Long-Distance Relationships – The BRUTAL Truth About How To Make Them Work

You start dating the perfect man in your city, only to find out he’s been offered a new job 1000 miles away…

Should you follow your heart and go for it, or should you listen to your head and call it quits? What’s the answer?

Here’s what you really need to know…


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77 Replies to “Long-Distance Relationships – The BRUTAL Truth About How To Make Them Work”

  • This video is great but it needs to be clearer this information is not solution but a starting point for thinking where you are in a long distance relationship.

    1. Hi Cola :)
      I think the thing is that he cannot provide the answers to this problem, but just the tools for you (the person in this situation) to know what to do with it, meaning that every relationship is different and it could potentially work, but only if you are truly committed (and also the other person is), that is why he says we have to be true to ourselves and figure out if we are ready to make the sacrifice, to take that important step forward (which usually means one of you moving) and to really make this work.
      At least, that’s how i see it :) hehe

  • I recently ended a relationship that was semi long distant as he lives an hour away. He tried to contact me a few times. I asked to move forward I needed some space. He reminded me of the plans we had to see the eclipse on the 21st. He asked if I still wanted to go. I don’t know what to do…to go as friends or not at all.

  • This is so true. Also, know that either you or the other person may find reality too real and back off (or run away in fear) as soon as the move to be near each other happens. So, before you pick up and move, make sure you are making a move you would be content with even if the other person wasn’t there. Realize the mover is investing far more in the relationship than the person staying at home.

  • This actually is so true. I am in one currently and the struggle is real. We chat every single day and face time too but sometimes i wish I had more of him because when we even have arguments as a couple its even more serious than when h is around me because there is always misinformation .

  • This actually is so true. I am in one currently and the struggle is real. We chat every single day and face time too but sometimes i wish I had more of him because when we even have arguments as a couple its even more serious than when he is around me because there is always misinformation .

  • NOT the video I wanted to see, Matthew. :( It’s the first time one of your videos has left me disappointed in that way. BUT I understand your points. And I understand the risk I’m taking. I guess I don’t see it as a waste even if it doesn’t pan out the way we’re planning. Because I’m enjoying my life when we’re apart and we enjoy our time together. It has taught me a lot of good things about myself and has made me grow in ways I don’t know that I could have otherwise.
    I’m very clear that our relationship (regardless of its LDR status) is not a perfect one. But I think relationships come with challenges no matter where the other person lives.
    So, to answer your questions:
    1–Am I being lazy? I suppose there’s something to that, for both of us. However, we also are content with each other and therefore wouldn’t want to go out and meet someone new. At least for me, it’s not about being afraid to take the risk of trying to find someone else locally. I just don’t think ANY relationship would be free of issues of some sort. So why throw away this one simply because it has this particular challenge?
    2–Do I have a scarcity mindset? Absolutely not! I believe that there are tons of potential good matches for me in this world. I realize that this man is just one of many who I could be happy with. And I know I have great value and could attract other good men who would want me as their partner. I would say, however, that maybe my boyfriend has a bit of a scarcity mindset. That can sometimes feel concerning.
    3–Do we have a plan? Yes. We’ve been doing this for 3 years. Two-week visits every 2-4 months. And you’re going to think this is nuts, but we expect to be doing this for another 5-8 years. We do, however, intend to attempt longer visit over time—for instance, possibly trying to do a summer-long visit next year or the year after. The ultimate plan, which we discuss often, is for me to move to where he is. It’s beautiful there and I love going there. The climate and environment are amazing. But obviously, my commitment is to stay where my children and their father live. We share custody.
    A little background: I met him at the end of a 20+ year marriage. And I have 4 children, ages 11 to 20. I’m almost 49 and he’s 41. He has no kids and is okay with that. We both have good jobs, and mine allows for particular flexibility and remote working.
    Is it going to work in the long run? We hope so. We plan for that. We talk a lot about the reasons it will and the reasons it might not. We both know there are no guarantees.
    Thank you for the opportunity to think through some of these items a little more this morning. But I’m going to stick with what I’m doing. It’s working for me, and it’s working for him. And the sex is amazing when it’s able to happen. And there’s porn when it’s not able to happen. :)
    I still love you, Matthew! (Even though you didn’t use any of the SIX videos I sent in!) ;) And I’ll keep following your advice, when it applies, because I do value your opinions. I hope to meet you someday. Take care.
    (reposted because it was pending for so long)

  • Matthew, i honestly love your videos so much….your advices are always on point! very true what you say, i’ve learned from experience that it is exactly like that, and also, what usually happens A LOT when meeting people online is that most of them are in it for the sexting part…to fool around….
    A lot of them are even married! LOL, because it’s so easy to do whatever you want online, not caring about anyone else but yourself…people often forget that on the other side of the screen there’s a real person with feelings…(obviously i’ve “encountered” many of this specimens LOL) but all of it taught me a lot about people :) haha, so i’ll take it as part of a learning experience ;b

    Thanks again for sharing your advice and opinions, it’s great to be able to hear other people’s points of view, it helps us open our eyes and our minds to any situation..

