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Long-Distance Relationship

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Maybe "sudo *hug*"?

"I'm tired of being in love and being all alone
When you're so far away from me
I'm tired of making out on the telephone
'Cause you're so far away from me"
Dire Straits, "So Far Away"

Perhaps Alice and Bob started out dating while they lived close together and one had to move away (at least far enough away where they can't see each other in person on a regular basis); perhaps they began the relationship through the mail (or, in more modern stories, over the Internet) and never met in real life at all (but may be planning to at some point).

Due to Rule of Drama, a story that has a long-distance relationship often deals with its pitfalls, the #1 being that Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder. If they've promised to reunite but one party takes his / her (generally his) time, it may result in I Will Wait for You; if outside pressures force the waiting party to be with someone else, this then becomes You Have Waited Long Enough. For when someone pretends they have a long-distance relationship as a transparent cover-up for actually being single, that's Girlfriend in Canada. If the person has met their love-to-be online, and never met yet in person, there's a small risk that they are being romance-scammed by a catfisher.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Asteroid in Love: While eventually, it's just With a Foot on the Bus, in Episode 8/Chapter 27 Ao revealed her family's plan to move out of town. To some of the cast (especially Moe), this trope is barely prevented for Ao and Mira; the "emergency meeting" the Earth Sciences Club had over it is more like brainstorming for ideas on how to maintain a long-distance relationship, to the point Moe suggested taking turns to be each other's "weekend commuter wife".note 
  • Koyuki and Maho in BECK, but only in the manga.
  • This is how Annie Brighton and Archie Cornwall's relationship begins in Candy Candy, with them mostly communicating through letters and occasional reunions. Subverted later when they start attending the same Boarding School and begin officially dating.
  • Case Closed:
    • A variant. Ran thinks that Shinichi has run off to investigate some kind of case, but in truth he's Conan, aged down thanks to plot.
    • Sonoko and her boyfriend Makoto, who's a world-ranked karate practitioner and is always travelling.
  • In The Circumstances Leading to Waltraute's Marriage, the Valkyrie Waltraute marries the human Jack Elvan, but humans can't survive in Asgard due to the thin atmosphere and Waltraute has too many responsibilities to stay in Midgard for long. She visits Jack's house regularly for dates.
  • The Conditions For Paradise is a Girls' Love manga that centers around the challenges of maintaining a long-distance romance.
  • Domestic Girlfriend: At roughly their one-year anniversary, Natsuo's girlfriend receives a training opportunity in America. It will take a full year. Natsuo isn't happy about it but is insistent that she look at it objectively and do what she thinks is best. She does decide to leave after all, and they Skype as much as possible despite the time difference. Their relationship is complicated a bit because Natsuo has several girls who consider taking advantage of his girlfriend's absence to seduce him, and his girlfriend has a sex-crazed roommate who keeps trying to convince her to go on dates.
  • In GunBuster, Kazumi's relationship with Coach Ohta is not only long-distance, but it also very quickly becomes a Mayfly–December Romance because relativistic effects means that Kazumi will outlive Ohta (and most of human civilization, as a matter of fact) by a long shot.
  • This is respectively defied and downplayed with two different couples in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War:
    • The reason Tsubame gives for turning down Ishigami after the Christmas party is because she's graduating and going away to college in three months. She doesn't feel that such a relationship would work out in the long run. It's worth pointing out that she is lying about this and just using it as a cover for her Commitment Issues (since the college is less than half an hour away by train and she already told Kaguya in an earlier chapter that such an excuse would just sound like a roundabout way of telling him that she doesn't like him romantically).
