9 Cringe Worthy Mistakes We Made in Our LDR

After having closed the distance with Tuomas and understanding the new dynamics in our relationship it made me think about the dynamics in our LDR more. 

And I can tell you we made some mistakes 

Of course you know what they say, hindsight is 20/20, so at the time we were doing what we thought best for our relationship. 

We were trying all the LDR hacks, tips, tricks and everything in between. In the end, some of those tips actually did our relationship more harm than good. 

The reason why is that relationships aren’t one size fits all. Every long distance relationship will have its unique way of handling arguments, dealing with loneliness, and showing each other love. 

Why?

Well we are all born different, have different experiences that lead us to the current point in our lives. We are all navigating through upbringings, social norms, and cultural differences. 

What is a norm in your life might not be a norm in my or my partner’s life. 

9 Cringe Worthy Mistakes We Made in Our LDR and What to Do Instead 

There is also beauty in making mistakes. Mistakes are what give you and your partner a chance to learn and grow together as a couple. 

We are not perfect beings, even though there are times where we like to think that our partner’s or ourselves are. 

What’s important to identifying these mistakes is having an open mind to them and to process them without shifting blame to yourself or your partner. 

Life happens, things get in the way. 

The best thing you can do for yourself moving forward is acknowledging the mistakes you’ve made and learning how to overcome them so you don’t repeat them in the future. 

With that being said, these are mistakes we think we made during our time as an LDR couple. 

And with the power of hindsight I am going to show you what you can do instead if you feel like you are making the same mistakes that we made.

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Setting Boundaries for Me Time

Tuomas and I talked on the phone every single day. We talked on my way to work, texted while I was at work, on my way home from work, and more if I happened to get home sooner. 

We did it because we wanted to be close to each other and feel more connected. What it ended up doing was putting a strain on our conversation. 

Which then at times led to unnecessary arguments because we were both tired and didn’t have the energy for a call.

When you and your partner are constantly talking on the phone 24/7 it makes it hard to keep the quality of conversation up. 

You’re stuck bored wondering what to talk about next. 

What to do Instead

Instead of focusing on the quantity of your calls and constantly talking to each other, give  each other more space to breathe in your everyday lives. 

I know you both miss each other so much and of course wanted to be and stay connected. So do this suggestion at your own pace. I am not telling you to drastically cut back all your calls.

Instead you and your partner should make a talking schedule. This way you can be more upfront about scheduling time to talk and while setting healthy boundaries for time for yourself.

For example, on the mornings we didn’t talk I found myself listening to this one podcast during my commute that I really enjoyed. 

When I got off of work, I of course talked about my day but then I also shared what I learned from the podcast. 

This made conversation flow more naturally, rather than running through the same old routine of “how was your day” “it was fine” “that’s good” ….awkward silence…

If you are finding that you and your partner are constantly on the phone and never have anything to say to each other then use that time to take a break from over-communicating. 

You can do this by finding something that you want to listen to and do on your own, like a podcast. 

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Thinking This Would Be Better If My Partner Was Here 

I am literally cringing at myself while writing this. I remember going on this great trip with my friends and we were having a great time, exploring new places, eating new foods, and enjoying a few drinks.

Then out of nowhere I had this thought, this would be so much more fun if Tuomas was here.

And of course, with a thought like that, it can easily put a damper on your trip. Suddenly you find yourself missing your partner more and more. 

Hell, I even started crying out of nowhere. 

This thought not only disrupts your good time but it also makes it less enjoyable for your friends. 

When you are hanging out with people who love and care about you, they want to see you happy and thriving in your relationship. 

Not feeling doomed because your partner is 1000+ miles away.

What to do Instead

Now I completely understand missing your partner. Really, I get it, I have been there before, and it’s okay to be upset that they can’t be there with you. 

However, what’s not okay is bringing everyone else around you down because you are feeling sad and lonely. 

Ask yourself honestly, would you want to hang out with a person like that?

So, if you find yourself having the thought that this would be better if they were here, instead of letting it ruin your trip, here’s what you can do.

Take time to practice mindfulness with your friends. You can do this by paying attention to all 5 senses during your trip. 

Take a journal with you so you write down things you see, smell, hear, feel, and touch during your adventure. 

Then, after your trip, share all your experiences with your partner. Show them photos, read them an excerpt from your journal. 

This way you can enjoy being in the moment and your partner can feel like they got to experience it with you. 

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Forgetting to Invest in Our Relationship 

Investing in your relationship means more than saving up money to travel to new places together during your visits. 

It wasn’t until our relationship hit the toughest patch that I actually understood what it meant to invest in your relationship. 

