How Long Is Too Long To Be In A Long Distance Relationship?

by Danielle Pointdujour

You’re out and about and bump into a guy who instantly gets your juices flowing. You exchange numbers and a few hours later he calls. Great conversation, same values and interests, this guy is all you’ve been looking for but there’s just one problem…he lives in another state. But you’re both interested in getting to know each other better so you decide to keep seeing each other. A year later things are great, and also getting more serious. Now you’re talking about the future and wanting to get married and live together, but he can’t find a job in your state and vice versa so for now you remain distant lovers. Before you know it year two is here and still no progress has been made on the moving/job front, you know you want to be together, but what do you do? You can’t quit your jobs and move all willy nilly, but how much longer do you continue to live apart when you’re trying to build a future together?

We all know love takes sacrifice and if you have to spend extra money on flights or rental cars to see the one you love, then that’s what you need to do. But when do you throw in the towel on a long distance affair? Going year after year simply hoping and praying for something to give and continuing to spend time, energy and money in the meantime is not the best recipe for a lasting relationship. Just because you care deeply for someone doesn’t mean the situation is headed towards forever. They say when something is truly meant to be, the entire universe conspires to give it to you, maybe not being able to find a way to be together after 2 or 3 years is a sign that it’s just not meant to be. That yes you love, but love just isn’t enough.

All the time you spend trying to figure out how to start your life with this other person, you’re probably not out living your individual life. You’re home right after work so you can talk on the phone and all your extra funds that you could be using to travel and experience other aspects of life, is spent on trying to see that person every third weekend of the month. Like I said, making those sacrifices are fine, but when is enough enough? When do you relent and say you gave it your best, but now it’s time to explore other options?

How long is too long in a long distance relationship?

  • African Mami

    states apart is NOTHING. Try continents apart and that’s when you start greying real quick.

  • Ngozi

    My husband and I were in a long distant relationship for about two years. i was in the states and he was living in the carribean at the time.

  • anon25

    I’ve been in a long distance relationship for about four and a half years lol. I live in California and he in Massachusetts. He graduated college last year and I’m graduating this year. Since then he has been trying to find a job out here but we don’t put much pressure on each other to move. I’m looking to go to medical school and I have no idea what school I’ll get accepted to, so I don’t want to uproot him from his family to come live in a state I won’t be living in within the next three years.

    I guess we don’t have a problem waiting this long because we’re still young and getting ourselves together first before relocating.

  • MissRae

    I decided to end things with this guy I pursued a long distance relationship. It wasn’t going anywhere ,and I also find out some things about him.( he wasn’t being honest with me) If things don’t happen for over a year, then it’s not worth it.

  • carmelcup

    Three years is long enough in my opinion.

  • Trisha

    Hmm. . how long do you wait? For me, it depends on the scope of the relationship.

  • mahogany

    It’s kinda my situation right now. We’ve known each other for 1 1/2 year but I’m keeping an open mind on things until it gets really serious.

  • Lisa Lisa

    I have done it and after 4 years we are facing it again, and we are opting out,

  • umwhat

    I’ve been in a long distance relationship for about a year and a half. He just graduated from college and I graduate in May. We would ideally like to live in the same city after I graduate but there is no pressure for me to move back home, he supports me in finding a job I am passionate about even if we have to be long distance for another year. We absolutely want to be together forever however neither of us are willing to put our career dreams on hold either, so who knows what will happen over the next 2 to 3 years. Prayer has kept us strong this long though and if it’s meant to be it will be.

  • whit

    I’ve been in a long distance relationship for 5 months now. We started dating the week before I left for graduate school. Convenient, right? It’s frustrating, but we’ve committed to trying to see each other once a month. I can’t say when enough is enough because honestly, it’s still new and exciting.

  • Maharet Bloom

    I began dating a guy I met in Kenya. Six months were spent together and 6 months have been spent apart. I think both of us would be happy if we were at least on the same continent. Seeing someone once a month is like a dream come true

  • sheree

    I am just getting out of a 3 year long distance relationship. I think its alright to be in an LDR as long as both partners are committed and have a concrete plan for getting together in the near future. LDR’s are not for the faint of heart or for those interested in a causal relationship because they require financial and emotional sacrifice.

    Bottom line: A relationship requires the presence of both partners. If there is not promise of coming together in a decent amount of time….don’t waste 3 years of your life!

