It’s hard to end a long-distance relationship after everything you’ve shared with someone you loved. But, the end of a long-distance relationship doesn’t have to be a final goodbye. Here’s how you can end it your long-distance relationship in a healthy, loving and respectful way:
- Identify how your feelings have changed throughout a long-distance relationship.
- Ask yourself how you feel now about your partner and this relationship.
- Pinpoint the problems that you’ve encountered throughout your long-distance relationship.
- Reflect on how you dealt with these problems, if at all.
- Please take a few days to think and make it clear for yourself what would you like from a romantic relationship and a romantic partner.
- Share your thoughts and feelings with your long-distance partner.
- Ask your partner how they feel and what do they think about you and your long-distance relationship.
- Talk to your partner about things that aren’t working for each of you and see if you can fix your issues.
- Whether or not you can fix your problems, together with your partner, you can decide on the way forward that works for both of you, considering your feelings and circumstances.
Breaking up a long-distance relationship and ending a long-distance relationship are used interchangeably, most of the time. In this article, I would like to differentiate the two.
When your long-distance relationship is over, you break up, and by doing so, you are putting a stop to your relationship with a particular person.
Ending a long-distance relationship can mean one of three things:
- Moving in together after a long-distance relationship.
- Going from lovers to friends.
- Ending your relationship completely.
So, if you want nothing to do with your long-distance partner, read this article on how to break up in a long-distance relationship.
On the other hand, if you still want to have this person in your life, but the long-distance relationship isn’t working for you, then read on.
Wanting to end a long-distance relationship
When your long-distance relationship isn’t going anywhere, and you aren’t feeling great about it, you may want to end it.
When this idea of ending your relationship crosses your mind, you might be reluctant to share it with your long-distance partner. But unless you share it straight away, it can grow into something that will become a big deal for you.
The moment the idea of ending your long-distance relationship enters your mind, you will try to find different reasons why you should do it. The more you focus on it, the more things you will pick up from your relationship that will tell you it’s time to end your relationship.
As soon as you become aware that ending your long-distance relationship is a possibility, you should talk to your partner about it.
You can express your worries and concerns and point out the problems you are facing in your relationship. Once you’ve done that, your partner might be able to reassure you that your reasons are unfounded and your relationship is going great.
It’s also possible that your long-distance partner will agree with you that your long-distance relationship is indeed not going so well. When you talk things out, you can identify the issues that exist in your relationship. Knowing what the problems are will allow you to find solutions to solve them.
Deciding to end a long-distance relationship
Many people decide to end their long-distance relationship unilaterally. If you are one of them, you might have struggled with the idea of ending your relationship for some time.
Ending a relationship with someone you love or facing the fact that your feelings have faded isn’t easy for anyone. The longer you have this idea on your mind, the more suffering it brings you.
When enough time passes, you may decide that it’s time to end your long-distance relationship. Once you do that, your Next step would be to find a way to inform your partner about your decision.
If you are at this point, but you haven’t told your partner that you want to end your relationship, I’m glad you found this article.
Making unilateral decisions to end a relationship is not the right thing to do because it brings a lot of unnecessary suffering. Instead of informing your partner of your decision to end your relationship, tell them how you feel and what isn’t working for you.
There is a difference between breaking up and ending the relationship. If you identify that you still love your partner, but the long-distance isn’t working for you, consider moving in together.
If your romantic feelings have faded, you can remain friends provided you have trust and understanding. And in the case where you don’t want anything to do with your partner, then the solution would be to break up and move on.
So allow your long-distance partner the opportunity to participate in the decision of ending your long-distance relationship. Making a mutual decision to end your long-distance relationship and the way you end it will save both of you a lot of suffering.
When should you end a long-distance relationship?
While reasons are relatively simple to understand, feelings can be more confusing. For example, you might feel that ending your long-distance relationship is the right thing to do. At the same time, you may feel sad and nervous.
After some time, your romantic feelings may fade, or you may start having feelings for someone else. It can be scary to see yourself losing feelings for the person you once loved. But that’s the nature of feelings; they change all the time.
Here’s how you can bring your feelings back into your relationship:
- Acknowledge your current feelings about your partner and your long-distance relationship
- If your feelings have faded away and you no longer have romantic feelings for your partner, then you need to tell them about it
- Together with your partner, find a way forward that works for both of you.
You may feel that things aren’t right, but it can be hard to say if it’s the right time to end your relationship.
These questions will help you decide whether or not to end your long-distance relationship:
- When was the last time you told your partner how you felt?
- How did you express these feelings?
- What are your reasons for wanting to end your relationship?
