Ask a Guy: Long Distance Relationship… Exactly How To Make It Work? post image

Ask a Guy: Long Distance Relationship… Exactly How To Make It Work?

I’ve been with my boyfriend for the past year and nine months. We have been in a long distance relationship for the last three months.

Prior to being in a LDR, we did everything together – we would see each other almost every day and talk all the time. We were always comfortable together and the relationship was always very loving.

Recently, I have started to fear that he’s slipping away. I can’t tell if it’s just me being crazy or if this is my instincts picking up on him losing interest… Can you please tell me how to make a long distance relationship work?

Whether you’ve read anything by me or not, I should start out by saying my motto with long distance relationships (LDRs) has always been: Long distance kills relationships.

I continue to stand by that, but there’s another side to this, which is: Long distance forces you to become excellent at relationships.

Let me explain…

The “stuff” that makes a relationship work is the same whether you share the same bed or live 3,000 miles apart.  The “stuff” that makes a relationship magical, profound, and amazing is the same.

MORE: The Most Important Relationship Advice You Will Ever Receive

In a long distance relationship, the relationship is stripped down to its core essence. A lot of distractions are removed, as well as a lot of luxuries, which can make a relationship easier.

In many ways, being in a long distance relationship can be the greatest thing to happen to your relationship…

At this point, you might think I’m crazy, but think about it…

I get messages all the time from women who are in dead-end relationships that just drag on and on because of one thing: convenient sex.

In a long distance relationship, sex is anything but convenient. And if the relationship is exclusive, you never have to wonder if he’s just with you for the sex.

Moreover, long distance relationships take significantly more effort to maintain than a regular relationship.  If both people feel strongly about each other, the relationship won’t feel like work. It will be effortless and talking to each other will be the highlight of both your days.

If it feels like more trouble than it’s worth to one or both of you, then the relationship will soon fall apart.  This isn’t as depressing as it sounds, and it has nothing to do with your relationship being long distance. Really, it’s an advantage: instead of a relationship dragging on and on for years (despite it lacking the “it” factor for one or both of you), it ends.

Sure, a relationship ending is sad… I fully understand this and I have personally experienced the heartbreak of a long distance relationship ending, so please don’t mistake me for being overly positive because I don’t understand the pain and worries of a LDR.

MORE: How Guys Deal with Break Ups

Believe me, I know what it’s like to be worrying and wondering, “Is this really going to last?  Am I kidding myself?”  You think about the other person losing interest or cheating on you.  You fear that someone else will come along and take the person you love away from you.

My point in all of this is that there’s an empowering way to look at your long distance relationship, one that will set you up to win. I’m going to give you the best possible answer on how to make a long distance relationship work, I just need to make sure you’re looking at things in a way that will help you win (and avoid the common pitfalls).

Bottom line:  You need to look at your LDR as a positive test for your relationship. If it’s meant to be, the distance will make your relationship much stronger, much deeper, and much more fulfilling.  If your LDR isn’t meant to be, it will be for the same reason it wasn’t meant to be even if you were living in the same zip code… only thing is that you’ll find out much quicker (and that’s a very good thing).

I approach long distance relationship questions like I’m doing emergency first aid – I need stop all of the damaging behaviors immediately and set you on the winning course immediately.  There’s no time to waste and no room for error.

In a regular relationship, you have room for error… sure you might have some habits that push him away or turn him off, but there’s plenty of things you do when you’re together that make up for it.  In a LDR, when a relationship starts to head downward, it usually won’t come back unless your intervention is quick, powerful, and on-target.

QUIZ: Are You Accidentally Destroying Your Love Life?

So let’s get to it…

How Do You Make A Long Distance Relationship Work?

If you want your long distance relationship to work, you’re going to need to shift your focus outward.

Whether you’re in a LDR or not, relationships fall apart when your focus stops being on the person you’re with and starts shifting to you.

This is harder to see than you might think.

There are many times where I’ll say to a woman, “You need to start putting energy into your man and your relationship and stop thinking about yourself.

She’ll look at me like I’m crazy, then retort, “ALL I do is focus on my relationship and him. It’s ALL I think about!!

I explain, “No.  You are focusing on your fears, your worries, and your wishes.  You might be thinking about them constantly and wasting all your energy on these concerns, but that does not equal putting effort or energy into your relationship.”

That’s a big thing to consider – worrying about your relationship is wasted energy.

Actually, it’s worse – it’s a ritual that drains you of your happiness and replaces it with fear.  It removes your enjoyment of the relationship and creates a suffocating sense of emotional starvation, where you are begging for him to prove that he cares.

In this scenario, you’re systematically poisoning your own mood and it will quickly begin poisoning your conversations, your trust in him, and your relationship as a whole.

You can’t afford this in a long distance relationship.  The quality of your relationship is entirely dependent on the quality of your interactions… and the quality of your interactions is determined by your mood.

Stop “Caring” And Start Enjoying Your Long Distance Relationship

I say caring in quotes because when women tell me they care a lot about their relationship, most of the time they mean they stress too much about their relationship… or worry too much about their relationship… or fearfully obsess over losing their relationship.

If you really care about your relationship, then you need to stop “caring” about your relationship.

When you stop stressing out and obsessing about your own fears, worries, and nightmare-scenarios, something great happens: you give the relationship room to breathe.

Usually it’s at this point where both of you start enjoying the relationship a lot more.

One of the easiest traps to fall into with a long distance relationship is fearing you’ll lose him.

That fear of loss grows into an obsession and, at that point, your once light and fun conversations take on the feel of an interrogation.  It starts to feel like you’re constantly probing his feelings for you and fishing for signs that he still cares about you as much as he used to.

QUIZ: Is He Losing Interest In You?

This is exhausting for the person on the other end of the conversation and the strain will quickly take your relationship to a very bad place.

Sure, we all need to reassure our partner from time to time… it’s part of what being in a relationship is all about.

However, the occasional need for reassurance isn’t what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about letting your own worries and fears grow into an out-of-control monster in your mind… a monstrous thought cycle that you can never satisfy… a thought cycle that grows and grows and you focus on it more and more.

The antidote to this poisonous habit is counter-intuitive, but extremely effective:  You need to let go.  

That might sound extremely scary, but just remember – you’re doing it for the relationship… let me explain:

When I say let go, I’m talking about a mental exercise.  This is something I did in a long distance relationship and it ended up saving everything and returned the relationship to the fun, happy, loving place it was when it started.

Letting go means that you imagine that the relationship has already ended.  You are no longer in a relationship – he’s single, your single.  There’s nothing to lose and you do not “have him” in any way.

The more upsetting this thought is to you, the more this mental trick will help you.  The reason  you worry so much about your relationship ending is because you falsely believe that you won’t be OK if it ends.

The fact is:  You were 100% fine before and if your relationship ends, yes it will be sad, but it won’t be the end of the world. You’ll still be OK.

Find the place inside you were you can just be OK talking to him and enjoying him without needing to feel like he belongs to you or that you “have him.”

Your fears of loss and worries about losing the relationship are poisoning your LDR.  When you can show your mind that you’d be OK even if you weren’t in a relationship with him at all, your mind stops poisoning the relationship, you relax, and you are finally able to just enjoy him as he is without needing him to be something.

MORE: A Guy’s Take on Neediness

This is actually true for any relationship, whether you share the same bed or you live 3,000 miles apart:  If you are truly compatible with someone, you’re able to love them as they are, even if you’re not in a relationship with them at all.  You just love that they exist in the world and you enjoy them as they are.

So let go – enjoy them while they’re around, but be OK with the fact that someone could come along on his end or on your end and, if the relationship with that new local person happens to be better than what you have in your LDR, the relationship will end.

That might sound sad and tragic, but the reality is that it’s no different than if you lived in the same town.  We often torture ourselves with the idea that we could have prevented the end of the relationship if circumstances were different.  This ignores the fact that relationships and love are not permanent fixtures – they are chosen and created every day by both partners.

Regardless of distance, once one person decides they no longer want to be in their current relationship, that’s the end.

So enjoy the present moments as they happen for exactly what they are, right then and there.  Don’t get caught up in fantasies or thoughts of what could be – enjoy the present moment as you’re in it and don’t worry about anything else.

If you really want your long distance relationship to work, you need to be growing your relationship, not growing your fears.

Growing Your Relationship

I’ve said before that I don’t believe relationships are meant to make us happy (that’s our own personal responsibility).  I also don’t think relationships are meant to make our lives easier (in fact, they make life harder in many ways…)

do believe our relationships are meant to help us grow and, in this sense, they are incredibly valuable.  

We talked about how important it is to let go of your fears and worries about your long distance relationship and letting go in order to give your relationship room to  breathe.

Now we need to talk about how to grow your long distance relationship in such a way that when you and he think about the relationship, you smile and say that you’re better people because of it.

A lot of people go into relationships focusing on what they will get from the relationship.  They say to themselves, “Well, this is worth it to me as long as I get what I want.”

If they get what they want, they put in effort and everyone’s happy.  If they don’t get what they want, they start obsessively chasing it while the other person puts in less and less effort.

Either way, if your focus is on what you “get” from the relationship, then you are selling yourself tremendously short. And you can’t afford second-rate relationship habits in a long distance relationship.

The best mindset have in a relationship is one where you focus on how well you’re serving the relationship, rather than focusing on how successful you are at  “getting” things out of the relationship.

QUIZ: Does He Really Love You?

Serving your relationship is a different mindset than most people have, but it’s the only relationship style that actually leads to long term success and mutual satisfaction.

When your focus is on serving your relationship, you give yourself freely without needing to receive anything in return. In that way, you don’t give anything you wouldn’t be willing to give away freely… so you don’t have any craving for a certain response or reaction from him.

You take pride in how you’re supportive of him.  You enjoy doing little things for him regularly that make him feel special.  You learn from each other and listen to each other.

Again, this is much more comfortable than the suffocating energy of giving in order to receive something in return, whether it’s a reaction, validation, or a sign of love.

Doing Things Together

In a long distance relationship, you can’t actually do things together physically, but you can do things “in sync” with each other.

Music, movies, TV shows, and Youtube videos can be a great way to bond and be together since they cause you and him to have a similar emotional experience at the same time.  This is an easy start-point for conversation.

For example, you might share a Youtube video and watch it with him while you’re on a call.

Sharing your favorite songs (many of which you can easily find on Youtube) is another great thing to do.  Watching a movie at the same time is also great.

This is assuming that you and he have similar tastes and experience the world in similar ways.  If he doesn’t enjoy the kind of music, videos, and movies you enjoy, you may need to dig deeper to find the things you both enjoy and can experience together from a distance.

You’ll want to communicate every day in some small way – even if it’s something as small as an e-mail, a text message, or a Facebook comment.

When possible, Skype video calling is great for experiencing face-to-face contact.  Video calling on Skype is free – you can download it on your phone or computer, just go to

If you’re busy, another great way to communicate efficiently is to do things while you’re on the phone.  Cooking and cleaning are great things you can do while you’re on the line together. You’re apart, but you’re doing the same thing, so in a way… you are together.