    • In the tail end of the series, Shirogane graduates early and begins attending Stanford University. While one would think that this would be an issue for his relationship with Kaguya, the fact that video chatting apps are so ubiquitous in the modern day makes this a non-issue (and Kaguya is also rich enough that taking a private jet to see him every weekend is an inconvenience at worst). Both of them are also fully aware that this is a temporary arrangement and that she'd be joining him in a few months once she graduates.
  • In Kodocha, Sana goes on an extended film project out in the woods and is plagued by rumors and angry fangirls of her colleague Naozumi, who hate her for apparently dating him. Later, the prospect of her love interest Hayama going overseas to recuperate from serious injury is enough to send her into a Heroic BSoD, though eventually she comes to terms with it and they are reunited in the Distant Finale.
  • Subaru and Teana fell into this after Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS when their personal goals stationed them in different posts. But as Teana told Subaru in an annoyed tone when they reunited in StrikerS Sound Stage X, the latter kept on bombarding her with so many e-mails that she didn't even notice the distance.
  • Maken-ki!: Haruko spends the final chapter weeping in her dorm room because Takeru had to transfer to a different school after permanently losing his powers. Himegami tries to cheer her up by reminding her that Takeru is still allowed to visit them and says she'll get to see her new boyfriend again soon enough.
  • The anime version of Marmalade Boy had this for a while, when Yuu takes a scholarship and goes to study in America leaving his girlfriend Miki behind in Japan. It didn't work very well though: they did their best to try maintaining their bond, but Miki is emotionally exhausted due to being pursued by other two guys and, after a rather tasteless prank from an American Clingy Jealous Girl who's after Yuu, they break it off for a while and it takes them quite the time to mildly rekindle their bonds.
  • Planetes often deals with this, given that most of its characters are astronauts working in orbit. Some relationships even get more long-distance than most when Hachimaki and Goro depart for Jupiter.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • During the Sailor Stars arc, Mamoru went to America to study, leaving Usagi behind for a large part of the series. (And then it turns out that Mamoru actually was killed by having his Star Seed stolen at the airport, and Usagi witnessed it, but she was so traumatized that she repressed this memory. In the anime it's slightly changed; Mamoru gets killed off a little after his plane took off, and since Usagi didn't see it, she truly believed Mamoru wasn't able to contact her until Galaxia shows her Mamoru's Heart Star Seed and tells her how she killed him..)
    • A lesser example is Motoki and Reika. Reika agonizes over accepting a two-year trip to Africa because it will take her away from Motoki. He promises to wait and, after the usual monster attack, she goes. In a later season she returns, only to turn right around and go back to Africa again—this time for ten years.
  • Kou and Tina from Tonari no Kashiwagi-san started off their romance this way when Kou moved back to Japan (they would visit each other during summer and winter break). Part of the reason that Tina became an exchange student was so they could be closer together (the other being that she's an Occidental Otaku).
  • Used in A Town Where You Live and ended badly, when the female lead Yuzuki decided to cut off all contact with the male lead Haruto and date her dying childhood friend as a pity date. Since this is a Seo Kouji series, it never crossed her mind to explain this in any way shape or form to the male lead. They try it again later when Haruto gets a job that requires him to move. He is initially encouraged when he finds out his senior at work has maintained a successful long-distance relationship with her boyfriend for five years. Until she shows up at his apartment distraught and begging to sleep with him since she just broke up with her boyfriend. The distance was more emotional in her case. As much as she and her boyfriend loved each other, their dreams for the future were just incompatible. Her boyfriend wanted her to quit her job and move in with him so they could raise a family, and she wanted to stay at her job. They avoided confronting the issue for years, but it finally came to a head... to which they once again break up.
  • Voices of a Distant Star, 5 Centimeters per Second and Your Name. Makoto Shinkai loves this trope.

