The 5 Worst Long Distance Relationship Red Flags


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If you want to avoid getting your heartbroken, I think it’s imperative to familiarize yourself with the most common long distance relationship red flags.

Being Secretive, always busy and unavailable, unwilling to commit to the relationship, appearing to be flirty with other people online and a preference to be alone. These are the top long distance relationship red flags to be wary about. 

The fact that a relationship is long distance requires an immense amount of commitment and effort to keep things going.

It’s easier to have a conventional in-person relationship. I would know.

But I’ve also been in more than one long distance relationship that always lasts for years and it takes a toll on you if it doesn’t work out.

My last long distance relationship ended after almost 4 years together and it took me by surprise. 

Looking back, I missed or chose to ignore all of the signs that indicated the relationship was heading into a dangerous zone. 

One of my regrets is not preparing myself for the end or taking steps to mitigate the blow.

However, I’ve been able to channel that experience into valuable relationship lessons that have benefitted me and many others. 

With that being said, let’s take a closer look at these long distance relationship red flags.

1. Being secretive

Look, keeping secrets in a relationship for anything other than a good reason is daunting and exhausting to the person on the receiving end.

They’re left feeling anxious and insecure. Secrets ignite suspicion. And suspicion births anxiety.

Now unless you’re keeping a secret relating to something celebratory like a gift or flying to your partner soon, don’t keep secrets.

But, that’s also a telltale sign of someone who is taking liberties in the relationship.

Usually, someone takes liberties when they are unafraid of the consequences.

If your partner is being very secretive of late, don’t jump to the wrong conclusion but don’t ignore it either.

2. Always busy

All relationships, whether close or long distance, require effort and presence. You can’t be in a relationship with the ghost or shadow of your partner.

He or she has to make time for the relationship.

Ordinarily, this would entail meeting for dates, having conversations in person, planning stuff and being around each other.

However, when it comes to long distance relationships, it usually entails making frequent calls, setting up Skype dates, having a plan to meet soon and chatting to you regularly via instant messaging apps.

If your partner is suddenly too busy to make time for you and his or her replies to your texts or calls are disinterested and short, especially without any remorse or explanations, you have something to worry about.

This is usually indicative of a partner who is losing sight of the relationship, losing interest, trying to actively create more distance from you or is interested in someone else.

Obviously there are other circumstances for why someone could be very busy so take that into consideration.

But, overall, being busy for an EXTENDED period of time without any explanation that makes sense is a long distance relationship red flag.

3. Noncommittal about the relationship

This is a strange one. But, I’ve been in a situation before where a long distance girlfriend always kept an exit strategy on hand in the relationship.

Nothing was ever spoken about in definites.

Everything relating to the future was spoken with IF.

Perhaps, you could make the argument that I was reading into it too much but it was a small yet significant red flag.

When you are truly inlove with someone, talking in uncertain and noncommittal terms isn’t normal.

If anything, despite the uncertainty attached to long distance relationships, you will find yourself unable to contain the excitement of being together forever.

Obviously no relationship is guaranteed to last a lifetime but the sentiment is important to note.

If your partner is noncommittal about the status of the relationship or how serious he or she is about you, that’s something to consider as a long distance relationship red flag.

Even if it’s not a problem now, this is the type of situation that actually develops into a red flag. If you barely know each other then it’s normal to take things slow.

But if you’ve invested years into the relationship and he or she is still noncommittal, you should be on alert.

4. Being flirty online

You may think that you’re reading too much into it, surely a kissy face on a picture update on Facebook from some unknown guy or girl is nothing to be concerned about but is it really safe to assume it’s all okay?

It could be true or it could be a sign of something bad.

When you start to notice a frequency of flirty behavior online, it’s something to be concerned about.

Couple that with some of the red flags mentioned above, you may be looking at a definite long distance red flag in this case.

I remember a time when my girlfriend claimed to be in a bad space and was very distant from me during a time when the commitment of the relationship was being tested.

She didn’t have time to talk to me and yet on a social networking platform, she was busy engaging in extra bubbly and flirty comments with some other guy.

It seemed innocent at first but this became a frequent occurrence and up until this point, this person was never in the picture. I was aware of all her guy friends and this was not one of them.

Soon after that, the relationship came to an end.

She may not have cheated but the fact that she was testing the water weeks before we broke up was a red flag.

To soften the blow of an eventual breakup, she gave herself a reminder that there are other eligible bachelors out there.

Believe me when I tell you that many men and women have been subjected to this before a breakup.

Don’t let it slide.

5. Being happy alone

Not all long distance relationship red flags are bad by nature. Some of them can’t be blamed on anyone.

It’s just one of those cases of how life works.