In the longer term, if you have similar interests, you can pursue them and update each other on your progress. For example, if you are both into fitness, you could both pursue that together (plus, I wouldn’t mind having my long distance girlfriend sending me pictures of her fit body… just saying).  This would work for anything though – art, learning an instrument, pottery… anything.

Saying things to stimulate his imagination never hurts either.  If you’re sharing something with him, you might even throw in comments that would have him imagining you there, like:

“I wish I was listening to this song with my head against your chest” or…
“I wish I was there snuggled up against you on the couch, watching this together” or…
“I wish I could have seen the look on your face when you watched that.”

(In general, a few racy comments here and there certainly don’t hurt either… they certainly work on me… but I’ll leave those to your imagination.)

People (men and women) don’t fall in love while they’re in the physical presence of the other person.  People  fall in love when they’re thinking of the other person.  That’s why having him imagine you with him deepens your bond. It triggers his imagination and has him thinking of you and what it would be like to have you there.

Lighten His Load, Don’t Add To It

The world can be a negative, disappointing, and exhausting place for everyone.

In that way, one of the greatest things we can strive for in a relationship is to be the person who is the safe-haven for our partner.

Everyone else in your partner’s life piles on demands, requests, and pressure.  If you can be his confessional, his escape, and his inspiration, you will have a role in his life that nobody can replace – even if you live on the other side of the world.

For some reason, most people fall into the trap of doing the opposite. Instead of serving them with our best, we demand the best from them.  Instead of bringing our most loving self to the relationship, we grill them for not giving us enough of what we want. Instead of focusing on all the things we love about them, we try to change them or make them into someone else.

In a regular local relationship, this can be uncomfortable and unpleasant.  In a long distance relationship, this can be enough to make him not want to talk to you anymore. Why would a guy want to be around a woman that makes him feel like he’s not enough? And why would he want a relationship that leaves him feeling pressured and drained?

If he feels like you are the light of his life and that you understand and encourage him in a way that nobody else does, he will let nothing stand between you and him. He will make it a point to make you feel loved and will go out of his way to do things that will keep you coming back to him… you just need to actually lighten his load and make him feel better about life, not worse.

Moreover, see him as the man he wants to be and don’t waiver from seeing him as that man.  See him as the success he aspires to be.  See him as the type of guy he aspires to be.  See him as his best self.  When you can do this, he’ll say that being with you makes him a better man… and this is something he’ll never want  to lose.

Every man has his process for how he feels empowered, inspired, and happy about his life. Pay attention to what this is for your man and silently find ways to bring this energy into your conversations.

Being on the Same Page with Your Long Distance Relationship

If you’ve agreed to being an exclusive relationship, then the issue of trust has probably come up already within your relationship.

Someone once told me that trust in a relationship is like car insurance – if you’re going to have it, you have to have it all the time… not just when the roads are clear and driving conditions are good.

The reality is whether you live together, one mile apart or 3000 miles apart, you have to trust them.  If a better match comes along, you’ll lose them regardless of distance. This is liberating, not depressing.

Avoid falling into jealous/distrustful thinking  – it’s equally as destructive in non-LDRs.  Plus, there’s no way that you could monitor him 24/7, even if he was  local. At some point, you have to realize that you can’t know what the other person is up to or what they’re thinking.  Trust is letting go with the knowledge that you really have no other choice.

When it comes to trust, this goes back to what I was saying before about letting go: you might as well assume that they are seeing someone else or even sleeping with someone else, and find out how to be OK with it and accept it.

Again, that might sound insane, but my point is that it’s the fear of loss, unchecked fear and insatiable suspicion that destroys relationships… but if you find the mental place where you don’t care and you just enjoy them, it doesn’t come up as an issue and your relationship will be as good as it’s going to be.

Making A Long Distance Relationship Work

So let’s talk about how you’re going to make your long distance relationship work with the rest of your life, so that it’s an effortless addition to your life and not a worrisome burden.

I should just make clear that I’m not recommending long distance relationships as a relationship style.  Having a long distance relationship is an absolute last resort and should be avoided at all costs.

So in that spirit, if you’re going to go “long distance”, you had best have an exit strategy clearly worked out – for how things will be if the LDR works out and for how you’ll move on if the LDR does not.

If you’re in a long distance relationship, it stands to reason that you both believe in your relationship so much that you can clearly picture a future together.  So talk about this future often and make a clear plan about how you will be together, as soon as possible.

One of two things will happen: One of you will move as soon as possible and you’ll live happily ever after… or you’ll both realize that neither one of you is truly willing to move and that the LDR you have is just a comfortable shared fantasy, but never going to pan out.

The second scenario is sad, but it saves you both a lot of time.  Think about it: If the relationship will never become something, how much time do you want to waste fantasizing about it instead of finding a local relationship where you can have a real, loving relationship and grow with another person?  How much more heart do you want to invest into something that you’ll eventually have to end anyway?

For every moment you spend chasing a fantasy, you allow the real opportunities that are all around you to slip away.

So if you’re going to pursue a LDR, make sure it’s one that both of you are 100% committed to making into a local relationship as soon as possible.

Assuming that you have a long distance relationship like this, then the only thing left to do is spend your time in the best way possible.  In many ways, being in a LDR allows you to enjoy your life freely while knowing you have someone out there who loves you.

If you really want your LDR to succeed, then you need to fill your time with a life that excites you, fulfills you, and makes you happy.  Moping around and wishing is only going to bring your mood down and allow worrying to creep in.  Don’t sit still – make your life so full and engaging that you’d be 100% happy even if you didn’t have a relationship at all.

When you live a fulfilling and happy life, that mood and energy will spill into your relationship and your relationship will be the best it can possibly be.

If there’s anything you want to protect yourself against, it’s a negative outlook and a bad mood.  Do everything in your power to keep yourself happy, fulfilled and positive about your life and your relationship.

Having a full life also balances out your relationship – the best relationships have a healthy balance of you bringing happy, positive energy into the relationship, but also leaving plenty of room for him to give to you as well.

Most Importantly…

You want to visit each other as often as possible.  There is no substitute for actually physical face-to-face contact… the more you can have, the better.

And… assuming that you’re sexually active and that you practice safe and smart sexual decisions…

Have as much sex as possible when you’re together.

You might think I’m kidding when I say that, but think about it.  You’re apart for the vast majority of the relationship, so sex really isn’t an option.  Sex is an incredibly powerful part of any relationship and it’s something you cannot do when you’re apart… so by all means, have a lot of it while you have your opportunities.

So there you have it, those are the most important things to make a long distance relationship succeed.  If you have questions or want to share success stories, leave me a comment…

Also, if you want to make sure you’re not accidentally doing things that could be hurting your relationship without you realizing it, take our “Are You Accidentally Destroying Your Love Life?” quiz to find out…

Hope it helps,

eric charles

Written by Eric Charles

I'm Eric Charles, the co-founder and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing articles to help people free themselves from suffering and have clarity in their love life. I have a degree in Psychology and I've dedicated the last 20 years of my life to learning everything I can about human psychology and sharing what gets people out of struggling with life and into having the life they really want. If you want to contact me, feel free to reach out on Facebook or Twitter.

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How to work a long distances relationship

Reply January 29, 2021, 7:43 am


Tnx for de article it really helped me.Anyway am in a ldr.we only talk on phone,I hv a problem , there’s no sexual activities in our relationship cause am the one rejecting all these from him .he asked for a kiss and refuse,he goes on to kiss another lady n finally come to tell me .pls am I doing the right thing?

Reply August 3, 2020, 7:22 pm


I must say that ur articles are really helpful . I’m in a long distance relationship. We’re far, he’s in Port Harcourt and I’m in Lagos, I want to know if it’s bad to share ur n*des with each other

Reply April 9, 2020, 5:46 pm

Saumya Shah

Nice to read the article and learned lot from my long distance relation. It is really tricky and difficult to handle relations which do not have physical interaction for a long time

Reply January 11, 2020, 1:32 am


Thank you for writing this!
I’m in a LDR and I have to admit that insecurities sometimes take over. I try to communicate as best as I can (which is hard, because I’m bad at it. Good thing that my boyfriend is so good at it and can give me the time to get there).
People say that communication is key. And that’s true most of the time, but in this case talking about every insecurity would be overkill and push him away.
I know I can’t ask for reassurance 24/7. But it’s just nice to read that I’m not weird for having some of these thoughts, and more important: how to get rid of them! I know he’s one of a kind man, and totally worth it. But sometimes those insecurity-clouds are hanging in front of it.
So again, thank you so much for this in-dept article!

Reply March 5, 2019, 5:51 pm


Thank you so much for writing this.
Im ending up in LDR now after few months in relationship and living together. He is now pulling away asking me to give him space. I admit that Im too needy.
We came from different countries and different culture.

I love him as no one have treated me like him before. Ive never thought about my future with my partner until he showed up. I thought we will be totally awesome living together in the future.
TBH Im afraid if he doesnt love me anymore.

I watched most of “how to make LDR works” video and the result is to skype as often as possible. But he HATES skype. Meanwhile I dont mind talking for hours.
Im virgo and he is pisces. We are totally opposite.

I will try not to too focus on him.
I love your idea about “to let it go”, imagine that I was single. I was fine and totally happy when I was single. I will start living my life like before when we are apart.
Hopefully he will happy to see me on Oct again IRL.


Reply August 9, 2018, 8:19 am


This article is very helpful. It makes me understand why my bf has been acting the way he has recently.

I have been in a LDR for 4 years now, everything was going great! We FaceTime and message each other through social media everyday. He initiate the calls most of the time. We even talked about getting married, so I can move over there, close the distance & lives our happily ever after. But due to his circumstances has changed: he had to move to a new town for a new job, in a totally different profession altogether. Needless to say our happily ever after plan has to be put on hold and our communication has also suffered due to this change. FaceTime became difficult due to the change in his working hours. Messaging has become less & less…from saying hi everyday, to just emoji, then me messaging him daily & him responding 2-3days after, with the apology that he’s busy with work. From days gone to a week, then 2 weeks… Now I know after reading your article, that’s when my worries & fear took over. Instead of being the supportive gf, every messages I sent was questioning him, asking him what’s going on, why hasn’t he text back. Putting myself in his shoes, I had to deal with a new job in a new profesision, probably trying to cope financially too, on top of all that he had to deal with me…that’s pretty exhausting! I probably wouldn’t want to talk to me either! Now I know the problem is with me, not him.

My main concern is after the last time I spoken to him 3 weeks ago, he hasn’t read any of my text or pick up when I tried to FaceTime him. Have I destroy my relationship beyond repairs? Or is there still hope for me to save my relationship & lives my happily ever after? Any advice would be much appreciated.

Reply May 4, 2018, 5:12 pm


I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with my long-distance if he wasn’t in constant contact with his ex-wife who lives a mere ten minutes from him.
I realize divorce is messy, but I am starting to wonder if I should stick around. I ended up being a HUGE influence on him (he started copying my lifestyle, stopped drinking, smoking, etc.), and that makes me happy. But right now, I am feeling like I am on the losing end of this one.