  • Hotstuff

    My boyfriend nd I hsve been dating for 2 1/2 years long distance. I live in Northern Cal and he lives in Southern Cal, but that is still a 5 hr drive or 1 hr flight apart. We see each other 1-2 times per month. But it has really been difficult for me. I agree with the article that I find that I spend most of my time alone looking at calendars or on the phone all the time, rather than actually living my life. What makes things worse is that we don’t have any concrete plan to be together and we are not on the same page. My bf is like the college kids above even though he’s in his early 30s, trying to get his life together and not focused on relocating and starting a life with me. I am in my late 30s and ready to settle down. Even as I type this is doesn’t sound promising. But of course I love him and I want things to work out. He finally did apply for a couple of jobs up here so I am hopeful. I decided to give myself a deadline, and then if we are not together by then, I am going to move on. At first I thought that since he finally after 2 1/2 years applied for a job that this should count and I should move my deadline, but the article helped me see that even if the parties are making the effort, it’s ok to say that maybe the relationship is just not serving my needs and that I need to move on with my life.

  • Sarah C.

    Been in a long distance relationship for 3 years. we’ve seen each other a total of 6 times. 2 times I went and stayed with him over a month. Hoping to close the distance in the next 6 months.

  • Voss

    Your situation is almost like mine right about now. I’m been having troubling with sleeping lately because I wander on Google to figure if this expiration date is pointless or not. As for my relationship, I’ve already told him I have to put a deadline on this as I can sacrifice ‘my’ life anymore. He also lives 1h 10 minutes from me by flight but in different countries – ergo more expenses). Seeing each other twice a month is a luxury, the only luxury I get from my salary. I’m doing my masters this fall, and I don’t want to be that student who has to turn down on trips or outings because of ‘sorry guys, I have to visit my boyfriend’ or ‘”sorry I’m not feeling too well”‘(when it really means I have to save up money for the next trip).

    It is ok with expiration date. It gives good reasons why a great relationship can be broken up. But up to then, why torture ourselves in the meantime? Why not just break it off and live the life – and if, for some miracle ways, one da he knocks on your door with his trunks and luggage – then everything is great! What if, what if in the meantime you meet someone else, who maybe is not what you have imagined to spend your life with (because you have made up, written down, wished and planned the whole life with your boyfriend), and turns out – he is actually ok – or even wonderful?! What if that person could be that person in your life who could make you as happy but in a different way compared to your current boyfriend of course. What if that couldn’t happen because you are still in this relationship with an expiration date and avoid any attraction coming at your way. Then I question myself then, isn’t it just simpler and more sense making if we just end it now.

    And if someday you are spending time with the wonderful guy, and your ex boyfriend knocks on the door – and there he is, permanently – we all know he triumphs the wonderful guy and would choose him than any one, even Ryan gosling. Only because – this relationship no longer has the ‘long distance’ tagging along anymore.

    What are your thoughts on my thoughts? Am I over analyzing this? Am being radical than romantic? Realistic than a optimistic?

    I’m torn.

    I hope someone would disagree with me with rocky good reasons, because you probably wouldn’t guessed that I (25) love and adore my boyfriend (33) with all my heart (and creditcards… )

  • Sarah

    I hope everything works out for you. My boyfriend is 900 miles away, I am 26, he is 36.

  • Allyria

    I’ve been in a LDR for just 5 months now and luckily my bf and I are in the same page in regards to future plans and goals. I’m in California and he’s in England so that’s more than 5000 miles of distance between us. But because we both have great communication between us and already have a goal set up, it’s not that hard to think I might have to wait a few years for our goals to become a reality. I would be the one to give everything I have in California and move to where he is and that is fine by me.

    I know many things can happen in a few years, but as long as things keep working out between us and we keep making progress to reach that goal, I’m willing to wait no matter how hard it can get. I’m a very pessimistic person, but with this, I’m trying to be very optimistic. This relationship won’t work any other way.

    So when is enough, enough? My answer is… never.

  • Aly

    I am as well 25 (he-25) and in a long distance relationship across countries, We don’t have the luxury of seeing each other not even once in a month. as he works a lot and i’m still in university. .Not a chance of change in the next 3 years at least. So I also hoped that i would see a comment below where someone would disagree with you, making me feel more secure and at peace with wasting my life in a relationship that requires so much struggle,understanding, money, patience,having to deal all the time with missing moments, with little fights that become enormous via whats app..etc. The rational thoughts in my head totally agree with what you said and keep telling me over and over again the same thing but my heart just wont let go. Too many ,,what if,, on both sides. And if i would end it, I feel like i would be tortured by the big,,what if it would have worked out,,.. So i carry on…dreaming..wishing…hoping.

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