Getting over relationships is always a very exhaustive process. It breaks the people involved in the relationship and, at times, creates long-lasting animosity between the couples. There is no right way to break up, though.
People in a relationship can only hope that it is mutual and that both partners realize it is the right thing to do.
Ways of ending your long-distance relationship in a pleasant manner
Breaking up in long-distance relationships is even more difficult. This is mainly because couples in a long-distance relationship would have invested so much time and effort into it that convincing them that it was all for nothing could be heartbreaking.
But it is extremely important to notice when the relationship has hit rock bottom and when it is time to move on.
Staying in a relationship that has run its course can be the worst mistake a couple can make. Although the conversation of breaking up is the most difficult one you can have, do know that there are ways to make it as agreeable as possible.
Make sure to break up over a conversation.
It is difficult to talk to your partner and tell them that you have decided to break up. Many times, people in a long-distance relationship take the easy route out.
Since they are far apart, they choose to break up over a text or a mail or, in the worst cases, decide to go AWOL.
None of these are decent ways to let your ex-partner know you are moving on. You have to engage in conversations with them and take your time to make the point across. It is the most brutal act to commit, but the right one.
Make it a face-to-face one, if possible:
It is understandable that in a long-distance relationship, it may not always be possible to have an in-person conversation with your partner, but it would be the best option if you can manage that.
In the absence of the possibility of you traveling to them, try to get on a video call with them. If you cannot bring yourself to do either, then at least get on an audio call with them. Leaving audio messages is not an option either.
Reasons to press for a conversation–
There are some definite reasons why we place so much emphasis on the conversation. The conversation helps in:
- Clearing doubts and misnomers that you guys might have about each other. Both of you might have underlying hostilities, and it is perfectly alright to clear those problems before breaking up.
- Showing respect to your partner. If you guys have been in a long-distance relationship for so long, you must have respected each other greatly. Your partner deserves to hear it from you and not find it out over a text or voice mail.
- Make sure that they are alright. When you have an actual conversation, you get an idea of how they are reacting so that you can be sure they are okay. You will never know how your partner might respond to a text message.
Do not make it an out-of-the-blue move.
Breakups are never sudden. They are a very gradual process. Unless the reason for the breakup is you catching your partner cheating on you or vice versa, they take time.
And as such, more often than not, both partners have a fairly good clue that something is amiss with the relationship.
Usually, partners try to talk through it and make things work, and when that fails, they realize that a breakup is inevitable. And when both the partners know it and decide to move down that path, it becomes a much easier and friendlier process.
But sometimes, there might be a situation where your partner is perfectly fine in the relationship, and it is just you who would instead move on.
Let them know something is not working:
Sometimes, it is just one of you who feels like they want to end it. It can be a bit daunting to bring up the subject, especially if your partner is not expecting it.
You have to let them know that you are increasingly unhappy in the relationship and that you guys might have grown apart.
Have frank conversations with your partner about why you are different people now and why that has led to your relationship not working anymore.
Tell them that you would much rather have both of you happy and apart than sad and together.
Why making it gradual helps?
Having a gradual breakup is much less shocking and painful for your partner. Apart from it is advised because:
- It gives your partner the time to convince themselves that it is over. Denial is a major aftereffect of breakups, and the quicker your partner accepts the fact that it is over, the easier it would be for them to move on.
- Gives them time to introspect what they think. Your partner might find it extremely unfair if it is a one-sided breakup. But given the time, they too might realize it was for the better.
Be well prepared as to how you are going to do it
It is very easy to say something you will regret later while breaking up. It is a very tense moment, and adrenaline and emotions run high. You are letting a partner know you cannot continue with a relationship with them.
You have no idea how they might react to it. If you are not prepared, you might utter the most insensitive or illogical words in such a situation. They can make the situation worse than it already is.
Apart from that, it will also display the lack of seriousness that you have put into the thought of breaking up.
Let them know you have thought this through:
When you have prepared well, you will know exactly what to say and how to say it. You would also be in a better position to predict how they will react. This will enable you to tackle their various queries and volatile emotions if needed.
When you are prepared with what to say and how to say it, it shows your empathy and how well you have understood your partner over the years.
Make a list of things you are going to say.
When you start and engage in a conversation for which you are prepared, it helps in:
- Let your partner know that it was not a spur-of-the-moment thought; therefore, you must have had genuine reasons for resorting to a breakup.
- Showing them the amount of respect you have for them and that you took the effort of thinking this through rather than coming in unprepared.
- Helping you from backing off. When it is not a mutual breakup, the other partner might try to convince you to get back in it. You can only hold it off if you have thought this through and know for sure that a breakup is what you want.
Treat the breakup no different from a regular one.
Long-distance relationships are not regular relationships. The commitment and investment required by both partners are much more.
And therefore, there is always a risk of the breakups being more confusing for the people involved. Most couples are in doubt as to how to go about it.