I had a lot of reflection time lately and finally realized that my emotional needs are far greater than what he can give, maybe at all. Lately, when I have brought up how all of what is going on has caused me to trust him less, it backfires on me. I can’t speak my mind, any little thing causes him to become a volcano, and it’s everything I can do to stay out of the way.

I’ve got to be responsible for my own needs, but I don’t really feel like I am getting what I need out of this relationship. He just writes me off as ‘too needy’. :(

Reply April 29, 2018, 11:41 pm

Dominique Natale

Eric Charles thank yoi for writing this!!!!

Reply April 26, 2018, 1:18 am


This was a brilliant summation of making things work Long-Distance style. I’ve been scouring the web for something that made sense, and this was that. Thank you for the rational thinking and organized layout, with the perfect amount of positivity along with keeping it real.
Stay happy!

Reply February 1, 2018, 9:08 am

Eric Charles

Thanks a lot – I’m glad you liked it!

Reply February 1, 2018, 11:01 am


Hi I just started a LDR w/ a guy who has stated he is a work focus, his intellectual, fit, and will everything I want but when we text which is all we do and at times its me initiating the text and all he does is a one liner or cartoon pic, emoji and its always about sex, I have confronted him on is this sexual or is this more his response was its never just sexual but I don’t know what to make of this I’ve never been in a LDR before and I’m used to talking, texting and every so often physical communication and when we have been together is for diner and sex which its amazing truly amazing I just don’t know how to have more contact w/ him I’ve even tried not texting him for 2 days or so and I don’t understand

Reply October 23, 2017, 2:11 pm


I’m in a 3 years LDR and done all the good and bad behaviors in the past year…, giving space and time, as well as pushing to closing the distance. What I realized is that, yes, some of the things mentioned here are important…not to suffocate the relationship, however, at times you can really get frustrated if you are dating a man who does not put in the equal effort as you do. Over a long run, it doesn’t matter how much you can do and practice here, you will feel not sure what all these efforts are for. After 3 years, I just don’t know why I still need to do the same thing I do in year one and year two…being a very understanding partner, to give space, to work on myself constantly fighting against my fear and insecurity, and investing my time and money for a relationship that feels not as important enough for my partner to stop the distance….Thing is, we have talked about closing the distance and draw plans, but there are times, he would seem like totally up for it, and other time I would feel his doubts and fear replacing the plan we talked about and it leads to nowhere… I feel bad feeling tired of this game, but I love this guy. I think I am over at the stage of keeping cool and just keep waiting for him to step up and make the call. LDR is not easy and it sure taught me a lot. At this point I am finally gonna start practicing the point of We Don’t Owen each other mind set. Which I have to say, it’s really a total B crap for those who doesn’t have a healthy emotional attachment style… How can you be with someone, and not be with them and just hanging each other high and dry like that? Oh well, I sound like a very bitter woman here…lol but what I said here is also truly from the women’s perspective of falling in love with men who are emotionally difficult and keeping us women to keep working on ourselves to cater their needs. WHY CAN’t Men also just GROW UP and Work On themselves and stop being so Darn difficult!?

Reply July 31, 2017, 3:25 am


I love this article so much. It really inspires me to just be a better lover in my LDR. I went on a recent vacation to the Bahamas and I met an amazing guy who is actually from there. We have been keeping in touch ever since but communication is tough sometimes. The data is very pricey week to week for him because he pays so many bills to support his family (meaning his mom and dad he has no kids). But from reading this article I realized that I was trying to give my all and expecting so much from him in return. Reading this article has helped me so much. I realize now that all I can do is put my best foot forward and love him without expecting anything back. And I would give anything to be with him and I know he loves me and feels the same for me. I’m praying that financially we can both be in a more stable place one day and finally be together.

Reply June 29, 2017, 12:18 am


We have been together for 5 months with my boyfriend, I’m going to study abroad and he told me yesterday that long distance relationships don’t work for him ,what should I do ,I love him so much and don’t wanna lose him.

Reply May 4, 2017, 4:07 pm


What if he lied and he was interested in another woman, flirting and reaching her out, even inviting her (on a message) to his bed? After that I started needing reassurance, and he started to withdraw. It reached a point were he proposed to go to couples therapy, and after that he just stopped any communication with me. I have tried to reached for him, once or twice in two weeks, but he just says to me that he wants to talk or interact until we go to therapy to clear all the doubts. I was just asking him if he still loved me, and he replied the same: everything in therapy. Was I needy for needing reassurance and asked him, three or four times, if he was still interested in the relationship? Last time I sent him a message to ask him about a phrase he posted saying: “it’s better to retire and leave a good memory than insist an become annoying”. I thougth it was about the relationship and asked him. He was pretty rude telling me that I’m overreacting, that everything seems to be about the relationship, that I need to calm down and relax, and that I was annoying him. Last thing I told him was: “Ok. I would not bother you again”. To which he replied: “Don’t put yourself as a victim. I think it’s not wrong for me to say that you’re overreacting. Everything seems to be about the relationship! Be calm!”

Reply March 30, 2017, 7:35 pm



My bf and I have been in a relationship for 5yrs.. it’s been a rough one and we have 2 small children together. he recently went back to the USA and now it’s become a LDR. I’ve been doing some of the things that have hurt my relationship and it’s pushed him away slightly… how can i rekindle the magic we have even tho it’s buried a bit deep right now?? how can i fix things and be more the woman he needs??

thank you for your post it really helped me assess what I’ve been doing wrong.

Reply March 30, 2017, 5:46 am


Hi Eric,
Your column in LDR is so touching as well as practical, it got me sobbing, gladly though. I can feel the positive outlook you want to portray in this kind of relationship, which is not always easy, since I’m currently in one. But I feel hopeful too, to stay positive no matter what the outcome. Right now it’s all going well and he says he loves me dearly and talks about our future together. I know he’s putting effort to keep me assured that we’ll meet again soon and when we do, things will be normal again. I hope so, too. But God forbid if it does not work out for some reason, I’m okay to move on and come to terms with it in peace. Thank you for the article.


Reply March 25, 2017, 10:36 am


I was reading about your LDR. i’m in one since last June it’s been going very well we have been visiting each other going places together a lot and still planning. we FaceTime every day text every day have fun on FaceTime laughing sending cards I feel that this is working out and so does he I feel that our LDR is working I want to know your opinion he also says I love you every day quite a few times a day on texts and facetime everything is all positive even on Facebook he’s posted in a relationship with me replies or likes to most of my posts. The thing is positive what is your opinion

Reply February 22, 2017, 1:10 pm


This is a very good advice. This article clarified many questions for me. Thanks Eric you are the greatest.

Reply February 4, 2017, 8:18 am


One of your best Articles Eric! Thank you So Much for your Work! I truly value all of your Advice! You do make a huge difference! Thank you!!!

Reply October 23, 2016, 1:19 am


One of the best articles on LDR I have read. Very helpful and insighful. Thanks for all the tips.

Reply September 17, 2016, 11:29 am

Tiffany Hill

This is undeniably one of the most realistic articles I’ve read in a while. I have had to come to terms with a lot of these same issues, and reading it from the perspective of someone who can also relate to my personal experience lessens the doubt that has constantly shattered my thoughts. While parts of the article were painfully realistic, the ideas expressed will definitely serve to help many–well written!

Reply May 24, 2016, 2:06 pm


This heed me understand so many things. If I’m accidentally already being worrisome about everything and second guessing things because of my own thoughts, not his actions, how can I fix things with him? Were still together an text everyday and he still tells me he loves me and all that everyday but I can’t help but think that way. Second guessing everything. How do I change that? Because he’s done noting wrong and I feel some type of way if he doesn’t call me in a couple days..

Reply April 10, 2016, 8:00 am


I don’t regularly comment on articles, but after finding and trying out what this article suggests, I am inclined to comment.

A little background on my situation:
I met a guy in my city 4 months ago. During the first month, he wanted to see me everyday. We went on 4 dates within the first week. He even called daily while out of the country visiting his family over the holidays. He also met my family here.

He has to travel a lot for work, so has now been on a work project 10 hours away for the last 2.5 months. We are now doing a LDR, and the cracks in our bond have set in.

Flash Forward:
During our recent interactions, we have been arguing a lot. I have been feeling like he is pulling away because he is always busy or distracted and our future plans kept getting pushed aside. I was putting in 75% and him 25%. This was stressing me out.

Since reading this article and putting it into practice, the balance has dramatically shifted. I have now “stopped caring”. I have spent more time on my own interests and only have conversations with him at MY convenience. Low and behold, he is now calling at a ratio of 3 to my 1. When I do call, he answers by the 2nd ring. He wants to FaceTime, says he is missing me, and wants know what I have been up to.

I still love him just as much, but I just feel more empowered and in control of the situation. Thank you so much Eric!

Reply March 26, 2016, 2:55 pm


Great article Eric! I wonder if you would have any advice for my LDR. I met a guy on a dating website about 6 months ago and we started chatting. He was in my area at the time and then had to go back home shortly after we started talking. He has kept in contact with me and we Skype pretty regularly. He’s due back in my area in a week or so and wants to get together. Problem is I’ve become attached. I tried not to but it happened. He recently pulled back a little bit but still kept in contact. As the date comes closer for him to be here he has been more active. I realize I’ve never met him and have no ties really but every time I see him online I freak because I assume he’s talking to other women as well. I’m trying so hard to remind myself that we haven’t ever met in person and I have no right to be concerned but I feel 6 months is a really long time to invest if you aren’t really interested in someone. I’m confused now as to whether I should meet him or not now. I don’t want to be just someone that was played the whole time. He talks about being excited to see me and be down here but how do I know what it the right thing to do?

Reply March 15, 2016, 3:24 pm


Hi, I wanna say something pathetic, about a few months ago I had something like a long-distance relationship with a guy I’d never met.
But I knew his familie cuz his mother and my dad were co-workers, but I had never met him cuz he lived in chigaco miles away from me, but I called him ones to ask him about studying abroad, so we talked and talked three times a week, then it got everyday, for a few months…we had skype video calls for hours everyday, he told me that he begun to like me and love me, I asked him if he couldwait for me( don’t date other girls) till we met over abou four years later, he said that he had to think about it, and I was too stupid so I told him to go and broke up…do you think it would worked out with someone you’ve never met?

Reply March 12, 2016, 4:36 pm


Hello, Eric! I really enjoyed your article because since January this year I have been talking daily with a guy in England, we really connected mentally and emotionally and this month we agreed that we wanted a stable relationship with each other, we are exclusive.

I have a concern about the sexual part you were talking, because I am not sexually active yet (I am 21 years old, he is 24 years old) and I have told him that and also told him that I need to feel secure and confortable with the guy in order do have sex. The problem is that he is making a lot of allusions, that he would like to cuddle, that he would like to kiss my neck etc. and he also mentionned that when he is going to come visit me in march for our first dates he would also like to for us to be alone and massage each other and have time just the two of us in private. I do understand that he wants affection, but I feel a little pressured, because maybe he will want in those moments to have sex with me and be upset if I won’t want to.

