How to deal with a busy boyfriend in a Long Distance Relationship?
« My boyfriend is always busy these days. He works all week and on weekends he has to study. We text each other less and less because of that… Do you know how to deal with a busy boyfriend in a long distance relationship? »
This sentence was one of the first I heard when I started doing coaching sessions for LDR couples.
And I wasn’t surprised.
With the time difference, each person’s schedule, the frustration that lack of physical contact can cause… distance places obstacles in the relationship and it’s not always clear how to overcome them.
In this article, I’ll give you 10 tips on how to deal with a busy boyfriend in a long distance relationship.
What you’re about to read is real life.
I myself have been in a long distance relationship with my girlfriend for several years.
The 6500 miles between Peru and France left us no choice but to adapt to each other’s schedules and deal with our frustrations when one of us couldn’t text back.
Here we go!
For an ever more fulfilling long distance relationship, you can read these articles:
The 6 best Netflix movies about long-distance relationships (and our favorite)
100+ long distance gift ideas (dematerialized, romantic, personalized…)
35 LDR Questions to ask to get to know each other (while away)
Is he aware of the problem? Is he ready to solve it?
How to deal with a busy boyfriend in a long distance relationship? First, by asking him if he is aware of the problem.
Okay, the first tip on this list may sound silly. But have you asked yourself the question!
Does your partner know that you are suffering?
Is he aware that he doesn’t give you enough time?
Every month, I get a few messages from my readers telling me that they can’t spend enough time with their boyfriend (usually women).
And when I ask them if their partner is aware of the problem, more than half of them aren’t sure.
So start there.
Even if it’s obvious to you and he should know, remember that every human is different. And this is especially true if you come from two different countries (like my girlfriend and I).
I advise you to tell him in a video call.
It is always easier to solve problems this way because you are infinitely more engaged on a video call.
Per message, you leave her the opportunity to do another activity on the side (and therefore, not take the problem seriously).
If your partner is willing to make an effort to make you happier, here are 10 tips I recommend you apply.
Some are tools, some are techniques, and some are tips from my own long distance relationship.
Apply them to answer the question: how to deal with a busy boyfriend in a long distance relationship ?
1) How to deal with a busy boyfriend in a long distance relationship: Don't make him feel guilty
This is the first mistake to avoid.
In my LDR, there is no one busier than the other.
In fact, it depends on the time of year.
Sometimes it’s me who doesn’t have enough time to spend with Kyomi.
Sometimes it’s her.
To solve this problem at the beginning, we tended to make each other feel guilty.
That is to say, blame the other person without trying to put ourselves in her shoes.
Listen to me: this is the worst way to do it.
Look at this image:
If you make your partner feel guilty without understanding why he or she doesn’t have time for you, you will create a toxic situation.
The problem doesn’t have to be between you.
You have to face the problem, together.
Specifically, here’s what I recommend you do.
Talk about it calmly together, and put yourself in your boyfriend’s shoes.
Ask questions to find the origin of this lack of time, and what solutions you can easily put in place.
The next advices will help you concretely to solve this problem. Especially N°6 and 7 which evoke the schedules in a long distance relationship.
2) Being busy: a regular or exceptional problem?
Before applying solutions, we must find the origin of the problem.
If you have pimples on your knees, you are not going to put a cast on your leg! That would not be effective at all in these circumstances.
The first question to ask yourself is: Is my long-distance boyfriend busy ALL THE TIME or is this a one-time thing?
My LDR boyfriend is busy, but it is irregular
If it is exceptional, the problem will be solved quickly because you will be open to making an effort.
You’ll have less trouble understanding it, no matter what the reason:
- A really busy work week
- End of year exams to revise
- A loved one having to go to the hospital…
Whatever the reason, in this kind of situation you have to know how to support your partner and give him some space.
Don’t bombard him with messages from morning to night (I’ll go into this in more depth later in the article).
All you’ll do is break his concentration and make him cranky.
