Maintaining sexual chemistry, open lines of communication and mutual trust in any relationship is hard. Making all of that work in a long-distance relationship is a lot harder. Even if you think you and your partner are cut out for the challenges—and expenses—of long-distance dating, obstacles and pitfalls lie around every corner. So take note of these warning signs: Too many of them and it’s time to make like Monty Python’s knights and run away, run away!
1. Longer lag times between texts and chats. If you find yourself anxiously waiting for a reply to your text, call or email, and the lag time between communications is getting longer and longer, chances are good she’s either losing interest in the relationship or she’s found someone more geographically convenient to communicate with.
2. Cheating. This should be a given in any relationship, but if you live by the famous words of Stephen Stills, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with,” it’s time to reconsider your priorities. Sexual tension isn’t an excuse for cheating, whether you live 10 miles away or 10,000 miles away. That’s what phone sex (or FaceTime) is for.
3. Excuses, excuses, excuses. If your girlfriend is constantly making excuses as to why she can’t talk, video chat or visit, chances are good she’s not interested in maintaining or strengthening her connection with you. (And if you have yet to meet your long-distance love in person, it might be time to call Catfish Nev.)
4. You’re starting to feel like a stalker. If you feel so insecure about your relationship that you’re stalking your girlfriend via social media, you have some serious trust issues that aren’t likely to be resolved from so far away. It’s cool to maintain interest in her social life, but it’s very uncool to track her every move on Facebook.
5. You don’t currently have any travel plans. If you and your boo have yet to plan your next rendezvous, whether it’s your place, hers or somewhere in between, you’re probably not all that excited to see each other. And if that’s the case, the relationship is likely already in trouble.
6. Neither of you has a plan to move. If you’re not planning to relocated sooner or later to be with this person, or vice-versa, then why the hell are you wasting your time confining yourself to an exclusive relationship? If you don’t have a shared vision for the future, it’s time to call it quits.
7. You feel it in your gut. You may have a textbook long-distance relationship, but it’s still wise to trust your instincts. Whether you sense your girlfriend losing interest or your eyes are starting to wander and you don’t feel bad about it, when something feels off about a relationship, it usually is. Time to address that sketchy vibe, one way or another.