When you first began a long-distance relationship, you may never imagine yourself spending hours upon hours calling one another.
But before long, you find yourself wanting to talk every day for hours on end. Eventually, you may start to wonder…should you talk every day in a long-distance relationship?
Every couple’s communication is different, so it’s unwise to assign a number for what counts as “excessive communication” in a long-distance relationship.
Some people message each other all day long but rarely call. Others call all the time but rarely text. Sometimes, people hop on a video call but don’t actually talk — they work on homework, watch movies, or do something else. How often you are available to talk also depends on what else is going on in your life.
In general, though, I am concerned when people in long-distance relationships tell me they call each other for three or more hours every single day.
Now, I know we’re in a pandemic, and many of us have a lot more free time than we used to. Still, I think it’s helpful to consider these five questions if you think you might be communicating excessively:
1. Are we spending less and less time with other people?
Unlike in-person relationships, long-distance relationships generally involve a lot of one-on-one interaction. It’s just not as easy to do group activities.
Because of this, it’s easy for a long-distance relationship to take over your life. If you find yourself spending considerably less time with your friends (or not making an effort to make new ones), you might be spending too much time calling.
2. Are we becoming too emotionally intertwined?
When you talk every day, you can pretty much process your entire lives together. This can accelerate your emotional connection very quickly.
Deciding how often it’s healthy for you to talk can be a wise emotional boundary. Distance often drags on much longer than you would prefer, so it’s a good idea to share the depths of your heart more gradually.
3. Are we creating unrealistic expectations for the future?
When we were long-distance dating, my husband and I established a semi-regular schedule of talking Tuesday and Friday nights for two to four hours. We were both busy, so carving out these times in our schedule worked well for us.
However, these long conversations led me to believe that Reed enjoys talking all the time — like I do. Once I moved and we got married, I realized that he’s not quite as talkative as I thought. We still love talking to each other, but I incorrectly expected that the communication patterns we had while we were long-distance would continue the same into marriage.
4. Are we evaluating our relationship solely based on our communication?
The more you talk, you may find yourself concluding, “Because we can talk to each other all the time, I know that our relationship is solid.“
Enjoying talking to one another is one sign that you have a sincere friendship — something that’s essential for marriage. However, it’s not an automatic indication of a healthy relationship.
Just because you can talk all the time doesn’t mean your dating relationship is healthy. If talking is giving you a false assurance about your relationship, consider how well you’re doing in other areas of your relationship.
5. What happens if we don’t talk every day?
If you’re concerned that you may be talking too much in your long-distance relationship, the easiest way to find out is by experimenting.
See what happens if you don’t talk every day. (Don’t just give your boyfriend the silent treatment, though — talk with him about it first). Do your conversations improve, or do they get worse? Why?
Experimenting with your communication frequency might reduce how often you run out of things to talk about. It can also reveal hidden fears and dependencies that have developed.
Like we discussed in question four, you don’t need to talk every day to prove your relationship is healthy. Communication is important, but it’s not enough to ensure a healthy dating relationship on its own.
Quality over quantity
If you talk very little, you’ll struggle to have quality conversations. However, in my experience, it’s also true that you reach a point of diminishing returns as quantity of conversation increases.
Eventually, too much talking can reduce the quality of your conversation — and potentially create an unhealthy emotional dependence.
These are simply my observations. Your answer to the question, “Should we talk every day in a long-distance relationship?” may be different, and that’s okay.
My hope, though, is that you would at least take time to consider the impact your communication frequency has on your long-distance relationship.