When to Let Go of a Long Distance Relationship?

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When to Let Go of a Long Distance Relationship

A common question we often encounter from couples in a long-distance relationship is, “When do I call it quits?”

If you are on the fence about your partner and wondering whether it’s time to let go of your long-distance relationship, you aren’t alone. 

While revolutionizing technology has certainly made long-distance relationships easier, it does come with its own set of issues. 

According to relationship experts, here are a few top signs that may suggest it’s time to move on from your long-distance relationship. 

9 Signs You Should Let Go of the Long Distance Relationship  

Even when you have successfully managed your long-distance relationship for years, you may not be fully satisfied. Here are a few suggestive signs of the right time to move on:

1. You’re Losing Communication

A guy video calling his girlfriend
A guy video calling his girlfriend.

Communication is the only driver of a long-distance relationship. There’s no physical intimacy, so the only way to stay put in an LDR is to talk your hearts out. However, when you start getting the vibes of forced conversations, it’s a sign that the relationship is losing its charm. 

While not every relationship brings butterflies in the stomach after a specific time, the mutual desire to stay connected holds particular importance in a long-distance relationship. 

It’s not necessary to have hours of texting or sexting when you’ve been in a relationship for a few years, but still having a two-way urge to know about each other’s well-being is crucial. 

So, if by any chance you or your partner is losing the urge to communicate, the LDR is about to end. 

2. You’re Looking Out for Exit Points

Being in a long-distance relationship can have psychological effects. You may see couples hugging and kissing, making you yearn to do the same with your loved one. 

It’s natural to feel the urge to get physical with your partner when you have an external stimulus.  However, the breaking point is to get so tempted by the feeling that you start looking for intimacy elsewhere. 

The only way to continue the LDR in such circumstances is if you’ve already agreed to a polygamous relationship with your loved one. 

If you have not informed them and see someone on the side, it’s cheating. Better to quit than cheat. 

3. It’s Not the Sex Life You Wanted

There’s a fair chance you’ll start to lose interest in the sexual aspect of a long-distance relationship. FaceTime may not suffice, and sexting starts looking like a dull activity, especially when you have been in a physical relationship previously. 

As any relationship matures, partners adjust to each other’s physical and emotional needs. It could be sexting, remotely controlled sex toys, or Facetime. After a few years, you adjust to how it works. 

However, when your routine sexual activities start feeling mundane or too much, it’s time to say goodbye or start afresh with some new mutually-consented practices. 

4. There’s Always Guessing Games Involved

Crying young woman video calling his LDR boyfriend
Crying young woman video calling his LDR boyfriend.

When you’re in a long-distance relationship, you don’t have the chance to read faces immediately. 

Facetime is one thing where you can judge the mood or the tone of voice, but if it’s only limited to texting and sharing stuff over messenger apps, it can lead to miscommunication and guessing games. 

Your loved one may be upset or have an unexpected situation that you have no idea of. 

You keep texting and nagging until your partner explodes. That’s where fights enter into an LDR, and if they exceed so much as to affect you mentally, it’s better to call it quits. 

5. Your Partner Doesn’t Seem to Share an Emotional Bond With You

Having a long-distance relationship doesn’t mean that you can’t rely on your partner for your emotional needs. 

Since 2.9% of married couples live in an LDR, it’s essential to know that your loved one’s emotional well-being isn’t at stake due to the distance. 

If it’s a serious long-distance relationship such as marriage, increasing visit frequency will work. 

However, if frequent visits or smooth communication doesn’t work well enough, and you’re lacking the emotional support you need, it’s time to take a break from each other. 

6. Future Appears Vague 

Suppose you’re in a long-distance relationship where you hardly talk about how you see the future shaping up. In that case, it’s most probable that you’re in a situationship rather than a proper relationship. 

Your partner avoids talking about their goals or plans, or when they do, they don’t mention you in their dreams. 

If something similar is happening in your long-distance relationship, it’s a clear sign that you either didn’t have a hold of it from the beginning, or you’re losing it. 

7. Slightest Interest in In-Person Meetings

Woman giving a flying kiss while having face time with her boyfriend
Woman giving a flying kiss while having face time with her boyfriend.

Serious long-distance relationships involve a desire to meet each other. The distance usually becomes a severe barrier to meeting each other, considering the costs involved. 

