Long Distance Relationships-What Can Go Wrong

Do They Work Out?

Sometimes long distance relationships work out and sometimes they don’t. There are many things you should take into consideration and think about before diving into the waters of far away love. I’ve known a few of these and most of them didn’t work out for various reasons.

Long distance relationships are not a new thing even though some may think so. Since we have had mail delivery we have had romance from afar. During time of war, girls would choose a soldier or sailor to be her pen pal. They exchanged pictures and letters keeping the boy’s morale up that were fighting for our country. Many even married afterward if he was lucky enough to come back alive. I have an aunt that met a man that way.

Many things make a relationships work and there is a whole list of reasons they do not. In this day of technology we have tools like webcam, video and cell phones making it easier to get a better idea of what the other person is like but even then until you meet you don’t have the complete picture.

  • Honest Up-to-Date Photos

Make sure you exchange many current pictures without touch ups. This is only fair to your love interest and if you don’t in the end it will come out anyway so you might as well be truthful from the start. We all have flaws we aren’t proud of and want to change but honesty is always the best policy.

I worked with a woman who was obese, not just a bit overweight; I’m talking three chins. She used an old picture of herself on a dating site and found a sweetheart who lived far away. They became serious and decided it was time they met. She flew to his home and stayed a few days. When she got back she was disappointed that he too had used an old thinner picture and shortly after her arrival he was distant and cold. He was expecting that trim woman she showed in her photos and likewise she expected a different looking fellow.

Here is a prime example of two people trying to deceive others in order to get a mate. Unfortunately all humans are visual creatures unless they are blind; even then they have expectations. There is someone out there for just about everyone but you have to be upfront and honest in the beginning. This is a form of lying and will get you nowhere.

  • Voice

For some people a voice is very important. They have in mind a certain tone or accent they like or prefer. I’m not necessarily talking about people from another country, every part of the United States has an accent and they are all very different. Some find a southern accent cute or sexy but some think it sounds uneducated or annoying. I know; I have one.

Another part of voice is speech, such as how we say things or what we say. When we type out an email we can edit our words and make sure they sound good. In person we don’t have a delete button or grammar check. If we sound bad due to being brash, arrogant or ignorant it will show up when we meet face to face.

  • Smell

This is very important to all of us whether you realize it or not unless you are lacking in the olfactory. A person’s aroma can turn us on, or set us off. Without knowing what the other person smells like you don’t have the full picture. Pheromones are very instrumental in whether or not we are attracted to each other.

Everyone has his or her own special scent and even if it is strong there is another person out there who finds you their favorite flavor.

There was a scientific study done with college women; they took sweaty shirts from different guys and had the girls smell them. After working out, no deodorant or cologne they got the boy’s true aroma. The girls had to write down a description of what they thought each man would look like based on his scent. The end result was that a man whose smell is appealing to a woman is considered much more attractive.

Women have been known to sleep with a man’s dirty t-shirt after a death or break up. Likewise some men are into panties. I won’t go into the particulars but you get the picture. Yeah, smell is very important.

If a person wears too much cologne this is also bad.

  • Mannerisms

You know that guy or girl in the office that drives you crazy just by the way they breathe, walk, twitch or use their hands when they talk? There are things about people that we can’t explain but they just irritate us. Being pen pals doesn’t give you the full picture of a woman’s inner person and how she presents herself when she talks or walks.

I overheard a young man telling his friend that he stopped dating a girl because she didn’t cover her mouth when she yawned. To some that might seem a small thing but to this fellow it was important.

  • Annoying Habits

We all have them; no one is perfect. There are some things we can over look and others not so much.

Some women get bent out of shape if a guy doesn’t put the toilet seat down. If this is important to her and he feels it’s no big deal there will be issues somewhere down the road.

I know a woman that felt her purse was off-limits; no one is allowed to look inside. Maybe she’s carrying CIA documents, I don’t know but she would go ballistic if her kids touched her handbag.

A neat nick won’t be so happy if his girlfriend leaves her keys on the counter and his idea of happiness is everything out of sight.

