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What To Do If You Can’t Do Long Distance, But Still Love Them

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If you’re on this post, you’re probably in a difficult situation right now.

Perhaps you’ve been with your partner for a while, but a situation has come up where you both can’t be in the same place at the same time for the foreseeable future.

Or you may have met someone while travelling, and you’ve formed an instant connection with them, but now you’re dreading the day you have to leave them behind.

It’s not easy, but this is the time when you really need to face the truth. There are a few things you can do to help take stock of the situation. Use this as a guide to see if it’s something that you’re willing to stick with, or if you need to move on.

  • Ask them how they feel about long distance
  • Figure out if it was ever an option
  • Relieve your fears with a solid plan
  • Consider everything before making big moves
  • Make sure you’re really ready for commitment
  • Define your needs in the relationship
  • What to do if you’re already together

Ask them how they feel about long distance

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It takes two to make or break a relationship, right?

Before you start stressing out too much about everything, reach out to your partner and talk to them. Figure out what they’re open to and if they’re willing to continue the connection you both have.

If either of you aren’t willing to do any form of long distance, then there’s not much more to be said. Cherish the memories that you made together, wish each other well, share one last embrace, and let time heal your wounds.

If you’re both willing to endure a short-term long distance relationship to eventually be together again, set a reunion date. Talk through what you have to do to keep your connection alive. Can someone relocate (or maybe both of you relocate)? Are visas required? Will the person or people moving be okay with leaving everything behind?

If you can both stick it out, you may just be able to continue enjoying the pleasure of each other’s company. Long distance is far more tolerable when you know that closure is coming.

Figure out if long distance was ever an option

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This is where you need to be brutally honest with yourself.

If you’re firmly against long distance, and you never want to get involved in a long distance relationship for any reason…then why are you entertaining the idea?

You can’t have it both ways.

If you’re looking for a reason to try, there are several positives to a long distance relationship. The statistics also show that the majority of them work out in the end as well.

You may also simply be processing the idea that you’re losing a wonderful connection with someone. It’s normal to mourn the loss of love like this. It especially hurts when it seems like it was lost due to chance and bad timing. Allow yourself to go through your sadness, and give yourself time to heal afterwards.

Relieve your fears with a solid plan

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One risk of long distance relationships is that they can go on and on without an end in sight. In fact, a study found that uncertainty about the future can greatly stress a long distance relationship.

So, if you do start a long distance relationship, do so with purpose and a goal to reunite in a certain amount of time. Make sure you and your partner are willing to look into the steps to get it done. Suddenly, it’ll seem like less of a chasm and more of a minor hurdle.

There are plenty of other things to consider in a long distance relationship too. This includes time differences, the lack of physical interaction, and the frustration of loneliness.

But if you set an end date, and actively work towards it, it can be a huge mental boost for the two of you to see it through and get past this stage of your relationship. Plus, at the end of it all, you might end up a stronger couple than ever before.

Consider everything before making big moves

Before you start committing to moving from your hometown to be with them again, make sure to think everything through.

Can you afford to move in the first place?

What are your job prospects like if you decide to move? Can you easily transfer your skills, or are you bound to one spot because of regional or national certifications?

Do either of you have any familial dependencies?

Will your future moving location work out for you in terms of social life, support, and your relationship with your SO?

Keep in mind that the person moving is ultimately the one that is taking on the most risk. If you’ve never lived with them before, will you be okay with suddenly moving in with them…just for the sake of being together?

Make sure you’re really ready for commitment

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It’s a fair question to ask.

Your partner is clearly an important part of your life, and you want to maintain that relationship with them.

But are they truly The One? Are you willing to forego all other opportunities for love to keep this connection alive?

It’s okay to say “no”. You, and everyone else, are entitled to the needs of the heart. If you simply aren’t ready to spend forever with this person, and aren’t willing to start a long distance relationship with them to find out, then perhaps this love simply wasn’t meant to be.

How do you know? I think that you simply just know in your gut. If someone asks you if they’re the one, you’d answer without a shadow of doubt. For me and my wife, there wasn’t even a second thought about it. Our commitment to the relationship overshadowed the idea of being afraid of “missing out”.

Define your needs in the relationship

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No doubt you’ve heard of the 5 Love Languages. One of the core languages is Physical Touch.

Being in a long distance relationship will, obviously, result in a lot less physical touch.

If that’s something that’s important to you and can’t be negotiated, then you are going to have a really hard time if you’re thinking of starting a long distance relationship.

For some people, loving someone means being able to touch them, breathing in their scent, and hearing their laugh in person. Technology is great these days, but there’s only so much you can do when it comes to physical interaction.

There might be ways around it. Regular ongoing visits can help, if the distance isn’t too great or you can both afford it.

If not being able to physically connect is a deal breaker, you’ll need to make peace with the idea that you may need to let go of this relationship.

What to do if you’re already together

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It’s a horrible situation when you’re already in a long distance relationship, but you feel like it’s killing you on the inside.

Don’t feel ashamed if you feel that way. A long distance relationship is incredibly challenging. While you may feel motivated at first, living the situation day after day without any end in sight is mentally taxing.

Also, if you don’t have a good support network where your friends may constantly suggest your partner is cheating, or they don’t consider you to be in a “real relationship”, it can be discouraging to go on.

Finally, if you’re throwing everything into this relationship and not making enough time for yourself, it can feel overwhelming to pour so much energy into something that you can only feel and touch every few months.

Things to consider

If you truly feel like the relationship is killing you inside, then remember these points:

  • You shouldn’t just keep quiet. Nothing will change without action. Don’t just sit tight and hope for the feeling to come back. You will be needlessly putting yourself through an already tough situation. Talk to your partner and let them know how you feel.
  • Can you truly continue? If you’re no longer feeling fulfilled in the relationship, or if you’re putting in more than you’re getting, you need to open a dialogue with your partner and figure out what’s causing you to feel this way. 
  • If you feel like there’s no resolution, don’t be afraid to walk away. It’s a scary possibility to consider. But sometimes you can’t shake the feeling and you realize that your connection isn’t as strong as you thought. You may both find that you can’t find your passion for each other anymore. In the end, you both may need to walk away.

Long distance can feel like a marathon, especially if you’re together to try and maintain the passion between you. Planning for the end and making sure to support each other to that end is important to making the distance bearable.

But if you simply can’t accept the idea of a long distance relationship, you may have to be content with the memories you both made instead.