There was a point where Tuomas and I were on the verge of a breakup, and this happened AFTER we got engaged. 

We were both so drained from expectations in our own lives, that managing relationship expectations was just way too much. 

Then sprinkle some of that LDR chaos on top of it, it started to become unmanageable. 

What to do Instead

I took the plunge and reached out to a relationship mentor. It was through this mentoring experience that I was able to really understand how much we were putting our relationship on the back burner.

She walked me through the ways I was blocking myself in my own life and how to say no to things that were no longer serving me. Once I overcame those things it made it easier for me to focus on what was going on in our relationship.

It was also the reason I started JazzUpYourWanderlust. I wanted to share with Tuomas what I learned and from there wanted to share it with other LDR couples. 

If you feel like your relationship is grasping at straws and struggling to overcome the distance then make an investment in your relationship’s future by learning more about relationships. 

You can do this through an online relationship course or 1:1 coaching, that way you and your partner can learn better how to love each other when loving each other seems too complicated. 

You can find out more about my 1:1 Program for LDR Couples by clicking this link

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Trying to Win Fights Before the Other Sleeps 

During our LDR Tuomas and I had a 7 hour time difference, so he was pretty tired by the time we talked in the evening. 

What sucked even more than the time difference was if we had an argument during the day. You know how text messages can easily be misinterpreted. 

Well, I would get off work fired up and ready to go while he was tired and trying to go to sleep. 

Honestly, it was the perfect time to “win” an argument, he had no energy to rebuttal anything I had to say. 

All this does, though, is wear down your partner and slowly build resentment between the two of y’all. 

If you are always “winning” the argument in your relationship, ask yourself what it is you are really winning? 

Other than the fact you made your partner feel like they completely messed things up again. 

What to do Instead 

I unfortunately am a person who has always liked to have the last word. It’s something I have been working on and slowly am getting better at. 

What I have been doing is understanding when I am responding to something Tuomas has said or done versus when I am reacting to it. 

Next you have to shift your mindset into trying to understand and empathize with what your partner is saying. From there you and your partner are better able to express what is going on. 

We also decided that it was okay to go to bed angry, more often than not it gave us time to better process the other’s emotions. 

Then we would revisit the conversation again in the morning with a much calmer approach. 

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Not Being Totally Honest About Our Feelings 

This without a doubt was Tuomas’ area, I have always been good at expressing myself (maybe too well) and he is, well, an introverted Finn.

When things were getting tough in his University program he would shut down and withdraw himself from the issue. 

Which meant when I would ask him about school or classes he wouldn’t be totally honest about what’s going on. 

This would also overspill into our relationship.

When he was going through so many emotions that he found it hard to be totally honest about his feelings. 

Keeping your feelings from your partner can make you feel like you can’t fully be yourself in your own relationship, which to be honest is a lonely feeling. 

What to do Instead 

With Tuomas it was a fear that I would think less of him or be disappointed in him. Instead I just wanted to find a way for both of us to overcome the issue together. 

Make some time to talk on a video call or send a video message to your partner being open with your feelings about what’s going on. Utilize using “I statements” for example “I feel this way when this event/thing is happening”.  

Relationships are about trusting the person that you are intimate with. 

So if you are finding that you’re having a hard time being honest with your emotions it’s time to start asking yourself why that is. 

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Expecting Perfection 

I never really understood what love was until I started dating Tuomas. My idea of love was that you like someone a lot and things will work out along the way. 

I didn’t realize how messy love is and how much work both people need to put into love in order for it to blossom. 

In the beginning of our relationship I expected things to be perfect and always work out. I still had on those pink sunglasses that made everything seem more perfect than what it actually was. 

That meant when things were less than perfect or got messy then the relationship is doomed right? 

I would then fear that maybe I am the cause of our relationship failure, or even shift blame onto Tuomas and thinking he didn’t care enough about our relationship or its future and that’s why things were messing up. 

This logic is so flawed, and I am thankful I am not that person anymore.

What to do Instead

Understand that relationships are a constant work in progress, especially long distance relationships. 

When you start an LDR people will say communication is the main thing you need to focus on. 

I have always hated that advice.

Because it leads people to believe that all they need to do is have a conversation with each other every single day. 

When it actually means to talk about the complicated stuff, learn more about your own flaws and how to overcome them, and finally understand that you and your partner are two completely different people who happen to be imperfect. 

When it comes to loving someone else we should stop striving for this perfect love and understand that long lasting love will always be a continuous work in progress. 

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Thinking Virtual Sex and Intimacy Were the Same Thing 

If you were to ask anyone that has been in an LDR for longer than 3 years, they will tell you that after a while virtual sex just doesn’t cut it anymore. 