  • Relocate

So you made arrangements, met and you are still madly in love but… due to career, family or love of your hometown you can’t or won’t relocate. He thinks you should and vise versa, which causes a big conflict.

A few years a go I witnessed a torrid love affair on a social networking site between a couple who lived in two different states. It was quite entertaining; they had a huge following with people commenting and giving advice—it was like an interactive soap opera. No joke.

We’re not talking about a couple of love struck teenagers still wet behind the ears, these people were college educated with careers… which was the problem. She had a job she loved and liked being near Mama and Daddy, like all good southern girls and he felt since he was the man she should pick up housekeeping and follow him to the ends of the earth, like most southern men. Well… it didn’t work out, in fact she deleted him and it turned out quite ugly.

Sooo the moral of that story, kids, is make sure up front that you are on the same page regarding living arrangements. Don’t assume your career is more important than hers because no matter what neck of woods she is from she might not agree.

Granted many of these come up in local relationships too but you don’t usually invest as much of your heart before you find these things out.

There are relationships that stay long distance and they never intend them to be more than what they are due to neither person being able or willing to relocate. They can last for many years providing a local girl or guy doesn’t catch their eye.

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Comments 60 comments

Kindacrazy profile image

Kindacrazy 6 years ago from Tennessee

Pamela, I had one of those, didn't work out at all. On the other hand, that is exactly what our military and spouses are going through on a day-to-day basis. It is hard for them, as a family or couple. My daughter is currently going through this with her husband in Afghanistan. Good write!

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

For many years, I worked for a company that required employees to be away from home for months at a time with a flight home twice a month for a weekend.

All but one of the men I worked with ended up in a divorce, and every one of those divorces involved another man on the home front.

Most women don't like to be left alone, and if their husband is never there, someone else will take his place. That's just the way it is.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Kindacrazy, those marriages are really tough. They have webcam and other ways of staying in touch now that they didn't have before.

Willstarr, I would have a hard time being married to a man that traveled a lot. You are right a lot of them don't work out.

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

Good hub, Pamela, You always talk such good sense.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Twilight, I just tell it like I see it.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago

Good points. I think that it is important to know the person firsthand--smells, mannerisms, habits and how the other party interacts with people--those are good clues. Rated up.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Very good hub. I think it is extremely difficult to keep marriages together when living apart for long periods of time also. I really enjoyed your hub. voted/rated up.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Anginwu, there's nothing like being with a person to really know them.

Pamela, it sometimes works but I think we have to take these things into consideration.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 6 years ago from the Ether

Pamela, great hub! I have been in a long distance relationship before, and truthfully it did not work out for me in the least! I definitely agree that you have to be with your partner to experience all of those things that define a relationship; however, for the people that are in marriages that have a spouse in the military...it is a bit of a different story. I have two sisters-in-law that have husbands in the military, that while they miss their husbands miserably while they're gone, still have wonderful marriages. They face many problems that they might not normally face if they're husbands were not out of the country, but at the same time, I feel it makes them stronger. Of course this depends on the person and how strong their love for one another is to begin with.

I was young when I had my long-distance relationship, and I ended up hurting him in the end...I just couldn't stay interested enough.

Now that I am married, I feel that if my husband was to leave for even a year's worth of time that I could handle it.

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very inspiring hub, Pamela. I learn much from you. Actually two years ago there's a woman from Russia who want me to marry her soon. But I don't know why, I am not ready with this. But we still contact each other by email. Until I lost her. I really regret about this. I want to renew this relationship, but it's too late. Personally, this could be a good experience for me. I don't want loosing my soul mate anymore. And I hope I can find the new one. Sorry, I share this with you. Thanks for listening me. Vote up and God bless you!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma Author

kittythedreamer, I think it makes a big difference if you meet and fall in love in person first and then they go away due to career.

Prasetio30, it's best to not rush into anything. You should be ready for marriage and not let the other person push you into something you aren't ready for.

Becky Puetz profile image

Becky Puetz 5 years ago from Oklahoma

Great article about the pros and cons of long distance relationships. Many vital points ti ponder. Thanks for an interesting, informative read. Awesome hub!

