Why is it so hard for a long distance relationship to work? Patterns. The distance doesn’t allow your teen to see the patterns that teach them how to deal with that person.
Patterns or the occurrence of one person having a behavior and the other person learning what that behavior means can really only occur through constant and repeated contact with someone. Something happens and your teen tells them the comment hurt their feelings. If they care enough about the relationship then they try and remember not to react that way again. They learn the way your teen would like them to react when they do that. This is similar with you and your teen not just romantic relationships. You start to relearn who your child is as a teen. Your reaction to certain behaviors hopefully changes based on their feedback. This is something that can’t happen efficiently if you don’t have a good relationship with your teen; you have minimal interaction with your teen, or there is too much conflict to ever have any interaction as in the “silent treatment.”
Patterns are there to teach you how to parent your teen, but you have to be willing to endure the difficulty of the interaction so you can learn how to handle it better next time. In doing so, you teach your teen how to handle their future partner’s behavior when they start to interact more with you and the world around them through romantic and intimate relationships.