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. 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?

  2. 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…”

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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. :)

  11. I’ve always really liked this song too.

    “One of these days letters are gonna fall
    From the sky telling us all to go free
    But until that day I’ll find a way
    To let everybody know that you’re coming back
    You’re coming back for me”

  12. 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

  13. 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…

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