If you have ever listened to songs about long distance, and you were involved with in a long distance relationship yourself, you no doubt understand the ache and pain and sometimes sadness that these tracks evoke. It’s not that long distance relationships can’t work, but the distance adds an extra barrier of resistance that only the strongest of relationships can overcome.
In this article, I’m going to provide you with my favorite songs on the topic of long distance relationships. And hopefully, you’ll find a couple songs on this list that really resonate with you.
Long Distance by Brandy
This fantastic song by Brandy actually begins with an interlude. I’ve never been the biggest fans of interludes on albums, but this one works perfectly.
It features Brandy and her boyfriend having a conversation about the fact that their long distance relationship is weighing on their connection. Brandy understands why her man has to be away, but the lack of seeing and touching him in the physical form is weighing on her well being.
The interlude soon gives way to the song itself, and Brandy does…well…what Brandy does best. Brandy has the ability to convey warmth and passion in her vocals, but you can also hear the pain in her voice here, too.
With you is where I’d rather be
But we’re stuck where we are
And it’s so far
This long distance is killing me
It’s a beautiful song that, while it does reinforce the narrative that “absence makes the heart grow stronger,” it also paints a much starker picture: distance will test and strain even the strongest of bonds.
Talking to the Moon by Bruno Mars
Long-distance relationships aren’t always easy, and they can become even more challenging when fights break out between a couple. And sometimes, getting a hold of them isn’t as easy as picking up the phone. And when that happens, when the negativity and self doubt begin to creep in, that’s when your mind really begins to wander.
Will this be the end of the relationship?
That’s what we have here in Bruno Mars’ “Talking to the Moon.” In fact, lyrics like, “trying to get to you, in hopes you’re on the other side, talking to me too” symbolize this deep longing for someone that you wish could be by your side when you need them most.
As mentioned in the Brandy section above, people say that “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but sometimes, it can have the opposite effect, and put more strain and emotional distance on the relationship.
While Bruno’s question of, “am I a fool who sits alone talking to the moon” can feel like a knife through your heart because of how relatable it is, it’s also a testament to how difficult long-distance relationships can really be.
I’m Already There by Lonestar
When this song came out in 2001, I was just 11 years old and way too young to understand the depth of these lyrics. However, 20 years later that’s no longer the case. When my former spouse was on deployment, I would play this song on repeat as a reminder that I could still find our love in the simplest of places, regardless of the distance between us.
Though the lead singer of the band wrote this song as an ode to his time on tour away from his family, it has become a huge hit within the military community when a member of the family is on deployment. The meaning behind the song is simple: as long as you carry someone in your heart, then they never really leave you. Even if physically, that isn’t the case.
Here Without You by 3 Doors Down
If you were to ask the lead singer of 3 Doors Down, Brad Arnold what he thought about the song Here Without You, he’d tell you that he meant for it to be a happy song rather than the sad connotation it’s since developed amongst fans.
At its core, this song is about missing someone you can’t be with. Whether due to work, military deployments, or just scheduling conflicts, the longing one feels when all they want to do is be with the person they love is a powerful one. But to Arnold’s credit, these feelings of loneliness and longing come to an end when he closes his eyes and dreams about being with the one he loves.
That says everything you need to know about this song. Though you may not be physically with them, you can still be with them in your dreams, and that’s a beautiful sentiment for lovers separated by distance.
So Far Away by Carole King
Out of all the songs on this list, no set of lyrics is as powerful as when Carole King sings, “Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?”
When we think of long-distance, we tend to think of people moving away for work or other obligations. But sometimes it’s as simple as wishing there was more time for relationships and togetherness among all the hustle and bustle.
Lines such as, “If I could only work this life out my way, I’d rather spend it bein’ close to you,” reaffirm this sentiment. Someone could be right next to you, but so absorbed into their life that it still feels like they’re miles away.
When you’re missing that special someone, or longing for those special days of the past, this song is a beautiful choice.