Being in a relationship, by nature, is associated with a mutual agreement of growth.

If at some point, one or both people outgrow the relationship, there’s very little that can be done to fix that.

Not all relationships are meant to last your entire life.

If you, your partner, or both of you have become distant simply because you enjoy being alone or have fallen out of love, then it’s a red flag.

Of course, some time away from each other is recommended. You can’t be spending 24/7 with your partner. Especially if it’s long distance and you’re glued to the screen all day.

That can burn you out resulting in the need for some space.

But if over an extended period of time, there is a greater desire to be alone and single, then it could be the greatest indicator of a relationship that has been outgrown.

How to deal with long distance relationship red flags

Talking about it is the best approach to the situation. Here’s why – if you continue to remain in the dark and tip-toe in the relationship, it will drive you crazy.

Eventually, the anxiety and uncertainty will cause you to explode.

Rather take the time to make a list of your concerns and talk about it to your partner.

Despite these red flags, the relationship can be saved provided you deal with it as soon as possible.

But just keep in mind that you deserve to be happy. A good relationship adds happiness, support, love and peace to your life.

Anything that breaks you down and sucks the joy out of life is not worth it. You’re doing a disservice to yourself staying in an unhealthy relationship with someone who just isn’t meant for you.

Don’t fight. Don’t chase after your partner. Don’t discard your self worth either.

Maintain your dignity and approach the situation from a non-confrontation perspective.

If there’s a road to recovery, this is your best approach.

And if you need to leave a long distance relationship, do it with love and a desire to find the next best story in your love life.

14 thoughts on “The 5 Worst Long Distance Relationship Red Flags

  1. Thank you for this. My issue is. We started dating long distance of course and been talking for a bit and have started dating for a month or two now. But in the past few days too a week. I feel more disconnected from her than normal. She says she’s not very affectionate. But normally she would text me a lot and send cute bitmojis a lot and emojis. But now it’s less frequent and she texts much less. She did get back to work recently, but she doesn’t work all that much. I’ll send a good morning text on iMessage and then a morning snap of myself to her, I’ll receive a text back but nothing on the snap. And won’t receive anything back from that for hrs. Yet I’ll see her use social media and talk in group chats I’m in. But nothing back to me. Same thing at other times of the day. I love this girl of course and want things to work out. But Iv been talking to my best friend about this recently since the issues started a few days ago. And he’s on the fence about things as well. Saying I should just come straight out and ask her if somethings wrong and if she’s losing interest or hope. I want things to work and talk to her about it but insecurities and past in-person relationships have made that hard for me with anyone I’m dating.
    Hope to hear back from you, thank you

  2. I have been dating this guy for almost 3 yrs. December 2019, he moved to the same country as me, but still far apart (3000 km). This year has been hard. He now works 10 hr days. We used to text through the day and call every second day or so. He finds making changes in his life and routines hard to do, even after working at his job for 6 month. 3 months ago he decided that he would not text between Monday to Thursday. I told him that was unacceptable, so now I may get a good morning/night text,even though I see that he is online. The weekends I get maybe a call, usually when he is with his friends or doing a chore, so I can’t always hear. I like to share posts with him or tag him in a post,and I’m not to ask him questions, like what did you do today, he feels he is being forced, and would rather answer if he wants to, natural, as he says, he doesn’t like to be tagged, it draws attention to himself that he doesn’t like, and he doesn’t like to read alot, so I can’t tag in FB or post in messanger (English is not his first language). I love him, he has said he loves me, just not the same way I love him. We used to say we would be together till the end of our lives, now he says that maybe in 10 yrs, he may just leave and go away. He puts so many restrictions in our relationship, it makes me frustrated with him. I have no such restrictions in the relationship and I have said I only want his time and attention, and I fight to get those.
    At the end of 2021,he is coming to live with me, he doesn’t like where he is, because of the French he has to speak. He always says that he will be better when we are together, but in the mean time, he feels he doesn’t have to change his ways.

    1. Hey, I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through a difficult time. To me, it sounds like he’s one foot in and one foot out of the relationship. You need to really evaluate whether this is what you want for yourself because this isn’t what one would describe as a healthy relationship. If I were in your shoes, I’d walk away and find someone who actually loves you in the way that you deserve.

    2. My long distance boyfriend I been date for year and 4 month used text in morning and night his never left conversation without tell me bye now I didn’t hear from days ,and I express my feel his say his not happy where his is his be happy once we together that why his not chat much that lame excuse

  3. Hello Zak,

    Could you please give me advice as well?

