When I was in my sophomore year in college, my on-again, off-again boyfriend studied abroad. He decided we should be on-again right before he left for Italy, before we had time to settle into a rhythm of what a relationship would look like for us this time around. I didn't want to be single; I couldn't imagine being with anyone but him at the time, so even though he'd be across the ocean, I figured we'd make it work. It was a good test, too: if the relationship won't survive long-distance, that would be a good indicator maybe we weren't ~meant to be.~
Between his semester in Italy and my study abroad trip to Paris, we had a reunion in Europe. I planned a last-minute weekend trip for us to meet in Milan the week after his birthday using a year's worth of birthday and Hanukkah money. The trip was good for us. But if our relationship had been long-distance for an indefinite stretch of time after that, I'm not sure we would have made it.
To learn more about the red flags that a long-distance relationship isn't built to last, I spoke with author and relationships expert Alexis Nicole White. Here are three things she said to look out for.
You or your partner aren't consistent about making plans.
Long-distance is tough because you and your partner are basically living two separate lives – their work, social calendar, and other appointments could be completely in conflict with your own, and that's not even accounting for the possibility of a major time difference where scheduling a time that works for you both could be near impossible.
"If you're disengaged or aloof, and not willing to put forth the effort, the relationship will not last," White tells Elite Daily.
So when you two do find the time to coordinate talking or spending time with one another virtually, and another habitually cancels it or can't make it, for whatever reason, that doesn't make your future look too bright. If your relationship depends on those times where you two can talk, and they keep finding reasons not to – what is the relationship even surviving on?
You or your partner aren't making communication a priority.
"Having poor communication skills is the base of a lackadaisical relationship, considering the only thing a couple will have is time and space to speak to one another," White says.
So if they're not checking in via text message to see how you're doing, or trying to be present with you at all, that could definitely be a sign that long-distance may be it for you two.
You don't make plans to see each other in person.
I understand that money can definitely be restrictive when it comes to this point, but there should be something to look forward to when long-distance is the status of your relationship. Having weekends or trips for you both to count the days down to helps keep you both excited for the next time you'll see each other. At the end of the day, you both just want to spend time together, right? So if you aren't working toward that as a possibility, you may want to question why – if they don't want to see you, or aren't making that a goal to happen at some point, what actually is the future of the relationship?
"Continuing to pursue a long distance relationship with an individual that isn't actively pursuing you will create resentment and hatred towards the other person," says White, so best to end it if you aren't really feeling the love from them.
Remember that each of these issues can be salvaged. Make sure to check in with your partner if you see that any of these are continuously happening, and asking why if that's the case. Things like being unable to afford seeing one another frequently and a ridiculously busy schedule can definitely get in the way of making a long-distance relationship easy, but it doesn't always mean it has to end.