Setting Expectations: Communication in a Long Distance Relationship

Before we dive into setting the expectations in your LDR, seriously ask yourself, am I willing to put in the love and care this relationship needs? Remember Todd? Todd wasn’t ready for a long distance relationship, and sure as hell wouldn’t have been a good communicator in one. So, think you have what it takes? If your answer is yes, you’ll need to put in the work, and the first step is communication.

There’s a healthy balance between texting someone once a week, and virtually smothering them in “wyd” texts constantly

This may seem obvious, but how can you show someone you love and care about them if you don’t communicate? We are incredibly fortunate to be living in a time where communicating across the ocean is as easy as sending a text, calling, or facetiming. Can you imagine being in a long distance relationship 50 years ago, waiting weeks and weeks just to receive a single letter? I sure as hell can’t.

Calling / facetiming / messaging your s/o regularly is critical to a long distance relationship, but there’s a healthy balance between texting someone once a week, and

virtually smothering them in “wyd” texts constantly. I’ll be the first to admit, I definitely struggled with this in the beginning. I didn’t intentionally message Jess constantly, but I loved her and wanted to talk to talk to her, that’s innocent enough right? Well, you can go a bit overboard, and it ends up being more of a chore to respond all day rather than being the highlight of their day. On the other end of the spectrum, you can leave your s/o feeling lonely if you don’t communicate enough. Hell, if I go more than half a day without talking to Jess, I have anxiety attacks. Bottom line? Knowing what your s/o expects in terms of communication is crucial in a long distance relationship.

Screen Shot 2018-08-14 at 10.04.33 PM.pngPicture this scenario: Your s/o gets angry at you because you haven’t texted them back in two days. You argue that this is ridiculous because it’s “only been two days”. Clearly, there’s some miscommunication going on here. (free advice: don’t go off the grid for two days, this won’t go well).

When Jess and I first started dating long distance, there were times when I would feel upset with Jess because she hadn’t messaged me back in a few hours. I never communicated to Jess that when she goes off the grid for 6 hours, it made me anxious.
Now, you’re probably thinking “Dylan, 6 hours is nothing, you sound like a school girl”. Which is probably fair, but hear me out. When you’re in a long distance relationship, communication is one of the only ways you can feel connected to your s/o. So, how did we fix this problem? I finally communicated to Jess that this upset

By letting Jess know that this upset me, I was setting an expectation that if she was going to go ghost mode for a few hours, she would at least let me know. This happened all the time back when we were both in college (university for you Brits). When Jess went into study mode, she would go hours and hours without looking at her phone, leaving me in

Screen Shot 2018-08-14 at 10.00.33 PM

the dark. I would send her a random text, similar to “Yo what the hell its been 6 hours why are you ignoring me”. This was selfish, because I didn’t actually know what Jess was doing, and I was assuming that she was ignoring me, when in fact, she was just in her study zone hard at work. This was easily fixed by telling Jess that I’d appreciate it if she would let me know when she was going to study for 6 hours, so I didn’t check my phone constantly to see if she had messaged (I understand that many of you might think this sounds crazy).

Honestly, that might sound crazy, but the truth is, long distance relationships aren’t normal relationships. When you’re dating someone who lives in the same town as you, you generally know what they’re up to, because you spend time together and know their
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daily routines and habits. In a long distance relationship, you don’t have that time spent together, and you can’t know each other’s routines and habits unless you communicate those

things. I had no idea Jess went into ghost mode when she was studying, but telling her how I felt led to her letting me know when she was going to be studying; And led to her setting my expectations on what type of communication to expect when she’s studying (which was 0). This simple act of setting the expectations of communication in our relationship built more trust and understanding between the two of us.

Do you think its crazy to set the communication expectations with your significant other? Have any stories about someone going overboard in communication? Let me know in the comments below!

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4 thoughts on “Setting Expectations: Communication in a Long Distance Relationship

  1. I totally agree! I am in a LDR myself. By letting the other know your expectations of communicating, on both sides, you save yourselves a lot of heartache and frustration. It takes time to understand your needs, but once realized then communicate these needs to your S/O so there is no miscommunication and things go smoother. It’s hard enough being so far apart. I can’t say it enough…Communication is sooo important! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for taking the time for such a thoughtful comment! I hope I didn’t sound like I was complaining that Jess doesn’t respond to me enough, but setting these expectations is really important! It seems people do a lot of assuming in relationships, and its even easier to do this when you can’t read someone’s expression in person. How long have you been in your LDR? Btw – love your page!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly!! You didn’t sound like complaining at all. It’s an important fact.
        I have been in my LDR for 2 1/2 years. We have only been able to be in the same physical space 4 times so far.
        And thank you!😊

        Liked by 1 person

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