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading, Becky.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

How am I supposed to get a date if I use an accurate photo? Dating is so hard!

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

lol There's someone for everyone out there, I'm sure you could find your dream girl.

Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

I'm about to find out. Started at a distance, came to together for a year and now work takes him away again. I figure it either works or it doesn't :( Skype helps with that voice issue. For me voice is huge.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Randy, Skype is new to me. They have so many new gadgets these days. I'm waiting for the Beem Me Up Scotty machine and then we can be in their living room in seconds.

Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

Pamela this is where I started, Christoph Reiley did a hub on it: http://hubpages.com/technology/Skype--Make-Regular...

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks, Randy. Chris' article was very informative.

crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

An educative write up.Long distance relationship best suit couples who trust and understand each other but as for me i cant give room to such shit .Men, i need my guy around me always.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

It is hard when you can't touch them or see them in person.

Ella_Bella profile image

Ella_Bella 5 years ago from CANADA eh

I have been in one for two years, its hard but when you do see each other its AMAZING, you really learn to appreciate time, eachother you also learn a great deal of patience. I can say though I am counting down the days until we are no longer long distant!!!

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

It is a difficult relationship to be in but many military wives do it everyday. I admire you for being able to stick it out.

Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

My parents are a great example of one working....they meet on the beaches of Virginia when my mom was down from Canada for vacation.....they wrote letters for two years..keeping their relationship alive from two different countries...eventually they decided to get married....52 years later they are still together with 2 kids and 7 grandkids...voted up

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Wow, Cogerson. That is a great story. It does work out sometimes.

my boyfriend ignores me 5 years ago

Either your away each other important is you really love each other..

Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 5 years ago from Japan

Yes, long distance relationships are the true love testers.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Absence can make the heart grow fonder but it can also make it wander. Just depends on how strong the bond is.

berry  5 years ago

Who should go see the other partner for the first meeting? The guy or girl.

Thanks. :)

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Berry, that is between the two of you and your personal circumstances. One may have a harder time taking off work or may not have the resources to travel.

berry 5 years ago

Thank you for your answer. Well we both are financially tight at the moment although we did plan to meet this summer. We hope it happens. The problem is some people said that it's degrading to go to the man to see him for the first time. That is the reason why I asked. Do you agree with them?

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Berry, I don't agree. If he can't take off work due to starting a new position or having a more demanding schedule it might be better for you to go to him.

I know that in the past it was considered unseemly for a woman to go to a man because it might look like you were chasing him or being too easy but depending on the situation it may make more sense for you to travel to his home town.

You have to look at your own personal life and do what is best for the two of you and not worry about what other people think.

berry 5 years ago

Thank you Pamela, that made me feel better. Hehe :)

4tune profile image

4tune 5 years ago from Michigan

Best to keep it just friends I think until ya know for sure for sure, Shhh..Just keep your fantasies to yourself, he don't need to know. : )

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

4tune, fantasies are always good. I agree that until you have met in person and know for sure you should just be friends.

fashion 5 years ago

Interesting and informative.This is a great story.

I enjoyed reading it.

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

I have never had a long distance relationship but I can see the problems but then for some there woud also be some very good points.

this a great hub and thank you so much for sharing.

Take care


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading, Eiddwen. It's becoming more popular with the internet and social networking sites.

carcro profile image

carcro 5 years ago from Winnipeg

Great hub, when my sweetie and I met, we had to endure a long distance relationship shortly after our first meeting. Back then computers, and email were not yet available, so all communication was through the mailman. Most thought it would never work, but we proved them all wrong and have been going strong ever since. I can certainly relate to most of the points you had noted and relocation was definitely a big one. I really enjoyed reading your hub, brought back memories of our early days. Thanks so much for sharing. Voted Up and Awesome!

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Carcro, glad it worked out. Many LDR do work so it is possible and you are a good example of it.

sanathara profile image

sanathara 5 years ago

Thanks Pamela N Red, for sharing this..Great Hub..