Home by Michael Buble
I remember sitting in my kitchen at my old house playing this song on repeat because of how nostalgic I was for home. However, this song held a little bit more significance for me, particularly the line that says “…this was not your dream but you always believed in me.”
I had followed my former husband across the globe when he was stationed overseas. But despite loving him and wanting to be with him, I didn’t want to make all the sacrifices that came along with being a military spouse.
I missed my career. I missed my family. I missed my friends. I missed everything my life was before I became secluded on an island in the middle of nowhere, so I related to lyrics such as, “I’m surrounded by a million people I still feel alone, oh, let me go home.”
But that’s just the way it is sometimes. Sometimes the person you love takes a different path to follow their dreams. If you relate to the way I felt all those years ago, this song can bring you comfort.
Hello Goodbye by the Beatles
If you were to ask Paul McCartney, who wrote this song, what “Hello Goodbye” is really about, he’d probably tell you that it’s meant to represent the juxtaposition of life. But if you were to ask me, the song simply represents two people who are constantly having to say goodbye to someone just as quickly as they say hello.
And maybe that’s kind of the beauty behind the song and Paul McCartney’s intent. You can’t have the sun without the moon, or the good without the bad. And maybe, that’s what makes you appreciate what you have…while you have it.
But if you’re spending more time at the airport than at home, then this song captures those emotions perfectly.
Wherever You Will Go by the Calling
Sometimes long-distance refers to the loss of someone you loved. After all, is there anything more long-distance and heartbreakingly permanent than dealing with the aftermath of death and navigating your new normal?
Aaron Kamim, the band’s guitarist, thought about this after watching his grandfather lose his wife and partner of over 50 years. How does someone feel after such a loss? What do they want more than anything?
Besides reconnection, Kamin realized that what those left behind want is to make sure their loved one is okay wherever they are. As the song goes, “…I hope there’s someone out there who can bring me back to you.”
That’s really what this song is about: thinking about how much you want to be with the person who passed on. It’s a love song, really: about wanting your loved one to be okay, while simultaneously being a song that could be sung by your departed love, especially with lyrics such as, “My life and love might still go on in your heart, and in your mind, I’ll stay with you for all of time.”
Count on Me by Bruno Mars
This song came out while I was living overseas and one day, my best friend sent it to me over Facebook and dedicated it to our friendship because of the lyric, “If you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea, I’ll sail the world to find you.” I was living on an island at the time, and the lyrics were just so fitting.
My best friend was – and still is – a sister to me, and not having her around to physically hang out with was torture. But, listening to this song always made it easier because it says everything that had to be said about our friendship. As the song says, “I’ll never let you go, never say goodbye, you know you can count on me like one, two, three I’ll be there.” And she was. And she still is.
Listening to this when you’re feeling lonely or even depressed about not being with your friends can help heal your heart. I know from experience.
I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith
On the last night my husband and I would spend together before his deployment, it was hard not to count down the hours until his plane took off. But in those moments of lying there with my head on his shoulder or just sitting outside talking, I wanted to try and remember every second. And that’s what this song is about.
It’s about the little moments of peace you have with someone, and how hard it is to let those go when you have to leave them. This is the perfect song to send to someone back home when all you want to do is be back with them, spending time doing all the things you loved.
Hey There Delilah by the Plain White T’s
This is the ultimate long-distance love song for couples. Though the lead singer of the band may not have ended up with the girl he wrote this ballad for, the song describes all the plans the couple makes for when they can finally be together. He’s going to be a famous musician. She’s soon going to be done with school, and then they’re going to take over the world together.
It’s a beautiful sentiment about hope, and that’s a necessary component when you’re in a long-distance relationship because, well, these kind of relationships are hard.
This song was about two or three years old by the time I entered into a long-distance relationship in high school, and thinking about the good times we were going to have when this chapter of our lives ended made the struggles of not being together worth it.
When it feels like the world doesn’t understand or appreciate what you’re going through, you can always listen to songs about long distance relationships to help get you through the tough times.