  • Kitty Pryde has Long-Distance Relationship with Star-Lord after The Trial of Jean Grey arc.
  • Samantha Argus and Dave Hamper of the newspaper comic Safe Havens have a long-distance marriage. This is a source of angst for Samantha, as she knows Dave wants to make Italy (where he plays professional basketball) his permanent home and she wants to stay in Havens. Eventually, the situation resolves itself when Samantha reveals to Dave that they'll be going on a mission to Mars together. In preparation for that, he retires from basketball and moves back to Havens. Then again, by the time they married, they've become pros at this sort of relationship: in the course of their relationship, they've been separated by Dave being transferred to another school (her school's rival, no less), their respectively demanding college schedules (Dave's as a basketball player, Samantha's as an R.A. and a doctorate candidate), and Dave had already been playing in Italy a few years before they tied the knot.
    • The constantly airborne Thomas and the mermaid Remora tried to have one of these. And then Thomas got pregnant with Marlon, making them needing to live together a necessity. Yes, you read that right. Ironically enough, years later they'd find their positions reversed: after the Mars mission Remora becomes a professor at Havens University while Thomas becomes the landfolk's ambassador to the ocean.

    Fan Works 
  • In AaronCottrell97's Thomas & Friends stories, both Luke and Percy are in long-distance relationships with Millie and Gina, respectively. Luke and Millie see each other more often than Percy and Gina do, however.
  • In Continuance, Souji Setanote  and Yukiko Amagi have been in one since Souji went back home at the end of Persona 4, and continue doing so after they are accepted to separate schools. Souji discusses this trope and mentions some of the difficulties involved in a conversation with Katsuhiro and Ryoko, Yukiko's parents.
    Ryoko: You will be living separately for several years soon. Can you keep her happy in such a situation? Perhaps someone going to the same university would be more appropriate. Someone reliable and with a vested interest in her happiness.
    Souji: So would an arranged marriage, if you're concerned about promises and commitment. Were you planning on arranging a marriage for her? If that's the case, you've waited a very long time to do so. And she hardly seems the sort to accept that at this point, if you take my meaning. As to the long-distance relationship, we've done it before, and I won't let things get between us.
    Katsuhiro: Those are easy words to say, Seta.
    Souji: No, Amagi-san, they're not. Because they mean that I won't be able to see her or be around her without a train ride to Kyoto, nor hear her in person except on holidays and after exams. There's nothing easy about what we're doing, nothing fun about it. And that's exactly why I will do everything I can to make sure that we don't grow apart just because we aren't living together.
  • In Katawa Shoujo: Rumbling Hearts, Hisao and Lilly have an on-and-off-again long-distance relationship. Hisao went abroad to America to continue his medical education, but the two keep in touch. At the start of the fic, Hisao decides to move back to Japan after nearly a decade.
  • Married to the Koopa King implies that Pauline and Mario are in a long-distance relationship. Pauline lives in New York City while Mario lives in the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • My Little Pumpkin deals with Ash's Disappeared Dad. Sometime before Ash was six, he left on a Pokémon journey. Victor keeps in touch with his family but Delia is still troubled by his absence. She won't divorce him though. They're still in love but they're getting close to Dead Sparks.
  • In the New Beginnings story "Welcome to the Jungle", Page is in one with Luna.
  • In One Year, much like Continuance, Yu and Yukiko are in a long-distance relationship for most of the fic, except for when Yu visits Inaba for Golden Week and summer vacation, while Yukiko, accompanied by Chie, visits Yu, his old friends and his parents in Minagi for Christmas and winter break. Yu and Yukiko's ultimate goal is to get into their first-choice school together, and ultimately succeed in this endeavor.
  • In Opalescent, Opal tells Otto that she has been picked by the Big Office to go on a crucial mission and needs to leave on a trip. They both agree to try a long-distance relationship, and although Opal being picked for a mission and needing to leave was a lie she made up to get Otto to accept his promotion to the Management department without worrying about their relationship, them trying out a long-distance relationship is definitely true.
  • A few of the couples in Skyhold Academy Yearbook have this. Most notably, Hawke and Fenris have a long-distance marriage, owing to the demands of their careers. They're still Happily Married, though.
  • In soft supports and the punks that need them, Chloe and Max wound up in a relationship right before Max's family moved to Seattle, keeping in contact over the years and seeing each other in small intervals.
  • Son of the Sannin: Shikamaru and Shino are respectively dating Temari and Fu, both of whom live in different ninja villages (there's mention of Choji being Pen Pals with his canon Love Interest Karui, but it takes them a lot longer to have a Relationship Upgrade). After Akatsuki's temporary take over of Takigakure, Fu ends up moving into Shino's family compound for the time being as her village's leader felt that she'd be safer in Konoha until the threat can be dealt with.
  • True Potential:
    • Shikamaru has one with Kurotsuchi. At one point, he expresses a little jealousy over Naruto and Hinata being able to see each other every day.
    • Dosu also enters one with Misora after the Kiri Civil War. He is noticeably miffed about not being selected for the Kumo Invasion, thus missing the chance to meet her.
  • Two Letters: After Nino's family moved away, he and Alya attempted to maintain one of these. Sadly, it fell apart... largely because the whole reason they moved in the first place was because they feared associating with Alya after she was Convicted by Public Opinion would result in Nino suffering as well.
  • Cross-Clan relationships are this in Warriors Rewrite. They're only allowed to see one another at monthly Gatherings and it's not even guaranteed that both cats will go to a Gathering. Still, they make do and oftentimes end up having kits nevertheless; once they're older, the kits choose which Clan they want to be with.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • The movie Going the Distance is set around a couple trying to have a long-distance relationship.
  • The film The Lake House has an interesting variant: the distance isn't in space so much as in time.
  • Like Crazy: Jacob and Anna first meet in the US while she's attending university there. However, when she's deported for overstaying her student visa, they struggle to maintain things while she's in the UK.
  • Jason and Kelly by the end of Mystery Team.
  • The Space Between Us is a boy-meets-girl story where the boy in question was born in a colony on Mars; it doesn't get much more long-distance than that.