That’s a mutually understood situation, though. 

However, sometimes there’s sheer avoidance of meeting in person. There can be multiple reasons behind not wanting to visit your partner. 

If it’s a college relationship, you may not be ready to take on the responsibility of a serious relationship as yet. In contrast, a pure internet-based relationship can have other more serious reasons behind the avoidance too. 

The other party may be lying about their job, status, or residence, so it’s prudent to do a background check before getting serious with someone over the internet. 

Whatever the reason, if it starts frustrating you and you start doubting your partner’s intentions, you should move on. 

8. Ignoring Each Other

When your partner sees your messages and doesn’t bother answering, it’s a clear sign that they are avoiding you. 

However, if they eventually show up and give you a valid reason for not replying, the best way is to accept the reason as an apology and keep going. 

But when ignoring you becomes a habit, it’s a tell-tale sign that something isn’t right. You can try communicating politely or give them a surprise visit to better understand the situation. 

If things keep going downhill, there’s nothing better than to set yourself free from the burden of a non-functional relationship. 

9. Undue Secrecy

It’s a serious red flag if your partner doesn’t want to share their address details or the whereabouts of their family. 

Nobody hides such details when they’re transparent in a relationship. People with hidden motives or something unusual will keep such secrets. 

So, if you’re experiencing anything of the sort, start thinking about moving on without any regrets. 

What Are the Red Flags in a Long Distance Relationship?

Apart from the signs mentioned above that your long-distance relationship is losing its touch, here are some red flags to consider when the long-distance relationship is not right from the beginning:

Red Flags in a Long Distance Relationship

Your Partner Wants to Know Your Whereabouts Constantly

Maintaining healthy boundaries is one of the primary leveraging factors of a strong relationship. 

However, sometimes in a long-distance relationship, one partner may want to know every little detail of the day you spend.

While they may label it as care, it’s not a healthy approach to maintain any relationship, LDR or not. 

Constantly texting, overshadowing other commitments, and constantly nagging about something or the other are a few signs of having eluded boundaries or exercising too much control.

They Keep an Eye on Your Passwords and Other Information

No matter how concerned a partner is, there must be some balance of information between the two parties. 

While sharing passwords may seem like an immature demand to many of us who come out of love, it’s not the right way to ruin a relationship.

Your partner should have a life besides the one the two of you share where they are not constantly poking their noses into your affairs.

You Feel Forced to Share Explicit Content

Woman worried of sending nudes to his long distance partner
Woman worried of sending nude pictures to his LDR partner.

It’s one thing to sext or face-time, but it’s another thing to force someone into sharing personal stuff they are not comfortable sharing. 

These are serious red flags if your partner demands nudes or wants to film intercourse without your consent.

More so, if you have clearly stated that you don’t want to do it and they still coerce you into doing it. It’s a sign of mental abuse that you may ignore initially, but ultimately, it will ruin your self-respect.

Excessive Pressure of In-Person Meetings

While we discussed avoiding in-person meetings as a breaking point, it covers some other aspects. 

Scheduled meetings that do not disturb your routine or give you time to relax are a sign that your partner understands your needs.

However, it’s a red flag when your partner keeps bombarding you with unplanned and constant visits. They’re not considering that you need to have your space to grow and perform well in your respective field.

How Long Do Long Distance Relationships Last on Average?

When it comes to the longevity of long-distance relationships, there are no hard-and-fast rules. 

However, a 2018 study suggests that 58% of long-distance relationships succeed in finishing the first crucial four-month mark.

The distance that one can consider a ‘long distance’ is at least 132 miles. The study also suggested that 31% of couples miss sexual bonds the most in an LDR, and if the initial eight months go smoothly, the long-distance relationship is most likely to survive for years.

Do Most Long-Distance Relationships Fail?

The studies on long-distance relationships are limited, so there’s not enough evidence to state anything conclusively. Still, the studies we gauged about LDRs suggest that the success rate lies somewhere between 50-60%. 

We cannot outright say that long-distance relationships mostly fail, but they are typically harder to handle than a non-LDR. 

Here’s some statistical evidence through sprucedrug.com. The survey questioned 1,200 Americans and Europeans about success in a long-distance relationship, and the results were:

While there may be break-ups in LDRs, there’s an encouraging 22.3% reunion.