That is why I would like to know if I ask too much of him to not pressure me so much and to be more patient with me. Thank you and wish you all the best.

Reply February 29, 2016, 8:44 am

Eric Charles

When it comes to sex, the most important thing is that you don’t do it in order to “get” something from it (such as you think it will help the relationship progress or keep his interest)… and having sex because you feel pressured is an even worse reason to do it!

Be true to yourself – you’ll know when it’s right for you. You let him know that you’ve never had sex and that you need to decide when it’s right for you – if he is making the choice to keep participating in his relationship with you, then that’s his choice. Nobody “owes” anyone anything…

Good luck with everything and thanks for the message.

Reply February 29, 2016, 10:17 am


Thank you for your answer! Now that I think about it, you are absolutely right, if he cares about me, he should respect my decisions.

P.S. I apologize for my spelling errors.

Reply February 29, 2016, 2:56 pm


How did it work out? Curious to know if that is okay.

Reply June 13, 2016, 12:41 am


This Eric,is totally AWESOME

Reply February 27, 2016, 4:36 am


I appreciate that I am commenting on a really old article, but I am hoping that you will still comment to this Eric….

My partner of four months lives 60 miles/75mins drive away and we have taken time to see each other when possible, but usually only as much as once each week. We both have work and family commitments which complicate our diaries, having yet to take the plunge to merge households to any degree (although we have both raised the prospect of doing so at various times).

He was overly intense to begin with and we talked through my concerns at the time. I have had doubts over compatibility and at several junctures trust, which were further impacted by a rumour of him cheating which he totally refuted. I am relieved to say that, having read through your book ‘He’s not that Complicated’ which I originally bought in 2012, I recognise that these issues I have brought to the table and the more time I spend together with this man, the more positive qualities I see and consider a significant relationship possible.

Whilst I understand and agree with your points regarding fears, worries and issues, about enjoying our LDR for what it is, letting go and living the moments etc. the perspective you offer is liberating. And whilst I believe my outlook is already in serving the relationship and I am supportive in the ways you mention without needing for that in return, this attitude seems a little one-sided in that reproach. And from our shaky beginning, I now feel as though I am doing all the work while he allows me to do so. The right balance seems impossible to satisfy!!

I am confused. You say be supportive and an asset to him. You discuss expectation and letting go of any, but then you end the article with the contradiction to make a LDR local as soon as possible. When we first started seeing each other my partner would suggest ways to integrate our lives further, but since the issues I have raised in the relationship, these are no longer mentioned by him. I have said recently that I wished that we lived closer to one another, and he has asked me if it worries me to which I said no. But of course it does to a degree, unless we integrate households.

In essence of your book, I do not wish to appear the needy partner by pushing to see where we are going with the relationship, but your advice within this article is to do exactly that…. so which is it to be Eric Charles?

Reply January 17, 2016, 11:12 am


PS.. much like Cat (below) I am 45 my partner 43 with three children aged 6-10 between us so not looking for the same outcome as younger couples…

Reply January 17, 2016, 11:14 am


Should a man blocking you from his fb be a huge red dlag? He said it was because of his kids.

Reply January 3, 2016, 11:03 pm


MAJOR red flag. The kids don’t have to know you are dating, he has plenty of other friends on his FB so why can’t you be one?

Reply February 11, 2016, 10:57 pm


How about this social media blocking?

Reply January 3, 2016, 11:00 pm


This was a great read! So many good points and things to remember. However, only problem is, what if your LDR is stagnant? We see eat other once a month for a weekend but I feel because we’ve already discussed and talked about what we both want and moving in together and our future together it is no longer brought up in conversation. So I find myself bringing up certain things just to see if he is still excited about the future US or looking forward to it. The tone in his voice is now just blah and regular vs. what it use to be when I felt he was excited or eager to call me. I feel it’s drifted. I or WE don’t come up in conversation unless I bring it up. Now it’s about his life, what he does, how he feels and so on. So I feel I’m beginning to retract or pull back. I trust him. He trusts me. WE love eachother. But could it be he is just use to me already or US? I almost feel guilty paying more attention to myself and less to him in fear he may feel doubt about me or that I may be playing mind games which I wouldn’t be. We have plans for the future but I feel I’m the one getting the short end of the stick because I give him all he needs and wants while we are apart. Dont know if I make any sense but I miss US and what it was. It’s different and don’t know what to do other than pay less attention to him and more to myself. Women can’t always be the givers. We do everything right and it isn’t enough or they just don’t notice or get it.

Reply January 2, 2016, 11:54 am


It seems like a me most advice is for younger people ( I’m 45 and my guy is 51) or maybe I just know I should have figured this out by my age????. I met a man who was visiting for business. We had one fabulous night. We talk or text every day. It’s been 3months. He is finishing up a divorce after 26 years of marriage. He’s been on his own for about one year. He is cautious with his feelings and a little up tight by nature but when we talk, his funny, silly nature comes out and I love it because I’m that way and he seems to be so relaxed. We’ve had a few “take it slowly ” conversations and I want to go the same safe snails pace that he does. I’ve been too impulsive in past relationships and I’m working on the advice you give in all areas. I just found out that I will be traveling from CA to the east coast so I mentioned it and he asked me to spend about 4 days with him. I know things will be ok if I can keep the self doubt and worry out of my mind. It takes constant practice????. He’s so good at “looking ” in control, but after reading many of your articles, I can tell he’s insecure, nervous, and trying to learn about being with someone new after so long. My biggest concern, and maybe it’s not mainstream enough to generate articles about is that I am considered very attractive and you would never know that 20 years ago I weighed 400 pounds. I looked great for a long time but now at 45, my body doesn’t look that great without the wardrobe ?. I’m always told I’m very sexy or that I have a great sensuality about me, but how do I actually share myself with someone when I know the two realities are vastly different. What do men think, when they see you as sexy from your personality and make a great connection and then D day comes and you are a physical let down? How much does matter to men? And how do I prepare myself to spend this intimate time and not ruin the whole wonderful thing we’ve been enjoying so far?

Reply January 1, 2016, 1:36 am


I’ve read other articles on LDRs out there and even bought a book, but none of them even compares to this one. Your relationship advice is the absolute best I’ve ever seen, Eric. I’m from China and I’ve been fed up with mind-poisoning crap everywhere here. Just too much crap and almost nothing helpful at all… Not to mention anything nearly as insightful and in-depth as yours. Despite that a lot of your advice isn’t applicable to our culture, your articles have been life-altering for me and I just can’t thank you enough. I really wish more Chinese women had access to your stuff. If only you guys had a Chinese site. :p

Reply December 14, 2015, 8:02 am


Ok, so I’m a bit late to the party here, but I just found this article yesterday and…wow, this is the single best thing I’ve ever read on the subject. Probably the best, most actionable relationship article I’ve read, period. I’ve actually been telling myself some of these things all along, about how I don’t own this person and should dial back my expectations and try to wrap my brain around the fact that I can’t control anything and all I’m doing is harming the relationship – or whatever it is at this point – by my insecurity. Still, for some reason it made all the difference in the world seeing it here in black and white, and in someone else’s words.

It seems like most of what I’ve read about LDRs consists of advice for what both partners can do as a couple, and this article does contain some of this – watch a movie together, Skype, etc. – but I don’t feel like I’m at the point where I can really insist or even suggest that we do things in a certain way. Perhaps this works better for more established, more “official” couples. I don’t want to succumb to the temptation to lay out the entire story here, but I’m, well, involved with a person who was originally someone I met online (not through a dating site, we were actually online work colleagues). We have since met in person, and spent several weeks together over the course of a few months, but when I met him he was travelling (he worked while on the road), and he still is. He had plans before he met me, and I’ve always been supportive of these. We have talked about the future, living in the same city, somewhat complicated by the fact that he and my 12-year-old son don’t get along, but at this point that isn’t the main issue.

The issue that is, or was, wreaking havoc with my mental health, was my growing jealousy and suspicion, wondering what he was up to every time an hour or so had gone by between texts (we’ve never Skyped – don’t think this is his thing – and phone calls have always been sporadic treats). Reading this article, it makes it very clear to me – it’s really none of my business. I’ve never owned him. I fell for his free-spirited ways, and even if I were able to change him, this would be a disservice to both of us. As things stand – whether this is actually a relationship or we’re just very good friends who “play house” whenever he’s in town – or even if he does hook up with someone else (ugh, not thrilled about this, but can’t be helped if he does), my main takeaway from this article is a realization that yes, I’m just really happy to have him in my life in whatever capacity. I’m now able to feel that any time I hear from him it’s a gift, and not a fresh way to torture myself. I still worry (I’m definitely anxiety-prone, used to be in therapy for this back when I could afford it), but at least I’m now able to deflect the worry away from his actions and my expectations. Shouldn’t be expectations anyway, should just be hopes. He will do what he will do, and if he’s choosing to stay in touch, this is not my right but my privilege, so I’ll do my best to show appreciation instead of communicating discontent that he’s not doing more.

Reply November 25, 2015, 1:06 pm


hey, its just a great article but couldnt solve all my problems. i want to tell u about my boyfriend that he usually try his best to act that he cares and give me all the love but i cant feel enough, i just feel space and need more. however we are long distance relationship too, he is usually busy at the morning work and then he just eat and take a nap then go to his friends or hang out with them and at night he talks to me before he sleeps at 12. sometimes he talks about an hour and sometimes he just talk like 15 minutes and he sleeps by saying hes tired. it really hurts me that he dont give me much time as for his friends and work. but what to do ? most of our fights is before i cant feel la care much from him but he does his best as i can also feel, but he can do more than his. how to make him care for me more and talk to me more time. i usually care to hom alot and he feels it i just i shouldnt show him that much care?
plz help me

Reply November 18, 2015, 9:05 pm


I am writing to thank you for writing this article. I know it’s old, but it’s still relevant. I’ve been in a LDR for 5 months now, and it’s definitely the hardest thing we’ve been through together as a couple. The part of your article about making my man feel like the best version of himself really resonated with me. It’s often my bad mood that turns our conversations sour – and in a LDR, that’s all there is. There’s no running away from what I’ve said by holding him close to me. That’s the hard part. But this article was so helpful in shaping my own mindset and focusing less on what “I” need but more of how we can be grateful for each other.

Reply November 9, 2015, 1:18 am


Thanks a lot… I’ll remember this next time there’s a possibility that I am going be stuck in a long distance relationship again. Right now, I am in one but it seems like it’s already falling apart. Because of so many reasons. The biggest one is that we’re 11.000km apart and haven’t seen each other for 7 months and there are still 12 months ahead of us. So thank you… This makes me realize that there’s really nothing I can do to safe me relationship anymore.