    I’ve been dating a guy in person for 4.5 months before corona hit us. All was great, he seemed to be very much in love, wanted to live with me, chemistry was insane. We texted 24/7 too, were each other’s best friend. Then he was asked to work from home till January. He subleased his apartment and move back to a different state with his mom. After a month he started writing less, saying he was busy with work, not texting for a day or two, but always initiated. In July he didn’t write for 9 days, but wrote first again. That was the last time he wrote he loved me and the last time we talked on the phone. Last month I was the only one always initiating, he stopped asking me questions, didn’t react to my questions about love or would answer with unrelated gifs. He would be stopping texting saying he had a headache, lymph nodes pain, wouldn’t answer my phone being busy with his mom… In October he would text he wasn’t even on his phone for being busy. Yet I found out he was on snapchat. I got very upset, removed him from friends, he requested a friendship immediately, I blocked him and deactivated my messenger account. I came back after 2 weeks asking why he stopped loving me and if he only used me for intimacy. I also explained my disappearance. He reacted by blocking me on snapchat and never wrote to me again, although he read those messages. It’s been a month. I’m hurt, confused and still love him. I have no idea what happened. Our relationship was serious. And I just read his company is extending work from home till March… What should I do? How to get him back? Did I chase him away by asking him every week what was wrong and if he still loved me? He said yes mid October. Please, advise.

    1. I don’t think you did anything wrong, if I’m being completely honest. I think the fault lies with him and you’re dealing with someone who could be a commitmentphobe or worse, a player. It’s a different story if a man makes a mistake in some way or the other and does everything possible to win you back or prove his love to you. In this case, he’s doing the opposite. You should not chase after him at all anymore. Don’t wait on this man anymore. I think you have to make the decision to end this relationship in your own mind and walk away.

      1. Thank you for your reply, Zak. I appreciate it. It took me 8 months to realize there is something fishy going on because I trusted him and was totally buying his being busy messages. I’m very shocked as we were happy together and didn’t have any problems in person. I never expected him ghosting me like that. I’m still hoping he might text or want to meet if he ever comes back…

  4. This was a great article, I am recovering from being idealised, devalued and discarded in a long distance situationship. I met him once and he lives interstate. I am originally from this state so that meant I started to fall for the image of him and the fantasy of going back to my place of birth. We took a photo the night we met and he didn’t ask permission to put his arm around me, he followed me up to my train platform and pretended he didn’t know where the correct line was. At the time,I didn’t notice the sleazy behaviour, he then initiated a text two months after we met and from there we communicated mainly by text but I would have to initiate all phone conversations. At first, I was happy to treat him like a pen-pal, then it became more intense and he expected me to be there for him as a girlfriend, he never told me his last name, age and I still do not know his address. In December last year he invited me to the same event in his stage to the member’s bar for a few drinks. I felt this was a date. He also said we would do other things together and he even invited me to watch a virtual forum on an animal sanctuary one Friday night, would randomly text on Saturday nights (assuming drunk texting he has a drinking problem I was not aware of)
    I blocked him a few months ago as I was sick of his behaviour hot and cold, felt it was one-sided, he then calls me and I foolishly took him back after he told me he suddenly lost his job. Anyway, eventually I asked to define the relationship he withdrew and said he couldn’t give me a relationship or anything substantial. I now suspect the entire time he has been lying about his relationship status and possibly anything else. I asked if we were friends and companions he said yes, that night he helped me with a work letter and put allot of effort into it, next day I text him he replies ‘sorry busy’ a few days later I sent a friendly text, no reply one week later I ask if he could please call me so I could talk about my suspicions and end the friendship he ghosts me. I have been told this is a form of emotional abuse and we need to talk more about this and the devestating effects it can have. I feel sick that this person was not who he said he was and essentially deceived me the entire time and didn’t have the decency to tell me when I asked if he was already in a relationship. He told me that he did not want to do anything to hurt me and then acts in a hurtful disrespectful manner by doing the slow fade and discard. So, do I contact him to let him know how I feel or try to forget we ever met? It’s been almost three months since we have spoken and I am furious because I want an explanation and some form of closure if at all possible. I feel like a fool for ignoring or overlooking the red flags I genuinely wanted to believe he had good intentions towards me, I was wrong the entire time.

    1. Hey iva,
      I think the best thing for you to do right now is focus on what makes you feel better. If that means, reaching out, then do it. But, don’t expect him to give you the closure that you’re looking for. Neither his words nor actions match. Don’t give him anymore power over you. It’s been months and this guy who couldn’t be bothered is occupying all this space in your head. Is he really worth it? I mean, you’re not going to get this time back. Is it really worth it to focus on this man anymore? Personally, I don’t think so. If I were you, I’d pretend that he doesn’t exist anymore and not give the thought of him any power over you anymore.

