when to call it quits in a long distance
The painful truth of relationships is that sometimes they don’t last. The signs of the relationship coming to an end might starting blaring around you but it is possible that you try to condone them. Especially when in a long-distance relationship and the virtual fights don’t seem to end, all that’s on your mind is figuring out when to call it quits in a long-distance relationship or to persist and try to make it work instead.
But the joyful truth is that it is alright if relationships come to an end. A long-distance relationship can build really well over time or start crashing down. You might be crazy about one another and the love is there, but the relationship overall is just not meant to be. It’s possible that you start to feel like you need to let go of a long-distance relationship because you may be dragging it but don’t want to take the wrong call. No one wants to regret ending a relationship, especially when you have put so much effort to make it work in the first place.
Why Do Long-Distance Relationships Fail?
Eventually, you will see signs your long-distance relationship is not working and might have to succumb to reality. Ending a long-distance relationship with someone you love can be heartbreaking, but there are times when the end can be a very beginning of something greater and better for the both of you.
Often times, distance makes you realize that your plans for the future are not aligned. Maybe you jumped the gun and realized too late that you actually want very different things and it just doesn’t make any sense to continue being together. As hurtful as that realization is, it is still very real.
You know that long-distance relationships can be exhausting as they require much more work. Both partners must invest in the relationship fully to keep the spark alive and maintain a strong emotional bond despite not being able to see each other. Which is why you might have even denied to yourself that your long-distance relationship fizzling out is happening right in front of your eyes. You’ve worked too hard for this and it just feels impossible to let go.
But there’s another side to that coin. The daily calls, suppressing those pangs of jealousy, feeling sad looking at other couples in the park is just getting harder and harder. The effort no more seems worth the reward when you begin to realize there is no end in sight as you both have completely different goals and long-term plans.
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Long-Distance Break Up
I remember when one of my exes broke up a three-year relationship via phone call. Furious and plotting vengeance, I ghosted him blaming him for being cruel to me. It was only when I had to break up with someone that I realized I have been immature about my past break-ups.
I said things like “I don’t feel attracted to you anymore” which led to some awful stuff being said about me and intense name-calling and blame-shifting with no end in sight. Ending a long-distance relationship with someone you love might make you feel guilty but isn’t it alright to just let go of something that just isn’t working out? That’s why you much watch out for the signs of when to call it quits in a long-distance relationship before it gets ugly and you just start being terrible to each other.
When To Call It Quits In A Long-Distance Relationship?
Basically, call it quits when you spot signs your long-distance relationship is ending. Alas, if only it was that easy!
Most of the long-distance relationships I have seen usually fizzle out over time. They start with a lot of excitement initially, you know, the thrill of packing bags, where every date feels like a first date! However, over time you begin to get tired of ‘dating your phone’ and you slowly realizing you’re losing interest in a long-distance relationship. You crave the physical companionship of your partner and want to be able to do offline activities with them as well.
But when should you leave a long-distance relationship? When you start to feel that you no longer turn to them for advice or no longer feel the desire to inform them immediately of your success, it might be time to re-think your relationship. Time difference and distance, in addition to connectivity issues, can take a real toll on the strongest of relationships. To deal with a busy boyfriend long-distance or to put up with your girlfriend always forgetting to call you back is not for everyone. You may even begin to realize that you are developing feelings for someone you see on a daily basis like a co-worker or friend.
Letting Go Of A Long-Distance Relationship
Being away from each other for longer periods of time can get exhausting and emotionally draining after a certain point. One of you or both of you builds up a life of your own in different places. The theory of out of sight, out of mind is one of the signs your long-distance relationship is not working. But that’s perfectly alright.
Letting go of a long-distance relationship results in a healthier self for yourself and your partner (you’ll realize over time). It takes time to process that you are no longer in a relationship and you can take your own sweet time to grieve. With the right self-help and help from friends, it is easier to understand that letting go of an unhappy relationship is a nudge to a happy life. Give yourself time to be happy. So if you do see long-distance relationship break up signs, don’t take it lightly.
Naomi Browne, 37 and a surgical resident from Ohio was in a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend Trevor for the past three years. Trevor didn’t want to move out to Ohio because he wanted to live in Portland and care for his sick mother. The two made it work for as long as they could but their long-distance relationship fizzling out was right around the corner of their three-year mark.
“It just wasn’t sustainable anymore. Neither of us wanted to move for the other person and we realized there was just no point to this anymore. I don’t blame him for caring for his mother but I’m equally devoted to my job and not in a position to leave anything. It breaks my heart and I love him but I can’t do long-distance”, says Naomi about her break up.
Related Reading: 13 Long-Distance Relationship Date Ideas
10 Signs You Need To Let Go Of A Long-Distance Relationship
Just like any other relationship, long-distance relationships too start to show signs of petering out. But then long-distance relationship break up signs are not so pronounced because you do not really have to interact with your partner wherein you can see the signs in the eyes, in the body language or in the way they talk to you.
