Stages of a Long Distance Relationship (2 and 6 are the hardest)
When you want to achieve a project, whether it is personal or professional, there are always steps to respect to reach its end. Relationships are no exception to this rule, and even less so long distance relationships.
Here are the 7 stages of Long Distance Relationship, before it becomes a relationship.
1) The meeting on the internet and the development of feelings
2) The beginning of the long distance relationship and the adaptation to the distance
3) The first meeting (unforgettable!)
4) The moments of doubt after the return
5) The return trips (the routine)
6) The plan to break the distance
7) Break the distance: you did it!
In this article, I will explain them all to you, one by one. Some are more difficult to achieve than others. For my long distance relationship, it was number 6.
But it varies greatly for each couple.
I will also tell you at the end of this article where we are with my Peruvian girlfriend!
These steps are not for couples whose relationship has become long distance, but only for those who first met their partner on the internet.
For an ever more fulfilling long distance relationship, you can read these articles:
Table of Contents
Step 1: Meeting on the internet and the development of feelings
The first weeks are always incredible.
You discover your common points, you stay up super late to keep talking, everything seems almost too good to be true!
Your ideal is there, present on the planet. But hundreds or even thousands of miles away from you.
Indeed, it was too good to be true.
But the feeling is there, you can’t do anything about it. With this person, it’s different.
There is something you can’t explain.
You imagine this person living their life hundreds or thousands of miles away from you.
And little by little, this person, whom you have never met in real life, occupies 100% of your mind.
In the morning, you unlock your phone to see if she has sent you a message. Because of the time difference, you wait patiently for her to wake up.
As you walk around downtown, you think about what she is doing.
This is the birth of feelings and attachment. There are no problems to deal with, no doubts: just happiness.
This is one of the best stages in a Long Distance Relationship, the honeymoon stage!
Step 2: The beginning of the Long Distance Relationship and the adaptation to the distance
This is the formalization of your love. Some couples wait to see each other in real life (like us), but it is rather rare.
Your life habits change little by little, without you even realizing it.
Video calls become frequent. You discover all the things you can do from a distance!
- My Sweet LDR products to strengthen your relationship (hop, little promo moment!)
- You’ve become an expert on time zone differences
- Fiverr to offer dematerialized gifts
(I ordered 3 gifts and wrote a comprehensive guide on how to use Fiverr to find gifts suitable for long-distance couples, you can Discover my ultimate guide here)
- Teleparty to synchronize your movies
In short, your daily life is changing little by little.
Even if your way of life remains the same, you are getting involved in each other’s lives. Just like any other couple.
That’s in the best of times.
Unfortunately, this stage in a long-distance relationship is also a real test for your love. If you can’t adjust and feel that you are not happy in this situation, then your long distance relationship will die prematurely.
It is also during this stage that you will have your first arguments.
But you know what?
This is good news!
Because if this person didn’t make you hot or cold, that would mean you wouldn’t have feelings for them.
So yes, arguments are proof of long-distance love; as long as they’re justified and you’re mature enough to put your pride aside and solve the problem.
Step 3: The first meeting (unforgettable!)
All long-distance couples remember this moment.
I remember every detail of the minute before we met. It is engraved forever in my memory because the feelings and the stakes were so high.
Paying for a plane ticket, crossing an ocean alone with the sole purpose of meeting someone, it is not trivial. It marks a life.
As far as romance is concerned, we are approaching the Holy Grail.
It’s what all Disney princesses dream of!
All your friends will advise you not to do it. They’ll think you’re crazy!
« Why spend so much money and time on someone you don’t even know? »
Well, to get to know her…
That said, the first meeting is a double-edged sword:
It can also mark the end of your relationship. It is quite possible that you will be disappointed at the end!
This is obvious to me, but never make the decision to meet without having made at least a dozen video calls beforehand
With Kyomi, we’ve done everything right beforehand to make sure this doesn’t happen. These 15 essential things to do before your departure allowed me to never doubt her.
This will mark a turning point in your relationship. Nothing will ever be the same again.
Thanks to the first meeting, you make everything more concrete.
And your long-distance relationship becomes much easier to take on in the eyes of others.
You will reach a peak of happiness in your long distance relationship never reached before. Enjoy it, because it is not eternal. Let me explain:
Step N°4 : The moments of doubt post return
Long distance relationships are like an elevator.
Each visit takes you to the roof, revealing a beautiful, unobstructed view of a wonderful horizon.
And every return trip takes you right back down to the first floor, where joy and a sense of freedom give way to bad smells and no sunlight.
The best moments are behind.
Morale is at its lowest and you have to face the doubts.
There are regularly testimonies on my support group on Facebook of couples in this situation.
This is a short but extremely difficult stage of long distance relationships.
The first goodbyes, and especially the first few days alone are a blow to morale.
You will think: « I waited all this time to meet him, everything was perfect, and now, back to square one. I won’t see my lover again for several months ».
You will doubt yourself:
- Can I still wait that long?
- Am I capable of it?
- Am I really happy in this relationship?