Instead, send him a long supportive message in the morning or evening, or have an original, personalized gift delivered! If you want to send him a picture or drawing of the two of you, Fiverr is perfect for that.
What I recommend you do: give him time and space, while showing him that you are by his side, encouraging and supporting him.
My boyfriend is always busy in our long distance relationship
Most of my readers are in this situation. The recurring and long-term problems are the most difficult to solve.
To find out, you have to ask him or her and tell him or her about your pain.
The most important thing is to have the answer to this question:
When he explains why he’s not giving you enough time, is he telling you that there will be an end date?
For example, that he will commit to a project for 3 months and then everything will go back to the way it was.
If he doesn’t look ahead and is unable to tell you how long he will be extremely busy (even if it is an approximate date), then the problem is deep and recurring
Good. Now that you have defined and understood the problem, let’s look at the different solutions available to you.
Before that, I will quickly tell you about a mistake NOT TO MAKE.
3) Don't send him messages all day long
Here are 2 reasons why texting her all day long is a bad idea:
1) You won’t solve anything (or worse: you’ll make the problem worse)
As we just saw before, if your boyfriend is busy every day and he can’t tell you when it’s going to stop, the problem is deep. So you won’t solve it with messages.
Especially if your boyfriend’s head is elsewhere and he’s light years away from thinking about this!
2) You’re going to piss him off
Reverse the roles: Today, you don’t have a second to yourself. You are running around because you have 1000 things to do! Finish a job, a professional appointment, errands to run, dinner to prepare, a personal project, call your family…
You are naturally stressed. That’s normal.
Now imagine receiving a message every half hour from your LDR partner. He is surprised that you don’t answer or that you can’t find a few minutes to send a message.
We agree: it’s annoying.
Even if he does respond, it would be to tell you that he doesn’t have time. If he manages to keep his cool.
Here’s an article that gives you 4 key things to know if you’re sending too many messages.
It’s always helpful (especially since the article is clear and specific).
4) Making time shorter by staying busy too
This is a common syndrome that affects all couples, even those who live in the same house.
Let me explain:
One of the people in the couple has obligations that take up time. Specifically, let’s say he leaves home at 7:00 a.m. and doesn’t return until 7:00 p.m.
In the case of a long-distance relationship, let’s say you only have a 1-2 hour window to exchange messages or call each other.
If the other person in the couple is not busy, they will find the time incredibly long.
Let’s take the example of two women, Anna and Betty, who have been smoking for several decades and decide to quit.
Anna is always busy because she has a job, children and plays volleyball twice a week.
Betty on the other hand has more free time. She stays at home and watches several hours a day of television.
If I told you that after 3 weeks, there is only one of her who managed to stop destroying her health.
Would you bet more on Anna or Betty?
Cigarettes are your partner.
You are addicted to them.
It’s your drug.
You need it for your happiness and fulfillment.
And fortunately, unlike cigarettes, it is not toxic and dangerous!
So instead of brooding in your corner, looking at your phone every 5 minutes waiting for it to start vibrating, get busy.
Go out with friends, start a new activity, educate yourself… the possibilities are great!
You will find that you will become less emotionally dependent on your partner. And that’s a good thing! This great article from Mind Body Green explains this process better.
You will say less and less, « My boyfriend is always busy in our long distance relationship »
5) How to deal with a busy boyfriend in a Long Distance Relationship: Diversify your ways of communicating
How to deal with a busy boyfriend in a long distance relationship? There are different ways to do this. Changing your habits and the way you communicate is one of them.
Let me tell you a little story.
December 2019. I meet Kyomi, a young Peruvian woman on a language exchange application. 6500 miles separate our two countries (France and Peru).
The first weeks are intense. We send each other messages all the time on Instagram, we get to know each other. We are completely addicted to our phones: we are one with them.
If you started your long distance relationship through the internet, you know this.
You know how hard it is to separate from your smartphone.