It gets to this point where it feels repetitive or just going through the motions. Or it doesn’t have that same spark as before like when you first started being intimate over calls. 

That’s because as your relationship grows and changes, so do your needs for intimacy. 

There was a point in our LDR where we stopped connecting with each other intimately. It was also the time that we were going through our roughest patch as a couple. 

We weren’t connecting, we were burnt out from “communicating”, and date nights became a reminder that we were failing someone in our long distance relationship.

What to do Instead 

Understand that virtual sex is just one part of the intimacy equation. Intimacy also means being able to be vulnerable with your partner. 

It was through being vulnerable that I was able to talk to Tuomas about the lasting effects being raped had on me. 

I was able to talk to him more about why sometimes sex wasn’t an option, and it was because my body was still healing from scars left from before we met. 

It wasn’t an easy conversation, hell it’s not easy writing about it now. 

What that conversation gave us, though, was clarity and understanding. Me being vulnerable was showing intimacy to Tuomas. 

He was able to understand me on a deeper level, which made him feel more connected to me than before. 

It also started the healing process for me, and shifted my perspective on sex. I understood that sex was a way to connect with your partner and not just something someone does when they feel horny. 

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Listening to Others’ Doubts About Our Relationship 

When you tell others in your life you’re in a long distance relationship, best believe that not everyone will be supportive of it. 

They have probably seen way too many episodes of Catfished or 90 Day Fiance and suddenly believe themselves to be an expert in your relationship choice. 

After a while of listening to those doubts and fears, your brain starts to remember them and question if things will actually work out. 

Or starts to cloud your judgement making you doubt your relationship. You might ask yourself questions like: 

“What if they are cheating on me?” 

“Will they like me in person?” or

“Will we ever be able to start a life together?”

All of those thoughts do nothing but make you feel uncertain, not one of them has a positive answer.

What to do instead 

What helped me the most when it came to having doubts in our relationship was setting boundaries for people. 

Once I started setting boundaries I understood that when people gave me their 2 cents about my relationship that they weren’t doing it from a positive place.

They were doing it from a hurt place. 

The people that had the most negative stuff to say about our relationship were the ones that were being mistreated in their own relationship. 

You gotta remember that hurt people hurt other people. 

My old boss is the best example of this. She was always asking me how I could trust Tuomas. 

With him being so far away, and different time zones, she had it in her head that he MUST be cheating on me. 

At this point I had known Tuomas for a couple of years, I knew I was his first girlfriend, but her doubt started to poison my mind. 

I would become wary when Tuomas wouldn’t talk to others about me, or didn’t tell people about our plans. I thought he was keeping me a secret, when in reality he just doesn’t tell people what’s going on in his life, he keeps things private. 

I wasted all that energy being angry at him for no reason, and doubting our relationship just because of what my old boss said to me. 

Then a few months later my boss told me that her partner was cheating on her and that they had just broken up. 

She was literally projecting all of her fears and insecurities onto me, which then made me second guess my relationship. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes I made in our LDR. 

Thinking Too Much About Our Future Relationship Than Our Current One 

Destination happiness will kill your long distance relationship. 

Read that again. 

Destination happiness will kill your long distance relationship.

Destination happiness is when you are too focused on your future relationship rather than focusing on where you relationship is at currently. 

I wrote more about this in more detail in another blog post that I’ll link at the bottom of this post. 

The post’s major point is that when you are more concerned about what your future will look like you tend to forget to appreciate things in the moment. 

If you can’t appreciate the things you currently have it makes it harder for you to appreciate the things that will come to you in the future. 

What to do Instead

I’ll be completely transparent with you, closing the distance is hard, especially if that means one of y’all are moving to a new country. 

Something that makes it easier is truly appreciating what you have with each other before y’all close the distance. 

That means learning to find the joys of being in a long distance relationship. Yes, I know they are lonely, and you miss your partner dearly, so look at your current world around you. Find the things you appreciate here and now in this moment. 

Start a gratitude journal with your partner and share things you are thankful for in your current relationship. 

The rest will come later once you close the distance. The only way to get there though is appreciating where you’re at now. 

To read more about Why Destination Happiness Kills Your LDR and What You Can Do About it then check out this post here. 

We’ve All Made These Mistakes in Our LDRs 

Did any of these mistakes resonate with you and your partner? If so, that’s okay. Don’t be hard on yourself, none of us are perfect. 

All we can do is understand and try to learn from our mistakes. If you stop trying to learn and grow in your relationship then the love in your relationship will also stop growing. 

What’s important is you and your partner and taking the steps to make your current relationship better than it was yesterday. 

Enjoyed This Post? Then You Definitely Don’t Want to Miss These LDR Posts

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