Should they make it a one-way communication and then start ignoring the other person entirely or should they sit down together and talk it out? , But it would serve well to both the people involved that at the end of the day, the despair and the heartbreak are the same irrespective of how far or close they are.
Give them a chance to express themselves:
In this confusion of breaking up over a long-distance relationship, do not make the mistake of assuming it to be different from a normal breakup. Once you have made your reasons for wanting a breakup clear, ask them what they have to say.
Listen to them intently and sincerely. Answer their questions if they have them. Just because you might be talking over the phone and you have the choice of canceling the call at any moment, do not do it.
Keep the communication intact.
Effective communication is always required, whether you are getting into a new relationship, continuing in a relationship, or calling it off with someone. It helps in:
- Understanding the reasons for breaking up for both the partners. Once the reasons are realized, you can let go of anger and maybe even stay friends.
- It always helps a person to talk their feelings through. After all, you guys were together all these years, and your partner must have invested a lot of effort in it. They deserve a chance to make their feelings appreciated and heard.
Be patient while breaking up.
Towards the end of a relationship, you never know how the feelings might be. Two people who might have been very close to each other would have had a number of reasons to grow apart. You should indeed work through the problems in your relationship.
It is very easy to give up on a relationship, but if a couple values each other, they should try their best to make it work. But is it always possible to come through all the time?
All relationships may not stand the trials they go through and couples need to identify when it is time to end it.
Do not hurry it:
But even when the partners realize that the time in their relationship has ended, they should show the decency and care that their partner deserves.
Do not hurry up the breakup. It would be very tempting to end things over a quick call because that final conversation is very difficult.
It involves a lot of explanations and reasonings, which is not an easy talk to have. But showing the patience and fortitude to talk through to the end and finish it on a mutual note is very important.
Advantages of being patient
Nobody wants to be left in the lurch at the end of a relationship, especially when it is a long-distance one, where the partner might not have their usual support system around them. Patience helps in:
- Your partner gets the opportunity to express their feelings and make their points across.
- Leading the relationships to an amicable end. Given the time and effort, all animosities can be brought to an end through a patient conversation.
- Keeping a good last impression of you. In most probability, the breakup is the last time that you and your partner might interact with each other. Let both of you get away with fond memories of each other. Being patient helps in that.
Be honest about the reasons of breakup
If honesty is important during a relationship, it is even more important when the relationship ends. Trust is the paramount quality required in a long-distance relationship.
When two partners are miles apart, the entire bond depends upon them, knowing they can depend on their partner to be faithful towards them.
It is a common mistake people make while breakup up to assume that it is alright to hide the reasons for breaking up. But this mistake should not be committed even if the breakups are not mutual. Honesty helps in healing wounds.
Let them know the real reasons:
Honesty requires a lot of strength. It is very easy to break up without engaging in difficult conversations. But letting your partner know why you have decided to take this step is important. It is even worse to lie to your partner about the reasons.
If you have met someone else, let them know that. If you think you guys have just grown apart, let them know that too.
Maybe the reasons might sound stupid or even put you in a bad light, but be strong and face up to it. Let them know.
Ensure both of you get closure
The most important thing at the end of a relationship is to get closure. Without getting a finality in a breakup, moving on can be a really difficult task. And the biggest harm you can do to your partner after a breakup is not helping them move on.
As someone who spent so much time with them, it is your responsibility to help them get on with their life.
Giving them closure requires you to tell them the reasons for the breakup. If it had something to do with their behavior or actions, do not shy away from saying so.
Do not ghost them:
But not being open about the reasons is not the only manner in which you can deny closure. You could do much worse. You could ghost them, i.e., not tell them that you are breaking up. The mental toll that this can have on a person is unfathomable.
Never leave them guessing either. Make sure that you are in the same boat when you split up. Do not leave them confused if you will patch up in the future if it is a temporary break, or if you are done for good.
Be empathetic towards your partner.
Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and imagine how you would want to be treated in a similar situation. That is the main thing, be empathetic. Providing closure will help them in:
- They convince themselves that the relationship is over, and they can no longer return to it. Although it might hurt them in the short run, it would encourage them to move on in the long run.
- Seek help for themselves, be that a professional one from a therapist or a personal one from friends and families.
- Above all, it will help ensure that they are left with images of you as a kind person who made sure they were alright until the very end.
Ending long-distance relationships nicely is a tedious task. Especially because you might miss the point altogether, it makes sense to put in the work when you are together.
But it would make no sense to most people to have tough talks while breaking up. ‘Why care now?’ is a typical sentiment when calling it quits.
But that is where you come across as the right kind of person. When you care for someone who may not be in your life any longer. When you can care for a person who is moving away from you, you are inherently a good person and value your relationship.
All relationships, irrespective of their durations, deserve a civilized end to it, and as partners, it falls upon us to ensure it does.