Dear Stavroula

Ask Stavroula: We Quarrel When We Are Not Together

February 12, 2022

Dear Stavroula,

I have been in a relationship for about a year. My boyfriend and I lived in the same city for about four months but then he was forced to leave for a job in Germany. Unfortunately, at this stage in my life I cannot follow him, but I intend to do so in the future. Of course, the relationship continues and we meet as often as possible. My problem is that when we are together we have a great time – we are very affectionate – but when we are apart from each other we quarrel and stay upset with each other for days. The reasons are not always important but the quarrels develop badly. I want to believe that misunderstandings are created because of distance and that when we live together the quarrels will not be so intense. I would like your opinion.



Dear Anastasia,

Whenever someone enters into a long-distance relationship, he has made the decision that he wants this relationship to continue. This is an essential first step because it shows that this relationship is important to both of you. Otherwise at least one of you would want to end it.

The second step is living apart and adjusting to the new life. At this stage there is, of course, the feeling that the other person is not part of one’s everyday life but there is still no awareness of the situation, and that comes gradually. Everyone tries to adapt to the new life and shares, as much as possible, their daily life with the other. There is frequent communication even about things that the couple would not discuss if they lived together.

But with the realization of the situation, things change. The other is not there when his partner needs him, the time difference that may exist makes things more difficult, and the demands of each other’s life, work, or study may occupy him to such an extent that communication with the other is limited.

At the same time, in this phase, each member of the couple can feel the need to build their social life, to meet new friends, to do things that please them beyond communication with each other.

Because of this, one can often feel intense jealousy, watching the other person’s social media, overwhelmed by insecurity every time the other person does something different from his usual routine, such as when starting a new activity with friends, or when he goes out with colleagues after work. Doubting whether continuing a relationship makes sense can be torturous for one or both. At this stage, there are usually intense conflicts between the couple.

Something similar may be happening in your relationship and this may be why the conflicts with your partner are more intense.

However, this is the right time for everyone to evaluate what the relationship has to offer and decide whether or not to trust their partner and move on. When the realization that the other person is important and that the desire to continue the relationship despite the difficulties is strong, then the relationship and communication goes to another level.

So talk to your partner about what causes conflicts when you are apart. It can be the insecurity that one or both of your feel, or it can be the limited in-person communication. Let us not forget that communicating with messages can create many misinterpretations and misunderstandings. Do not cut off communication with each other when you are angry or when there is a problem. Solve the issues that concern you immediately and in a spirit of conciliation. Honest communication, honest expression of emotions helps a lot.

Find ways to meet as often as possible and try to communicate while you are apart -when you both have the time and are in the mood to offer quality time to each other. Share moments of joy and pleasure, but do not require your partner to be available whenever you want. It is best to set a specific time to communicate.

So, maybe problems and conflicts will be reduced. The condition, of course, is to have love, trust, and respect for each other. Because then, everyone can have a life on their own and with their partner at the same time. Then, there is the feeling that the relationship is going well and anything the other person does that helps him develop as a person or to have a better time is treated with joy by his partner.

Stavroula Tsoutsa is a Certified Holistic Professional Life Coach, ICF ACC, Certified Heartmath Coach/Mentor and Trainer, and Certified Points of You Practitioner.



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