If you want to avoid getting heartbroken, I think it’s imperative to familiarize yourself with the most common long distance relationship red flags.
Here’s a list of the 5 worst long distance relationship red flags:
- Being secretive
- Always busy and unavailable
- Being unwilling to commit to the relationship
- Appearing to be flirty with other people online
- Preferring to be alone
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 benefited me and many others.
What Are Red Flags In A Long Distance Relationship?
1. Being secretive
Look, keeping secrets in a relationship for anything other than a good reason is daunting and exhausting for 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 lately, 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 with 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 said with uncertainty.
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 in love 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 in 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, and 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. Preferring to be 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 for 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 spend 24/7 with your partner. Especially if it’s a 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 Fix 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 them with 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 by 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.