Playlist: Long Distance Relationship

Long distance relationships are hard. The whole entire Atlantic Ocean keeps me in a long distance relationship, and that’s scary. The ocean is pretty darn big, and I’m just a small person with a heart too big to toss across the water. So I made a playlist that encompasses my feelings and will (hopefully) help me and you through the worst and best of our long distance relationships. It has two sides to help with two different parts of being separated from the person you love.

Side A is for crying in airports and crying on trains and crying on the second floor of a double decker Megabus when the seat next to you has never felt emptier. It is for very long goodbyes and learning to wake up alone from a fitful sleep. It is the “sad, meaningful emotions” side.

Things Side A sounds like:

  • the way the pillow still smells like her
  • how you don’t want to count the miles anymore because they’re in the four and five digits
  • calling her up when you see her favorite candy in the pharmacy or hear that song on the radio or find an old grocery list in her handwriting
  • the minute after you close out of the Skype window and you take a very deep breath and your chest physically hurts

Side B is for getting drunk on boxed wine and crying into your cat, then belting out the lyrics to the worst-best song about long distance you know. Side B is best sung into a hairbrush microphone in front of your bedroom mirror, or on stage with your best friends at Thursday karaoke, or into your webcam so your significant other can giggle hysterically while you attempt your best Celine Dion impression. It’s fun and silly because relationships can be fun and silly, even if sometimes they are sad and exhausting. Side B is the “dance like you don’t know how to dance” side.

long distance

Long Distance Relationship


Side A

Leaving on a Jet Plane – My Morning Jacket
Tomorrow – Daughter
The Fall (Live) – Rhye
Miss You – The Concretes
Hello, I’m In Delaware – City and Colour
Rivers and Roads – The Head and the Heart
Train Song – Feist and Ben Gibbard
Familiar – Nils Frahm
Wait – Alexi Murdoch
Ain’t No Sunshine – sistercrayon

Side B

500 Miles – The Proclaimers
A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton
Kiss Me Thru Tha Phone – Soulja Boy
Back Here – BBMak
Back For You – One Direction
When You’re Gone – Avril Lavigne
Keep On Loving You – REO Speedwagon
My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
Missing (Todd Terry Club Mix) – Everything But The Girl
Without You (Kill Paris Remix) – Lana Del Rey

Long Distance Relationship (Sides A & B) from Autostraddle on 8tracks Radio.

Want to suggest a playlist theme? Hit Crystal up on Formspring and someone of the team might make it for you.

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Full-time writer, part-time lover, freelancing in fancy cheese and cider.

Kate has written 130 articles for us.


  1. Where was this playlist when I was studying abroad and my girlfriend was back home?! But you know, I did listen to “Toothpaste Kisses” by the Maccabees an awful lot and thought of her.

    Sap. Sap. Sap.

  2. Oh God Autostraddle… How do you always know what I need?

    My six year relationship just began a long distance phase last month. Considering that the longest we had ever spent apart prior to this was four days, we were so unprepared. Ugh.

    Every day, I just keep wondering when it’s going to get easier… but then I remind myself that if she wasn’t worth it, it would be.

    T-minus 7 months and 27 days left…

    Also, how did you know I cry into my cat?

  3. Also, guh… Jolie Holland

    “I tried to go to sleep in my haunted little room. The shadows are churning in the passage of the moon. It’d break my heart to tell you that I couldn’t come so soon.
    Oh, it’s nothing but a Goddamn shame… is what it is. Nothing but a Goddamn shame.
    Tell me one more time why you went away, it makes a little sense in the light of day. When evening comes around, all my senses fly away.
    Oh, it’s nothing but a Goddamn shame… is what it is. Nothing but a Goddamn shame. ”

    “Amen there’s a ring around the moon, I’m gonna fly all night down to see you. I’m gonna fly all night down to see you. There’s a light inside my chest… that switched on when we first met… and it will not let me rest…”

  4. If anyone needs this in spotify to conveniently cry to- search for this in the spotify search option:

    missing a few songs, but it’s open to collaboration for anyone who feels the need to add.

    • thanks jean! this reminded me that i made a super long version of this in spotify before condensing it for the article

      i have no idea how y’all can access it but it’s under my name and it’s called “l o n g d i s t a n c e” maybe copy paste “l o n g d i s t a n c e” into search and see what happens

      i like unnecessary aesthetic spacing


      • If you right click the playlist you made there should be a option to copy the url or whatnot to share. I see website sharing their Spotify and Rdio playlist directly on page(i.e. you can listen to it right on that page).

