Long distance relationships can be any type of relationship, including family, romantic or a friendship.Check out this section for info on how to maintain and manage these.

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One of a series of short interviews with resilient New Zealand young people who have come through tough times. This video explores how young people deal with the feeling of anger.

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The best things in life are worth waiting for

Texting, Skyping, Facebooking all helps - a bit

Only one month and 17 days left till I can hug and kiss my hunnie back home in Tassie. At the moment, I am visiting my family at my home-home where I grew up in America, New Jersey to be exact. I am really enjoying catching up with friends and getting to hang out and with my cute Mommy and Daddy who I miss so much when I'm gone, however, missing my boyfriend of two years totally sucks!

Read the full blog about how janine got through her long distance relationship

  • Author: Janine
  • Upload Date: 2013-03-22

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Provided by Reach Out

We have partnered with Reach Out to bring you the best factsheet information we can on this topic. Reach Out offers information, support and resources to help young people improve their understanding of mental health issues, develop resilience, and increase their coping skills and help-seeking behaviour.

Long Distance Relationships

long distance relationships

Image credit: andross | Flickr

Long distance relationships can be any type of relationship, including family, romantic or a friendship. A relationship can change to a long distance relationship when one of you moves away for work, school/Uni, or because your family moves. Others might form when you meet someone traveling or some relationships start as long distance ones, e.g when you meet someone online.

Positives of long distance relationships

Long distance relationships can be as satisfying as regular relationships. Some positive things about having a long distance relationship include:

Space and independence

Not having someone living near by can be an opportunity for you to explore your interests, your dreams, and other relationships that you may have. Strengthening other relationships might mean that you are less dependent your long distant relationship for support.

Exploring different ways to communicate

Being able to talk on the phone or email/write to someone can be a great way to find out more about each other.. It is not uncommon to discover things about each other that may have been harder to do if you were face to face, this could be especially so at the beginning of a relationship.

Valuing the relationship

Being away from someone can help you to value them and you may be less likely to take them for granted (or just focus on the physical side!). When you do see them it may be more special and exciting.
Stronger relationship - The additional challenges and commitment of a long distance relationship might make the relationship stronger.

Challenges of long distance relationships + suggestions for overcoming them

All relationships have challenges and difficulties, however long distance relationships often present additional ones. Some of tough things about being in a long distance relationship might include:

Physical distance

Not having someone that you care about close to you, especially when you might need them for emotional support (or a hug!) can be tough. If you are feeling this way, you might ask for a hug from another friend or family member. Even though it's not the same, it can sometimes be a good substitute until next time you meet up.


Feeling lonely and sad at not being able to go out regularly and have fun, or be able to be more involved in their life. If you are feeling this way, give that person a call to say hi - hearing their voice might help you to work through the loneliness and look forward to your next meeting.

Jealousy and insecurity

You might worry that a friend no longer needs you or that your boyfriend/girlfriend will break up with you or is interested in someone else (even though you have nothing to base the thought on). If you are feeling this way, it might help to talk to someone outside the relationship, such as a family member, friend or counsellor, who can help you work through why you might be feeling that way and ways to work through it.

Sustaining a long distance relationship

long distance relationshipsSustaining a long distance relationship can be challenging and, like most relationships, needs commitment, trust, patience and honesty to work. Some things that might help create and sustain a fulfilling long distance relationship include:

Regular communication

keeping in contact with someone in a long distance relationship might take extra effort. As well as phone or MSN, emails, SMS, and letters can be a great way to express your feelings, share your experience and allow them to stay involved in your life (not many people doing this could make it extra special!).

Talk to other friends and family about your relationship

This can be a great way to remind yourself and others that this person is still an important part of your life even though they live miles away.

Trust and openness

It is important to have trust in a relationship, that they are faithful and are thinking of you.

Plan times when to meet up with the person

It might be helpful for you to plan when you are next seeing the person you are away from, this can give you something to look forward to. If your relationship is a romantic one, you might plan to live in the same place at some stage in the future.

When things aren't working out

Like any relationship, there can be times in a long distance relationship that you argue or go through tough times. This may not mean the end of the relationship, instead it could be a result of a lack of communication, a difference in opinion, or uncertainty about how the relationship is going.

It may be helpful for you to check out the fact sheets on the left side for more info about how to resolve your argument or manage the rough patch you may be experiencing.


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