  • Hi Matthew, this is a great talk. It’s surprising how easily you combine information from formal and informal sources. Your engaging delivery reminds me of my psychology teachers, and they would never forgive me if I didn’t post this message. This doesn’t affect the quality of the information you present, of course, but you may want to use the actual term: “cognitive dissonance.” Dissonance intends to refer to the same phenomenon as hearing an off-key singer with a chorus–one wants so much to help her to get into intonation line with the rest of the choir. As you point out, that dissonant thought “This person is just not available enough for me,” keeps getting pulled into line with “S/he’s so nice, etc.”

    Thanks for all you do–I’m sure these materials provide a unique, reassuring voice to women and are empowering.

  • This is all true, *but* I’m proof that it can work. I found myself in a long-distance relationship after I reconnected with someone I dated a decade earlier, and it’s actually worked out!

    That said, there were a few things that made it very clear from the beginning that he was taking the relationship seriously and that this wasn’t a normal long distance relationship:

    1. He made time to talk to me every day. He was a teacher and used to give make-up exams immediately after his last class. But because of our time zone differences, that sometimes meant that we couldn’t talk until it was really late for me. So, he carved out an hour between his last class and giving exams. Every. day. no. matter. what. He made me a priority and proved himself to be reliable over time. Knowing that, at minimum, I’d talk to him during that window made all the difference.

    2. We traded going back and forth and saw each other every 3 weeks. There was never a conversation about when we’d see each other next; we just knew it would be in 3 weeks. He moved one of his classes so that he’d have a long weekend ever three weeks, again making me a priority. From there, we traded off visiting each other and split the difference of the cost of a pair of tickets (e.g., if his ticket to see me was $200 and mine was $400, we’d each pay $300)

    3. After a few months, he started diligently looking for a job in my city. Once it was clear that we both wanted to pursue the relationship, he started looking for a job in my city and applied to jobs every day. I had just started a job I loved, and he had been in his for over 8 years and was ready for a change. Again, this showed his consistency and reliability. He didn’t apply to one or two jobs every month; he made it a priority every day. It still took about 9 months for him to find something, but I never lost faith because I knew he was working at it and never questioned his dedication or intentions.

    Those are the things he did to show me he was serious, and I also reciprocated in turn. I was actually the one who suggested that we split the cost of a pair of tickets because his were generally more expensive than mine; he resisted a little at first but eventually agreed once I explained how important it was to me that we have a relationship between equals. I also worked out a scenario with my employer so that I could work from home a few days when I visited him, which gave us extra time together.

    The point is that we *both* invested a lot in the relationship, and we both *showed* our commitment with actions rather than just talking about it.

    Now that we’re finally together, we couldn’t be happier. There were no surprises once we moved in together–he’s just as amazing and wonderful and reliable and consistent as I’ve always known him to be. We’re in love, are very grateful for each other, and plan to be married soon. :)

  • Ive been in a long distance relationship.. sadly to admit that I guess you’ve got it all right. Maybe both of us nit really committed to each other or love each other very much to want to be together very much. We only met like twice a year or so. Only communicate via text or sometimes call. Should i call it quits…. i guess im too afraid to admit that this wont work.

  • Hi Matthew! I have been a fan of yours for years and I always love your advice.
    I have a question about a subject that you haven’t touched on and I’m hoping you eventually will.
    My question is what do you do if you have met an incredible guy but he already has a girlfriend. Long story short there is this guy who is everything that I have ever wanted in a man but never thought I would ever find. I respect his relationship and I have tried meeting other guys and keeping my options open but I am comparing all of them to him. Everyone else seems dull compared to him. It’s a weird feeling that I have never felt towards anyone else. I know that he thinks I am very attractive, there is a lot of chemistry. We have a ton of things in common. I would never want to be the other woman because I am not that kind of person but I can’t shake this guy no matter how hard I’ve been trying. I am wondering though, is there a way that can make one be seen as someone that he could have a future with. Tricky subject but I am curious if you have any advice.

    Wishing you all the best! Your videos have helped me not just in my dating life but in my overall life as well.

  • I feel like this is definetly very age-specific. It probably makes sense for couples that are looking for forever together but I’m 20 and the idea of forever with someone terrifies me at the moment.But I do have a very loving and supportive partner who I’ve been with for the last couple of months and makes me happy right now. We are long distance he is at university in Birmingham and I’m at university in Canterbury and we both feel it works better for us to be long distance. We’re both very busy with our lives and both very focused on maintaining our independence, particularly me because I am at risk of codependency so we feel if we lived in the same city we’d never get anything done, but the times when we do see each other we give each other 100% attention, so I guess we have a plan, but yeah I believe it can work if you still see each other as two individuals and not just a couple. Also isn’t the purpose of a good relationship to be something that helps both individuals be the best person they can be and have the best life they can get, so why do we have to sacrifice ourselves for ‘love’, love should be the thing that sustains us

  • My boyfriend took a job in a contract for 6 months on a carnival cruise ship. Yes it sucks being away from him but…we make it work. We Skype, call and text whenever we can. I love this man. I see my future with him. Not leaving his side.

  • Great post, my girlfriend had to relocate in order to study medicine for the next 4 years, plus add the 3-4 years of residency. It has been tough but through trust, commitment on both sides and understanding we have managed really great.

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