  • In The 39 Clues, Amy Cahill and Evan Tolliver's long-distance relationship (carried on mostly via phone) starts after Amy takes off on a series of missions around the world.
  • In L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series, Anne and Gilbert carry on one for roughly three years, while he attends medical school and she teaches high school. Anne of Windy Poplars is composed entirely of Anne's letters to Gilbert while they are separated.
    • In Rilla of Ingleside, many of Anne and Gilbert's children carry on long-distance relationships during World War I. The one emphasized, obviously, is Rilla's sort-of, unofficial (she's confused) long-distance relationship with her childhood friend/crush Ken Ford.
  • Dogs Don't Talk: Just as Ben is starting a relationship with Military Brat Emily, her family is moved. The two attempt a long-distance relationship for a few months, but in the end Emily breaks it off, saying they need to move on without each other.
  • The Evolution of Emily: Sam's boyfriend Nate graduated last year and is now attending Dartmouth. His quiet pensivity, which was attractive in person, makes having a Skype relationship with him difficult. Sam plans to break up with him during Thanksgiving break.
  • This is one of the main plot points in The Ghost Writer. Gerard Freeman and Alice Jessell not only interacted with each other via letters but they also never even meet each other until the story's climax.
  • From the Honorverse, Eloise Pritchart and Javier Giscard, in the wake of the Theisman coup that restores the old Republic; she is stuck in Nouveau Paris being the President, while he's commanding naval forces to subdue rogue State Sec elements. It doesn't put much of a strain on their relationship, but the desperation with which they miss each other definitely takes a toll on them personally.
  • The Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note series: For Aya and Sunahara, that's already an improvement, as the last time Sunahara appears in The Egg Hamburg Steak Knows the entire set up looks more like a case of Star-Crossed Lovers. The Valentine Knows ends with the relation between Aya and Sunahara improved to this. It is more than clear that Aya and Sunahara love each other, and they have mutually confessed in this arc. However, Sunahara's brush with the Japanese Delinquents seriously bruised his reputation in town, so he declared But Now I Must Go. Although he promised to meet each other. Sunahara pretty much Commutes On A Bus, but he does come back once every few novels.
    Sunahara: Tachibaba... We can see each other, right?
    Aya: We can, right?
    Sunahara: (Looks at Aya's Chocolate of Romance) Yeah, I promise.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 90 Day Fiancé: The couples featured are comprised of an American and their partner from abroad, meaning much, if not all of their relationship has been across international lines. Several couples have to get used to being together physically.
  • CSI, post-season 9. Grissom and Sara are married, but Sara is working at the lab in Vegas, while Grissom travels and researches and lectures.
  • Done to all the married couples on Defying Gravity, what with half of each pairing being in space for six years.
  • Friends: Chandler and Monica in Season 9, when Chandler is transferred to Tulsa. Being Happily Married and hating his job Chandler eventually quits so they can spend Christmas together.
  • Early in Harry & Meghan, the couple dates long distance as she lives in Toronto while filming Suits while he lives in London.
  • Ted in How I Met Your Mother with Victoria, his first serious girlfriend in the series when she moves to Germany for a baking scholarship. Future!Ted tells us right from the start that long-distance relationships never work. Including theirs.
  • The Middle: Axl Heck and Lexie Brooks have to at first do this when he goes to Europe and she goes to the Caribbean each for the summer and since each one’s hometown is miles away from each other, it’s sort of already one, especially when Axl is stuck in Orson while Lexie travels often. In the Grand Finale, it’s official as Axl moves to Colorado for a new job while Lexie stays in Indiana with one more year of college coming up, but plans to come see him that summer. It works out though as the Flash Forward reveals they’re Happily Married in the future with at least three kids.
  • Ziva had one of these on NCIS - cue "sympathy" from jealous Tony, as well as comments from an ex-hooker suggesting that Ziva look closer to home. Now, who could she mean?
  • This trope is petty much the entire point of the show Ny-Lon, which is about a relationship between a girl in New York and a guy in London... which, naturally, leads to a break-up or major fight about how hard long-distance relationships are just about every other episode so that one character can dramatically fly across the ocean to re-proclaim their love. Of course, in the end they break up anyway.
  • Happens several times on Parks and Recreation:
    • Ben takes a temporary job in D.C., leaving Leslie behind in Pawnee. In addition, he takes April with him as his intern, so she spends several months apart from her husband Andy. Leslie and Andy send the pair a care package: Leslie sends Ben twenty boxes, and Andy sends April his laundry.
    • Andy takes a job in London for several months while April remains in Pawnee. They know it will be ok because they already did the long-distance relationship before.
  • Schitt's Creek: Stevie falls for travel blogger Emir who doesn't live in the town and travels for his job, and David refers to him as her cell phone boyfriend since they are always texting.
  • Kathleen and Jeff on the The Secret Life of the American Teenager whenever Jeff goes on one of his frequent and extended medical missions to Kenya.
  • Stargate Universe takes this to another level, with multiple characters having left significant others on the other side of the universe. The communication stones make things easier. Camille Wray looks likely to stick with her partner, Sharon. Colonel Young's marriage, on the other hand, is less solid.
  • This comes up from time to time in the Star Trek multiverse. Lampshaded by Trip Tucker when he receives a "Dear John" Letter; 100 light-years is as long-distance as it's ever been for humans of that era.
  • Stranger Things:
    • In the third season finale, the Byers family takes Eleven in in after Hopper is presumed killed at Starcourt Mall, and the opening of the mall forces them to move.
      • Mike and Eleven plan to do this. However, given Mike and Eleven didn't let a Government Conspiracy hunting her, Hopper having to hide her for nearly a year, the machinations of the Soviet Union, or an Eldritch Abomination with a grudge keep them apart, they probably view this as a minor problem. Indeed, Mike has already got permission to come visit them on Thanksgiving, and another visit around Christmas. Season 4 shows they continuously wrote to each other through the school year, but she was lying about how happy she was while he was not as affectionate or open with her in writing as she wanted, resulting in a blowup during their reunion.
      • Nancy and Jonathan's relationship is strained by the distance, with both disappointed in the other for not being together during spring break. In addition, Jonathan doesn't want to go to college with her but hasn't yet told her that
    • Dustin lives in Hawkins, IN while his summer camp girlfriend Suzie lives in Salt Lake City, UT. They communicate mostly over the phone.
  • The X-Files: Mulder and Scully carry on a rather clumsily-written version of this trope in the show's final season.
  • Zoey 101: Chase and Zoey attempt this via webcam after she overhears Chase tell his roommates he's in love with her and they switch places in an attempt to be together, but after their video date fails, the come to the conclusion that it won't work and resolve to try it for real when they're together again.

