Playlist: Sounds Like A Long-Distance Relationship

Sometimes I like to sit still and close my eyes and I pretend I’m in a convertible with Geneva on the open road, just like Las Vegas. In the morning I wish she could make me coffee, or even just put my tired ass in the passenger seat and take us to Tim Horton’s, just like Nanaimo. I know her in Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver, Washington. I know her in hotel rooms and in my twin-sized bed, on the sofa and down the highway with the top down, in department stores and ice cream shops, sitting on the deck of the ferry and riding shotgun, sharing my food at my favorite restaurants, holding me for the last time before we go, picking me up after work, falling asleep, waking up.

I sat down to make a playlist about my long-distance relationship and I immediately went to songs about being far away. But what about that feeling of coming home? What about that ever-burning desire? What about saying “wish you were here” and finally realizing what all those cheesy people meant in those greeting cards and tireless postcards. What about talking? (Always. Talking.) What about the photographs, the letters, the packages, the adventures, the urgency, the patience, the waiting, the finally having? Sure, there’s missing her. But what about sending her pictures of Eli during my morning coffee, or finally getting to hold her hand in the car, or when she finds me in the airport with two hot coffees on hand, or how if I close my eyes hard enough, I can put myself in the passenger seat no matter where I’m standing?

I feel like a long-distance relationship is sometimes built on the mountain in-between a memory and a waking dream. Here’s some music from the borderline.

Playlist: Sounds Like A Long-Distance Relationship


I’m in Love With a Girl – Big Star
Radio – Lana Del Rey
Underneath It All – No Doubt
Honey & I – HAIM
I Can’t Stay – The Killers
Elevator Love Letter – Stars
Everywhere -Fleetwood Mac
Lost – Frank Ocean
Treasure – Bruno Mars
Love You Madly – Cake
Hey Hey What Can I Do – Led Zeppelin
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? (2011) – Amy Winehouse
Part II (On The Run) – ft. Beyonce Jay Z
Bria’s Interlude – (feat. Omario Drake
Blue Whale – Frank Ocean
The Wanderer – ft. U2 Johnny Cash
Gemini (Birthday Song) – Why?
Cape Canaveral – Conor Oberst
XO – Beyoncé
Blue – (feat. Blue Ivy) Beyoncé
As Long as You Follow – Fleetwood Mac
Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers
Bound 2 – Kanye West
Madness – Muse
Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
Moonlight Mile – The Rolling Stones
Brand New Colony – The Postal Service
Mellow Mood – Slightly Stoopid
Song To Bobby – Cat Power
Lovesong Of The Buzzard – Iron & Wine
My Wife, Lost in the Wild – Beirut
Save Me From What I Want – St. Vincent
This Is The Dream Of Win And Regine – Final Fantasy
Real and True – (feat. Miley Cyrus & Mr Hudson) Future
1000 Times a Day – The Early November

Sounds Like A Long-Distance Relationship from Autostraddle on 8tracks Radio.

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

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. I’m in a long-distance relationship now and I feel this post deeply. Right now, my girlfriend may have to cancel her September visit because of childcare issues. I feel sad and frustrated. Don’t know if listening to your playlist will help or hurt right now.

  2. And that was way too many “right nows” in a post by a writer and English professor. Ugh

  3. Le sigh. If you guys have read my comments y’all will know how much i FEEEEEEEL this post. It sort of reminds me that there are so many things you both sacrifice and share while being apart and that moment you see each other you know how its all worth it.

    Also want to add home by michael buble and jet lag by simple plan. Theres prolly a lot more i can think of after crying.

    • no! no crying! just sweet blissful memories. that’s what it’s all about. that being said, you can cry on my shoulder if you need to, @vinzzz27 (also do we share the lucky number 27. #soultwins.)

      • Ok no crying=) just the sweet blissful memories that we hold onto until next time. Yup, 27 is my lucky number. Its also our anniversary.

    • it was so hard to choose a fleetwood mac song for this playlist! really, my entire life is just fleetwood mac playing in the background as i fumble around.

  4. So many beautiful choices here, Carmen. My soon-to-be-wife and I were long distance for the first two years of our relationship and didn’t get to see each other much at all face-to-face during that time period because of family issues. The metaphor you use here is incredibly resonant and takes me back to all the layered and complicated emotions tied to that time in our relationship.

