Long-Distance Relationships – The BRUTAL Truth About How To Make Them Work

You start dating the perfect man in your city, only to find out he’s been offered a new job 1000 miles away…

Should you follow your heart and go for it, or should you listen to your head and call it quits? What’s the answer?

Here’s what you really need to know…

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77 Replies to “Long-Distance Relationships – The BRUTAL Truth About How To Make Them Work”

  • So the fairy tale. You reconnect with your high school love. He promises you the world. He never forgot you – you have always been the one. Wraps you in words and promises. You take the leap and leave your world (its totally love).

    You move 4k km across the country – he even picks you up and carries you over the threshold. Then reality. You are WYSIWYG. He insists on buying a ring and a quick marriage – you ask to slow it down. After all your 60 and left a dead but not abusive relationship.

    Reality /Truth:
    He says he never fights – refuses to fight / He only values his needs and wants. He is indifferent to your request for compromise or discussion.

    He has all his friends and life /You are totally without support.

    He refuses to communicate /important decisions are thrust upon you (often contrary to promises made)

    He refuses any financial commit in the beginning /Later demands that you contribute to financial items that you had no input or commitment. (This is classic modus operandi for online dating scammers).

    Something is wrong but you don’t know what happened /A decision has been made and there is no acknowledgement of what is happening but your feet have just been kicked out from under you.

    Congratulations – you are in a Passive Agressive Covert relationship. You have been artfully manipulated away from safety and support.

    Long distance relationships – like summer flings, rarely work. We want the fairy tale but life is not like that. They only worked because of the distance involved. The signs were always there – distance made them easy to push aside. We want to believe.

  • Loved the readers/viewers thoughts in this vid Matt!
    So what if you are in a relationship and the person accepts a job across the planet for work…how can you make your long distance relationship work in the meanwhile? What are the steps to keep it hot (so to speak) and the desire high?

    1. Yes, what if you are already in a relationship this isn’t long distance. You’re relationship then becomes long distance, say for school or work. You both plan to make this long distance a short term obstacle. If you’ve already spent enough time together in person to know that having a future together isn’t an issue, is a long distance relationship of a couple years unrealistic? Matthew, what are your thoughts on how to make those times apart manageable?

  • I’ve been in a LDR for over two years, and think my bf really really loves me, but the practicality of it seems troublesome to me now. I loved this video when you mention that do we actually have a plan in place to move to somewhere where your lover is, because quite frankly, we’ve had these conversations and he says he’ll move for me, but I don’t see him implementing that plan. And ok, I’m more of an emotional connect than “I need you to cuddle with me all the time”, but after a point it does get to point where you reconsider/ re-evaluate since you that you haven’t seen them in over a year, and the video calls have become infrequent, and it doesn’t look like the gap is going to close anytime soon. We still are very much in love, but I do realize the tendency to idealize someone not in physical proximity, and that’s really starting to make me feel, do I even know this person? And how long can I keep going like this…. it’s amazing to feel so loved, but at the same time, you realize you’re being loved from far far away, so does that really count (because maybe you would have killed each other in reality if you were close). Long distance really does suck!

  • I never had a long distance relationship, but my dear brother has one for the last 4 years now. And when I think of what I want in a relationship, I always end up thinking “I want to have what they are having”. They admire each other, they respect, love, adore each other. They plan to move, but not right now, because they are settled in their careers . These two are the sweetest couple, I never see my hard, martial arts, soldier brother as cute and sweet as he is around this pretty and warm woman.
    So: long distance is not necessarily a torture. When u love somebody deeply and without any doubt, when there is just trust between you, it’s fine.

  • I have to say that it was very good advice. I just met someone who lives 4 hours away. I don’t plan on relocating back to where he lives. That in itself may be a deal breaker. So, thanks for sharing this truth to me. I have some thinking to do.

  • I did serious long distance relationship. It was my first real love and the feelings were so strong it´s hard to even decribe.. 4 years in distance (I was studyig university and he had sick parent to take care of at his home..seeing each other every cca 3 months and spending my school holidays together in his country) and almost 1 year living together (I moved to him). Then breakup.
    This was f*cking hard!! But I loved him. But our communication on distance didn´t work so well because he was not so communicative – so it was even harder for me.
    All what Matt says in video is true – specially about not dealing with negative qualities of the other so often. After some time you will notice these qualities, but you are more easy to forget and forgive them, because you “miss them so much” and you are not dealing with that on daily basis. Like this it can very easily happen that you spend YEARS in relationship, which would otherwise finish much sooner (if you finally realize you are not compatible so much as you believed blindly). Then when it´s all over, you realize HOW MUCH TIME YOU LOST and you will never get it back!
    I still believe in happyendings, but my advice would be: WATCH VERY CAREFULLY FOR RED FLAGS, FOR NEGATIVE QUALITIES OF THE OTHER,FOR SOLVING IT EFFECTIVELY AND HAVING SERIOUS PROGRESS (no relationship is perfect, but are you dealing with things really??) — and BE VERY VERY SERIOUS about the red flags, don´t forget them…because they will eventually hunt you and get you when you start to live together and then you realize how much time you have lost, forever…

