is like a hint he wants me to leave or… Im so confused. D: Thank you for the help though. I hope they work for me like they did you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Andrea

    Thank you so much for your words of advice and your ideas on how to survive a LDR. I have been with a man for 7 months. We use messenger and CAM whenever either one of us needs to see the other one. We use a FREE texting service also called “what’s app”……that has been our relationship saver. He lives in Brisbane, Australia and I am in Colorado….over 8000 miles away!!! We finally saw each other last month. He came all the way over here to spend 10 days with me. It was the BEST time physically for both of us and I give all the credit to the 7 months prior that we spent getting to know each other through email, texts, and just talking and listening to each other. We pretty much do all the 5 points that you suggested…but it is good to relook at them also. We are both determined to make this work and that in itself helps us both. Thank you for taking time to help all of us out there in a LDR and good luck to all of you.

  37. Chris

    The first thing you should ask within 6 months of dating is WHO IS MOVING? You should have a plan by that time. If you wait any longer, it gets harder. Please dont think that things will work out on its own and you stay quiet..if you both want to be together eventually someone has to move, question is – will it be you giving up your home, apt, job, friends, family or HIM.

    Long distance can be a heart breaking wrenching thing for some and a year long vacation for others.

  38. Chris

    The first thing you should ask within 6 months of dating is WHO IS MOVING? You should have a plan by that time. Please dont think that things will work out on its own and you stay quiet not to ruin the moment..if you both want to be together eventually someone has to move, question is – will it be you giving up your home, apt, job, friends, family or HIM.

    Long distance can be a heart breaking wrenching thing for some and a year long vacation for others.

  39. Leona

    Thank you so much for these tips ๐Ÿ™‚

    I do need some advice and I would really appreciate if someone could please help us:

    It’s been over a year I’ve been in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend in the USA, and I live in Australia. We have met each other twice during this year which is amazing! He came over for 2 weeks and I went over for a month (it was as long as we could’ve stayed, due to university study for me and family commitments at home for him). We have very supportive family and friends, which are so important to us and our relationship. We skype, text and call each other all the time and we love each other so much, we are inseparable despite 10,700 miles apart.

    I have been travelling all over the world since I was born and I live in a big city. He is a country boy and his first time overseas was to see me this year! He is 23 and I’m 19, so I am still studying at university and doing part time jobs so I can save up to see him. He is working at the moment, hasn’t finished his degree yet, and wants to come over next year to stay for at least 6 months. He wants to finish his degree when he goes back.

    The concern is, I understand how hard it is for him to come over for so long, away from his family and friends which he is very close to. The hobbies he does there (trade cars and motorbikes and boy stuff) he can’t do here because everything here is ridiculously expensive. I’m sure there are a lot of other things he can do, but there is the missing friends and family bit that I’m worried for him, he will be homesick. I know the feeling. I will be there for him obviously, but when I have classes when university starts, what is he going to do?

    I encourage him to bring his friends along with him which would help a lot I think. But what if they end up not coming? I will feel so bad because he will be by himself when I have work and classes. He intends to work here but it could be hard to find a job (but I think with his background knowledge, and being pretty smart, we can work it out when he gets here).

    Sorry this is such a long message but we love each other so much and I want to hear from other successful people about how they worked out their relationship so that ours can work too in the longterm. We are so committed and in love, so that’s not a problem. But when he comes next year and leaves, I’m hoping to go over there for a bit. However after that.. then what? I can’t go anywhere to live until I graduate in Australia. I want to move over there so badly but I have to wait 4 years until then.

    1. Noelle

      That’s a long time and real test of the relationship. If you can encourage him to hang with the boys in your family. They, better than anyone, can help him to find things that he’s intrested in. Allow him time to see the sites around your location. Focus on the time you have together, after scholling, after work. Sounds like a real joy comming your way.

  40. Well I’ve been in love with a guy I never met before for more than a year now. We never met each other because of money. But it may sound silly too, because we never went on cam although he gives me picture doing what I wanted him to do. Of course it crossed my mind that he might be fake but as I get to know him better, that doubt started to fade away.
    We’ve been talking and talking, whenever he’s online he would usually talk to me for the whole day till we fall asleep. Sometimes we talk cheesy things and sometimes even dirty things. But sometimes he won’t be online for many days because of his lifestyle. And lately it got worst, he had no time for me anymore because of family problem. I could understand that but sometimes I can’t help but feel paranoid. His cousin has told me he misses me too when they talk briefly on the phone. But sometimes he’s just not confident, he thinks I’m mad at him for being away for so long and because of that he thinks twice whether to talk to me or not. I would have to get his cousin to tell him he should talk to me. What should I do to stop him from doing that? because it makes me feel like I’m very easy to let go. We talk about it but it seems to stay the same. I know I’m only 16 but I know I really want him for my future. I want him to be the one for me but I sometimes doubt, I don’t want our love to die down because of lack of communication. I trust him and him to I. He promised me he’ll always love me and I believe him but I can’t help but get paranoid when I miss him especially at night. Is there any way to keep us strong and make us work till we’re both capable of being independent and have freedom to freely see each other? We promised to want to have a family together and I really want that but I have to be realistic too. I love him a lot, we’ve been through many problems and I’m proud I still stick with him. Is there any tips you could share? Thanks xx