And with time, the weariness and monotony comes. We send each other fewer messages.
Kyomi tells me that she feels sidelined, that I always answer several hours later.
And it was true. Usually, I always answer quickly to my family and friends. But not with her.
What do you think was the problem?
Here’s the answer: I wasn’t used to talking through Instagram at all.
I always used Messenger or Whatsapp to talk with my loved ones.
It’s a matter of habit. I didn’t have the reflex to launch Instagram when I unlocked my phone, but rather Whatsapp.
When we realized this, we diversified our means of communication. And everything went back to the way it was before. I responded much faster and the problem was fixed.
Even today, over 2 years later, we haven’t gone back on Instagram to talk to each other.
Think about it!
Our habits are deeply ingrained in our brains. Changing them takes time and self-denial. It’s definitely not easy.
So ask your partner if they prefer one app over another. Don’t force Discord on him if he hates it or doesn’t understand it.
Besides, it’ll break the routine that’s been going on. And you know how hard it is to fight routine.
6) Offer him activities to do together
Sometimes your partner says he’s busy so he doesn’t spend time with you.
He doesn’t say this because he doesn’t like you or doesn’t appreciate your presence.
But that sometimes he would rather relax in another way.
There have been several times when I’ve told Kyomi that I’m going to sleep, when I wanted to spend my next hour playing Playstation without being disturbed by notifications.
Yes, it sounds cliché. But I’m telling you the truth! Over time, it’s become less taboo between us. I don’t have to make excuses like that anymore.
To avoid this problem and motivate your boyfriend to spend time with you, diversify the activities you do together!
« Yes, thank you Leo, but well… I don’t have any ideas for activities to do! It’s too complicated with the distance. »
No need to panic.
On my blog, I have listed over 100 activities to do from a distance. If you do one a week, you have two years of content.
It’s my gift!
7) Adapt to his schedule
This point is related to #5. In the sense that you can adapt to his schedule to answer the question, « How to deal with a busy boyfriend in a long distance relationship ? »
Let’s cut to the chase: here’s a non-exhaustive list of tips I recommend you do to maximize the time you’re both available.
- Be busy at the same time as him: if he finishes work every day at 5pm, don’t plan to go to the supermarket at that time. Do it before (or after)
- Time difference doesn’t make your life easier?
I understand you… My girlfriend and I have a 7-hour time difference. As a result, I stay up a little later each night and she gets up a little earlier each morning. It allows us to spend more time together, both of us awake!
- Set alarms on your phone for the time of day when you know your LDR boyfriend isn’t busy
- Don’t hesitate to use a shared online calendar (like Google Calendar) to find out your partner’s availability
- When I was a student, I sent my schedule to my girlfriend, so she could easily know when I was busy or not.
- If something unexpected happens, always tell your LDR boyfriend in advance.
Apply just 2 or 3 of these tips and you’ll see that you’ll improve your long distance relationship dramatically.
I’ve tested most of them, and I’ll tell you:
If you and your partner are both aware of the problem and want to solve it, it will work.
For those LDR couples who want to go further, the next point will be of great interest to you.
8) Create a joint LDR planning
I have created a complete guide on my blog to create an easy to use, visual and straight to the point LDR planning.
In the blink of an eye, you’ll know if your partner is busy or not! Even with an 11 hour time difference.
This is a schedule that I created myself, with my Peruvian girlfriend.
In this guide, we give you our advices, the step by step tutorial to realize yours.
All illustrated with photos!
To consolidate your long distance relationship and spend more time together, there is nothing more effective than creating your own LDR planner
9) Don't believe that everything will work out when you see each other again
I know that most of you are not going to agree with me. I accept that. Here is my point of view.
This way of thinking is as funny as it is stupid. I put it in the same category as the phrase « Our marriage is in trouble. Let’s have a child to give it a second wind ».
It doesn’t work that way. When the foundation of your house is about to collapse, you don’t add weight on top of it!
