Rules To Break To Make A Long Distance Relationship Work

Rules To Break To Make A Long Distance Relationship Work

Telephone box in the snow.

As the internet becomes a bigger part of our lives, making a long-distance relationship work has become not only easier, but a more-commonly experienced issue in general.

Here’s the problem with long-distance relationships, or LDRs — most of the advice for long-distance love is repackaged advice for standard in-person relationships. And most of it is the exact opposite of what you should do if you find yourself in love with someone who lives far away.

Long-distance relationships can and do work, but the single biggest thing you can do to save your long-distance love from falling apart is not follow most of the advice out there for LDRs.


There are two types of people in this world: people who have been in a long-distance relationship, and people who insist they are doomed to bring heartbreak and failure.

It’s definitely true a long-distance relationship is far harder than standard ones. But is a long-distance lover worth the stress and sadness? If you’re committed, you know it’s not a question — but certain tips will help you avoid the pitfalls that lead to long-distance breakups.

LDR Advice: Stay In Constant Contact

constant contact

On long-distance relationship forums, you can always spot the newbies and the teenagers by their doe-eyed declarations of long-distance love.

We text all day long! We fall asleep staring at each other on Skype! I email her every time I go to the bathroom!

But it’s not just teenagers and the overly attached that make this rookie mistake. Prominent articles abound admonishing you to text every day and talk constantly in a LDR.

Why This Advice Is Terrible:

Long Distance chat

A LDR Is Not The Same As In-Person Dating

Regardless of how much you miss your faraway significant other, holding up a long-distance relationship to in-person relationship standards is a recipe for disaster. It creates an inability to accept the distance for the duration of it, and foments inner anxiety.

Focus more on effort than schedules, and learn to adjust to periods of no contact. Because sometimes life gets in the way.

LDR Advice: Have An End Date

counting down the days

Sometimes, long-distance relationships are not immediately resolvable. But all advice on LDRs insists on a solid date of resolution.

Indeed, uncertainty in a long-distance relationship can be trying.

However, part of why a LDR is long-distance is circumstance. Two far-flung people fall in love, and standard relationship advice is that all relationships are about the destination and not the journey.

Why This Advice Is Terrible:

make a long distance relationship work

A LDR Is Trickier To Resolve, And Rushing Is More Harmful Than Waiting.

Pressure to end a long-distance relationship by getting together discounts the connection you have. Focusing on the actual fabric of your connection and being circumspect leads to a far stronger union. Because if you can’t wait, a LDR is probably not for you.

LDR Advice: Talk To Your Friends About Your Feelings

support friend

Most people who find themselves in long-distance relationships quickly realize that the “real world” is not a wellspring of support.

The ugly truth? No one outside of a LDR is going to be upbeat about your long-distance relationship.

It’s hard to see, but advice from happily coupled in person people about your LDR is not always good, and frequently bad.

Why This Advice Is Terrible:

never talk

People Do Not Understand Long-Distance Relationships.

Generally, when someone asks about your LDR, they project misconceptions, fears and doubts that can in turn cause relationship conflict — this is one particular time you should not listen to your friends.

If you need to talk about your LDR, it’s better to do it with other people in the same boat. Reddit’s Long Distance forum is great for couples navigating the unique challenges a LDR presents.

LDR Advice: Trust Your Instincts And Watch Out For Red Flags


In the Catfish era, long-distance relationships are viewed as suspect, dangerous, and rife with chicanery.

And to some degree, it’s true. LDRs are the perfect way for dishonest people to manipulate and con the trusting.

Some degree of caution is definitely good in a long-distance relationship, that’s for sure. Lingering doubts are never a good thing to live with. But are red flags in a long-distance relationship the same?

Why This Advice Is Terrible:


LDR Couples Are Forced To Rely On Trust, And Doubts Are Part Of The Package

Love is a complex biological process, and even little things like a period of less contact will get your inner critic jabbering. This is an unspoken, natural part of long-distance love, and one few take into account as anything other than an insecurity boogieman.

What you need to know above all is that doubts, feeling alone, being afraid, and getting jealous are all natural parts of long-distance love — not a sign something is wrong.

Ultimately, the common wisdom that “long-distance relationships don’t work” assumes that the people involved have no control over their relationship — that some fated pairings work while others don’t.

The actual truth is that nearly every LDR can work, if the people involved commit not only to being in it, but to being open to and ready for the specific challenges a long-distance relationship faces.

Have you learned anything about how to really make a long-distance relationship work?