7 Benefits Of Couples Counseling For Long-Distance Relationships

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant, LMHC
Updated April 5, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Technology has made it somewhat easier to be in a long-distance relationship, thanks to the frequent communication that texting and video chatting make possible, for example. However, being apart from your significant other is still not easy. All relationships have their challenges, and long-distance relationships tend to come with additional, unique difficulties. Seeking couples counseling when you’re in a long-distance relationship can help you strengthen your connection and work through any conflict with the help of a trained, empathetic therapist. Let’s take a look at seven specific benefits that couples counseling can offer those who are in a relationship at a distance.

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Missing your long distance partner?

"Many couples find themselves in long-distance relationships. During the pandemic especially, living even a few miles apart can seem like an impossible distance. Finding ways to connect in your long-distance relationship—possibly through therapy—and becoming more emotionally intimate are two of the keys to success". –Aaron Horn, LMFT

1. Improve communication

Communication is typically an important part of any type of relationship. It can help build intimacy and prevent conflict—or allow the pair to process it when it does arise. Healthy communication may be challenging for couples who live in the same place, so being apart most of the time can add another layer of difficulty. Finding the time to keep each other in the loop about your daily lives and feel connected can be tough when you live in a different place than your partner. Bringing up difficult topics or handling conflict can be extra tense when it’s done via text, phone, or video chat, too. In order to maintain a strong, long-distance relationship, strong communication is typically key.

Whether you’re currently facing communication issues or want to prevent them in the future, a couples counselor may be able to help. Their job isn’t to take sides in a conflict or pick a “winner”; instead, they can help facilitate communication where it’s not happening or improve it where it may be lacking. If you’re having trouble with specific aspects of communication, such as listening, boundary-setting, honesty, or conflict resolution, they can also help you address and work on these areas. 

2. Navigate past trauma

It’s not uncommon for our past to affect our present. In relationships in particular, old wounds can resurface and act as obstacles to intimacy, communication, or virtually any other aspect of the connection. Having experienced some form of past trauma doesn’t mean you can’t have a healthy relationship, long-distance or otherwise. However, being aware of it and how it affects you now is often important, as it allows you to recognize it when you’re acting out of past fear or hurt rather than responding to a current situation as it truly is. A therapist can help you develop this type of awareness and learn healthier ways to respond when triggered. Individual therapy is a common place to work through past trauma, but it can also be done or at least begun in couples counseling as well if it’s impacting the relationship.   

3. Get impartial guidance

Remember, the job of a therapist isn’t to judge. They’re trained to be impartial and nonjudgmental. Rather than choosing who is ‘right’ in an argument or taking sides, their aim is to construct a safe space where both parties can express themselves openly. Then, they can use their training to unearth any underlying conflicts or feelings that aren’t being communicated. They can guide the couple in developing crucial skills for navigating relationship challenges and help them get to a place where they can understand where the other is coming from.

A couples counselor can’t give you all the answers, but they can facilitate and support healthy conversations so you can figure things out together with your partner.

4. Work through an infidelity

It’s estimated that around 40% of couples in monogamous romantic relationships will experience an affair at some point. Infidelities happen, and long-distance couples are not immune. While some choose to end their relationship after an infidelity, many decide to work through it. If you and your partner have experienced this situation and are interested in getting guidance on rebuilding trust between you, couples therapy may help. Your counselor can help you uncover any underlying reasons for the affair and work on improving communication and intimacy for the future. They can help ensure that both parties are heard and give you the tools and perspective to decide whether you can and want to work through it.

5. Strengthen your family

Children can represent an additional element to consider when it comes to long-distance relationships. First, conflict between you and your partner could affect them. In addition, there may be topics related to raising your children that you and your partner have trouble connecting or agreeing on when apart. Choosing a couples therapist who also has experience with these types of situations can be beneficial. They may be able to offer an objective perspective and equip you and your significant other with the skills you may need to continue raising your family together even though the two of you are apart.

Missing your long distance partner?

6. Increase emotional intimacy

One research survey found that participating couples were more likely to break up due to issues with emotional intimacy than they were due to issues with sexual intimacy. Cultivating true emotional intimacy can be a challenge in any type of relationship—especially in a romantic partnership that occurs primarily at a distance. In couples therapy, you and your partner can learn how to be more vulnerable with each other in order to increase your level of mutual intimacy and strengthen your bond. If either of you faces emotional obstacles that make being truly vulnerable and intimate difficult, a therapist can help you address these as well.

7. Manage jealousy

Again, jealousy can affect any romantic relationship, but it may be especially prevalent in long-distance relationships. It’s not uncommon to fear that your partner will find someone else who lives near them while you’re apart, an insecurity that can manifest as jealousy. While jealousy is a natural human emotion, high, persistent levels of it over time can be damaging to a relationship. If this is an issue you’re facing in your long-distance relationship, a couples counselor can help you identify the root of it and help you and your significant other develop strategies for managing it together. 

Seeking counseling for a long-distance relationship

Attending in-person couples counseling when you’re in a long-distance relationship can be difficult or even impossible depending on how far apart you live and how often you see each other. If traditional in-office relationship counseling is impractical for you and your partner, you might consider online counseling. The two of you can both join a virtual session from anywhere you have a stable internet connection, allowing you to meet with a qualified provider even if none of you are in the same physical location. Research suggests that this format can be beneficial to participants, and couples who have undergone online couples therapy also report feeling safer and less judged when engaging with a couples therapist virtually. 

If you’re interested in exploring online therapy, you might consider a virtual couples therapy platform like Regain. You can get matched with a licensed couples therapist who you and your partner can meet with via phone, video call, and/or in-app messaging to address the challenges you may be facing in your long-distance relationship. 


Being in a long-distance relationship with your partner may come with unique challenges. Seeking virtual couples therapy together can be a convenient way to address any concerns and strengthen your relationship with the help of a qualified mental health professional.

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