Reply November 8, 2015, 11:27 pm


I have been seeing this guy for about 3 months, It all started really fast. We met Friday, he spent the weekend with me and my girlfriends and then we spent the rest of the next week together. We live about 700km away from each other. We then saw each other after 2 weeks again and then after another again. He asked me if I do not want to go with him and his friends on holidays. After having had thought about it I gave it a try. All went pretty well. The next meeting was 3 weeks after the holidays. We parted with a good feeling I thought. i asked him how he liked the weekend (with my friends and their children) and he said it was a very nice weekend. he dropped me off my house and we agreed to keep on seeing each other however, since then I have no news what so ever from him. I’m perplexed. How can that happen, why is he reacting like that? What can I do without intruding his space and without coming off as clingy?

Reply October 29, 2015, 9:02 am


Thank you sooooooo much. You have no idea how much this helps me with my LDR. You’re helping a lot of people here, love how your advice isn’t generic at all. Bless you sir :D

Reply October 23, 2015, 2:14 pm


Hi ? I met this guy in July at my work place, he seemed interested in me but he’s also the busy kind who’s always traveling. We have been to three dates and he’s such a gentleman. The last time he came back after a month of being away he called me the minute he arrived and we had dinner then he traveled the next day
. I texted him a belated birthday message yesterday only to realize that he had come back into the country but hadn’t communicated but I didn’t inquire why. After catching up he asked whether I wanted to meet tomorrow (which is today) I told him that I was busy which I am not I was just mad that he didn’t tell me that he was back. A few minutes later I told him we could meet maybe in the evening and after that he hasn’t responded. I called him in the morning but he’s not responded to the call. Should I text him?

Reply October 16, 2015, 5:27 am


No Leave him! he is not that in to you!

Reply November 26, 2015, 5:10 am


I have been in a relationship with a man for almost 4 years.. Beforehand we had lived 10 minutes away from each other and tried to see each other every single day. I was happier than I’d ever been in my life. After it became a LDR, I began to see all the flaws and unhealthy aspects of our relationship. I began to see how negative he was and how I didn’t want to put up with that in hopes that he’d get better eventually. I never realized this until I spent time away from him, because the past 4 years have been spent completely with him. It was very eye-opening for me but I’m not even sad that it isn’t going to work out. I’m just sad that I spent 4 years thinking I was happy and in love but realizing he never really loved me after all. I wish I would’ve listened to my gut sooner and enjoyed life as a young adult instead of sticking with a negative man who only put me down. Let this be a lesson to all of you… Please listen to your gut, even if you’re afraid of what you’ll find. It’ll save you a lot of trouble and precious time.

Reply October 14, 2015, 12:30 am


Eric, thank you for this very rich article. Actually is the first time I found myself reading articles, trying to understand\deal with a relationship. I would really like your opinion, as I agree a 100% with the point you’ve mentioned that the person falls in love with you by thinking of you, and no matter the distance you can always be their ‘place’ of peace\happiness. I have a 15 years love-story that just happened like this. He always had to go to other countries to study first to do a PHD scholarship, than to work, so we’ve always been geographically far away, but always with a connection and sharing, even when in this meanwhile I had other stories just like he had, and that never was a problem. Now we’re back together (as official couple), tired of being apart, but, still a LDR. We are just one hour flight distance, but the fact he’s also a training cardiologist surgeon, (and besides the very stressfull and emotionally draining profession, also the city (very very tiny city) and the hospital that he’s working is always demanding and treating him differently for being a foreigner, and he gets very insecure about me, moving, being there in this situation where he don’t feels his own security and (in his words) is not an irresponsible man (to take me out of my organized life in a place full of opportunities). He asked me patience. We talk just once a week by phone (in the only day he’s free), and in the rest of the week… I almost don’t hear about him (just some texts, that he always answers, but rarely take the initiative). I know he’s in a very very delicate situation and I am by his side, supporting and helping. But afraid of being naive…. there’s a possibility of he being just focused in the issues and taking me for granted? Cause I miss a little bit of attention but I don’t want to be another pressure… it is very difficult to figure out if I am just insecure, if I am naive, or if Im being unfair. LDR is already difficult to deal with. Don’t try it with a doctor! D=
I hope to have you advice! Thank you for the clever words!

Reply October 10, 2015, 9:39 pm

female persuasion

This is definitely the best article I’ve read on how I’ve mismanaged my expectations for my LDR and caused myself a lot of anxiety because my boyfriend has a tendency to withdraw without word due to a high stress job while daily communication gives me assurance and makes me feel connected. I think I smothered the situation and it’s compounded by the fact that (I think) He already has a fear of intimacy due to things in his past (he’s had very few committed relationships and none longer than two years). He thought I was different (and I’m sure I am in many ways) so here we are 11 months later. We had our first argument, both got scared and he’s uncertain about continuing. I did something really counterintuitive and offered him space to sort his feelings out. It’s been two days since I heard from him. I realize my part and he’s said he has “unresolved” issues. Is there any coming back at this point?

Reply October 6, 2015, 12:32 pm


Although I think that this article gives great advice, I do think that it is very one-sided. My boyfriend are long distance through college so we still get to visit often, but I feel like this article might not work in the long run. Some other readers commented that they feel like they “slip up” and go back to their old ways of worrying. That’s because suppressing your fears is a temporary fix and only makes them more real. Although I believe that there are some fears that are superficial that can be made up through the anxiety of an LDR, I believe that it is also important to be honest and communicate if something is wrong. I also believe that your top commitment should be to serve your own happiness and “fill your own cup” as Oprah Winfrey says, not serve another person. I believe that the advice in this article will suffice in the short term and teach readers how to be selfless in relationships, but every person needs to find their balance and make themselves a priority in their life as well.

Reply September 28, 2015, 12:23 am

Eric Charles

OK, I guess this would be a good opportunity to make clear that I do not (and would not) recommend suppressing you fears. I agree with you that suppressing one’s fears and acting as if they’re not experiencing them will backfire for sure… and I’m not recommending suppression in this article, either…

What I’m advocating here is acceptance… Long distance relationships (LDRs) have the odds stacked against them… and if you can accept that it probably won’t work, you actually tremendously increase your odds of it working…

I realize that sounds like a paradox, so stick with me…

When someone can’t accept the fact that a LDR probably won’t work out, that’s when they get whipped into an emotional frenzy… and that emotional frenzy (of fear of loss, of worry, of paranoia, etc.) poisons that person’s vibe and drains all the joy from the relationship…

When someone is able to accept the idea that a LDR has the odds stacked against it and probably won’t work out, they can “let go” and enjoy the relationship while it’s there in the moment.

In order to be disappointed, you need to have expectations, hopes, dreams and wishes. And even though we’re taught that all that is romantic, the truth is that it’s just mind stuff… and it is the fuel that the worry, fears and paranoia feed off us. Reason being, all those thoughts are stirred up because you’ve dreamt up a “happy ending” and you are afraid of that fantasy bubble being burst.

What if, instead, you didn’t have expectations for the future? What if you just enjoyed each other in the moments you’re together and outside of that, you don’t have any expectation — you’re fully prepared to accept that the call or visit you just had could be your last… How differently would you act? How much more free and unburdened would you be if you just “let go” of all the expectation (that subconsciously is fueling all the fear, paranoia, worry, etc.)

When you’re not carrying around the heaviness of expectation, you can actually be present and enjoy your time with the person, as it is… most people aren’t used to that (even though we all crave that kind of connection with another human being)… when we get it, it’s irresistible and a person who feels that with you is more likely to be drawn to you than anyone else, near or far.

Falling in love with a “fantasy future” of how you want it all to work out is like holding your breath and not allowing yourself to breathe until it all works out… maybe you’ll get to breathe again… maybe you’ll collapse and pass out from lack of oxygen… either way, you’re causing yourself suffering for no reason, when you could have been comfortable and happy the whole time.

Accept that things could end at any moment, be OK with it and make your focus *enjoying* every moment you spend together because it might be the end (and if it is, you’re OK with that).

Reply September 28, 2015, 2:24 am


Thank you so much for replying.
I really do understand what you are saying: Letting go of any expectations for the future. This is something that is really hard for me because I like to have all of my ducks in order when it comes to school, my personal life, and my relationships. The idea of “not knowing what will happen next” has always been a real fear for me. And sometimes, while trying to “let go” of these expectations I have, I instead tried to supress them. I think that accepting uncertainty is something that everyone has in one form or another, but accepting that we do not have control over the future of our lives, no matter how much we plan and pry, is something I can practice everyday to better myself and my relationship.
Reading over my comment, I now realize that it sounded like I was bashing your logic and I did not mean for it to come off that way. LDR’s can be stressful and sometimes it is easy to get overwhelmed by trying to make it work and controling it (if that makes sense). I have read and reread this article and, each time, I get some new form of advice and insight/perspective. Thank you for helping all of the men/women out there in LDR’s!

Reply September 28, 2015, 5:48 pm

Eric Charles

I hear you… I understand what you’re saying and I can understand the intense craving to want to have “all your ducks in a row” (as well as the fear of not knowing what will happen next).

Here’s something to contemplate: Animals don’t know what’s going to happen next… and yet… they’re very good at being OK.

If an animal decided to think about things like you are, could you imagine how it would behave? You would probably be very concerned about the animal if you saw it!

Trying to plan everything comes from a fear of loss, so you overcompensate by doing everything you can to control for anything that could happen. Yes, being prepared for the future is good and smart, but it’s not good if it shows up in the form of emotional disturbance that then drives behavior (to “run away” from the disturbing feeling).

You can take appropriate action to plan for the future without emotional drama being a component.

If you think it might rain, bring an umbrella… but you don’t need to fear the rain… since the fear wouldn’t help you or improve your chances of avoiding it. Take the action you need to, but don’t make it emotional… there’s no reason to…

Reply September 28, 2015, 6:01 pm


This really does give me a new perspective on things. It has really helped me to clear my mind and stop worrying. You have no idea how much I appreciate it. Thanks so much Eric!!!

October 4, 2015, 6:01 pm

Eric Charles

You’re welcome — glad it helped.

October 5, 2015, 1:34 am


I’ve been in my relationship 5 years with my boyfriend and we have been going through the motions some kind of terrible. I know he loves me as much as i love him because regardless of how bad its gotten we have managed to find ways to stay together. Everything you said made complete sense to me. like he’s told me before women tend to be more emotional vs men being more logical in the sense of problems. Everything you brought up I agree with. I’ve found myself feeling so sad at times wondering if I’m losing him and in a way seeking that reassurance and the hole just getting deeper even though i’m not intentionally trying to mean any harm. He is a very creative soul (Videographer/photographer) so he tends to be busy but he has always made the effort to stay incontact but through all the negative arguements he’s been drowning his self more in his work because other than it affecting me, I know it affects him and his business. I’m going to work on everything you suggested. I want to be his happy haven again because this is not the business. I appreciate this article so much. I really connected with it.

Reply September 22, 2015, 11:47 am

IT funmaza

very nice …….

