Long-distance relationships are hard – from the emotional need that comes with being far from each other 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 it needs fixing. Kudos for taking the first step.
The second challenge is effectively communicating this to your loved one in a way that protects their dignity and leaves them at peace. 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 individuals who have either broken up with a long-distance partner or have been on the receiving end of a breakup.
So today, we’ll talk about how to know when to end a long-distance relationship, the five steps to ending it, and what to expect.
First, Are You Sure You Want to Break Up?
Before learning how to break up with someone long-distance, you have to make sure ending the relationship is what you really want.
The last thing you want is to regret it down the line. Trust us, take-sies back-sies are way harder when there is distance involved!
Here are a few guidelines to help you figure out whether ending a long-distance relationship is the only solution you have.
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?
- Is it that you feel like you have lost sight of any future together?
Understanding these feelings is the first step to figuring out how serious the problem is. 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 just 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 long-distance relationship 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 have long to survive.
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, a bit of outside perspective helps a lot when considering a long-distance breakup. It helps you see things you may be blinded by bias to. That way, by the time you are making your decision, you have more than your own voice in your head.
However, this is a very delicate matter to trust someone with. Find someone to confide in that you trust and that has 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 from. It may be best to go with someone who doesn’t know your partner.
Start living life on your own terms
If you decide to go through with the breakup, you will be entering a whole new world of possibilities. It is always a good idea to expose yourself to that before actually 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, then you are probably ready. If you cannot stop thinking about your partner, then maybe consider working things out.
How to End a Long-Distance Relationship
You have done a lot of soul searching and are sure that you really want to end things. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, you have to be very careful about how you choose to do it.
Breakups are quite hard, and the distance just 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 break up 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 that will require confidence and charisma. Steer away from setting a breakup before a major holiday or anniversary as well.
If a breakup has to happen, then 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 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 is an effective way of telling a person that you are no longer interested in their company. But ghosting is not kind. It’s terribly immature and downright disrespectful.
The closest you can get to a decent face-to-face breakup is a phone call. With FaceTime, WeChat, Viber, Skype, Google Duo, and other video calling apps readily available, you can have this hard conversation face-to-face decently and with respect.
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 at present, 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. Take into consideration 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, 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 said and done, rise, stand up, and move forward.
Better days are yet to come!