- Long-distance relationships require an extra level of thought and communication.
- For this reason, red flags are often more difficult to spot in long-distance relationships.
- Reluctance to communicate, jazz spotlights, and frequent arguments can be far-reaching red flags.
Sure, long-distance relationships can be more difficult than domestic ones, but studies have shown that they actually have the potential for it deeper links And continue stronger.
“In order to make it work, any relationship requires communication,” says the clinical psychologist and sex therapist, Cheryl Fraser, Ph.D. “A long-distance relationship just requires an extra focus on communication. It’s not like it’s a bad thing; it’s just a relationship with a challenge.”
When long-distance relationships encounter obstacles, communication can become tense, hesitant, or infrequent. Spotting these red flags when you’re not in the same physical space as your partner is crucial to understanding and resolving any issues.
Read on to discover six common red flags in long-distance relationships — and tips on how to deal with them from Fraser as well Antonia HallPsychologist and relationship expert.
1. They don’t start conversations
If your partner doesn’t communicate with you much anymore, it could be a red flag that something is bothering him or that he simply “hasn’t invested much in the relationship,” says Hall.
How often you should communicate is unique to every couple. For some, it may be talking multiple times throughout the day. And for others, touching the base once every night may be enough.
Fraser recommends checking in in the morning and evening each day if possible — ideally on video.
“Text is the worst for anything deep or important,” she says. “The phone is a step up. Ideally, you want videos where you can get those social cues, the nuances of facial expressions. You can see each other so you get a better reading and are less likely to go down the communication rabbit hole.”
2. Communication feels exhausting
Communication is key to a healthy relationship, but when you’re constantly feeling stressed, tired, or downright exhausted, it can be a sign that the long-term relationship is in trouble. Healthy communication doesn’t always have to feel so challenging, so when it happens more often than it sounds great – that’s a red flag. The inability to listen, empathize, or communicate without hostility can be signs of unhealthy communication.
Hall suggests couples choose when to talk about things—whether the topic is light and cheerful or heavy and serious—”which means that you both have the time and energy to discuss and that you’re not tense, tired, or distracted.”
Choosing a good environment for conversation is difficult, but important. “Don’t try to talk about it during intimate moments or right before bed,” she advises. “Give time and space for each person to share their feelings.”
Practicing self-care before and during difficult conversations may help you prepare.
Also be careful about framing communications in a non-judgmental way, she says. It is helpful to introduce phrases with ‘I feel’ rather than ‘You make me’.
3. You argue frequently
Fighting in a long distance relationship is not necessarily a sign of doom.
“Arguments allow people to express and see divergent viewpoints,” says Hall. “Being able to disagree with respect and with an open mind can be a bonding experience that ultimately enhances the relationship.”
but the road Couples quarrel. Here are some tips to avoid:
But an increase in the frequency or intensity of fights—particularly arguments from which nothing is learned or built—could indicate that the long-distance relationship has problems.
Fraser advises couples to make a plan to take the 30-minute timeout because any argument begins to escalate, especially when it’s over the phone or a video call because “anxiety can quickly skyrocket” in these situations, she says.
“This break is physiologically important because it takes about 30 minutes to calm down when you feel distressed. It takes time to submerge the body in water while fighting or flying. [mode] To calm down, to bring the blood pressure down,” Fraser says.
4. They don’t want to tell you about their life outside your relationship
“It’s important for couples in all types of relationships to have their own social lives, but this is especially true when they’re in a long-distance relationship,” Hall says. “Having a good support system around you makes it easy to separate from your partner for long periods of time.”
But if a partner is reluctant to discuss their independent social life, it can be a red flag for the relationship.
“Because you don’t have the luxury of sharing most of your time together, being open and transparent prevents miscommunication from happening,” says Hall.
“Trust your intuition or intuition if you feel something wrong with your partner,” Hall says. “It could be something in your partner’s voice on the phone, or a vivid feeling you have that your partner is emotionally turning away from themselves. One doesn’t need to be in the same physical space to read such evidence.”
5. They shine a light on you
Gaslighting is a type of communication used to manipulate or exploit someone. In romantic relationships, this may appear as if one partner ignores the other’s feelings, blames and judges their actions, or accuses the other of being overly sensitive or mistrustful.
In a long-distance relationship, the partner may:
- Get rid of their partner’s thoughts or instincts by calling them crazy.
- Denying that their partner really feels what they are feeling.
- Lying to control the information the partner receives and processes.
- Shift the blame for the toxic behavior, and cite the other partner’s response to the behavior as the problem instead.
The Mental health effects of gas lighting They can be severe: When a partner is made to constantly guess their thoughts and motives, the consequences can include anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, poor self-control, and other harmful repercussions.
“Gas lighting is targeted and consistent,” Fraser says. “And it can have massive effects including extreme self-doubt and insecurity, and also lead to staying in a destructive or abusive cycle.”
6. Get worried before you talk to them
Getting butterflies before talking to your partner is different from feeling nervous and dreaded.
“Clear your head and be honest first and foremost with yourself about why you’re feeling anxious,” Hall says. Find out if the anxiety is caused by a lack of trust or fear about the future direction of the relationship.
To deal hygienically with any relationship anxietyYou should be able to work with your partner to relieve any undue feelings of anxiety.
“Be honest with your partner in the most loving and respectful way about why you are worried,” Hall says.
Individually, partners can also deal with anxiety by rewriting negative assumptions in their thoughts. That means communicating our needs to our partners, then allowing them to respond with well-intentioned efforts, Fraser says — rather than immediately jumping to conclusions about their bad intentions.
For example, if one partner requests more regular communication throughout the day, and the other responds by dropping more heart emojis repeatedly during the course of a busy schedule, this is indicative of effort and should be welcomed rather than viewed with skepticism.
If these communication strategies still fail to meet the needs of both partners, and the anxiety continues unchecked, that’s a big red flag that a long-distance relationship is in trouble.
Red flags for long-distance relationships are often associated with issues of commitment, trust, and communication: either one partner fails to initiate conversations, communication feels overwhelmed, or often leads to a fruitless fight.
Gas play and a reluctance to discuss life outside the relationship can also indicate a problem.
Not only are these potential red flags pointing to major problems in a long-distance relationship, but they can trigger anxiety and insecurities that erode one or both partners’ sense of self and challenge mental health and well-being.
It’s okay to transition your relationship into a platonic friendship if sexual or romantic contact doesn’t work for you and you still want to know each other. Every relationship is different, and ultimately you and your partner are experts in your own needs.
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