7 Signs Your Long Distance Relationship Might Not Be Working Anymore (Thanks Covid)
LDRs are hard enough on their own, but with no sign of regular international travel returning anytime soon, the pandemic might have creeped into your relationship and caused it more damage without you realising it.
If your LDR shows any of these red flags of fatigue, it could be a sign that it’s time for a reality check:
1. Calls become infrequent
Calls are the backbone of most LDRs and most couples usually set aside specific times (especially if there’s a time difference to work around) to speak regularly to each other at mutually convenient times. If you start noticing that your partner is making less effort or if there is a definite decline in the frequency in which you hear each other's voices, it could mean that priorities might be changing or that the desperation to speak is not as strong anymore.
2. Talking to your partner feels like a chore rather than a highlight
If the frequency of your phone calls start dwindling and you’re not talking to each other as often as before, it may only be a matter of time when talking to your partner feels like a formality rather than something you used to look forward to. Nobody likes chores – you’re may be on a one-way trip to a breakup, unfortunately.
3. You’re having more arguments more frequently
Occasional arguments are bound to happen and are even considered healthy for relationships. However, it is one thing to be arguing face to face, and something else to be fighting over the phone or on a video call. If you feel like you or your partner are starting to nit-pick small things or having less patience than usual, it could be time to reassess the relationship.
4. It feels like you’re constantly pining for your partner’s attention
When phone calls and video chats are your only opportunities to connect in a LDR, having a partner who doesn’t seem as committed to sticking to your agreed call schedule or making the effort to remain connected on a regular basis can be a huge red flag. Covid does give most people the opportunity to work from home or have flexi hours, so it could actually help with time differences or speak at times that were normally not possible otherwise. But if you find yourself feeling like less of a priority despite that or if your partner doesn’t call / get on the phone when they’re supposed to, negative feelings of loneliness, suspicion and frustration start building up, all of which often have a domino effect on the relationship.
5. Your conversations have frequent, awkward silent patches
Just like a normal face to face relationship, most times it can feel like you’re talking happily for hours (on the phone) with your partner, and then there are times when you both just don’t have much to talk about, but the silence is comfortable. However, look out for when the phone conversation starts to feel strained and awkward patches of silence start to creep in. Frequent moments of uncomfortable silence can mean that your partner might be losing interest in the relationship. However, it is also true that most people are spending more time on work calls due to the pandemic, so maybe your partner is just feeling phone fatigue and is tired of constantly being on the phone, even if it is with you.
6. The relationship is beginning to feel open-ended
By open-ended, we mean that you have no idea when you will be able to physically see other (thanks Covid for the international travel restrictions), and spending so much time and money on quarantine might not be realistically possible for either of you. Couples in LDR usually make plans to see each other in person on a regular basis, but with the current global situation, travelling might not resume until next year. It’s very realistic to be concerned about how to keep the spark alive in your relationship over the phone alone for so long.
7. Physically being with people near you makes you happier than being on the phone
The pandemic and ongoing lockdowns have made most people feel lonely and stuck at home. Being in a LDR can make those feelings worse, especially when you see other people around you living together or being in a happy, supportive relationship. Despite your best intentions, it isn’t hard to understand if you start developing feelings for someone you can see and talk to in person every day, and want to spend real time with them physically, rather than be on the other side of a phone call. It’s normal to be attracted to other people, and that can mean accepting that you either need to give your LDR some serious TLC, or that it might be time to step away altogether.