Reply August 8, 2015, 10:33 am


I’m currently in a LDR and have been for 3 and a half years. Everything you mentioned is very helpful and useful given that I am an Army girlfriend but it dawned on me that you primarily focus on what women can do to help the relationship succedd but what about men on the receiving end? At times, I can honestly say that doing some of those things gets taken for granted by him because now he’s comfortable and expects it so I have to act a little crazy to let him know I mean business. He says it shows I care apparently. How should men act in a LDR? It seems one sided especially given that I make the effort every time to come visit him, send little gifts and reminders that I care. We talk everyday which is necessary especially given how far apart we are, but I refused to visit him again because the last time I did, he acted like he didn’t want me there and was completely annoyed by my presence. I was inside the house all day while he was at work and when he came home, I wanted to show him a little affection but he shooed me away as if he was annoyed. He didn’t acknowledge me nor did he act as if he was happy that I traveled 14 hours and 31 minutes to visit him.

Reply July 18, 2015, 4:23 pm


Just a little minor details: He was in the Army and recently got out. I would visit him all the time while in the army because I knew the process of him taking leave was long so I didn’t mind going around my work and school schedule to visit him. He’s out of the army now and he and I are from the same city but he moved to Georgia with his brother temporarily. I have also visited him out there many times and sent little reminders of how much I care (basically what I would do when he was in the army). He haven’t tried to visit me since but always expects me to and I shouldn’t be the only one putting in effort. He says it’s because of work but I feel that if I can schedule off work to visit, so can he. Again, the last time I went to visit him in Georgia, he acted like he didn’t want me there and the affection that I tried to give him was “clingy” and “annoying” as he puts it but yet he wanted me to text him all throughout the day while I was down there. Seems pretty backwards. Furthermore, when I find my inner happiness and don’t argue about texts, calls, etc. He thinks there’s someone else in the picture and that I’ve stopped caring and when I do actually argue about texts, calls, etc. Then I’m always finding something to complain about. Why is this?

Reply July 18, 2015, 4:36 pm


Great article, really helpful

Reply May 31, 2015, 10:25 pm


She’s into the verge of giving up our LDR. I am really enlightened with your advice but some of the tips that you said like talking on the phone whenever we can, that doesn’t work anymore. She’s really pissed out on me checking up on her from time to time. Not that I don’t trust her, of course I do, but because I missed her so bad. Things will be fine when she’s there listening and talking on the other line. How can i make her understand that I also needed a little of her time esp when she’s off from work. She wants to gave up and even shoved me away from her life because of so much pressure and stress she felt from our LDR. I really want to move on and give her the freedom that she wanted so bad. Letting her go means loving her so much. But I am not ready to endure the pain of setting her free because I still believe that we can work it out. God, how can i hold on to someone who is desperately wanting to go.

Reply May 31, 2015, 1:45 pm


thankyou so much you are like a very awesome one and very sweet at times.

Reply May 27, 2015, 5:47 pm


u mentioned to have a fulfilling exciting happy life that will overflow to your LDR relationship and will give you happy mode..but not all the time is happy..and bed of roses…there are times when you just feel down and out…how to you prevent this from spilling into your LDR..can you avoid calls altogether and just say you are busy or tired…not all days are perfect…

Reply May 16, 2015, 1:11 pm


By the sheer length of this post, I came to see that you’re not actually negative about ldr (as what I perceived from your other articles whenever ldr is mentioned), and that you still want to help.

Well, THANK YOU SO MUCH because I’m currently “caring” if I would start an ldr with some guy I met over vacation. We are halfway around the world apart and the distance itself would already produce doubts. Even if it started out the greatest way it can be, I can’t stress enough how fear and worries would start creeping in sooner than expected. I am cracking my head on what to do for the past few weeks and it feels so helpless.

Practically, I would say that loving a person without expecting anything (as in nothing) in return is an absolute crap. But this time it liberates me thinking of just giving selfless love and ‘letting go’. I felt fine and happy again right after reading this. This is heaven-sent..

Hope you live a hundred years Eric! ????

Reply May 16, 2015, 6:32 am

Anna Lee

This is pretty useful and truthful information. Relationships can be extremely rewarding but so challenging at times, especially when the rose tinted glasses come off and you experience that lull. In a long distance relationship, that can feel so scary especially when at one point you were so sure everything would work out and you guys would be together forever but seemingly all of a sudden, convos don’t feel the same, and someone seems to be putting in less effort. This article gets it right. Long lasting, meaningful relationships are all about growth and requires falling in love over and over again, as they say, with the same person. And to do that expect that at some point, in some form, you guys might fall out of love a little bit. Take comfort in knowing that it is a natural thing and if it was meant to be, it will work out. This makes letting go a bit easier.

Reply April 5, 2015, 8:28 am

Tonya Byrd

I know 52 miles apart and the only time they can visit is on the weekend due to there jobs. I got sick and while I was gone to my sisters 15 miles away and got better and he met her on dating site, anyway I called him and said ready to come home he said no he is already in a relationship. I was stunned, but still in love with him, Do you think if I send him little e cards might work?

Reply March 4, 2015, 2:55 pm


This is a great article & I agree to majority… I’m currently in a long distance relationship he’s back at home working and going to school while I’m out of state going to school. Before I left we were under each other ALL the time. Soon as I get off work n he get off work we’re together. Once I told him I was going out of state for school it was the most devastating thing in life, he shed tears & of course I did too. We’ve only seen each other 4 times since I’ve been here & the last time he drove to where I’m at. I’ve been bitchy about it lately & he has too & I don’t want it to end. We miss each other entirely a lot & I feel like the distance is tearing us apart like he can’t see me when he want to see me because he works & go to school & then again I go to school & I can’t afford to keep getting a greyhound or megabus when he wants to see me. I don’t know what to do. I want to transfer but I don’t know how my dad is going to take that because he got me in this school & I really don’t want to hear what he have to say. I need help seriously ????

Reply February 27, 2015, 8:52 am


Wow Eric. Great insight. It’s the advice I would have given my gf’s but was not doing myself :(. I’m in a temporary ldr with my fiance and boy did I start to do all the wrong things u mentioned which surprised even myself..I know better and always thought I was tougher. I started the “neediness” and even I recognized the pathetic jealous interrogative attitudes. My poor fiance!. There was a time or 2 I was worried he may walk because of it so I stopped all the non sense. He has been so patient with it too but i had him questioning if this was gonna work. after reading this I am full force into living my life and when “fear” creeps in I tell a gf but never let on to him. He now sends me sweet songs and initiates the “miss u” and we are getting back to the way it was before. I feel alot stronger and I appreciate your wonderful advice. Everything you said is so true! My fiance is a wonderful hardworking faithful man and never has deserved any distrust.. that all crept in from my past hurts and and i am thankful to have halted this behavior before I lost the most amazing man God placed in my life. I believe no matter how good a man is or how much they love someone if they feel pressured interrogated or untrusted they will walk. Thank u again! God bless!

Reply February 22, 2015, 11:03 pm


Hi Eric! This is really interesting to see a long-distance relationship from a guy’s perspective because I feel like getting advice from my girl friends is not the same. So my boyfriend and I have been texting and calling each other a lot and our convos used to make me feel like he really loved me because he always talked about the future together. But after he just visited me for a weekend and went back home I feel like our convos became shorter and less-dense. He also makes excuses as to why he can’t skype but he’s going to download it soon. Am I just worrying for nothing or is there something to worry about? I also heard that maybe it’s different for guys after they’ve seen their girlfriends and have to go home again without them than it is for girls. He’s mentioned to me that it’s hard on him to be home again and can’t feel motivated to do anything but doesn’t text me or call me as much anymore (but we still talk everyday ..just not about anything important or interesting). I would really love to know your take on this! Thank you so much!!

Reply February 22, 2015, 12:02 pm


Thank you very much for your post… It has really helped me. After reading it, I find myself more free, and more able to give love without expecting something in return…

I’ve remembered about true love, and it feels like a mental heaviness that was appearing in my mind, has now being lifted up, a gentle loving breeze taking its place.

Thank you! :) I hope I can come back to read this when I’m feeling low or not so confident about the relationship. Thank you very much :)

Reply February 18, 2015, 1:11 pm


my boyfriend of almost 3 years went to work abroad and we’re on 6mos LDR. Before that, we are always together and we have a really strong connection. I am satisfied and so happy with our relationship. We rarely have fights, we go very well together, but things got hard when he left. Of course, by all means i supported him because he wanted to work and we got plans for our future. But each passing months that we’re apart, my fear grows that i even suspected him of cheating me. He keep on telling me that he loves me and we continue our LDR despite of all my doubts. But lately, i noticed that he’s losing interest and i get alarmed. I get confused again, i overthink..maybe he got someone else or he doesn’t want me anymore or he’s bored with me or find me not good to talk with anymore…not until i saw and read this article. I feel guilty, i realized that there are times that he is complaining that i’m pressuring him, that i’m making things hard for him. Before, i didn’t get it, but now i understand. 2 things, this article taught me… 1.)i should not “care” ( i should not worry or fear ) this article is very true. I keep on saying that im focusing with this relationship and i really care, but deep inside of me is the thought that i keep on focusing on my boyfriend’s schedule, actions and i really “care” (worried) about what he is doing…2.) Lighten his load not add to it. At times, i get mad at him if he’s not calling or sending message, i feel that he’s not thinking about me anymore, i feel not important, and i keep fighting with him because of that. Now i realized, he got a lot of load being overseas, working and living there alone and i should not stressed him anymore. This article open my eyes and i’ll keep on reminding myself about it, so i can give my best for my boyfriend even we’re apart and make our LDR successful, until time comes that we can be together again. Thanks!

Reply February 17, 2015, 2:34 pm


Eric, Thank you for writing this article. It has been invaluable in changing my perspective on loving unconditionally my SO in the LDR Im currently in. And if one doesnt feel enough love being returned, then its time to move on rather than getting twisted in a knot about it. Life is always changing. As soon as one acknowledges that fact, its a lot easier to appreciate living in the here and now.

Reply February 11, 2015, 5:13 am

Eric Charles

I’m glad to hear it and you’re welcome. Good luck.

Reply February 11, 2015, 11:41 am


Wow! It’s like you just KNOW when to post what! Met a wonderful, amazing man while on holiday almost 2 months ago, 10hours from where I permanently reside. I’ve been thinking of moving to that area since September last year and know that my decision is based on me and mine, not because of someone. Although it wasn’t my first thought when we accidentally met (thanks to our kids, I’ve got 2, he’s got 3!!), the time we spent together was absolutely amazing and the other day he mentioned we’re exclusive. Didn’t make a big deal of it, but it’s nice to hear! We chat a LOT over messages, have skyped before and occasionally we’ll call, since our schedules are a quite hectic. This is only a temporary LDR, although it started out as one. I really appreciate you sharing these very important points and advice. And like you said, LDR or not, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t. End of story. Have never been in a LDR before, so this is unchartered territory for me. Thank you for this very helpful article! We both have very fulfilling lives and jam-packed schedules!! I’ve read so much that I already do get right in this relationship and the rest are all great bonuses to know! You’re a rock star!!

Reply February 4, 2015, 5:24 am

Essien Edima

Thank you so much,you are vry correct you have really solved my problem in LDR. My mind is at rest now.I will put evrything into practice.

