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How to Deal with a Long Distance Relationship Break- up?


Long Distance relationships, *sighs* Long Distance Relationships BREAK UPS, *even bigger sighs*  

All we can say is—“they are tough.” We know all different kinds of relationships have their challenges, but long-distance relationships are tested by the very distance between the two partners. In an LDR, communication can be more demanding, and a lot of understanding and effort is required to make things work. 

However, people still choose to be attracted to that one stranger rather than hundreds of people passing them by every day. They enjoy talking and spending time with that one person online who is more connected to them than any known individual near. 

With networking apps and dating websites lessening the physical or social distance between people, long-distance relationships are becoming trendier and more manageable as each day passes. 

Now, more and more people find themselves in a relationship with someone they may have not even met in real life but know through social media. It’s not as bizarre or rare of an occurrence as you may think it is!

However, no matter the kind of relationship, things may go south. And when that happens, you feel broken as something you presumed infinite and unbreakable seems shattered in front of your own eyes. People break up, and sometimes it is okay for that to happen. 

While you may struggle to deal with a breakup, let me tell you, it’s a sign you cared, which is not necessarily a bad thing. 

“If you love me, let me know. If not, please gently let me go.”

There are a lot of articles that talk about how you can make your long-distance relationship work, but they don’t tell you anything mildly related to a long-distance breakup. So we’re here to do just that!

Let’s get honest about long-distance relationship breakups and everything they entail. 

Is the distance between the two of you causing real harm?

When two people are in a romantic relationship, physical intimacy and communication are the two main pillars required to make things work. In a long-distance relationship, this may get tough. 

Partners in a long-distance relationship may see each other very less frequently or on occasions like holiday breaks and vacations. This can be harmful or helpful to the relationship depending upon how the partners view it. Of course, not being able to be physically present in places or situations where your partner needs you may cause some damage. 

As a matter of fact, strong communication is always required to make a long-distance relationship or any other kind of relationship last. When people are in an LDR, most communication may happen through texts or calls. Only texts and calls do not help a person understand the non-verbal cues (such as gestures) their partner may use to communicate. 

The chances of miscommunication or misunderstandings are also more significant when it comes to dating someone who lives far away. 

If you’re in a long-distance relationship, it is essential for you and your partner to be secure and understanding, to fully trust each other, and realize that we all get busy sometimes. If you think your long-distance partner is mature in all such cases, then it might be time to consider that the distance is not the real culprit or cause of the breakup. 

As long as the two partners are understanding and trust each other, the distance can cause no harm. Instead, the distance can give both parties the time to work on themselves individually and even work towards their goals. 

When do most long-distance relationships end?

There is no particular time to recognize when a long-distance relationship might end. Still, there are two situations that partners often find themselves in when in a long-distance relationship. 

There can be one of either cases: 

Scenario 1. You are already in a long-distance relationship, and for some reason, you or your partner believe things just aren’t working out for the both of you anymore. 

You may be in an LDR for a few months and later realize it’s not your cup of tea as you have no idea where the relationship is going. This can get frustrating and lead to a breakup. 

OR 

Scenario 2. You are in a relationship, and one of you has to move away for work or education. If you or your partner decides to move away for a few years, it shouldn’t be much of an issue. 

You may believe that you can handle a few months of long-distance, or maybe even a few years. But if your partner isn’t going to be back anytime soon, you might want to give the whole long-distance thing a second thought. In a situation like this, you can consider staying friends after a breakup. 

If you’re not feeling the same way about the long-distance relationship as you did at the beginning of it, you might want to talk it out with your partner and mutually come to a solution for the problem. 

Even if you fail to find a solution and the both of you break up, your partner is less likely to be emotionally hurt than they would be if you just suddenly broke up with them. 

What is the cause of a long-distance breakup? 

There may be a lot of reasons why couples in long-distance relationships might decide to end their relationship. Sometimes, they may also seem petty to an outsider but may have an underlying issue that only the couple knows of. 