  5. Hello, thanks for this article, it’s given me some stuff to think about! I was wondering if you could give me some advice…

    I’ve been with my boyfriend since April and we lived together for the first 4 months of the relationship and then for the last 5 months we’ve been doing LDR because I had to move country. We saw each other again in November and he introduced me to his friends and family and it was great, but throughout the relationship, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling of being the more committed person in the relationship.

    I tend to message first and am very affectionate, sending messages that I’m thinking of him and stuff, but he never does that for me out of the blue, he tends to only respond when I send him a message, or if he does message first it’ll just be a ‘are you free to talk?’ message and then we’ll have a call. He says he doesn’t like texting and prefers video calls and I think that’s true, but it just makes me feel like an afterthought, especially if he forgets to call.

    I want to give myself 1000% to this relationship but I’m just getting a niggling feeling that because of our different styles of loving and showing up for each other, I will always be left unfulfilled.. This is made loads worse by being in a LDR. We’ve made plans to be in the same place as of February but he’s uncommital about this date and says that it depends on various projects etc. I love him and want him to be happy and make the most of his projects but I just sometimes feel like he doesn’t care about me enough and I don’t know if this is just my own feelings of insecurity or that he struggles to communicate or what.. I know he loves me and feels lucky to have me, because he tells me this a lot, but I can’t fight this feeling that his actions don’t reflect his words… Sorry this is so long but I just feel really lost. And I don’t know how to breach this subject with him without freaking him out.

    1. Hey Sara, I completely understand where you’re coming from. Navigating a long distance relationship can be difficult.

      I strongly feel like you should talk to him about it and come from the perspective of wanting to improve the relationship. At the end of the day, that’s all you’re asking for.

      Guys tend to get too comfortable in a relationship, especially one that’s long distance. I would tell him exactly what you need from him and wait to see if he actually makes the effort.

      If in time, you find yourself feeling exactly the same and he takes you for granted, then you need to also express that to him. Sometimes, a wake up call can make a huge impact on the quality of a relationship.

      I wouldn’t give up on him just yet. Give him an opportunity to correct his ways and then judge the quality of your relationship from that point onward.

      In the mean time, I would also suggest slowing down on the amount of effort you put into the relationship. Not drastically but just enough for him to notice. Effort should always be matched.

  6. This article was great. I’m currently in a long distance relationship for over a year and half. This is my second time being in a long distance relationship. I’m not sure whats happening, but I think I might be falling out of love. I loved him in the beginning and everything was going great until our last trip. I realized we had a lot of differences. We got into some ugly fights but tended to work it out but i think it had a bigger effect on me than I expected. I cant seem to forget our fights on those trips . I mostly got annoyed becuase hes slackin in school and didnt care about his future. I felt gaslighted a couple times by him when i try bringing up the school issue and he says i need to stop being a ” mom” to him. We fought about other things too such as he kept touching me when i didnt want to be touched. i feel things would be better if we were dating in person but im also very young and dont know what im doing at this point. I used to see a future together but not so much. Its been making me feel weird and scared. The last thing I wanna do is hurt him. He spent a lot of time and money to fly and stay with me so Im not sure how to ends things off without him hatig me which i feel like he will. Im not sure if i do want to ends off yet, I’m still giving this relationship a chance, but I’m been noticing myself pull away and i cant hide it anymore. any advice would be very helpful. I’m also extremely independent so I’m not even sure if relationships are for me anymore and i just don’t know how to figure myself out. Thank you

  7. Hi, I began dating a guy in a long distance relationship in December. Omg I fell head over hills for him. We texted everyday all day and suddenly he said he was going out of town for his job inApril. He began to text less. A couple of lines here and there but mostly at night. When the trip ended he said he would visit and all of a sudden something came up whereas he stayed longer. The calls began to become less and I exploded saying it was over and he wasn’t the man I fell in love with. This man called me his wife and I his husband. He even said he bought rings. He called a couple of times but because of the language barrier I felt that’s why he didn’t calm often. He’s Italian and I’m African American. I’m ashame to say I even sent money for him to get a new phone. I miss him but he won’t respond at all. Should I just move on?

    1. Hey Coty,

      I’m sorry to hear that happened. From what you described, it sounds to me like subconsciously you realized that he lost interest and is intentionally distancing himself. Hence, you lashed out and dumped him before he could ghost you or dump you.

      I think you should listen to your gut in this case. All I know is that if he was genuine about you, even though you ended things, he would reach out at least once or twice. The fact that he hasn’t should speak volumes to you.

      I’d suggest taking a few weeks to reflect on your life and to start the healing process. It’s not a wise option to make any rash decisions while you’re fresh out of this long-distance relationship.

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