For how to do better in an LDR, you can read some sweet stories in the book How to Make Your Long-Distance Relationship Work and Flourish A Couple’s Guide to Being Apart and Staying Happy by Tamsen Butler.

What Kills Long Distance Relationships?

Long-distance relationships are more challenging than close-proximity relationships. The lack of physical contact, not being able to see each other often, or even the expenses involved in meeting can harm the relationship. 

Still, these are not the only deal-breakers in a long-distance relationship. 

No Respect for Consent

If your partner doesn’t regard your opinion or consent, they do not deserve to be in a relationship with you. If they are coercive, seem self-obsessed, and don’t heed your consent, they are not worth the hassle.

In an LDR, the usual consent challenge is sharing intimate stuff over the internet (which is not a safe practice anyway).

Being Verbally Abusive

Couple yelling at each other over the phone
Couple yelling at each other over the phone.

Verbal abuse is a sign that the person has adopted the behavior from somewhere and now uses it for their benefit. Verbally abusive men and women believe in correction and control, and they tend to have everything done their way.

It’s quite likely that a person who doesn’t respect consent stoops to verbal abuse because when something’s not going their way, it’s wrong.

Such people ruin any relationship, including long-distance relationships.

No Regard for Others’ Feelings

A study suggests that long-distance relationships make people better understand emotions. This argument supports the communication and time involved in an LDR. 

So, one must find emotional support in a long-distance relationship because it mostly works as a haven for many.

However, when partners stop giving attention to the feelings and emotions of the other person due to the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ notion, things start going downhill.

Exercising Excessive Control

The worst you can expect in any relationship, especially one with a long-distance arrangement, is one partner being too bossy.  

Their whims overshadow the whole persona of the relationship, and it finally ends up frustrating you. 

So, monitoring social media, keeping a check on the passwords, or continuously bombarding your partner with questions is an absolute deal-breaker.

How to End a Long Distance Relationship With Someone You Love?

Long-distance relationships are hard to maintain but generally easier to break off. However, when there’s emotional dependence, breaking up an LDR can be challenging too. 

Still, if you feel that the love isn’t enough to keep going and you decide to call it quits, here are some points to remember:

  • Never break up on the phone or text because it will keep you anxious even after the breakup.
  • Don’t make a single-sided decision; listen to your partner’s side of the story, but keep yourself strong enough to spot manipulation.
  • Avoid getting into a verbal or physical fight because it will simply ruin the time and emotional investment you put into the relationship.
  • Don’t make your breakup public unless there’s forgery or fraud involved; in that case, making public statements about the person will prevent others from falling prey to them.

How to Survive a Long-Distance Relationship

Couple talking to each other via internet

While there’s no guarantee that any relationship will last forever, here are some rules for surviving a long-distance relationship:

Set Boundaries

Personal boundaries are the key to thriving relationships. Effective boundaries do not limit a person’s role in your life; they navigate how you want to run the relationship. 

For instance, if you’re not comfortable discussing your past relationships with your partner, you need to tell them that they should respect your choice.

However, boundaries are always two-way. You cannot implement different rules for both parties because this will lead to fights and, ultimately, a breakup.

Discuss Changes

In a long-distance relationship, communication is the primary force that keeps the partners together. 

If you’re expecting a job shift or a location change, you need to inform and make adjustments for your partner to make the LDR work.

Go for Outings

Although it’s hard to see each other regularly in a long-distance relationship, whenever you do, make it memorable. 

Plan consensual outings, no matter how small they are. You can keep the spirit of an LDR alive just by having a star-gazing camping night with each other.

Don’t Disturb Routine

Planning goes a long way in a long-distance relationship. A few surprise visits are fine, but if you keep doing it, you will affect the trust between the two parties. 

Moreover, giving your partner the space to breathe is equally important as you regard your autonomy.

In Short

Long-distance relationships do not have a good track record. One may feel overwhelmed with the pressures a long-distance relationship has, but they are manageable and can nurture deep emotional bonds.

The key is to identify healthy boundaries to maintain the flow of your LDR and be committed to the person you’re seeing.

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AUTHOR

Over the years, Stephanie has had her fair share of dating experiences. While some turned out great, others weren't so great. She believes that relationships are meant to be fun, exciting, and full of laughter. She wants to help men and women become confident, attractive, and successful in their romantic relationships.