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading. Sanathara.

ytsenoh profile image

ytsenoh 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

Thanks for your hub. I have been dating someone for nearly 11 years and last year, he was transferred to the east coast. I think if a couple has what I call a "friendship on fire," nothing can taint it. I think spontaneity is an important element and trust is way up there.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Eleven years is a long time to date someone, ytsenoh. I hope things work out now that you are in a long distance relationship.

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Mohammad Wasim 5 years ago from To become a good human being need love.

To keep relationship alive is very important to insist mutual interest and confidence . I have been living alone since 15 years from my wife. I could not keep the relationship alive.My wife has a boyfriend and I had a lot of girlfriends in my life after the separation. After happening of all unusual things in life. We still have an extreme good relationship and understanding. We are still married.We have a daughter combinly. We do not want to divorce.She invits me always and celebrate with her boyfriend. We are good friend and good understanding. To remove the misunderstanding to hubs readers that no any sexual relationship with my wife. Only friends,we are. Can you say,what type of love it is or relationship such a long period of marital life?

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Mohammad, that happens sometimes. Some people have religious or financial reasons for not divorcing. I don't consider this a long distance relationship because you say there is no physical relationship with your wife. To me she is more like family, you have a bond through your daughter and still friends but no longer lovers.

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naturalsolutions 5 years ago

Long distance relationship is one of the most hard things in love. Keeping it strong is really difficult. The couple should have a great trust foundation, faith, loyalty and keeping in touch even they are miles away from each other. Your hub explains almost all the things to do in a long distance relationship. I'm so inspired on it, distance is nothing if two loving hearts decide to be destined.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Naturalsolutions, it can be done if both individuals are dedicated and really in love. I wish you the best.

LanaLu profile image

LanaLu 5 years ago from New York

I have seen long distant relationships work, however, I feel it takes allot for the two people to make a distant relationship work. I personally have attempted a long distance relationship but quickly realized that it would be best for the both of us to remain friends for the time being. Really enjoyed reading this hub great job.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading, LanaLu. It isn't for everyone and is not easy but some do manage it.

loveydoveyideas profile image

loveydoveyideas 5 years ago

Sometimes they work if the two people are really committed to it, but I often see that one person is committed to it more and the other doesn't give as much of themselves. That by itself can ruin the relationship, but I guess that goes beyond just long distance relationships and is true in all relationships.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Loveydoveyideas, it's not easy when you don't get to see them very often and like you say if one is more committed than the other it can be a problem.

zanaworld profile image

zanaworld 5 years ago from Bangalore

I have been through a bad long distance relationship. It affects your life. To be with my better half, I quite a very high paying job and returned to be with my better half!

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Zanaworld, money isn't everything and sometimes we have to make sacrifices to be with the one we love.

Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 5 years ago from Thailand

Voted up and useful, as I think more people are meeting online than ever before. I've been doing the long distance thing this last year, but ... after already being with my partner for a long time. We have made it work, it is not easy, but is possible. However, for new couples it would be far harder!

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Brett, with the Internet, cell phones and webcam many people are able to have these relationships more now than ever before.

kendracoates profile image

kendracoates 5 years ago from Michigan

I can relate to some aspects of your hub. Like, for instance, when you said the way they present themselves, with manners and the way they carry themselves when they walk and act, these are things that you don't know until you meet and are around them. But long distance relationships can work out or at least for a while just like any other relationships do. Most of the time unless you get married they end for some reason or another. I had a long distance relationship before, he was in another country. We eventually met up more then once and kept the relationship going. And used web cam and the phone and internet in between. So they can work :D We did get engaged as well. no we aren't together any more but we stayed together for about four years. And are still communicating to this day. I give props to those who are in long distance relationships:D Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Kendra, many people are able to keep these relationships going and some do work out. Parting on good terms is great, I'm glad you were able to remain friends. Sometimes people aren't able to be together due to career or family and that makes it tough.

Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

First and foremost, do your homework. That's easier these days. So, know everything you can about the other person, and not just on their say-so. Married, divorced, never married, single, education, job, criminal record, etc. If you really care for them, and for yourself, you will know what you need to know before spending a lot of time and emotion on a relationship.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

That indeed helps, Perspycacious. Even so, meeting in person brings out more about a person than communicating through computer or cell phone.

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