  • On the Bruce Hornsby and the Range album The Way It Is, the narrator in "Every Little Kiss" is in one.
  • Franco De Vita: The theme of "Golpeando en el mismo lugar" (Punching In The Same Spot) and "Te recordaré" (I'll Remember You), portrayed in opposite ways. Both songs tell about two lovers who must part ways, but the former is a defeatist take where Franco clearly laments the parting, and is bound to suffer over the lack of close interaction with his partner; in the latter, while he's still sad over the parting, he's far more optimistic in that the two will reunite someday, and in the meantime he'll always cherish the moments they've spent together and think of her in every opportunity.
  • Long-distance relationships are the subjects of two Franz Ferdinand songs ("Come on Home" and "Eleanor Put Your Boots On").
  • The Belle and Sebastian song "Piazza, New York Catcher", chronicling a couple who meet in hotel rooms and at baseball matches.
  • "So Far Away" by Dire Straits.
  • Bob Dylan's "Boots of Spanish Leather."
  • Mentioned in Deana Carter's "Strawberry Wine," when the boyfriend had to go back to college at the end of summer. It didn't work out, but she still remembers him fondly, going every year to the spot where she lost her virginity to him.
  • The deadmau5 and Imogen Heap collab song "Telecommunications" is about a troubled long-distance relationship.
  • Memphis May Fire's song "Miles Away" is about a man missing his wife while away.
  • "You're Not Alone" By Olive, although it's unclear if it's a romantic relationship or not.
  • "I Miss You" by Incubus describes the speaker missing his long-distance partner:
    I see your picture, I smell your skin on the empty pillow next to mine
    You have only been gone ten days, but already I am wasting away
    I know I'll see you again whether far or soon
    But I need you to know that I care, and I miss you

