Stages Of Emotions In A Long Distance Relationship

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Counselling Psychologist - M.Sc. Clinical Psychology

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Reviewed By:

Counselling Psychologist - Ph.D. Relationship Psychology

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We all love to be in close proximity to our partners. But many have to go through certain life changes which lead to the relationship turning into a long-distance relationship. Long-distance relationships are tough and not everyone can manage the distance, the conflicts or maintain trust. 

People often feel like distance is the only issue in long-distance relationships, but then why do couples who live nearby or together break up? All types of relationships go through a set of problems and distance might just add on to the existing ones. Long distance relationships often come along with lack of communication and trust, jealousy, grief, and oftentimes, heartbreak if the issues are not dealt with effectively. 

Most long-distance relationships go through stages of emotions that come with their own conflicts and ways to deal with them. Here are the stages of emotions that more long-distance relationships go through.

  1. The initial meeting

This stage is common for all relationships, that is, meeting your significant other, liking them, and wanting to pursue them for more than just friends. Every relationship darts from here and is often the ‘fun stage’ of creating a new bond. 

  1. Coming into a long-distance relationship

You may have started talking to this person knowing that you might have a long-distance relationship or come across a situation that requires you to transition your current relationship into one. This is the time when both you and your partner learn more about it and either take a break, break things off, or have faith in each other and go ahead with your relationship. This stage is often accompanied by conflicts and sadness of being away from your partner. 

  1. Learning that distance wasn t the only issue; feeling lonely

This is the stage when most couples realize that distance might not have been the only issue of their long-distance relationship. This is when you start to face further issues like lack of communication and time, loneliness, conflicts, and the agony of being away from your partner. Couples try to be understanding of their partners and try not to complain much about the circumstance. 

  1. Fights and conflicts

Conflicts might arise due to the usual fights or the frustration of being away from each other. This is the time when most couples think of breaking it off. Many might face other issues such as a lack of trust and reassurance, jealousy and even cheating. 

  1. Fighting through the fights 

Couples either break things off or try to fight through their conflicts in order to be with each other. This stage comes with a sense of maturation post all the fights and things that you both learned in the span that you were away from each other. By this time both you and your partner are aware of the problems that come with a long-distance relationship and what you can do to solve them effectively to avoid conflicts and fights.

  1. Coming up with solutions 

Both of you might sit down and have a talk to clarify all the issues that you have been facing and the acceptable solution to that. This comes with compromises and sacrifices where you both make changes in your lifestyle and schedule in order to make time for your partner and make them feel good about the relationship. 

Being in a long-distance relationship can be straining, especially if either of you are not willing to compromise. Long-distance relationships and every other relationship can be managed and made successful only when the people involved are willing to make it work. But it does require a stronger sense of trust and maturation to be able to love someone and be far away from them. 

Some Problems That Long-Distance Relationships Go Through 

  • Feeling lonely- this is one of the major issues of a long-distance relationship where you feel lonely even while being in a relationship which causes sadness. 
  • Lack of physical intimacy- physical intimacy is an essential part of most relationships and the lack of it can cause issues and ultimately may lead to unfaithfulness in order to fulfill desires. Be sure to discuss the importance of these things and whether or not it is a deal breaker for you or your partner.
  • Lack of trust- lack of trust occurs in a lot of relationships, and distance often makes it worse for the people involved. Reassurance and making your partner feel comfortable is an unsaid responsibility that you sign up for as you enter a relationship and you must stick by it.  
  • Different time zones- many long-distance couples live in different regions and may have different time zones which is even tougher to deal with. It is essential to figure out times that are mutually acceptable to both of you in order to spend time with each other.  
  • Financial strain- if you travel to meet each other, it can cause financial strain, especially if the distance is too much. An effective way to deal with this would be to figure out a middle point and compromise a little for each other.  

Some Ways To Cope With Them 

  • Be rational- our emotions sometimes get the best of us and override our rationality which leads to severe conflicts which may involve saying things to each other that you might not mean. What you say and what you do can be apologized for but never taken back hence it is essential to think before responding and try not to react without any prior thought. 
  • Have realistic expectations- many couples don t discuss things openly and get into the relationship with very high or unrealistic hopes from their partner and the relationship. By doing this you set yourself up for disappointment and you might never feel satisfied or happy with whatever your partner does for you. Be grateful and acknowledge the efforts of your partner so you can appreciate them and feel loved. 
  • Be honest- lack of honesty can destroy the relationship with or without the distance. Trust and honesty are all essential aspects of any relationship and for a strong foundation. Breaking that trust can be detrimental to your relationship.
  • Have faith- have faith in yourself and your partner. Be confident that you can manage everything and that your partner does value you and your relationship. 
  • Don t give in to temporary feelings for someone else- it is common to feel temporary happiness and excitement when you meet a new person. That initial excitement should not be confused with anything else and not something you should think about too much or ruin your relationship for.  

It is always better to confront your partner regarding the issues that you face than to ultimately betray them. If you feel like long distance is simply not meant for you then you should communicate with your partner instead of doing something that might not be acceptable to you or your partner. 


In conclusion, it is safe to say that long distance relationships, like all other types of relationships, are hard to manage and maintain but physical distance between the partners may add to some of the existing issues. Long distance couples go through a lot of stages from knowing each other to fighting against all the conflicts to finally accepting everything and being happy. There are certain issues that couples go through but there are certain things you can do to manage those conflicts.

Ms. Priyanka Walia
Ms. Priyanka Walia M.A. Counselling Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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Ms. Muskan Maheshwari
Ms. Muskan Maheshwari M.Sc. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 02 years of experience

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Mr. Nishant Sharma
Mr. Nishant Sharma M.Phil. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 07 years of experience

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Ms. Akshita Bakshi
Ms. Akshita Bakshi Ph.D. Relationship Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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