Long-distance relationships are hard – mostly due to the lack of face-to-face communication. Sometimes you may wonder when to call it quits in your long-distance relationship.
Deciding to break up after dating long-distance is not easy. It takes a lot of energy to decide that the LDR is not working for you and that something needs to change. Kudos for taking the first step.
The second challenge is effectively communicating this to your partner in a way that protects their dignity and leaves them at peace. Long distance breakups are usually messy because the decision to break up is often unilateral.
To learn the best way to approach this tough topic, I sought the opinion of many people who have broken up with a long-distance partner or been on the receiving end of a breakup.
So today, we’ll talk about how to know when to end a LDR, the five steps to ending it, and what to expect.
What are the reasons long-distance couples break up?
Communication turns into a burden
Most LDR couples set a detailed communication schedule at the beginning. From good morning texts to video calls late at night, soon enough, partners start feeling like their restrictive schedule is dictating their lives, which is one of the main reasons for a long-distance break up.
Unfortunately, the longer the distance, the bigger the travel expenses. Whether you are in the next city or states apart, your long-distance relationship sooner or later will cause financial strain unless money is no problem for you.
Influence on the environment
Long-distance relationships break when people start changing. Living in two different locations makes it almost inevitable to change under the influence of the environment. New people, new friends, new places, suddenly your long-distance girlfriend or boyfriend is no longer the person you fell in love with.
Lack of physical intimacy
Not being able to touch, hug or have sex with your partner sucks. The lack of physical and emotional intimacy is probably the biggest hurdle long-distance couples have to jump but don’t always succeed.
The Relationship is stagnating
It often happens that LDR partners stop seeing real progress in their relationship. When a relationship doesn’t move to the next level for a long time, it’s falling apart.
Different visions for the future
Another common reason for long-distance relationship breakups is the inability of partners to see themselves together in the future. When people are not on the same page regarding important matters like having children, getting married, moving in together in the same city, or sharing finances, they often go their separate ways.
Unwilling to compromise
A long-distance breakup can happen when one or both you and your partner no longer sacrifice or compromise for the sake of the relationship. Partners start having different priorities, often leading to the infamous breakup conversation.
Putting off visits
Whether it’s because of a busy schedule or loss of interest in the relationship, when partners no longer spend time together and start putting off near future visits, it usually means the end of the LDR.
Are You Sure You Want To Break Up Your Long Distance Relationship?
Before learning how to break up with someone long-distance, you have to make sure ending the relationship is what you want.
The last thing you want is to regret it down the line. Trust us, taking anything back is way harder when distance is involved!
Here are a few guidelines to help you figure out whether ending a long-distance relationship is your only solution.
Understand Your Feelings First
What drove you to this point where you are considering breaking up long-distance?
- Are you frustrated by the distance?
- Do you feel overwhelmed by insecurities and jealousy?
- Do you feel like you have lost sight of any future together?
Understanding these feelings is the first step to figuring out the seriousness of the problem. There are cases where hope or even trust is lost, so it may not be easy to salvage the relationship.
However, most of the emotions that drive you to consider ending things are likely spur-of-the-moment frustrations
Give it some time and talk things out with your partner. If it is not something serious, you should be back to your smitten, hopeful self in no time.
Make Sure You’re Breaking Up For The Right Reasons
When to end a LDR depends on how serious the issue is.
For example, infidelity, consistent toxicity, and a lack of common goals are good reasons to break up. In these instances, the very foundations of healthy relationships are faulty, and your union may not survive long.
On the other hand, there are petty reasons to break up. It could be anything from conflicting schedules to differences in communication skills. Generally, anything that does not attack your core values and can be fixed with communication is not a good reason to break up.
In the case of an inadequate breakup reason, the best thing to do is actively work to find a solution. If that fails, then maybe you weren’t meant to be together.
Consider Talking About Your Feelings With A Loved One
Sometimes, an outside perspective helps a lot when considering a long-distance breakup. It helps you see things you may be blinded by bias. That way, by the time you are making your decision, you have more than your voice in your head.
However, this is a very delicate matter to trust someone with. Find someone to confide in with as much of an unbiased perspective as possible. Don’t have this conversation with someone who hates your beau or is blindly rooting for the relationship.
Instead, find a neutral person you can trust to open up to and get feedback. It may be best to go with someone who doesn’t know your partner.
Start Living Life On Your Own Terms
Going through the breakup, you will enter a new world of possibilities. It is always a good idea to expose yourself to that before making things final. Start living life like a single person. Get new friends, try new hobbies, and focus on growing as an individual.
If it feels right and you feel complete, you are probably ready. If you cannot stop thinking about your partner, maybe consider working things out.
How To End A Long-Distance Relationship
You have done a lot of soul searching and are sure you want to end things. Or maybe you are just tired of these endless long-distance relationship fights. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, you have to be careful about how you choose to do it.
Breakups are quite hard, and the distance adds to it by making them feel less personal. Here are a few tips to help you let them down easy.
