How to Get Through a Rough Patch in a Long Distance Relationship

It’s completely normal for a relationship to go through a rough patch, and long-distance relationships are no different. If your relationship is going through some challenges, know that there’s a lot you can do to make things feel happy and exciting again. Read on for some tips on how to feel closer to your partner, no matter how many miles may lie between you.


Method 1 of 9: Text them updates on your day-to-day life.

How to Get Through a Rough Patch in a Long Distance Relationship


Make them feel like a significant part of your life despite the distance. Avoid relying on just your usual scheduled phone calls or Skype dates to catch up. Send texts, DMs, or videos throughout the day to show your partner that they’re always on your mind.

  • If you’ve got extra time on your break at work, text your partner, “Thinking of you! Can’t wait to talk on the phone tonight.”
  • Next time you read an interesting article, share it with your partner. Follow it with a text like, “I thought this was super fascinating. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!”
  • If you just thought of an idea for a new project at work, send it over to your partner and ask if they can give you feedback.

Method 2 of 9: Plan fun and creative virtual dates.

How to Get Through a Rough Patch in a Long Distance Relationship


Even if you’re not in the mood, try to make your dates feel special. Have a candlelit dinner over Zoom or FaceTime. Watch a movie together and make popcorn in your respective kitchens. Spend a night reading poetry or excerpts from your favorite novels to each other. Putting in this extra effort can help your time together feel special and exciting again.

  • Other date ideas include a virtual museum tour, a game of virtual trivia, or even a live stream concert.

Method 3 of 9: Engage in deep discussions to get to know each other better.

How to Get Through a Rough Patch in a Long Distance Relationship


Keep making an effort to discover new things about your partner. Talk about current events, art, philosophy, and your views on life as individuals and as a couple. This can really help make your relationship feel fresh again, especially if things have felt a little monotonous or predictable lately. To kickstart the conversation, try asking questions like:

  • “What are some things you would put on your bucket list?”
  • “Who is your favorite writer and why?”
  • “If you could travel anywhere right now, where would you go?”

Method 4 of 9: Talk about conflict openly.

How to Get Through a Rough Patch in a Long Distance Relationship


Be honest and direct if something is bothering you. Pick a time when the two of you are free and bring up how you’re feeling in a calm, respectful manner. Use I-statements to avoid placing blame on your partner. After you bring up your feelings, give your partner a chance to share their point of view. Avoid bringing up the issue over text, which can lead to misunderstandings. Bring up your feelings over video chat or at least a phone call.

  • Maybe your partner hasn’t been as responsive to your texts lately. Say something like, “I totally understand that you’ve been busy, but I end up feeling hurt when I reach out and don’t hear back from you.”
  • Perhaps you’re upset about something that your partner said recently. Try, “I know you didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, but I’m a sensitive person. I felt a little dismissed by the way you were speaking to me.”

Method 5 of 9: Make time for intimacy.


Get creative to keep your relationship sexy. To stay close even when you’re far away from each other, experiment with all the ways you can still be sexual. Have sex over FaceTime or another virtual platform. Send flirty pictures to let your partner know you’re thinking of them. Talk about your fantasies with each other and what you want to try when you’re reunited.

  • Check-in before sending sexy photos to make sure you’re partner is not busy or at work.
  • Only do things you and your partner are both comfortable with. You should never feel pressured to do something that you don’t want to do.
  • There are a lot of ways to remain close with your partner, and it’s best to just do what makes you both happy.

Method 6 of 9: Practice trust and open communication.


It’s normal for jealousy to come up in long-distance relationships. To handle it in a healthy way, talk about your boundaries as a couple. Be upfront about situations that may make you uncomfortable, like getting drinks with a flirty coworker or hanging out with an ex. Once you’ve talked, remind yourself to trust your partner anytime your insecurities start to arise and be mindful of your own behavior so that your partner can trust you as well.

  • Try not to check up on your partner out of fear that they’re being unfaithful. If your partner is doing something that’s concerning you, bring it up in a respectful conversation instead.

Method 7 of 9: Send gifts, letters, and postcards.


If texts and calls are starting to feel stale, get creative with snail mail! Surprise them with a gift that you know they would like or mail a handwritten letter or postcard to show that you’re thinking of them. This can liven up your relationship again and hopefully encourage your partner to do something similar for you as well.

  • Arrange for flowers to be delivered to your partner’s apartment. Write a list of all the reasons that you love your partner and mail it to them. Send them a small gift, like a band t-shirt, a piece of jewelry, or a book.
  • Once you’ve mailed over the perfect letter or gift, text your partner something like, “Remember to check your mail this week. Something might be coming your way :)”

Method 8 of 9: Be silly and fun.

How to Get Through a Rough Patch in a Long Distance Relationship


It’s important to joke around and relax with your partner, too. If you’re going through a rough patch, it can be tempting to just talk about your issues. Take a break and joke around like you used to. This can help you both remember why you like each other and how much fun you can have together. Some ideas include:

  • Sharing a funny meme you know your partner would like
  • Sending a random text quoting the two of you’s favorite comedy
  • Watching funny YouTube clips together next time you Skype

Method 9 of 9: Plan your future as a couple.

How to Get Through a Rough Patch in a Long Distance Relationship


Set an end date for living apart or plan an upcoming visit to feel closer. Knowing the distance is only temporary or having a visit to look forward to makes it easier to get through the tough times. Talk with each other about your plans for the future as a couple, whether that be moving to the same city or planning regular visits so that you can be together more often.

  • If it’s not possible for you to plan a visit or set an end date, talk about what you will do together next time you see each other.
  • This can help you develop a more positive perspective about the direction you’re relationship is going, despite the distance.
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