How To Break Up With Someone Long Distance (& How To Know When To End It)

Heartbreak City 💔

Breaking up sucks—that’s all there is to it. It doesn’t matter if you’re the dumper or the dumpee, it’s just an emotionally difficult situation all the way around. So, how can you navigate this experience the best (and most mature) way possible?

Whether you’re wondering how to end a relationship, when to end a relationship, or if long distance relationships are worth it, it’s all covered in this post. Keep scrolling to get some tips and tricks on ending a relationship, regardless of the circumstances.

How to break up with someone

Make sure you actually want to break up

One of the most important conversations you have about the break up is with yourself. Do you actually want to break up? Maybe some boundaries have been crossed, and that can be frustrating. But don’t be too quick to throw in the towel.

If you feel like there’s something worth saving, don’t give up yet. But if this has been stewing for a while, it’s time to move on.

Practice “The Talk” ahead of time

It’s never a good idea to go into a conversation like this blind. Rehearse points you want to make—it might even help to have notes ready. You want to be able to stay on track without becoming flustered if your partner ends up getting emotional.

While you can’t prepare for every possible contingency, just be sure you know the main topics you want to cover, regardless of which direction the talk ends up going.

Be kind, but direct

There’s no reason to be hurtful during the break up, even if your partner hurt you during your relationship. Be nice, but don’t feel like you have to sugarcoat it.

Honesty really is the best policy here. Make your points in a concise way, but let them down as gently as you can. They deserve to be respected.

Pick an appropriate setting

Knowing when and where to have this conversation is a huge part of the battle. Ensure it’s at a time when both of your schedules are clear for the rest of the day. You wouldn’t want to get broken up with and then have to head to a doctor’s appointment, would you?

A private setting is also likely the best location to have this conversation. In case your partner gets emotional, they’ll feel free to do so without worrying about other people seeing them. Allow them to process their emotions openly, even in front of you.

Face-to-face is best

This is an absolute must. No one, and I mean no one, wants to get dumped over a text message. You owe it to this person to tell it to them face-to-face. Own up to it and steel your nerves.

If you really can’t wait to do it face-to-face, opt instead for something like FaceTime. That might be the closest to in-person you can get, so it will be your best option.

Know that you can’t control their reaction

You’ll never be 100% sure how your partner is going to react to this news. Plan as you might, it probably won’t go down exactly like you think (or hope) it will.

It will also be impossible to control how they’re going to react. Don’t try to force them to stop crying or, at the other end of the spectrum, get overly emotional if they seem numb. Let them deal with their emotions on their own time and at their own pace.

Don’t leave things open-ended

One of the cruelest things you could do is leave the possibility open that the two of you might get back together. If you’re breaking up with them, make it clear that your relationship is done.

If you aren’t sure, then you shouldn’t break up with them. Leaving things open ended just complicates the entire relationship and makes it more difficult for everyone involved.

Lean on your friends & family for support

You have a support system for a reason—utilize them! You’re not expected to deal with this alone, and you’re not expected to.

Whether that means rehearsing what you’re going to say to your friends and family, asking them for advice, or just having them be there for you, they want to help.

Give yourself time

Even if you’re the one who initiated the break up, it’s still going to hurt. Don’t force yourself to feel better immediately. Grief comes in stages, and there’s no specific timeline to feeling “better.”

Try and do what you can to both process your emotions without dwelling on them. The only thing that will heal the pain is time.

Ending a long-distance relationship

Be sure about your decision

Similar to ending a regular relationship, you need to be sure you actually want to break up. Start having conversations with yourself on why you’re thinking about calling it quits.

If your primary concern is being unable to handle a long distance relationship anymore, voice this to your partner. Maybe you two can work out a compromise to make being apart from each other more manageable.

Know what you’re going to say

Trying to come up with what you’re going to say off the cuff won’t end well. Have a game plan in mind. The entire speech doesn’t have to be rehearsed, but remember to have some key talking points at the ready.

Of course, you can only plan so much. Your partner might steer the conversation in a different direction than you anticipated. Just have your main ideas in your head so you don’t get too caught off guard.

Talk about it with someone else first

Run your plan by whoever you feel most comfortable with—most likely friends or family. A different point of view might be able to offer some valuable insight into the situation.

Better still, see if anyone you know has any experience with long distance relationships. Any additional insights to help you navigate this tricky situation will be much appreciated.

Don’t wait too long

It’s better to rip the Band-Aid off than procrastinate. Have the conversation sooner rather than later. There’s no point in trying to put it off if you’ve made up your mind. You’re not sparing anyone’s feelings, at this point.

Give them a heads up that you need to talk

Don’t spring this conversation on your significant other unprompted. At least give them the courtesy and let them know you’d like to talk to them.

Of course, most people can read between the lines and figure out what that means. At the very least, they’ll have some time to emotionally prepare for what’s coming.

If you can’t break up in person, at least do it over the phone

Trying to have the break-up conversation in person is a little more tricky when you’re in a long-distance relationship. However, this is still the most courteous way to end a relationship with someone, especially if you’ve been seeing them for a while.

If you can’t break up with them in person, at the very least, do it over the phone. Breaking up over a text message is just downright rude.

Be patient with your partner

Don’t expect your significant other to immediately be on the same page as you. It’s going to take time for them to process everything that’s happened. Coming out of any relationship is difficult, but long distance relationships are especially difficult to navigate. Give them time and space.

How to know when to break up with someone

There are a few telltale signs when your relationship is failing. Here are the signs that it’s time to call it quits:

  • You break up and get back together
  • You’re the one making all the sacrifices and compromises
  • You don’t feel like you trust them
  • You’re starting to grow apart
  • Your values don’t line up anymore
  • You don’t feel like putting in effort anymore
  • Any forms of physical or emotional abuse
  • You don’t like yourself when you’re with them
  • You fight all the time
  • Your needs are being neglected
  • You think about breaking up—a lot

When to let go of a long-distance relationship

Even in the best of times, long distance relationships are difficult. But if you feel like it’s a wasted effort, ask yourself the following questions. They’ll be able to help you determine if it’s time to end it.

  • Is it hard to communicate?
  • Does it feel like a one-sided relationship?
  • Can you trust your parnter?
  • Do your partner’s friends know about you?
  • Do you hardly ever see each other?
  • Are you happy with your sex life?
  • Are the two of you on the same page about the future?

Why do many long-distance relationships fail?

The number one reason long-distance relationships fail is actually the same reason regular relationships fizzle out: refusing to take your relationship to a deeper level. In other words, feeling a lack of progress.

According to a recent survey, of the 91% of people who had been in a long distance relationship, 50% of them failed. The most common complaints were refusing to make an effort to travel, not feeling sexually fulfilled, arguing, and simply growing apart due to the distance.

Signs of cheating in a long-distance relationship

So you’re in a long distance relationship and fear your partner is cheating. While there’s no one clear tell if they’re cheating or not, there are a few red flags to keep your eyes peeled for:

  • They’re always busy whenever you want to talk
  • Communication has stopped
  • They’re spending time with new people, but they aren’t being open about it
  • If you start asking questions, your partner gets angry, defensive, or changes the subject
  • They haven’t shown any interest in seeing you again soon

How long can a long-distance relationship last?

According to one study, 40% of long distance relationships end in break ups—not the most encouraging of statistics. On average, long distance relationships only last around four and a half months.

Another study, however, said that the average successful long distance relationship lasted around three and a half years from the dating stage to marriage, which is half of the time of a regular relationship. As long as you both put in the effort, it can definitely turn out well!

Trying to set boundaries in a relationship? Find out how you can have that conversation without it ending in an argument.