“Was he acting weird?”
“She seemed bored.”
“It used to be wonderful. What happened?”
People ask themselves questions like these all the time when they think something is “off” in their relationship. When you can spend regular face-to-face time with your partner, it’s easier to follow up on that sinking feeling and figure out whether you really should be worried or if you just misread the situation.
But it’s not so easy when you’re in a long distance relationship. When you don’t have the luxury of time together holding hands, hugging, kissing or regular uninterrupted talk, doubts can build and cause stress, strain and problems. Think about how you act when you believe that something is wrong with your relationship: defensive, needy, clingy, insecure and maybe even hostile.
Most people unintentionally push their love away as worries grow. Some make a conscious decision to shut out their partner, certain that he or she will be breaking up soon. You don’t have to suffer through another anxious moment. Get facts that will really help you know when there’s something potentially wrong in your long distance relationship.
1. You don’t have set rules or boundaries.
We’ve all got unique “rules” that reflect our expectations for what we want and how we think things should be. In a relationship, the trick is to communicate about rules openly, honestly and without judgment. If you and your partner often make each other wrong for having different rules or if you’re stuck and can’t resolve a big conflict, this can mean trouble.
2. There is unequal effort from either side.
It can be miserable to feel like you’re doing all the work in your relationship. You’re always the one to call or text. You’re the one traveling the miles for a visit. You’re the one waiting by the computer for some response.
This might merely reflect that you and your partner have different needs for how frequently you communicate, or it might mean your partner isn’t as committed as you are.
3. You feel there’s an obligation to do something.
When talking or connecting with your partner feels like a chore or a lot of work, this can be a bad sign for your relationship. Anytime you’re acting from obligation instead of eagerness and excitement, something is out of whack.
Start with your own thoughts and make connections. When a “have to” or “should” comes to mind about your partner, back up and ask yourself what you really want to do instead.
4. Jealousy dominates the relationship.
Jealousy is a relationship-killer, especially in a long distance relationship. If your conversations revolve around interrogations, accusations or wariness about setting off jealousy in one or both of you, you’ve definitely got a problem.
5. You keep secrets from each other.
Pay attention when your partner is evasive or seems to be skipping important details. This could mean he or she is keeping secrets. If you’re withholding information because you’re afraid of disappointing or upsetting your beloved, think twice. Regardless of the “good” reason either of you may have for keeping secrets, this habit always weakens trust.
6. Everything is way too serious, and there’s no room for fun.
If it’s all “serious” talks and tension when you and your partner do get together (virtually or in person), it could mean that your relationship has taken a wrong turn. Love isn’t supposed to bring you down and bum you out. Sure, every couple has their challenges to work through, but a healthy relationship has its fair share of light and enjoyable moments mixed in as well.
If you do find one or more of these trouble signs in your relationship, don’t get upset about it; instead, take this as a wake up call and DO something different.
Without blame, get to the root of the conflict or unhealthy habit. Even if your partner refuses to talk about what’s causing problems in your relationship, you can start doing things differently which can have positive side effects.
Also make sure that the time you do spend together — whether it’s texting, emailing, Skyping, or another way — is focused and includes plenty of opportunities for romance and fun.