  5. <3 jolie holland

    joni mitchell “this flight tonight” of course of course
    regina spektor “summer in the city”
    baths “you’re my excuse to travel”

    • Oh Joni. <3

      "But when he's gone, me and them lonesome blues collide… The bed's too big… The frying pan's too wide…"

  6. making this sort of playlist is what i’ve done with 90% of the time i’ve been away from my girlfriend in the past year. it really sucks, and then it’s okay, and then it’s good, and then suddenly i’m on stage at karaoke night singing “whenever, wherever” by shakira and crying tears of ambivalence, much to the horror of everyone in the bar. thanks for sharing this – it’s so great and just makes so much sense to me.

    putting this playlist on repeat forever and ever, amen!

  7. Spent several happy years in a long distance relationship – the thing that I kept reminding myself was that I was happier in a long distance relationship with them than without them (even while crying into my cat). It never really gets better. But then one magical day you remove the long-distance prefix AND EVERYTHING IS BETTER THAN YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE. Brushing your teeth together becomes a bonding experience. Seriously.

    Another bonus – earning the nickname “transatlantic shagger”. Just saying.

    • I’ll be removing the long distance prefix in 11 days time, after two and half years, and am totally looking forward to those little things.

  8. I just can’t even right now. I cried when I first saw the map. I will cry when I listen to it. I’m waiting until I’m in my own room so I don’t make my friends deeply uncomfortable.
    You are adorable and the absolute best.

    • you two are too cute.
      sidenote; im taking mini-me on the ferry to Ireland this weekend. its like £5. I shit you not. £5. standard.

  9. It’s almost my three year anniversary between me, my partner and, unfortunately, the Atlantic ocean. *group hug*

  10. A POST I CAN RELATE TO SO MUCH. Been with the GF for 4.5 years now..haven’t even spent half that time together. =,(

    But I get to see her soon! I’m going home to the Philippines tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    “Get Here” By Oleta Adams
    “The Distance” Oliver James

    • Vinz–
      Oh wow, you are? Have a safe flight then! :-)

      Let it be known that I can relate to this as well.
      Thanks for the list! :-D

        • I’ve been thinking about the last time you went home and I think it was just atleast 6 months ago, yeah? But hey it’s reaaalllly nice coming home to the ones we love so no matter how frequent the visit/vacation/coming home is, it’s the quality of time spent together. So go and in 10mins-ish it’ll be your boarding time. Safe travels, my friend! :-)

  11. Having a lot of Feelings with a capital F about this playlist. 177 days until I’m not in a transcontinental romance. 21 days until I see her next. 137 days of being impatient…so far.

  12. Oh this is easy.
    “Set the Fire The Third Bar”

    I find the map and draw a straight line
    Over rivers, farms, and state lines
    The distance from here to where you’d be
    It’s only finger-lengths that I see
    I touch the place where I’d find your face
    My finger in creases of distant dark places

  13. Just fyi, Landing by Emma Donoghue is a great book about a long-distance relationship between two women. In case anyone hasn’t read it yet.

  14. haven’t spent a full day with my lady in almost a year. fingers crossed that i’ll get to visit her for her birthday next month, but it’s all so uncertain. it’s awful knowing the woman i want to marry will be so far for so long. you keep telling yourself to think about what it’ll be like when the distance is over with, but sometimes you also just want to cry into a pint of frozen yogurt and memorize skype conversations until you pass out.

    but it’ll work out somehow. best wishes for you and aimee, y’all are the cutest. thanks for making this playlist, it was sorely needed.

  15. better start thinking about coming this side of the ocean then! here i’ll start that playlist for you: richard hawley- just like the rain ;)

  16. They do work out. Have been in a LDR and we are getting married in June. We hope to be together for a whole year after that then back to the LDR for one more year. In terms of “forever”, a few years apart and going back and forth is worth it. :)

  17. West Coast-Coconut Records.
    That’ll do it every time. That’s really all you need.

    Others to Consider:
    Transatlanticism-Death Cab
    Wait For Me-Motopony
    If Only-Fink
    Wait-Alexi Murdoch
    I Need You Now-Clem Snide
    An Apology-Future Islands

  18. Simon’s Dilemma by Why? is currently whats on repeat, propelling me through my 3 year long distance relationship with my beautiful girlfriend. Its murmured by my weak voice when I collapse in the parking lot of SDF airport and act like I’m okay enough to text her that she left her cigarettes on my kitchen table. I’m sure it will continue to blast through my house for the next 27 days until we won’t be separated by miles or even inches. One day school will fucking end…

  19. “Our Song”, by Plain White T’s, has always been my favorite long-distance relationship song.

  20. “You Were On My Mind” by We Five. An oldie (literally; it’s circa 1960s) but a goodie.

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