  41. lexi

    I have been in a LDR for three months now.. i met him in 2011 in italy but it wasnt until 2012 when i went back to italy that we decided to be more than friends.. i am from australia so its very far.. he is studying at university to become a dr and it wouldnt be until 6 years that he could move here perminantly! he is 19 and im 22, hes the love of my life.. but im having anxiety because i keep thinking should we both just live our lives in those 6 years or stay together? this is both our first realtionship and i keep thinking should i just leave it and move on, i tried explaining to him that it might make more sence to both live our own lives but he just gets upset and keeps saying im the only one for him .. so any advice would be great as i am very confused

  42. Jessy

    Great tips! I have been in a LDR close to 7 months. We met while I was vacationing. Ever since we have been inseparable. I never would have ever thought I would ever live in a LDR internationally. I can really say that we have somehow managed to live out these tips (unknowingly) and both feel that we are in the best relationship either one has ever had. We both were looking for the same things in a relationship. We both agreed communication is fundamental to a successful relationship. We always take each others feeling into consideration when either one “lives our own life”. Skype definitely helps and do does apps like whatsapp! We met in June and since then I’ve visited twice. We plan on getting married and making a life together. Although we’ve only known each other a few months all the communication and honesty between us make us sure we are meant for one another. We talk atleast 3-4 times a day ( even if it’s only for a couple of minutes at a time) we Skype 2-3 times per week, and text daily. This has not changed since we met. I believe this is because we are both comfortable this way. Of course there were times when times when we didn’t speak as much. But we learned it worked for us when we did. My advice for anyone contemplating and LDR is always be honest with yourself and your partner. Being upfront with one another can either save you time or put you on a path to true love. Because honestly only true love could get
    you through the journey a LDR brings.

  43. samibee

    This article has really helped me out. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years now- He is in the US and I’m in the UK. He actually left today after we spent a wonderful 10 days together and I have the worst heartache in the world (hence why i’ve ended up reading this article).

    We met online and as anyone can imagine, i was extremely apprehensive for anything to go ahead at first. It took me time to adjust, but who knew that I could meet the most wonderful person just by chance and maintain a relationship for 3 years. It’s been an immense struggle- I crave that physical closeness all the time, even the small things, like holding hands.

    All these tips are so accurate. I’ve had such a struggle with all of those things, but having a plan on meeting again really is key. I’m planning on seeing my bf again in June now and staying with him for a month and a half which will be amazing. For the last couple of years i’ve been stressing so much about what will happen in the future and if things will work out, but if both individuals in the relationship want nothing more than to be with each other, it will honestly work out. To plan ahead on the exact date you want to marry, have kids, work etc is overwhelming and will ultimately lead to a breakdown. I agree that baby steps are the way forward. If things are meant to be then they will be. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. TinaK


      Hi Samibee

      I just wanted to say I know how you feel too, I just got back from the USA today after seeing my Boyfriend who like you I’ve been with for just over 3 years now, I am also in the UK..I absolutely cried my eyes out at the airport…it REALLY is the worst heartacher ever to have to leave the person you love…feeling how you are also led me to this website.. I can relate to the feelings of immense struggle, its so difficult when you’ve had a bad day you wish that person was there to give you a hug and make you feel better, … you have to just hang in there too and yes make plans for when you can next see each other, it does help…baby steps are perfect really…


  44. grace

    I’m coming back, just reminded of it because a response was sent to my email. Anyway, I just wanted to tell all of you that LDRs do work. The guy whom I have been talking about and I are now married. We just got married 2 weeks ago. I am sooo happy. Two things I wanted to emphasis in LDRs: It takes two to tango. When the two of you are really into it, nothing is impossible. My husband and I are from different countries, met online and decided to be together come what may. He made it possible the impossible for us! And for us ladies, TRUST, that’s the most important thing. If you truly love, trust the man you love. He will feel it for sure and if he’s really into you, your trust “fuels” him to do things for the 2 of you to be together. Have faith, gals!

  45. I just want to say that I have known my fiancee for four and a half years and we were working towards our uniting in the usa until the recent civil war in Ukraine and her elder family health issues came into play. Now the war has wrecked her mental health – at least for now. I am very sad about it because we were only using emails to communicate after two years of Skyping daily. It hurt our relationship when she began to ask me to “give her time” that she was sick suddenly and going to a clinic. I could not fathom that and thought that she was just trying to “let me down easy” aftr all of this time…until she sent me pictures of herself with a mental contraption on her head and taking injections and other stuff from this Ukrainian clinic.
    Now I feel very bad and since she thinks I do “not understand” nor will “never trust” her, wonder if we will ever recapture the magic we had built since 2010? She is the best lady I ever met – but I am in NYC and we only seen each other for one whole week physically in London for all of that time. I wonder if I am being realistic about us ever living together someplace on earth. We are the “Cafe` Skype” role model couple! Advice – I think you cannot just rely on email letters to keep a 5Km relationship full of trust when the going gets tough.

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