There are some very plausible, very definite signs a long-distance relationship isn’t working. Moreover, a lot of effort is made by the partners to keep a long-distance relationship working – letting go of a long-distance relationship is very, very tough on both people.
But then you cannot ignore signs your long-distance relationship is not working. That’s where the question comes in – when to call it quits in a long-distance relationship? Does one wait it out more or pull the plug before it gets harder later on? These are some important things to think about.
For instance, if you have to convince yourself time and again that the relationship will work out, this might be a sign. If you don’t understand your partner anymore and they feel so distant and a whole new person altogether, that might be a sign. If the relationship feels more forced than natural, letting go of a long-distance relationship and moving on might just be the best thing for you. LDRs can be tough. But of if you are hanging in the middle with no clue, these are signs that you might relate to and should take closer note of.
1. No calls for days
A generation connected by social media and wireless cellular, if this is true for you, then it might be the beginning of an end. Communication forms the essence of every relationship. Maybe you spent hours on the phone with each other earlier but suddenly, it is not the same as before.
Trevor had something similar to say about his situation with Naomi. He said, “I’m a teacher at the local high school and not a big doctor like Naomi, I get that. I always understood if she was at work or couldn’t make time for me. But when our calls started going from thrice a day to once a day to once in four days, I knew it could not work out anymore.”
Like Trevor said, that can be a real problem. This explains when to call off a long-distance relationship. If it’s come to a point where you can spend days without talking to each other, it’s obvious that things are not the same. And when you do speak to one another, you do not need to talk for long to catch up on everything about each other’s lives. It just feels mundane and routinely.
Related Reading: 3 Harsh Facts About Long-Distance Relationships You Must Know
2. No plans for a future rendezvous
Remember how you planned to meet at least once every two months? Or that every phone call was laced with a “Ugh, I can’t wait to see you, baby!” The excitement of how you will plan these precious days out occupied most of your LDR before. The excitement of packing the bags, choosing the destination and all the eagerness to be with each other going on an amazing travel for two!
But things are not like that anymore. Now, the two has turned into six and no plans have been made by either of you to meet up. You’re so busy, occupied and distracted with other things that it doesn’t even come to your mind that you could fly over to see him on labor day weekend.
Studies point out that couples in LDRs are less stressed and more content, if they know when the non-proximal portion of the relationship will end. The hope of being in the same city in a year or less is what keeps the LDR going. So, if you are wondering about when to call it quits in a relationship, it’s when you and your partner are not making conscious efforts to plan a rendezvous.
3. No physical intimacy
Intimacy is the backbone of a relationship – you feel connected because you share with each other something that you don’t share with anyone else. We hear about all the ways of how to keep the romance alive while doing long-distance. Frequent video calls, sexting away, sending Snapchats to keep the romance and intimacy alive in a long-distance relationship, are thing people frequently do to stay connected and keep the erotic spark alive.
But after a point, it is possible that it might start to wane. When a relationship is dying down, regular passion goes right out of the window. Are you thinking about when to call it quits in a long-distance relationship? It’s when sexting seems like a chore and it becomes far easier to just help yourself on days you really need it.
Are you still looking for tips on when to call off a long-distance relationship? Don’t worry, you are not the only one. In fact, “lack of physical intimacy” was the most commonly cited challenge in a survey of long-distance partners, conducted by a company that manufactures sex toys. The other top challenges were ‘worried my partner would meet someone else’ , ‘feel lonely’ , ‘expensive to meet each other’ and ‘growing apart’.
4. Constant fights
How to let go of a long-distance relationship when you’ve spent so much time building it together? We have to break it to you. If you two are always on the verge of an argument, what you have built is already lost. When everything your partner does irritates you or vice versa, it is a huge sign a long-distance relationship isn’t working.
How to know when to call it quits in a long-distance relationships? It’s when little things have the potential to annoy you both immensely. Every phone call turns into mini bursts of frequent fights and intense relationship arguments. You might not even call back (or get a phone call back) even when you disconnect in anger. Long-distance relationship fizzling out? I sure think so.
5. Not being appreciative enough
You might exchange gifts or leap through hoops to get a proper 10-minute conversation with your long-distance partner but there might be many long-distance relationship break up signs you haven’t yet paid attention to. For instance, think about when they last appreciated you or complimented you. Do you get appreciated enough? Do they recognize how much time you make for them? You feel like you are crossing oceans for people who don’t even jump a puddle for you.
Naomi told us that she knew she had to face the dilemma of when to call it quits in a long-distance relationship when she realized that Trevor was just overlooking all that she did for him. She said, “I sent out birthday presents, anniversary cards and care packages every chance I got. All I ever received was a simple ‘Thank you’ text from my boyfriend. This angered me and made me realize that I was working towards nothing.”