  • Come from Away: Nick(from England) and Diane(from Texas) meet and fall in love while in Gander, Newfoundland. After they return to their respective homes, they try to maintain the relationship. Ten years later, when the Come From Aways hold a reunion in Gander:
    Diane: Nick and I just couldn't make the long distance relationship work...
    Nick: I moved to Texas, and then I proposed.
    Diane: And we honeymooned in Newfoundland.

    Video Games 
  • In some romantic endings from Fire Emblem, one half of a support-built couple goes back to his/her land of origin, but the other one visits them once in a while, and after some time they get officially together. Some of them are:
    • Blazing Blade: Sain/Fiora, Kent/either Fiora or Farina, Erk/Serra, and maybe Lyn/Florina if you ship them.
    • Sacred Stones: Ephraim/either Tana or L'Arachel, Eirika/either Saleh or Innes, Forde/Vanessa, Innes/L'Arachel, and Kyle/Syrene.
  • It's never explicitly stated, but it's implied that Walter and Lyn's relationship is this in Front Mission 5. Likewise for Darril and Elsa, the protagonists of Front Mission 4, who got married in between 4 and 5.
  • In The King of Fighters, the few leads we have of Yuki and Kyo's relationship after the Orochi saga implies that they went from Highschool Sweethearts to this. In the Maximum Impact series Kyo is seen calling her from several phone stalls in South Town, and in XIII the pre-fight dialogue between NESTS!Kyo and Athena implies that Yuki asked Athena to tell Kyo that she and others support him no matter what.
  • In Left on Read, the protagonist, who was separated from his crush during the COVID-19 Pandemic, tries asking her out through text, hoping to establish an LDR with her during quarantine.
  • In Mass Effect 3, a male Shepard can wind up with this trope if they romanced Miranda or Jack in the previous game and don't choose to hook up with someone different, due to neither of them choosing to rejoin the Normandy.
  • In Persona 4 and Persona 5, any relationship your character has will become this after the events of the game, since your character ends up having to go home- it helps that in the latter case, Makoto and Haru are also graduating high school. That said, the characters' respective girlfriends aren't fazed by this, particularly because in the latter case, the character had been incarcerated in juvenile hall for almost two months, giving them some idea of what it's like to be apart.
  • HK-47 in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords states: "Definition: 'Love' is making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometers away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope... Love is knowing your target, putting them in your targeting reticule, and together, achieving a singular purpose against statistically long odds."