Reply January 27, 2015, 6:39 am


I’ve been reading your advices and I find it very helpful. It made me realized what I am doing wrong in my current relationship and why all my past relationship ended. Thank you very much. I am on a LDR too. I have realized my mistakes so my question is how do I amend all that? He’s been frustrated with me the last time we talk coz I didn’t get what he was trying to tell me the whole time. I only realized it over your advices and it was the exact same things he was telling me before. We haven’t talked after that. I don’t want to message him first coz he didn’t want to talk about it anymore the last time and I don’t wanna sound needy again. How do I tell him that I fully understand him now and I know now where he is coming from? Should I wait for his message first and give him all the space or can I send him a message to explain that I get him now? Please help me. I don’t want to make another mistake again. Thank you.

Reply January 22, 2015, 8:01 pm


Best post ever, hands down. You truly do know what you’re talking about. ANM is a real gem. Thanks Eric. You’re the man. Thanks for all that you do (Alexis too!).

Reply January 6, 2015, 5:41 am


So this was a really great read, but no matter where i search i can’t really find anything for people who are together but not. We live a few states away so seeing each other often is rough. We text everyday and skype (i wish we could talk on the phone more but we are both in living situations where privacy is limited…(shoutout to all the other adults still living at home!). We’re actually also in the midst of planning a weekend get away. Really he is great and everything i could want in a guy, (He also wins some serious bonus points for sticking around so long to even convince me to go on a first date and he’s been understanding and patient with my own trouble figuring things out as i come with a bad past from an abusive ex.) As great as he is tho, i feel like we’ve hit a road block. He and i have had the “yes we are exclusive” talk but we haven’t moved past that. When we do see one another its great; we are happy to go to dinner, do a fun activity, see a movie, or just sit together in silence and enjoy each other’s company. (And yes of course there is sex). We have both talked about how we can definitely see a future for us, and he’s often expressed just how much he likes and cares for me; but it feels like that is where it stops. I feel as if there had been a shift in how we used to talk, like some of his flirtatiousness and pursuing is gone. Of course this makes a gal worry. And last i asked him about his feelings about us he did he still wants to go for this and make that step to officially calling us a “couple” ( boyfriend/girlfriend. .. do people still use those terms? ) but he’s expressed that the distance is the only thing holding him back. …as much as i like him and want to try and make this work, do you think we even have a chance? I know this isn’t the most eloquently written email and that theres really not a lot of details but im just feeling a little lost. I want to see this work, and obviously the distance worries me too, but where do i go from here?

Reply January 3, 2015, 7:00 am


Thanks Eric for the great posts here…I found them really useful…but I didnt get the answer to my questions in LDR,it s been about two years I m in relationship with my boyfriend who is a doctor,in fact we both are doctors and busy…but recently I noticed my bf is not coming the same pace as I am,I have the same situation as the first comment which remained unreplied by you…

Reply December 23, 2014, 7:17 pm


I am in LDR for 4 years, it was very tough for both of us, fights and problems just never end. Well the problem is same, I once even said to him that I can not live this way because of his behavior like not calling me, sometimes distracted and many a times he was flirting with other women . recently I was soo pissed off that i said I dont wanna live with you anymore I love you but I can not handle your behavior, and he took me for granted, I realized that I was being too available for him. During the time when I said I dont want to be in a realshionship anymore and i changed my status on Facebook. I constantly begged me and said sorry and asked me to put the status back, I couldn’t understaand and i said if you dont care about my feelings anymore why you wanna stay in this relashionship anymore, he said I love you and I promise I wont hurt you I am sorry and I was just busy at work so dint realize, and said he will never hurt me , he cried almost. I couldn’t see him like that so I forgiven him again. But I now feel that its all same again I mean once he do some effort to get me back and then again same cold distant behavior, talking to me very casually so I did the same I talked to him casually, but i feel that he is again taking me for granted. I just dunn understand why cant he value me the way he used to earlier. and if he does not want to then why is he dragging this relationship, I do love him but I also want to be valued and cared. Why he take me for granted. sometimes he himself says to me ur the best thing that has happened to me, and u r an angel to me. but its all sometime many times i just feel like i am talking to a very cold boring person. he was not like that may be the work pressure made him that way, but if he can be cool wid his othr frnds then why not me, i mean the romance the lil chats and fun we used to have was great, and it never felt that v r apart but now i really feel the emptiness of lack of communication, its like once in a blue moon we really talk to each other about us and future and share feelings ,then we appreciate each othr when it feel so great to have a talk like that and then again a cold distant feeling which is like very long as i said once in a blue moon, it sometimes kills me inside because I really want to share everythng we do everyday or atleast 3-4 times a week not just a casual talk or no talk but i want to have a great conversation.

Reply December 23, 2014, 1:24 pm


april.2014 i met don in fb, he had been on my friends list yet i didn’t know. he “poked” me and from there began our relationship, he lives about a 10 hr drive from where i live in another state, he is an older man early 70’s & i’m close to 60. i’m a widow for 5 yrs now, he told me that he lives alone but has been in the process of a divorce since the previous yr & said it was taking awhile because of assets/money, he told me he has a large amount of money (i’m not materialistic so it didn’t impress me), when we first began chatting i told him i was still in the process healing from a previous LDR which was emotionally abusive & i was afraid of men, he was comforting & we shared a few things about each other, it seemed important to him that i call him an endearment ie hon, sweetie, etc, and i told him i couldn’t unless i was in love with him, this is what he wanted, for me to fall in love with him and he pursued me, we laughed and chatted and used loving emoticons, etc, and even tho i tried to resist eventually i fell in love with him, not long after that he hinted of us being sexual & since it was something i’d never done online i resisted, once we began after awhile i noticed the romantic side of him gradually lessened and he didn’t chat as much with me tho we spent lots of time each day in fb, i kept asking about the divorce since he suggested that we get married after his divorce,, he took his time about it and at times didn’t want to talk about it but i kept mentioning it now and then, meanwhile we made plans once he moved here what we would do, what our lives would be like; where we wanted to live, etc and we were looking forward to it, he told me the divorce would be going thru soon so he sold his furniture, expensive, tools, packed boxes of kitchenware, etc and his nephew is storing everything at his place, all of a sudden i found out that his son & his family were moving into the house as soon as he got his job transfer and don told me he was going to sleep in his recliner in the tv room until it was time to move here, suddenly july 4th holiday came up and for about 1 to 1 1/2 wks he was MIA, i kept typing to him in fb and i saw that he read it but he wouldn’t type back, when he did he told me grandkids were around and he couldn’t chat,, he wasn’t explaining anything at all and i was so upset i was spending most of my time crying not understanding, i’m the type of person when things start to not make sense and i get knots in my gut and my questions aren’t being answered ie avoided then i start to smell a rat, over the summer he spent less time with me and even tho i knew he was in his recliner and we were at times being intimate he didn’t chat as much as before, we would watch sports on our own tv’s & make comments about players or the scores but not much else, he even stopped typing goodnight and good morning, since our relationship began his stepdaughter (who lived nearby & his soon to be ex was living with her too) hacked into his fb acct, controlled his profile info, his wall,, he had no say which photos could be posted, etc,, she would be watching us type in fb chat & when he left the computer for a few min, he was continuing to type to me tho she was typing using his name & i wasn’t aware of it, she caused us hell in our relationship for 8 months and yet we stayed together, i recently found out that he was pretending to be his son having a LDR with a fb friend of mine while having one with me as himself (the father), so i was devastated that he had been lying and cheating all along but the real clincher was finding out that he was still married when he told me that he definitely picked up the divorce papers & he was going to move here after christmas because he is a navy vet and has always been involved with the VFW & veterans home (his wife too) & he and others help the vets to open their presents, etc,, his stepdaughter blocked all my accts so i can’t chat with him, now during the holiday season he is surrounded by family & has difficulty being alone to contact me, he told me about one week ago he wanted to talk to me about plans he wants to make regarding everything. i’ve left multiple voicemails but no response, his stepdaughter told me in fb chat that she has deleted many messages i typed to him and he has never seen them and his phone is on her internet/cable/phone bill & i believe she has something to do with him not getting my voicemails, she is doing a great job keeping us apart, he told me he was going to a store to get a new phone, new number with a different company and would call me but with the kids off school, christmas shopping and i’m sure not leaving him alone or giving him time to get to a store, once again as in the past he is trapped, pressured and has no rights, they watch him like a hawk, i just want to hear what he wanted to talk to me about, even tho he has lied and cheated on me (as my 2 previous hubbies) i am curious what he wants to tell me, i still love him very much but i know i can’t trust him anymore, he told me before that he was so unhappy there and just wants to get out of there and leave for good, i voicemailed him & told him to ask himself if he truly doesn’t love his wife or is it just moments when they fight and don’t get along that he feels this way, i told him if he has been unhappy for a very long time then think that the few years he has left on this earth does he want to remain there and live in those conditions if it’s as bad as he tells me or just to leave and find some happiness and enjoy the latter part of his life because it isn’t worth staying if someone is threatening him ie if you leave me i’ll take you for as much as i can if you try to divorce me, etc etc which would add more fear and stress in his life, i’m scared for him because he had a heart attack august of 2013 and with the stress of his fb acct stolen, being controlled by his wife and stepdaughter and having no freedom and rights that he’ll have another attack and this time it’ll be fatal,, anyway i don’t know what is true or what isn’t but i’d like him to talk to me at least one more time but i think he has the impression i have wiped my hands clean of him even tho each time i leave a msg on his phone i reassure him that i do love him but that i’ve had my fill of liars and cheaters and i won’t put up with that anymore,, ok sorry for it being so long,, so many other details which would it all make more sense but no point, it is what it is, i still cry but the hysterics have calmed down, i miss him terribly and want to help him but if he doesn’t contact me then i have to accept that he wants to live that way *shrugs*

Reply December 20, 2014, 4:28 pm

Fancy Perrine

I love this advice. So true. It can be hard and I know all these things you just really crystalized it for me. Let it go and relax and interesting things start to happen.

Reply November 25, 2014, 1:26 am

Joana Cruz

Hi Eric,
My LDR is great in every way, however he has no intentions to ever move and I can’t move there for personal reasons. Am I just wasting my time, even though he says he wants to be with me until the end of time?
Thank you,


Reply September 3, 2014, 2:10 pm


Thanks for the ideas and advices for the LDR Sir Charles, i feel better now…so great to know all these stuffs.
More power and blessings to you Sir Eric and Ma’am Sabrina..

Reply June 7, 2014, 11:39 am


Very glad to see this article and comments about LDR’s that started out as LDR’s. I have a mix of LDR and withdrawal/why isn’t he calling me issues. I apologize in advance as this is a REALLY long comment, but it is a pretty complicated situation and I tried to include all pertinent facts.