    I have to add Ocean and a Rock by Lisa Hannigan to this conversation as well. I was listening to Lisa’s first album the day after my partner and I decided to make our relationship official despite our distance concerns, and I broke down in tears when this song came on. It’s one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard about a long-distance relationship – not just the pain of being apart from a loved one, but the unique experience of how someone becomes a part of every little moment in your day even when they’re not physically there to experience it and the hope you have to hold onto that you’ll figure out how to bridge that distance. It really helped us both during the tough moments in those two years. (As an awesome aside, it was also used for a major marriage equality campaign in Ireland.)

    Also, while the song itself isn’t so much specifically about long-distance love, the line from Lighting Candles by the Weepies that my username comes from – “love’s a train to city lights where someone knows you” – definitely fits with this conversation as well.

    • …One of these days I will not screw up comment HTML here royally. The songs in question are Ocean and a Rock by Lisa Hannigan and Lighting Candles by the Weepies, since I accidentally made the coding eat that information.

  5. oh man. this is a good playlist, and I haven’t been in a LDR in years, but man, it still makes me sad. they’re pretty rough.

  6. I know all the feelings in this playlist so thanks for making it!

    Long before I worked at Autostraddle, you made a love song playlist? or something like it and at the time I was in a LDR and it helped me through it. Especially Toothpaste Kisses for some reason. So what I’m saying is that you’re really good at this!

    • thank you, @yvonne! that means a lot <3

      also i think i might be good at playlists because when i was a kid i secretly always contemplated the soundtrack of my life and would constantly try to set my life to music.

  7. I haven’t listened to the playlist yet – I just wanted to say that I really relate to the paragraphs preceding the playlist, so thank you for writing them. *LDR feelings*

    • that song is forever ruined for me personally just because of the LDR i was in with a boy when i was sixteen. WHY WON’T THAT SONG DIE. IT’S BEEN SO MANY YEARS YOU GUYS.

  8. -cries-

    Good playlist. I also like “Train song” by Feist and Ben Gibbard. Also “Compartir” by Carla Morrison.

    LDRs are the saddest most tragic things ever.

  9. Beautiful playlist. Wish I’d had this back in the day when I’d just sob to DCFC’s Transatlanticism CD (yes I said CD)on repeat, though that had its place too. <3

    • i think i need to add transatlanticism to this before i realize how mad i am at myself for forgetting. i’m perpetually 16 so i still love DCFC most.

  10. Currently listening to this playlist while packing to go visit my girlfriend and its giving me all the feels. Perfect timing, Carmen :)

  11. Oh, those LDR feels!! Thanks for this, Carmen! I’m still 20 days out from my next trip out east to see my lovely girlfriend, and I totez needed this.

  12. Love Song (Fly My Ass) by Andrew Jackson Jihad is the first song that comes to mind whenever I think of long distance relationships. I’ve been in a poly LDR for a few years now, and I’ve not seen my partner in quite some time.

    “It’s no stretch to say that I am pulling out my hair.
    And darling I’m patiently waiting to fly my ass up there.
    And I love you.”

  13. Jem – Flying High
    The Beatles – All My Loving
    Jack Off Jill – Lovesong
    Sons of Messengers – See You Again
    Third Eye Blind – Semi-Charmed Life
    KT Tunstall – Other Side of the World
    Massive Attack feat. Terry Callier – Live With Me
    Sarah McLachlan – Song for a Winter’s Night
    Dido – Here With Me
    Sophie B Hawkins – As I Lay Me Down to Sleep
    Coldplay – Warning Sign
    Tori Amos – Enjoy the Silence
    Zero 7 – Destiny
    Cosima – One Night Without You
    Powderfinger – My Happiness
    No Doubt – Home Now
    Dangerous Muse – Apart
    Snow Patrol – Set the Fire to the Third Bar
    Plain White T’s – Hey There Delilah
    Thirsty Merc – Someday Someday
    Blondie – In the Flesh
    Finch – Letters to You
    Postal Service – Such Great Heights
    Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism
    Dashboard Confessional – Living in Your Letters
    Test Your Reflex – Thinking of You
    Stone Temple Pilots – Interstate Love Song
    Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice
    Gossip – Love Long Distance
    Ladyhawke – Magic
    Seeker Lover Keeper – Even Though I’m a Woman

  14. I love this entire post and all of the comments and knowing that I’m not alone with the LDR feels and struggles. Thank you

  15. The Wave Pictures are seriously good for LDRs…

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