    Visual Novels 
  • C14 Dating:
    • If played properly, the game will have Melissa start a romantic relationship during an eight-week trip abroad. As she returns to her home country at the end of the game, any relationship she does manage to start becomes this by design.
    • Shoji's parents were in one for some time, before the Internet era. This is a factor in him trusting that he and Melissa can make their relationship work in his romantic route.
    • This is what kept Melissa's relationship with her high school boyfriend to last longer than it did. In the romantic route in which this comes up, she hopes that she will manage the budding relationship better.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, this is subverted in Lilly's route. When she reveals that her parents are ordering her to return home to Scotland, she suggests that she and Hisao could try a long-distance relationship, but Hisao knows that this would more or less be a death sentence for their relationship. In the good ending, Lilly changes her mind and stays in Japan with Hisao.
  • On Isabella’s romantic path in Melody, the protagonist can choose this arrangement when Isabella confesses that she can’t stop thinking about their one-night stand. At the beginning, this is justified, as Isabella’s job as a flight attendant means that she can occasionally spend the night with him despite the distance. However, within a few weeks, Isabella starts training to fly internationally, meaning that she and the protagonist will have to stay apart for a long time. Staying with her notwithstanding is the only way to end up with Isabella at the end of the story.
  • The Tokimeki Memorial series has a couple of examples of this, most notably with Kaedeko Sakura in Tokimeki Memorial 2 and Chiharu Aoki in Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 1. Due to the series' alignment to the far end of the idealism's side of the Sliding Scale and its extremely strong Power of Love theme, they always work out in the end.

  • In Bittersweet Candy Bowl, the main character Mike is dating a girl named Sandy, who moved away when they were younger. Ironically, one of the biggest issues that arises from this is Mike's outrage upon learning how many of his friends think he should give up on her and start dating someone closer to home.
  • Check, Please!: During Year 3, Bitty and Jack are dating, but while Bitty still lives in the Haus, Jack moves to Boston. This is less of a problem compared to others, since they're only a few hours away at most when Jack isn't on the road to play. The real burden in their relationship ends up being the secrecy rather than the distance.
  • Late into Cross Heart Kotomi has to move away. Her girlfriend proposes to her and they pretend to get married. The next chapter takes place after a three-year timeskip and the now 21-year-old Haru is dealing pretty poorly with it. She's considerably more somber and depressed than before. On her birthday she is reunited with Kotomi and not too long later they achieve their high school dream of living together.
  • Subverted and parodied in Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal "Long Distance", where it's really that they live together but emotional distance creates the same problems.

    Web Original 
  • In Keit-Ai, the boy has a long-distance relationship by cellphone with his crush because she's not actually the same girl he fell in love with; she is instead the girl's Alternate Universe counterpart, who has fallen in love with the boy's own AU self.

    Western Animation 
  • One episode of American Dad!, "The Longest Distance Relationship" is entirely about this. Naturally, it's exaggerated to the most illogical extreme: Hayley finds Jeff Fisher after a whole year. The kicker? He's contacting her from space.
  • Gravity Falls; in the Season 2 episode "Soos and the Real Girl", Soos meets a woman named Melody who shares many of the same quirks he does, and the two hit it off. However, she's only visiting for a few days before going back to Portland, so they agree to continue the relationship via Skype. Soos is okay with this, saying he's better at talking to women through video screens anyway, and they're still together as of "Love God". In the final episode, she moves back to help him run the Mystery Shack, a tourist trap he now owns.
  • Aja from Jem lives in California while her boyfriend is off working in Britain.
  • Kaeloo:
    • Stumpy and his girlfriend Ursula, who he met online on a dating site.
    • As of the fifth season, Quack-Quack and Eugly wind up in one due to Eugly being Put on a Bus.
  • Kim Possible:
    • A non-romantic example occurs in A Sitch in Time when Ron's family moves to Norway (courtesy of Future Shego). Despite Kim saying they can still make Team Possible work, two times, Ron shows up late to the mission, and when they're finally together, they're out of sync, so they regrettably agree that Kim should go solo. Fortunately, Ron accidentally hits the Reset Button and causes everything to go back to normal.
    • At the end of the fourth (and final) season, Ron was worried about a straighter example of this happening (as at this point, he and Kim have become an Official Couple). Realizing that he and Kim will probably end up going to different colleges, he's worried about what will happen to their relationship after they graduate from high school. Whatever happens, Word of God says they stay together forever.
  • The Loud House: This is what Lincoln Loud and his oldest sister Lori end up doing with Ronnie Anne and Bobby, respectively, after they and their mom end up moving in with their mom's extended family in "The Loudest Mission: Relative Chaos."
  • South Park: Kenny manages to have one with Kelly in "Rainforest Shmainforest" and "Spontaneous Combustion". Unfortunately, his girlfriend inexplicably disappears after Season 3.