If you run into problems when you’re away, they won’t be fixed when you get back. Instead, you’ll just put those problems aside for a while and have them again.
This is exactly what happens in the LDR movie « Sweet and Sour ». It is among the best long distance relationship movies present on Netflix.
Without spoilers, the protagonists have problems because of the distance and nothing gets better when they get together.
I’ve given you other ways throughout this article that are less risky and more effective. Go for it!
10) How to deal with a busy boyfriend in a Long Distance Relationship: Get some distance to test it
You’ve talked to your LDR partner about this problem but nothing changes?
He or she promised to make an effort, but after a few days everything is back to normal?
You’ve applied most of the tips seen here but there’s still no difference?
In short, you’ve tried everything and you’re out of ideas.
You still have one last trick to implement.
But it is risky. Your long distance relationship could end because of this. I’d rather warn you!
If your partner knows that you are suffering because of him and he doesn’t care, then you may not be his priority.
To find out, test him!
Be more distant. Respond less to those messages. Be busier and put him on the back burner.
Be careful not to become toxic, though. The idea is to behave a little like him so he can better understand how you feel.
Think carefully before you start doing this. I explain in the next point how this could make you extremely unhappy.
I’ll share with you some good advice I found on the internet.
What if none of this works?
You tested it by becoming distant in your turn. But again it didn’t work. You feel that he doesn’t care. That it didn’t impact his life.
You just realized that you weren’t that important in his life. I know, the words can be harsh, but that’s the reality.
I check in regularly with people I value and love. I don’t check in as much with people who have only been in my life for a short time.
Everyone reacts like that. To say otherwise is to lie to yourself.
Here is what I recommend you do.
1) Accept the situation
Realizing that your partner doesn’t feel the same way about you as you do is a shock. It’s hard to imagine. I understand that. But you have to accept the situation if you want to move forward.
You will certainly be unhappy, but it doesn’t last. Time solves all problems.
2) Know what makes you happiest
Take a step back from the situation and take stock: what makes you happy? Would you be happier being single or giving your long-distance relationship a second chance? I advise you to read my article on the subject.
You will know if your LDR is worth continuing or abandoning.
3) Make a decision and tell your long distance boyfriend
At this point, you know what you want. There are only two options: break up, or give him an ultimatum.
In both cases, you need to have a discussion with your boyfriend. A serious and solemn discussion.
An important question to ask yourself
Do you feel guilty for making him suffer?
You do not know if it is him who does not recognize the problem or you who exaggerate?
You don’t know if your partner really cares about you?
Ask yourself this question:
« If he met someone else in his city, would he continue his relationship with you? »
If the answer is no, you should consider breaking up after talking with him or her. Everyone is different and has their own way of handling a breakup.
I’m not an expert on this, but once again I found an article that can help you get through this.
How to deal with a busy boyfriend in a Long Distance Relationship: "I don't have time" is not a valid excuse
My partner is busy all the time. No couple in a long-distance relationship should say this sentence.
When you love someone deeply, you make time for them.
In general, people who say « I don’t have time » should say « I don’t have time for you » instead.
Especially in the long run.
We’ve all had times when we couldn’t see or call someone for a whole day or week.
But over several months, it’s not a matter of « no time » but of lack of will.
How to deal with a busy boyfriend in a long distance relationship ?
Well, for one thing, it’s knowing if he really cares about you.
Take a step back. Ask your loved ones for advice. Talk to your boyfriend about it. Apply 2-3 of the tips you’ve discovered here.
It will be a great start.
Whether the results are what you expected or not, you’ll know more about your relationship and your long distance relationship.
And you’ll be able to keep moving forward.
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We are Léo & Kyomi, a French-Peruvian couple in a long distance relationship since 2019. Welcome to this blog entirely dedicated to this way of life.
We decided to create
My Sweet LDR
to help people who want to live their relationship serenely and who don’t know how to do it.
To read our entire story
you can click just here !