I met a man last year. We live 2,000 miles apart, but a mutual friend brought us together in her European flat for 2 weeks (her plan to set us up). He was just starting out on a year-long journey around Europe, soul searching and contemplating what to do with his life after a really nasty divorce (his ex cheated on him and manipulated him in the divorce 5 years prior) and divesting himself of his business. We’re both in our 40’s. We had a terrific time together and became good friends, staying in contact and getting to know each other more through email while he traveled. When he returned from his trip, he invited me to come visit him for 3 weeks (we toured around his country and had some down-time together to see what it was like to be together like a normal couple, running errands and every-day life – not just vacation time).

We have an easy compatibility, and share the same values and perspectives about what is important in life. We had fun doing everything, even a 12-hour car trip and just doing nothing, and the 3 weeks flew by (never felt like it was too much time together). He has all of the characteristics that are deal-breakers for me in a serious relationship (and a lot of bonus ones that are icing on the cake). He introduced me to all of his friends and family during my visit, and I really enjoyed them and felt it was mutual.

We decided to take it slow during my visit (although there is great chemistry, we decided not to have sex until we were sure we wanted to be in an exclusive, committed, monogamous relationship) and just enjoy each other’s company and see how we felt about a possible LDR at the end of the trip. He initiated a conversation about where this relationship could go, including whether I would be willing to move there (he did not want to move where I live), how he has to think about what is best for both of us in contemplating new career opportunities and (the potential tax consequences of) us getting married. We both felt that there was huge potential for a relationship with a future, and decided to try the LDR to continue to get to know one another and see where things could go.

The first 2 weeks after the visit we talked once or twice a week (pretty evenly split on who initiated the call). But I noticed he stopped responding to my emails and flirty texts since I returned from the visit (but I never mentioned that to him). I only sent one a week, which was less than the frequency before the visit (intentional to avoid him feeling smothered). Then he started a new, high pressure job. The last time we talked, he ended the conversation saying he would give me a call. That was 2 1/2 weeks ago (and I have not emailed or texted since then). Just for context, before my visit, we had spoken about once a week but then twice or more in the last weeks immediately before the trip, so the frequency of communication has not increased since the trip (again, trying to keep it light).

I know he is busy with the new job, and think maybe he is the kind of guy who can’t really focus on more than one big thing at a time. He might think everything is fine for all I know. Or maybe this is his way of securing a future for both of us, his way of showing he cares.

Then I wonder is he doing the freakout phase/rubber band thing (even though he is the one who was talking about moving in together and getting married). I am the first woman he has dated since the divorce, and he said he was gun-shy. He doesn’t talk about personal things with his family or friends, but he does talk about them and his dreams and feelings with me (so he has let me in on a deep level). But I know guys go through this fear of losing freedom even if they are the ones who initiated the relationship.

I think he also has a self-worth issue, because he had a dysfunctional family (felt he was never good enough for his father) and he mentioned how past relationships (prior to the divorce) did not work out because he sometimes says/does the wrong thing at the right time (my perception is that was self-sabotage to avoid getting hurt deeper later on in the relationship). Part of me thinks he might be doing this on purpose, to drive me away because he is scared he is going to get really hurt again (he admitted he is afraid I will meet someone else where I live).

I am torn between (a) not calling him, giving him space and waiting to see if he comes back and calls me, and (b) calling him and just being light and airy, not mentioning anything about how long it’s been since we talked or asking what’s going on.

If there was no self-worth/self-sabotage issue, I would be totally comfortable with not calling (and OK if there is no call if he is just not that into me because I want and deserve a man who thinks and treats me like I am the prize that I am). But intuition is telling me this is self-sabotage, and I might be able to help him to move past that by remaining calm and just trying to focus on enjoying each other’s company and the things that we were initially attracted to in each other (easy-going, fun-loving, spontaneous, kindness, humor, witty conversation and intellectual stimulation).

Should I call him, or wait and see if he calls me?

Reply May 4, 2014, 12:10 pm


I have very, very similar situation. How things are going now?

For me the problem is that sometimes I feel sad when hasn`t heard from him for a week and when I call him and ask him to say me something sweet (isn`t it normal sometimes to be sad and ask the other to be emphatetic?) he becomes angry. During this week he works a lot and he says he doesn`t feel a need to communicate with me. He`s grown up in cold family.
First I thought that he doesn`t love me but that`s not truth. Maybe I can teach him to be more nice and warm… though this is not something that he needed until now.

Reply June 3, 2014, 6:59 am


First of all, thank you so much for this article, it helped me to process the long distance relationship I am in now. My concern with my long distance relationship may be different from others since it wasn’t something either me or my boyfriend chose; I am away in graduate school while he is back home working. We have mutually decided that we want it to be a local relationship soon & that he will move up here within the next year. But with the stress of our individual finances & a lack of support for our relationship from my family, our ways of communication & seeing each other to keep the love alive are limited & is something we’ve both agreed is taking a toll on our relationship causing him to pull away to sort things out. While I’m trying to be supportive & give him his “psychological” space because I do realize this is a lot to deal with even if we both knew it was coming, I can’t help the irrational fears of the relationship ending because we’re not local or what have you. I’m not sure what to do…& I’m not sure if this is too vague to generate any advice or help which I’d really appreciate to help me cope & learn to live with as you’ve advised.

Reply September 5, 2013, 8:08 pm


my boyfriend of two years just left for japan to go to school yesterday and we talked about all the fears you have listed and I was perfectly fine with him leaving, I even feel excited for him because its an amazing place…. but those thoughts are getting to me, even if I take your advise, I can only fallow it for so long I’m bound to slip up after a month or so.

i really like this article you have some great idea’s like cooking together (even though josh and I are at a 14 hour difference)
You’ll be happy to know this article stopped me from sending a very confusing message to him :P something like ” if i miss you this much now i can’t imagine how painful it will be in a month”
on that note is it really okay to tell him i miss him ? knowing there’s nothing he can do about it… or to tell him i want him to come home? even though Japan is the place wheres he’s wanted to go even before he met me…. do i just say ” i love you, have fun ” and go on with missing him one sided ?

Reply August 19, 2013, 10:48 pm


Tell him you miss him, I guy wants to know he’s missed even if there is nothing he can do try to be excited and ask questions about his day but obviously he’d love to know you would rather he was next to you.

Reply January 4, 2015, 8:13 pm


My boyfriend is a marine and is in town for less than a month. Hes an old friend of the family but we started talking/dating online. This is the first time we met as a couple. Hes leaving for another 5 months and has plans to moving back here in NYC. We both came out of nasty relationships recently and have a great understanding of what we want in a relationship, which is why we are confident with having a long distance relationship. Ive never done this before but am up for it. This article really helped me because I know i have many fears (due to past experiences) and i recently let my fears get the best of me and created an issue that could have been avoided had I focused more on the relationship and not my fears and concerns. The issue i created has raised a red flag for him..but i am hoping we can get past it and work on things so we can be in a good place. I dont want to waste the time he is here with negative energy.

Reply June 11, 2013, 4:34 pm


Eric: As usual, this is excellent advice.

I have always been extremely skeptical of relationship psychologists and self-help “gurus” – I am a scientist and there is a lot of derision about psychology/self-help in my field. About a year and a half ago, I was actually having a conservation with my friend about how silly a lot of the advice given by relationship columnists is and was looking for an example… and that’s when I stumbled upon “Ask a Guy”.

Despite my bias against these sorts of sites, I couldn’t help but to really think about a lot of what Eric was saying and found myself reading through all of the previous posts.

Now I am in a relationship that is so healthy and fulfilling that I can’t even believe it sometimes. A lot of the credit goes to my awesome boyfriend, but in the past I would have found a way to screw things up. I have really internalized what Eric has to say and it has really impacted my relationships in a positive way. I never realized that by constantly feeling like I wasn’t enough for my boyfriends, I was making them feel like they weren’t enough.

Sometimes I find myself slipping back into irrational, needy thoughts but if I just read the posts here it helps me get grounded again. Also, because I am generally very focused on the relationship instead of focusing on my insecurities, my relationship has more of a buffer for when I occasionally lapse into unhealthy thoughts.

Now that my relationship is going long distance in a month, I have found myself worrying about it a bit. And once again, Eric’s advice managed to ease my concerns and helped me have a more constructive outlook on things.

Ladies: Listen up, because I truly believe that Eric’s advice can change your life for the better.
Eric: Keep up the good work. I have seen some people attacking you in the comments before, but don’t let it faze you! And thank you for yet another insightful and helpful post.

Reply May 2, 2013, 2:55 pm

Eric Charles

Thanks Miranda, I really appreciate that.

One of my greatest mentors and teachers was a great scientist / inventor. Who knows, maybe all those years of learning from him rubbed off and made me palatable to other scientists. :)

Reply May 2, 2013, 3:21 pm


Excellent article. I love having permission to let it go and just let it be what it is. A lot of advice adds pressure to make the relationship be a certain way, but this is really refreshing. Plus, I know it takes a lot of work, confidence and esteem to be happy with your own life, and it’s essential to building any kind of successful relationship. Thanks Eric! You are the man!

Reply May 2, 2013, 12:10 pm

Eric Charles

Thanks a lot. Glad you found it helpful… and yes, sometimes it really is amazing how gripping emotional-investment can be, in a negative sense. Relationship success requires a special kind of “caring”…

Reply May 2, 2013, 3:11 pm


Thanks for your thoughts on this, Eric! Long distance relationships are difficult. I’ll try to keep this article in mind.

Reply April 22, 2013, 12:56 pm

Eric Charles

You’re welcome, of course. :)

Reply May 2, 2013, 3:11 pm


Good article. I think the points you make are really spot. I was just wondering though….what are your thoughts on LDRs that start out as LDRs? For example, my bf and I originally met online and we’ve been in an LDR for 2.5 years now.

Reply April 18, 2013, 12:50 am



you and i on the same wave length, i would also like to know the answer to that.
Could we chat privately? i am really looking for a friend right now, one that would understand my situation and Wow, had i not stumbled across this website, I would never have come across your question. How can i share my email address with you?

Reply April 23, 2013, 3:41 am


Great article, in LDR myself and completely agree that if you have a definite plan for future together meaning you both know you want this future then it is effortless and doesn’t spoil life or love. Sometimes it just happens that you cannot avoid spending some time apart, and for us this time is not a problem. Of course we are missing each other a lot, but it’s bearable, we have our ways to feel closer and to stay connected. And this time apart made us even more sure we are the ones we want for the rest of our lives. I haven’t seen my love for 4 months and will see him next time in 2 months only (so excited!). But these months apart are so worth it, cause we know we have a long happy life together ahead : ) and we both have happy and full lives while beeing apart too : )

Reply April 17, 2013, 2:51 am


This was a good relationship article… but I still would avoid being in a LDR at all costs even if it meant breaking up with a man I love. I just don’t think they’re a good idea and if you really believe in your relationship being “the one”, you wouldn’t let it become a LDR in the first place. Just my 2 cents.

Reply April 16, 2013, 5:18 pm


Thank you so much for writing this. I’ve wanted you to write a LDR article for a while now.

Your articles are so deep and so thorough, I would say they are better than almost all of the books out there. Thank you for making this great info available to all of us for free. You are an angel.

Reply April 16, 2013, 5:17 pm

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