- Why does the person who fits me most in the world have to be so far away from me?
When I came back to France after meeting Kyomi, I had to shorten my trip by a week because of the world pandemic.
My return was absolutely awful. I laugh about it now but clearly, it was the biggest emotional elevator in the story of our long-distance relationship.
This stage feels like grief. Really!
Only time, the support of your partner and your love will bring back the smile.
And the motivation to continue. Because you will understand that love is stronger than anything.
Keep this sentence in mind: be happy that it happened, and not unhappy because it is over.
It is at this point that you will slowly enter phase N°5.
It is also extremely difficult (because it can last for years!), but has its moments of happiness and reunion.
Stage 5: The comings and goings (the routine)
Most long-distance couples who have been together for several years are in this stage.
Because it lasts looooooong!!!
For the lucky ones, we are talking about several months.
For us, and certainly for you as well, the back and forth phase lasts for years.
And this for several reasons:
You can’t stay indefinitely in a foreign country. After 3 months in France or 6 months in Peru, you are in an illegal situation.
You have responsibilities and imperatives. Work, studies, children, family or health problems… We all have reasons that prevent us from traveling as much as we would like.
I don’t need to elaborate. A long distance relationship is expensive, you know that very well. A plane ticket between Lima and Paris is around 1000$.
Because of these 3 factors, the return trips between your countries can be counted on the fingers of one hand. And in the meantime, your life goes on.
The routine comes to settle down little by little. You will have to redouble your efforts to keep your feelings from melting away like snow in the sun.
If step 3 (the first meeting) can kill your relationship in one go, this stage in a Long Distance Relationship destroys it slowly.
It is a critical, difficult, but necessary step to be sure of your feelings.
My first motivation when I created My Sweet LDR was to help long distance couples to fight against this step.
If you are at this stage in your long distance relationship and you feel that your love is slowly fading away, I can only recommend you to organize a long distance love date.
I propose on my blog a turnkey solution to rekindle the flame from a distance without taking your head for a second.
This is probably the longest step, but in my eyes it is not the hardest.
Step N°6 : The plan to break the distance in a Long Distance Relationship
The most difficult, it is this one. Breaking the distance is complicated.
If you come from the same country, it is relatively easy. If you speak the same language as well (even if you’ll tear your hair out because of the administration…).
But if you don’t speak the same language and you come from two different countries, it is extremely complicated. I know because we are in this case.
The icing on the cake: if your respective countries have different purchasing power, you are clearly playing in hardcore mode.
But I’m living proof that it’s not impossible
Anyway, you’ll soon get tired of the back and forth. It’s bearable for a while, but not forever.
I even want to say that it doesn’t make sense.
Spending 48 weeks apart and 4 weeks together every year is not manageable over a lifetime.
Then you’ll think of a plan.
You’ll consider EVERYTHING. And believe me, there are lots of different ways to do it.
But one of you will have to make the sacrifice of leaving your family, your friends, and your city/country behind.
Then you’ll just have to put your plan in place. And that may take some time too. Months or years.
If you are at this stage and feel stuck, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can help you, with Kyomi.
Step 7: Break the distance: you did it!
Your Long Distance Relationship has become a relationship.
Congratulations! Your Charmander has turned into a strong and formidable Charizard.
This is the ultimate goal. The dream of every LDR couple.
Now you will have other problems to solve, but you will do it hand in hand.
Every night, you fall asleep with your sweetheart on your shoulder.
And it is with a smile on your face that you will be able to say: we did it!
My girlfriend and I did it.
As I write this, she is behind me working on her computer. I’m going to take a quick break to ask her if she wants coffee.
Everything can go faster than you think
You’re bound to go through these 7 steps in a Long Distance Relationship if you love each other and are willing to do anything to keep your love alive.
So yes, every couple is different and every story is unique. Some may take a few months to see the end of it, and others several years.
I never imagined I would break the distance with Kyomi after such a short time. And we went through a worldwide pandemic in the meantime!
Here’s a little history of our love life that will give you the strength to not give up.
Chronology of the 7 stages in my long distance relationship
The meeting on the internet and the development of the first feelings
The first meeting in Peru and the formalization of our relationship
April – December 2020 :
The moments of doubt after my return to France and the impossibility to know when we will be able to meet again because of a certain virus.
We learn at the same time to manage the distance and to adapt to it.
I return to Peru for 3 months. I will finally stay there all the year
I create My Sweet LDR
I come back to France for the Christmas holidays
February 2022 :
Kyomi comes for the first time in France for 3 months.
Kyomi comes back to France with a 1 year VISA. We finally live together
You see, it took us almost 3 years to break the distance for good. But I never thought it would be so fast.
And yet! We’re talking about 3 years anyway, almost half of which we were physically together.
This duration is very variable, even if you love each other very much.
Depending on your imperatives, your money, your responsibilities, your constraints and your opportunities, everything can change.
But if you love your partner deeply and show him or her every day, anything is possible.
You just have to ask yourself the right questions, and know if you REALLY want it, despite the sacrifices involved.
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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 !