- How do you feel about being in a romantic relationship with someone that lives far away?
- Do you want to end your relationship because you think it’s what you should do or because you want to do it?
- Are you acknowledging your feelings or ignoring them?
Signs a long-distance relationship is ending
You may still be in love with your long-distance partner. At the same time, you can help but to notice changes in your partner’s behaviour and the dynamic of your relationship. Here are common signs that your long-distance relationship is ending:
- Lack of communication and connection.
- Lack of interest.
- Lack of fun and excitement.
- Your partner spends less time with you.
- Your partner cancels plans to talk or visit each other.
- You are not sharing your feelings.
- You are not discussing things that are important for you and your relationship.
- You avoid meaningful conversations.
- You argue most of the time.
Reasons to end a long-distance relationship
You may have your reasons why you want to end your long-distance relationship. These reasons include your feelings, doubts, concerns, and circumstances. Here are some reasons why long-distance relationships end:
- Poor, limited or one-sided communication with your long-distance partner.
- A lack of physical and emotional connection with your partner.
- You lost interest in your partner and your relationship.
- You no longer have a good time with your long-distance partner.
- Your long-distance relationship starts bringing you more suffering than joy.
- You drifted apart.
- Your feelings faded away.
- You don’t have a plan to move in together.
- Your relationship became boring.
- You are not getting along anymore.
- You don’t feel understood and appreciated.
- You cannot fix the problems even after talking about them.
Ways to end a long-distance relationship
Ending a long-distance relationship with someone you love isn’t easy. But sometimes you may not see any other way.
When you decide to end your long-distance relationship, it’s best to do it together with your long-distance partner. This way will help you make a decision that works for both of you.
Unlike a breakup, where you break all ties with your partner, you can end your long-distance relationship in three ways:
- You can end your long-distance relationship by moving in together.
- You can also end your romantic long-distance relationship by becoming friends.
- You can end your long-distance relationship with a breakup.
If you were able to maintain a healthy and successful long-distance relationship and had a plan, perhaps it’s time to move in together. So, while technically, your long-distance relationship ends, in fact, it can and in a happy long-term relationship and even marriage.
Suppose your feelings have faded, but you still have trust and understanding. In that case, you can always be friends, even after you and your romantic relationship.
There are situations where your long-distance relationship became so toxic that you want nothing to do with your long-distance partner. In this case, you can try and work things out, but it could be easier to break up and move on.
How to end a long-distance relationship on good terms?
You are in a long-distance relationship that isn’t quite working, so you are thinking of breaking up. You are probably having doubts about what to do. Do you keep trying to make it work? or Are you ready to move on? If you have these doubts, take a few minutes to reflect on your situation.
At the moment you can be overwhelmed with doubts, ask yourself: Can I make it work? Is long-distance a problem? Will it work if we were to move in together? Is this relationship worth saving, or has it run its course? These doubts can be overwhelming.
But there is an easy and healthy solution that we’ll talk about next. You can use it to get a different perspective or as a practical guide. If you want to resolve your long-distance relationship dilemma today, get a pen and paper ready and let’s dive right in…
Here are five steps on how to end your long-distance relationship on good terms:
- Acknowledge your feelings about your partner and your long-distance relationship
- Share your feelings with your long-distance partner
- Ask your long-distance partner how they feel about you and your relationship
- Share your doubts and concerns with your long-distance partner
- Together with your long-distance partner find a way forward that works for both of you
STEP 1 – Acknowledge your feelings about your partner and your long-distance relationship
A long-distance relationship can be challenging. A romantic relationship needs physical contact. Lack of physical intimacy can leave you feeling stressed and frustrated.
Recognising our feelings isn’t an easy task. Our parents and society don’t give much importance to how we feel, and our everyday conversations reflect as much. So, when it comes to making big decisions like ending a relationship, it is common to feel overwhelmed and confused.
Here’s how you can connect to your feelings:
- Make a list of concerns you have about your relationship and the long-distance
- Write down your reasons for breaking up (this one is only for yourself)
- Use this reference to work out how you feel
- Make a list of positive and negative feelings
- Be clear, be specific
Before you can explain to your partner why you want to break up, first, you have to make it clear for yourself.
So, why would you want to share your feelings, and how can you do it the right way?
When we try to express ourselves without first being clear on how we feel, it may come across as a mix of blame and judgements. It’s common for couples in disagreement to blame each other for the situation they are in. Until each of you takes responsibility for your part in your relationship, it will be difficult for you to agree on anything.
Let’s leave the reasons aside for now and focus on your feelings. Sharing your feelings can be a very intimate experience that can leave you feeling vulnerable. To know that you are making the right choice, you need to be honest with yourself and your partner.