Long-distance breakups can stem from one of two reasons:

1. Distance

Many people believe that ‘distance makes the heart fonder,’ but this may not always be the case. For some couples, distance can be a prominent issue, as it can make communication more strenuous and physical intimacy even lesser. 

A lot of people may not be able to handle long-distance relationships, leading to unnecessary arguments and toxic behavior patterns. It is best to break up in cases like this if you wish not to get caught in a rut of toxicity in a relationship. 

2. Feelings 

Very often, couples may know how to make a long-distance relationship work. They are secure, understanding, and trust their partner, but they may decide they are better off as friends. 

In a long-distance relationship, the frequency of physical intimacy may be a lot lesser than in any other relationship. In cases like these, people may realize that their feelings about their partner have changed. They do not feel as romantically interested or attracted to them anymore as they did previously. 

Some of the other common reasons why long-distance relationships may end in a break up are:

  • The two partners do not see a future as one 
  • One or both partners are insecure or uncertain about the relationship 
  • A lack of effective communication 
  • Extreme and frequent arguments or fights 
  • The means to visit each other frequently are not available or easily accessible
  • One or both partners lose feelings or their attachment to the other 
  • One or both partners develop feelings for other people after some time in the long-distance relationship

If you or your partner can relate to any of the above reasons, it may be time for you to consider ending your long-distance relationship. 

Signs your long-distance relationship is heading towards a breakup 

Understanding the cause behind a breakup is important, but sometimes we can see the signs and refuse to accept them. 

To understand if your long-distance relationship is heading towards a breakup, here are 12 signs you must be on the lookout for:

  1. Talking to your partner feels like a chore 
  2. You’re not excited about seeing them in person or even talking to them anymore 
  3. They are ignoring your texts 
  4. They have suddenly been more “busy” than ever before 
  5. You’re not as happy in the relationship as you once were 
  6. You don’t see a future or plan it with your partner, and neither do they
  7. You’re sexually frustrated due to the lack of physical intimacy 
  8. You find yourself feeling insecure about where they are or what they’re doing at all times 
  9. There hasn’t been effective communication between the two of you for days 
  10. The relationship starts to feel one-sided
  11. There have been constant fights and arguments lately 
  12. You or your partner feel “stuck” in the relationship 

These signs may not be the only ones you need to trust. If you genuinely believe that things are not working out between you and your partner, the sign you might just need could be your gut feeling. Go with it; it can be a good guide most times! 

How can you end your long-distance relationship the right way?

Breaking up with someone can be challenging, let alone if it’s a long-distance relationship break up. Sometimes you may decide you want to end the relationship, but you don’t want to hurt your partner emotionally. 

Here’s how you can end a long-distance relationship with minimal, if not zero, emotional damage to both you and your partner:

Step 1: Figure things out yourself, first 

It’s time to dig deep, understand your feelings and acknowledge them. Ask yourself questions like (1) why do you want the relationship to end, (2) how you would feel once the relationship has ended, and so on. 

Give yourself the time and space to feel your emotions before moving forward with the breakup. There is a difference between acknowledging your feelings and telling yourself how you should be feeling. Recognize the difference between the two and act accordingly. 

Think clearly about what your feelings are about breaking up with your partner. Some things that may help with this can be:

  • Listing down the concerns regarding your long-distance relationship 
  • Listing down your reasons for deciding on breaking up with your partner (p.s. keep this list to yourself)
  • Understand how you feel by journaling your thoughts and emotions 
  • Understand and differentiate between your positive and negative feelings 
  • Be as clear and specific as possible 

With the help of these, you will be able to chart out your feelings and clearly understand why you may be feeling the things you do. 

Step 2: Let your partner know. 

Imagine this; you’re in a healthy and lovely relationship. Suddenly one day, your partner decides that they do not want to be in a relationship with you anymore and leaves you alone with a simple “Hey let’s just break up” text. It sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it? Well, don’t be this partner. 

Tell your partner and communicate with them openly why and what you have been feeling about your relationship with them. You want to be careful not to be rude or feel like you’re blaming the other person. When you want to break up with your long-distance partner, make sure you do it the right way and communicate with them why you have decided that it may be best to end things. 