Timing Is Very Important In A Long Distance Breakup
The best position when negotiating a breakup is that of your partner. Putting yourself in their shoes helps you navigate the process in a kind and dignifying way. That protects their self-esteem and gives them a fair fighting chance.
Take note of their schedule. Check for major events like an exam, a presentation, a job pitch, or even a job interview.
Giving them sad news may prevent them from effectively participating in tasks requiring confidence and charisma. Steer away from setting a breakup before a major holiday or anniversary.
If a breakup has to happen, effectively schedule a couple of days on their calendar just for that. It is important to avoid awkward situations such as having someone you love to travel or fly a long distance only to have their heart broken.
Nobody wants to receive bad news via text. In the modern world, ghosting effectively tells a person that you are no longer interested in their company. But ghosting is not kind. It’s terribly immature and downright disrespectful.
A phone call is the closest you can get to a decent face-to-face breakup. With FaceTime, WeChat, Viber, Skype, Google Duo, and other video calling apps readily available, you can have this hard conversation decently and respectfully.
If you are planning a breakup, schedule a call with your partner and talk to them like you would to a friend. Regardless of the differences, remember that this is someone you considered a lover at one point.
The key to breaking up long-distance is to give your partner a heads up that you have something “not-so-good” to say to them later. Ask them to tell you when they will be available. Consider their plans and schedules, especially if you are in different time zones. Nobody wants to have to wake up to heartbreak.
Tell them that you would like a Skype or video call and give them choices, so they get to pick when and how. This process ensures a win-win encounter.
Talk to your partner like a friend. Avoid the instinct to jump straight to the breakup. While the tension undercurrents may still be strong in the air, actively seek to create a peaceful atmosphere.
Approach the topic with concern and empathy, and explain your position without attacking your partner. Then, give time for them to process.
At this point, you should expect tears; a little yelling may also occur – and this is allowed. As much as possible, seek to hear them out.
Validate them while resisting the urge to abort the mission. Allow your partner and you to go through the motions of shock, sadness, anger, and acceptance.
When it is over, appreciate the time you spent with them and affirm them.
It is normal to feel the urge to go back. Don’t. Allow yourself to grieve. After all, you have lost a part of yourself as well. Shed a few tears – drink if you need to – but after all is done, rise, stand up, and move forward.
Better days are yet to come!
How to get over your long-distance relationship breakup?
A long-distance relationship breakup is as painful as any other relationship breaking.
Whether it was a mutual decision or only one long-distance partner decided to walk away, it will take some time to recover from all the stress and heartache.
However, nothing is impossible, and coming out stronger and wiser from a long-distance relationship is not something unheard of. After all, they say time heals all wounds.
Just remember to stay kind to yourself and allow your heart to heal before you move on.
Here are a few things to have in mind after a long-distance breakup.
Make a clean break
Your long-distance relationship wasn’t working, and you decided to break up. Now that the toughest decision is behind you, it’s best if you separate. Not another video chat, not one more text message, no more talking.
You don’t necessarily need to wipe them out of your life, but if you think you made the right decision, maybe you could mute their social media profiles for the time being.
It is a perfect opportunity to take a break from the Internet and focus on yourself.
You don’t need to spy on your ex and obsess over what’s going on in their life. Eliminate the temptation by laying off your phone.
Think about what went wrong
It’s okay if you can’t make your long-distance relationship work. Not everyone is cut for LDRs. But you could still reflect on what went wrong or what you could do differently, especially if you thought you were investing in a healthy relationship.
It does not mean you should stay stuck and dwell on the past in false hope. Consider this a chance to review your mistakes and ensure you’ve learned your lessons.
Allow yourself to grieve
Even if you were the one who made the final decision to leave your long-distance relationship, it doesn’t mean the breakup won’t affect you.
You will still need to process the breakup’s pain and heavy emotions. Now, you’d want to allow yourself the time to deal with your feelings, whatever those might be. Even if you stay friends, you are still losing a person you probably planned a future together.
Your friends, family, a coworker, or gym buddy – we all have someone to rely on. The people you love and trust are your support system, and it’s perfectly normal to ask for help when your own life feels hard.
If you need to talk or stay silent, your support circle is where you want to go to feel loved, safe, and accepted.
And if you don’t feel comfortable discussing your long-distance relationship with your friends and family, you can always seek the help of a relationship coach or psychologist. Personal growth and recovery are very individual.
Reconnect with yourself
Long-distance relationships are often consuming and all-encompassing. While they allow you to do things individually, they can also be very tiring in terms of adjustment and sacrifices.
Long-distance relationship partners often find themselves over-invested and focused solely on making the relationship work while losing track of their wishes and desires.
Just the distance isn’t always enough to call quits. Other factors contribute to the demise of long-distance relationships, one being the loss of individuality.
That is why you should take time for yourself and focus on what makes you happy after a long-distance relationship.
The breakup is an opportunity to rediscover yourself, find a new interest, take up new hobbies, and travel.
After all, you are the only person you will truly have to live with in the long run.