This is how you can share your feelings with your long-distance partner:
- Find a good time for both of you to talk.
- Tell them you want to express your feelings
- Use the list you made earlier to express your positive and negative feelings about this relationship.
- Ask them to repeat back what they heard you say.
Avoid talking about your intention to break up and your reasons for doing so. Stay with your feelings.
STEP 3 – Ask your long-distance partner how they feel about you and your relationship
With the first two steps, you have taken a completely different approach to your situation. By sharing your feelings, you are opening the door to honesty and authenticity. Now, it’s time to acknowledge your partner and their feelings.
It has two benefits: it involves your partner in this process and highlights their significance.
Once your partner knows that their feelings matter, they will feel included and will be less defensive. Understanding how they feel will help you see your relationship from their perspective. After all, isn’t it what the relationship is about? Now that you had a chance to be heard and understood create the same opportunity for your partner.
Here’s how you can make sure that you are on the same page with your long-distance partner:
- Thank your partner for hearing your feelings
- Tell them that now you’d like to hear how they feel
- Help them find the words to describe their feelings
- Write down their feelings in a list
- Say their feelings back to them
Make this moment about your partner. Help them stay with their feelings and avoid reasons and judgements.
If both you and your partner were able to share your feelings, you’ve done the most challenging part. Now, that you have heard each other and connect at heart, it’s time to work things out. In the spirit of sharing and understanding, your partner also needs to express their thoughts and doubts.
Here’s how you can understand your partner’s view, worries and concerns about your relationship:
- Tell them you would like to check what’s working and what isn’t
- Ask your partner how they see your relationship
- Write down their concerns about your relationship as a whole and the long-distance part of it
- Tell them what you wrote, so you are crystal clear you heard them right
- Use the list you made in step 1 to share what’s bothering you regarding the relationship and the long-distance.
- Ask them to say it back to you, so you know they heard you correctly.
Making notes will help you keep on track and remain objective.
STEP 5 – Together with your long-distance partner find a way forward that works for both of you
When you know each other’s feelings, doubts and concerns, it’s time to find a way to move on.
Whatever road you will choose moving forward, you will always know that you’ve done it together. Understanding instead of guessing and assuming help you resolve your situation without unnecessary struggle and suffering. When you have understanding, you no longer need to compromise all the time to make your partner happy.
Here’s how you can work together with your long-distance partner to find a way forward:
- Layout all the notes on the table.
- Look at all the feelings and concerns from a 3rd perspective to help you see it objectively.
- Separate the relationship problems from long-distance problems.
- Brainstorm different options that may include breaking up, temporary separation or making it work.
- Decide on an option that works for both of you.
Create a plan based on your feelings, rather than creating feelings to suit your plan.
How to get over the end of a long-distance relationship?
When you’re breaking up with a long-distance partner, it’s time to say your final goodbyes. Regardless of your circumstances, you may find yourself feeling sad, lonely, nervous, or disturbed in some way.
When you decide together with your long-distance partner that it’s time to end your long-distance relationship, you can do it in the way that suits both of you. If your long-distance relationship isn’t working, you and your partner might be happier as friends. And you may find someone else with whom you can have a healthy romantic relationship.
If you end your relationship in the right way, you won’t need to suffer.
You are going to a better place with better people to fulfil your needs and bring joy into your life.
As with saying earlier, you don’t even need to say goodbye to your long-distance partner. Suppose you are getting on well together and trust each other. In that case, you can have a really great and fulfilling friendship, which can be even more valuable than the romantic relationship.
Ending a long-distance relationship can be an emotionally challenging experience. Driven by emotions, it’s easy to make a decision that you may later regret. You only get one shot at ending the relationship the right way.
We’ve talked about how you can approach your situation with more awareness. You may even discover that your reasons for breaking up can be fixed and you could decide to stay together.
If you still decide to separate, you benefit from learning about yourself and your partner. And, you can use this skill to have a healthier future relationship.
You’ve reflected on your feelings, desires and goals to get clear on what you want. You’ve assessed your situation objectively. When you start a relationship, both of you are equally responsible for everything that happens, including the breakup. It means that you should make all your decisions together.
Whatever choice you make, whatever happens, you will always know that you’ve made the best choice you could with an awareness of how you felt at a time.
Getting Some Help
- Assess how healthy is your relationship
- Get a personalised response from a relationship coach
- Get an insight into what is the real cause of your problems
- Receive pointers on what you can do to improve your relationship
Frequently Asked Questions
Can distance end a relationship?