  • I met s us marine online was based in Poland and of a week ago he’d been in Africa on an assignment and says he want to spend his 3 month vacation with me then he’s gone again for how long again Lord only knows I’m malisa from Trinidad

  • I am currently in a long distance relationship, we’ve known each other for four months and we have a plan to meet in person soon. I must say that this type of relationship is NEVER fulfilling no matter how close (emotionally) you think you are with the person. For me, I admire him and we have a lot in common, but the fact that I can’t be with him physically drives me crazy, sometimes brings me to tears. I think a long distance relationship that is planned to be more than a year is a mistake, there should be a solid clear plan to turn it into a REAL relationship. Otherwise, you are better off.

    1. Faizah,
      I agree with you about the distance and lack of physical connection brings me to tears quite often as well. The relationship seems to be growing and I and possibly deluding myself by saying that this time apart allows us to get our “house in order”. However, I’m three years into this long-distance relationship and it has caused a lot more heartache than I thought I would ever put up with after my divorce.
      Matthew has a point that I recognize when he speaks of the scarcity mindset.
      I welcome anyone is advice about this. Thank you to everyone who is part of this community.

    2. :(((
      faizah, I am in long distance relationship.I don’t believe when you said never fulfilling.
      my love was keeping our relationship and suddenly he didn’t talk to me anymore and said bye without any reason:(

      I believe that long distance relationship is not fulfilling(ofcourse)
      but I wanna tell you that I loved him enough to wait to be with him for years.if it’s long distance and 2sided,it’s fulfilling
      mine was 1sided I guess

      I have seen 2sided long distance faizah.it works.but first it MUST BE 2SIDED

  • NOT the video I wanted to see this morning, Matthew. ☹️ It’s the first time one of your videos has left me disappointed in that way. BUT I understand your points. And I understand the risk I’m taking. I guess I don’t see it as a waste even if it doesn’t pan out the way we’re planning. Because I’m enjoying my life when we’re apart and we enjoy our time together. It has taught me a lot of good things about myself and has made me grow in ways I don’t know that I could have otherwise.

    I’m very clear that our relationship (regardless of its LDR status) is not a perfect one. But I think relationships come with challenges no matter where the other person lives.

    So, to answer your questions:

    1–Am I being lazy? I suppose there’s something to that, for both of us. However, we also are content with each other and therefore wouldn’t want to go out and meet someone new. At least for me, it’s not about being afraid to take the risk of trying to find someone else locally. I just don’t think ANY relationship would be free of issues of some sort. So why throw away this one simply because it has this particular challenge?

    2–Do I have a scarcity mindset? Absolutely not! I believe that there are tons of potential good matches for me in this world. I realize that this man is just one of many who I could be happy with. And I know I have great value and could attract other good men who would want me as their partner. I would say, however, that maybe my boyfriend has a bit of a scarcity mindset. That can sometimes feel concerning.

    3–Do we have a plan? Yes. We’ve been doing this for 3 years. Two-week visits every 2-4 months. And you’re going to think this is nuts, but we expect to be doing this for another 5-8 years. We do, however, intend to attempt longer visit over time—for instance, possibly trying to do a summer-long visit next year or the year after. The ultimate plan, which we discuss often, is for me to move to where he is. It’s beautiful there and I love going there. The climate and environment are amazing. But obviously, my commitment is to stay where my children and their father live. We share custody.

    A little background: I met him at the end of a 20+ year marriage. And I have 4 children, ages 11 to 20. I’m almost 49 and he’s 41. He has no kids and is okay with that. We both have good jobs, and mine allows for particular flexibility and remote working.

    Is it going to work in the long run? We hope so. We plan for that. We talk a lot about the reasons it will and the reasons it might not. We both know there are no guarantees.

    Thank you for the opportunity to think through some of these items a little more this morning. But I’m going to stick with what I’m doing. It’s working for me, and it’s working for him. And the sex is amazing when it’s able to happen. And there’s porn when it’s not able to happen. :)

    I still love you, Matthew! (Even though you didn’t use any of the SIX videos I sent in!) ;) And I’ll keep following your advice, when it applies, because I do value your opinions. I hope to meet you someday. Take care.

  • You know, this is exactly my situation right now, I’ve met (and like) this man for 5 years or more, but we only started to really talk on the last year. And is so upsetting that you make the effort to travel, to get the money and the time, but when you get there you can’t meet. Or when he just starts ghosting. And something you really care about starts vanishing because it didn’t reached the intimacy and the importance enough to get REAL. So I’m stuck since is too hard to forget something that didn’t actually happen.
    But thanks for the video!!
    Love :)

  • <3 so true! I was in a long-distance relationship and yes is all about having a plan… now here we are married and with a baby. I moved to stay with him until we move back home when everything is ready to. Is hard but if there is real love is so worth it!