Mutually breaking up can cause a lot less damage than one person just deciding on doing so. 

Here is how you can do this effectively: 

  1. Ask them if it is a good time to talk 
  2. Speak to them only about your emotions 
  3. Refer to the list previously made 
  4. Ask them if they understand what you are saying 

You must let them feel the way they do and express those feelings openly too. 

Step 3: Find a way or come to a mutual agreement to end things. 

After you have stated your concerns and they have too, you can talk things out and mutually decide how the both of you want to move forward. This makes sure that both partners involved (in the relationship) do not feel abandoned or betrayed by the other person. Once you’ve heard how your partner feels, you can both pick which road to take after discussion. 

Sometimes, both partners may not agree. In cases like this, go ahead and do things by letting your gut feeling lead. If you believe you have given them enough time to speak, and if things still don’t work for you, go ahead and break up. 

But before you do, make sure you objectively view the situation and understand your partner’s perspective too. Making haste and rash decisions can cause a lot of regret in situations like these. Be sure of what you’re feeling, your decision, and why you are making it. 

How to recover from a long-distance relationship breakup?

A lot of effort and time is required in letting yourself heal after a long-distance relationship breakup. 

Here are five tips that can make the process a little easy for you

1. No avoidance 

As tempting as it may seem at the time, do not avoid the grieving process of your breakup. Give yourself the time to grieve the loss of your partner and the future or expectations you had from the long-distance relationship. 

2. Reflect upon the lessons 

Take your time and understand what you have learned from your long-distance relationship. Where it went wrong may seem like a dreadful thought but use it (within a limit) to positively impact your future relationships and understand what works and what doesn’t work in a long-distance relationship. This would be helpful for you if you were to ever get in one again. 

3. Don’t look back 

We know the “what-ifs” and “buts” can be tough to get over, but don’t look back. Do not think about getting in touch with them again and cut all communication ties. Trust us; you’re better off this way. 

4. Stay away from negativity. 

If there are things that remind you of your ex negatively, you must get rid of them. It is time for you to let go of any old pictures or even gifts that they may have given. 

Rearranging or reorganizing your room may also help you get rid of things that negatively impact you or hold you back. Don’t be afraid to move on; it’s a good thing. You have a whole different world to explore!

5. Don’t take yourself on a guilt trip.

When long-distance relationships end, it can be easy to feel guilt and blame yourself for the way things ended. Understand that a relationship, especially a long-distance one, works both ways and that it wasn’t your fault that things ended. 

Tell yourself that you will be okay (we know easier said than done), and eventually, you will be able to see the silver lining in this dark cloud. Focus on personal growth and work to become an even better person. This will make sure you’re confident and love yourself. 

In Conclusion 

Relationships can be emotional rollercoasters for a lot of people, and breakups are the lowest low of this rollercoaster. We understand that long-distance relationship breakups can be even more brutal to deal with without the constant communication that you and your partner previously had. 

It may sometimes take longer for the grieving process to set in after the breakup when the relationship is long-distance. For most people, the effect of the separation is not extreme; this also does not mean that they are unaffected by it. Long-distance breakups, in general, tend to be a lot less dramatic. 

It can also be easier for the partners to cut off communication as they may not see each other or bump into each other as often. However, if you’re struggling to deal with your long-distance relationship breakup, we’re here to tell you that it is okay to take your time and seek professional help if you feel the need to do so. 

Remember, the distance may make the heart grow fonder, but not in all cases! So it’s okay to break up, and it’s okay to have someone break up with you. Breakups can teach you many lessons you may need for your future relationships.

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by Genesis Gutierrez

Genesis is the founder of Harness Magazine, a digital media company that celebrates and elevates the voices of women around the world. A first-generation college graduate, Genesis holds a degree in from UCLA with hopes of going back for a Masters in Social Work.

Through her work as an editor-in-chief of Harness, Genesis has dedicated herself to amplifying the stories of women specifically marginalized communities. She is committed to creating space for those who are often left out of mainstream conversations, and believes that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for building community and sparking social change.


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