A distance can change the way you interact in a romantic relationship. Communication and physical intimacy are the two most affected aspects of a relationship when you are doing long-distance. If you want to have a healthy and successful long-distance relationship, you need to adjust to these changes.
Should I end my long-distance relationship?
You should end a long-distance relationship when you are no longer feeling that it’s making your life more wonderful. Avoid making a rash decision just because you feel angry or upset one day. However, if these feelings become a norm, then it may be time for a change.
When is it time to end a long-distance relationship?
It’s time to end a long-distance relationship when it no longer positively contributes to your life and well-being. Long-distance relationships are great, and they have a lot of benefits. When you don’t recognise and appreciate a long-distance relationship for what it is, it will bring you a lot of suffering. You will spend most of your time trying to survive it, instead of enjoying it.
How do I end a long-distance relationship?
If you feel that your relationship is no longer working for you, end it. But do it right. You and your partner created your relationship, so it’s only fair that it should be both of you who end it. Avoid making a unilateral decision and informing your partner about it. A little understanding will help both of you move on.
How to end a toxic long-distance relationship?
When your long-distance relationship becomes toxic, you can try and figure out what went wrong. As long as you have good communication and understanding with your long-distance partner, you can fix most of the problems that come your way. However, your long-distance relationship may have been unhealthy for some time, and you might have lost touch with your feelings. The best thing you can do is to take a week or so away from your partner and your relationship. It will allow you to reassess whether not you’re happy in this relationship or is it better to end it.
How to end a long term long-distance relationship?
When you’ve been in a long-distance relationship for a long time, you probably developed a great degree of attachment. What are your relationship is toxic or not; it can be emotionally hard to end it. Regardless of how long it’s been, if you are unhappy in your relationship, you should take some time away from it. It will allow you to reassess whether it’s worth continuing or is it better to end your relationship one way or the other.
What is the best way to end a long-distance relationship?
The best way to end a long-distance relationship depends on your situation and your feelings towards your partner. If you have romantic feelings towards each other, try to find a way to move in together or sort out the problems that cause your discontent. On the other hand, if your feelings have faded away, you may consider staying Friends or breaking up completely.
What to say to end a long-distance relationship?
If you want to end your long-distance relationship for some reason, first of all, get clear on how you are feeling. What do you believe isn’t working in your long-distance relationship? Once you’re clear on your feelings and desires, you can share them with your long-distance partner. You can then take some time to hear their side of the story. After you talk about it, you should make a mutual decision on even how you should end your long-distance relationship.
Is it ok to end a long-distance relationship over the phone?
Ending a long-distance relationship over the phone sounds more like informing your partner about your decision. If there is one thing you should never do, is to make unilateral decisions as long as you are in a relationship. If your long-distance relationship isn’t working for you, tell your partner what is bothering you and what are the things that you want to be different. It’s best to leave phone conversations to discuss more casual things. If you want to talk about something meaningful and important, it’s best to do it face-to-face or at least via video calls.
How to end a long-distance relationship nicely?
If you want to end a long-distance relationship, it’s not a question of doing it nicely. When you want to end your long-distance relationship nicely, you are probably at the point of informing your partner about your decision to end your relationship. Take a step back from your decision. Instead, tell your partner how you feel and what is not working for you in your relationship. Give your partner a chance to participate in the decision to end your relationship. It’s only fair that since you started it together, you should end it together as well.
How to end a long-distance relationship gracefully?
There is no way to end a long-distance relationship gracefully. You can dance with grace, you can behave gracefully, but when it comes to ending a long-distance relationship, you have to do it with respect and love. The only way to do it is to bring your partner in on your decision. Tell them how you feel and what you want, and allow them to help you achieve that.
How to slowly end a long-distance relationship?
When you decide to end a long-distance relationship, it’s not a question of whether you should do it slowly or rapidly. The right way to end a long-distance relationship is by sharing your feelings and concerns with your long-distance partner, hearing out their point of you, and making a decision together.
How to politely end a long-distance relationship?
When it comes to ending a long-distance relationship, politeness is the last thing you want to do. What do you want is to maintain love and respect towards yourself and your partner by being open and honest about your feelings and concerns. After you’ve shared this with your partner, you can find the best way to end the long-distance relationship that works for both of you.
Can a long-distance relationship end in marriage?
A long-distance relationship can definitely end in marriage. Suppose you know how to maintain a healthy and successful long-distance relationship until you get the chance to move in together. In that case, there is no reason why you won’t be able to make it work and turn it into a marriage. Keep in mind that having a long-distance relationship is different from living together. Each one has its problems and different ways of solving them.
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