6. The relationship starts to feel one-sided
Are you looking for tips on when to let go of a long-distance relationship? One of the most common trademarks of your long-distance relationship heading towards the finish line is this…The relationship starts to feel like a one-sided relationship. Whether it’s you putting in the maximum effort or it’s your partner doing the hard work, the bottom line is that you both are not equally invested.
You may feel like you are always chasing your partner no matter how hard you try. A long-distance relationship is a two-way street; you have to go all the way each time to make it work. Meeting someone in the middle just for the sake of it does not last too long.
7. Falling behind personally
Are you wondering when to let go of a long-distance relationship? When it starts affecting your day-to-day behaviors. According to research, students who were in LDRs felt lonelier on campus and showed lower engagement in university activities, as compared to other students. So, LDR takes time and effort out of you. If you start to lose yourself in the process of getting the relationship to work, it might be time to start facing the music and think about when to call it quits in a long-distance relationship.
Perhaps you have missed deadlines massively or an important email goes unchecked because you’re too stressed that your girlfriend did not call you back. If these things are happening with you more often than ever, it is about time to let go of the relationship that is making you fall behind. The whole point of a relationship is to find someone who makes you better and can grow with you. Personal goals, future prospect/career are to be cherished. Falling behind on them might be a reason to break it off.
Related Reading: When You Know It’s Time To Break Up
8. A lot of emotional tension in the relationship
To arrive at an answer on when to call it quits in a long-distance relationship, ask yourself this. Is it true that instances of gaslighting or feelings of guilt are occupying your LDR? You feel like the relationship is taking a toll on your mind and heart? You feel suffocated in the relationship? Well those are some of the biggest long-distance relationship break up signs.
Maybe the feelings of romance are now dead. You are just not sure where the relationship is going and whether you need to let go of your long-distance relationship or hold onto it. Not answering calls, ghosting your partner seems better than holding another conversation with them.
9. Your own gut feeling
Before you ask us how to let go of a long-distance relationship, think about what your gut is really telling you. In these times, our own inner-self can reveal truths to us that we have been hiding all along. Naomi Browne’s comments on her breakup, have a similar theory. She said, “After a point, I just knew it in my heart that it wasn’t meant for me. Trevor is a good guy but how could I go against something my mind was telling me each day?”
Here are some signs on when to call it quits in a long-distance relationship. You feel like the distance makes it harder to convey your feelings to them. You question the validity of your relationship on a regular basis. Something just does not feel right, something is always missing. Perhaps it wasn’t like this always, but now your intuition is that it is failing, failing beyond repair. You want to say that everything will be fine but your gut feeling spells doom for you and you cannot deny it.
10. The relationship has turned toxic
If both of you agree to this one, there is no question of when to call it quits in a long-distance relationship. It is clear that you both must part ways. You or both of you feel that the relationship has become toxic, ruining your schedules, peace of mind and sleep at night. When should you leave a long-distance relationship?
Here are some signs of falling out of love in a long-distance relationship. You may feel that your personal goals are being left out because of your long-distance relationship demands that you fail to keep up with. You feel like you have to push aside a lot of yourself to make this relationship work – and it is already giving you panic attacks or even depression. If this is all true, it’s better to let go of a relationship than be in a toxic one.
LDR takes a lot of time, effort and empathy. This doesn’t mean you don’t love them. The “I love him but I cant do long-distance” conflict is absolutely an okay place to be in. But there is more to relationship than love. Things like communication and understanding your partner’s perspectives, are important. But if you feel that it is not working out, remind yourself that it’s okay to walk away from something that no longer makes you happy.
Chances are you’ll know that walking away from someone you love is in your best interest, and perhaps, theirs too. In case you find yourself struggling to make sense of signs your long-distance relationship is ending, counseling can be immensely beneficial for gaining perspective. Licensed and experienced counselors on Bonobology’s panel have helped so many people in similar situations. You too could benefit from their expertise and find the answers you’ve been looking for.
More emotional tension, less conversations and lack of appreciation for each other are all signs your long-distance relationship is ending. An unhealthy long-distance relationship can affect your mental health, by making you feel suffocated and taking your attention off the present moment. Knowing when to call it quits in a relationship is crucial because overstaying can even lead to cheating.
To end an unhealthy long-distance relationship, try to do in person. If that is not feasible, prefer video calling or talking on the phone. Avoid breaking up over text. Share all your doubts, concerns and feelings with your partner. Patiently hear them out too.
If you could see clear signs of falling out of love in a long-distance relationship, there is no need to feel guilty or beat yourself up for ending it. Use this time to hang out with your favorite people and rediscover yourself. Try to stay off social media and give yourself at least six months to heal. Focus on what’s right there in front of you.