  • Thank you Matthew. Finally, someone is honest about long distance relationships! Everyday I reply to men that “I don’t like long distance relationships”. I have to see the man I’m interested in often. To see him interact with me and in different environments and situations to know we connect and communicate well. I’m a touchy feely type of person. I can’t have that type of relationship in messages and sometimes by voice, it’s so lacking in everything I want and need. I’m in my 50’s and don’t want to waste any time on a big “maybe”.

  • People get involved long distance because it’s safe. What I have learned is those kind of people don’t want to be together in real life people are too scared. Try suggesting it sometime see how they react they make excuses not to see you in person. That’s why they kling to the long distance.

    1. I been engaged twice in real life never married both started off online. First one I was with for a year he was from England. Second we were together for 2 and a half years. Not including time spent online.

  • You are so right! I had a long distance relationship for almost one year. I was in à happiness bubble each time we’ve seen eachother. That was once at two months. But then, i felt lonely and used to cry a lot. It was like we were together, talking almost constantly but at the same time having separate lives. I couldn’t stand it anymore. So I moved with him. I Left everything behind, my family, my friends, my good job, my house, everything. I didn’t think much about it. I just felt it was the right thing. I felt that I knew him and that we have a future together. I was a bit wrong about the first part, though. Things were not that pink as i thought . All the little things that i’ve noticed about him that were let’s say a bit strange proved to be the problems. Redflags were there all the time but i didn’t know how to recongnise them. So, open your eyes girls, listen to your instincts, if you have a feeling that something is not right it would definitely prove it wasn’t!! In my case, i was lucky. He loved me so much and also he was committed to making it work that he almost changed his entire life style since we’ve moved together. He gave up his bad habits. It was hard work for me but i believed in him. I felt he wanted to be different and he needed me to help him overcome his problems. Apart of that, he is great and we are happy together, i don’t regret making the move nor the great effort. He is what i need. We are getting married at the end of the year, just when we’ll be celebrating one year of living together:))

  • I met my husband in my city when he came here on holidays (he now lives in another country, but was born here). We walked around for three days and then he flew back to his country, but came back in a week just to meet me again. We started to plan our future together just about 10 days after we’ve met. It was extremely hard to be physically away and it still is. We’ve been dating for half year (meeting once per month approximately for a week) when he proposed. Now we are married and I am going to move to him in a month. I can’t imagine anyone more perfect for me, he is everything I have ever dreamt of! Long distance relationship does work when you meet YOUR person.

  • I’m currently in a long distance relationship and it’s a relief to hear about your thoughts on this matter. Most people I know thinks that most LDR doesn’t really work however when it does work, it’ll be worth it. Obviously, I love the guy otherwise I wouldn’t get myself into this whole thing. I turned him down several years before (eventhough I have feelings for him as well) when he told me of his plan of moving permanently to another country. We tried to stay friends after that but sure enough, our conversations became awkward until we no longer reach out to one another thinking “it may not work, anyway”. For about four years, we focused on our own careers and became a little more of who we wanted to be. Then, all of a sudden, our paths crossed again. I admit, all the “what if”s in my head stirred up my heart which lead me to decide to give our love a second chance despite knowing that his plans of migrating is still intact. I didn’t regret that. I love him even more when I allowed myself to experience what it is to be loved by him and to love him without fear. He kept reassuring me that the only reason he’s going away is because he wanted to secure our future together somewhere better than here and I wanted to believe that we can make it work. And I think I love him enough to move with him in the future. But I’ve never been in a LDR before and it has been driving me crazy for the last 4 months. I’m not sure how long I could endure it or if we’re doing it right. Aside from distance, there’s also the challenge of a 14-hour difference in time. Most of the time, I just feel so lonely whenever I realize how far away he is from me and how far away we are from being together. I don’t want to feel I’m wasting time in loving my man and i certainly don’t want to lose something that could mean everything by giving up now. I just wish, it wasn’t that hard.

  • I meet this man on a dating site . He said he was a contractor on business in another country for 3 months . He lived in same state as I do . I did believe in long distance relationships in beginning . Wrote for 4 months we actually were falling in love with each other . Sent expensive gifts to me . Wrote emails , talked on phone , texts . Then the day coming back to my state stopped calling no reason why . Wrote back and called no response back . Never writing to anyone long distance again . Very hurt and confused

  • I moved to be with the guy because it was a 12 hr drive one way just to visit & sometimes it was just for a few hours then the drive back. Since the move there have been times it’s felt worthwhile & others I don’t know. Even though he’s very loving I’m not sure he would have made the same effort.

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