Long-distance relationships are difficult even in the best of times and they can be hard to stick with.
When you’re in a long-distance relationship that’s failing, it’s easier to ignore than an in-person relationship. You can ignore the evidence and put off reality.
But sometimes the best course of action is to put your foot down and break up.
Here’s how to know when it’s time.
16 signs that it’s time to let go of your long-distance relationship
Is it time to say goodbye to your long-distance girlfriend or boyfriend?
If you’re experiencing more than half of these signs then sadly the answer is yes.
1) You barely ever talk
Being busy people, it can be hard to find the time and energy to talk on a regular basis.
This is one of the most common reasons that long-distance love doesn’t work out.
It’s also one of the top signs that it’s time to let go of your long-distance relationship:
You barely ever talk anymore and you don’t particularly want to, either.
If you don’t talk it can be for many reasons.
Maybe you just don’t have enough time in your schedule or are too tired when you’re not working to pick up the phone.
But it can also be because your life no longer really includes your partner and you just don’t really know what to talk about with them.
If talking to your girlfriend or boyfriend starts to feel more like a chore than something you want to do then it’s probably time to let this one go.
2) You haven’t seen them in months
No relationship is likely to survive years and years apart.
If you haven’t seen your significant other in many months, then the chances of this working out are very small.
I understand that some long-distance relationships are simply very long distance. That doesn’t mean you have to break up.
Nor does it mean you will necessarily be able to come up with the time or money to visit more than once or twice a year.
But in absence of seeing each other, it can be very hard to retain your commitment and keep your relationship alive.
If it’s just not possible to see each other except very rarely, you will both have to make a really tough judgment call about whether this relationship has a future.
If you rarely see each other, then you need to consider the possibility that this relationship is also preventing you from meeting someone else who would be more compatible and present.
Opening up the relationship is also an option, although I highly advise against that.
3) You feel like your love life will never work out
Long distance relationships can lead you to feeling like your love life will never work out.
After all, here you’ve met an ideal person who you love, but for various reasons of fate or necessity, you can’t be where they are and be with them personally.
Have you ever asked yourself why love is so hard?
Why can’t it be how you imagined growing up? Or at least make some sense…
When you’re dealing with difficulties in long-distance relationships, it’s easy to become frustrated and even feel helpless. You may even be tempted to throw in the towel and give up on love.
I want to suggest doing something different.
It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.
In fact, many of us self-sabotage and trick ourselves for years, getting in the way of meeting a partner who can truly fulfill us.
As Rudá explains in this mind blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way that ends up stabbing us in the back.
We get stuck in awful relationships or empty encounters, never really finding what we’re looking for and continuing to feel horrible about things like meeting the right person at the wrong time.
We fall in love with an ideal version of someone instead of the real person, or cling to a relationship that’s already expired.
We try to “fix” our partners and end up destroying relationships.
We try to find someone who “completes” us, only to fall apart with them next to us and feel twice as bad.
Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.
While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find and nurture love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution to deciding whether to break up with a long-distance partner.
If you’re done with unsatisfying dating, empty hookups, frustrating relationships and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.
I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
4) You feel awkward when you do see them
If you feel a bit awkward when you first see your long-distance partner that’s perfectly normal, of course.
But this awkward feeling should melt away within a few hours or days.
If it doesn’t, it can often be the case that you’ve simply grown apart in very real ways as a couple.
This unfortunately does happen and it’s not always possible to just ask for a do-over and get over it.
If you’ve literally become different people, shifted values or re-prioritized your life in fundamental ways, it’s not always possible to snap your fingers and go back to how things were.
This may be the new normal.
And unless you’re comfortable sitting awkwardly with your significant other and wishing you were somewhere else, it’s time to let this relationship run its course.
5) You are tempted to cheat on them
We all have temptation from time to time. But long-distance relationships can be the worst in this regard.
If you find yourself tempted to abusequite frequently then you are probably reaching the end of the cycle of this relationship.
At the same time, sometimes you may just be expressing a desire for more closeness in general or wishing they were around.
The difference is whether you find yourself genuinely wishing you could be with someone else or if you simply notice the attractiveness of another person.
The second may be nothing but a momentary temptation and distraction, but the first can be a classic sign that you don’t really want to be in a long-distance relationship anymore.
Or at least not with your current partner.
6) You find yourself fantasizing about other people
This brings us to the issue of fantasizing. We all fantasize sometimes, and it’s part of a healthy man or woman’s intimate life.
But when you find yourself often fantasizing about other people, including celebrities, that’s a different story.
Men, in particular, may write this off as a man’s nature to fantasize about multiple women (maybe even at the same time).
But the truth is that if you’re that turned off from your partner then there’s a serious issue in the physical department of your connection.
If it’s only because you are far away, perhaps you could try sexting or speaking intimately.
If it’s more that you’re bored by your partner and using the distance as an excuse, be cautious:
This is a surprisingly common issue. Even couples who are away for a week or two will often convince themselves their relationship is fine when they fantasize about others…
But really they just don’t want the hassle of breaking up even though they know they are no longer very interested in their partner, at least not physically.
7) You just don’t know which way to turn
Relationships can be confusing for the best of us.
Long-distance relationships can be especially confounding, because you don’t have someone’s daily presence to see how you feel about them and discuss the future with them.
While this article explores the main signs that you should end your long-distance relationship, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.
With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice specific to your life and your experiences…
Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations, like deciding to wind down a long-distance relationship. They’re a very popular resource for people facing this sort of challenge.
I know this because I reached out to them in the past about a long-distance relationship I was in that I was very on the fence about.
My coach truly listened to me and didn’t judge. He provided insights that helped me realize the right decision to make in that case.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
8) You are going totally different directions in your lives
There are situations where long-distance isn’t even the main problem. It’s more of a symptom.
In some situations it can be a symptom of you both growing apart in fundamental ways.
As I mentioned earlier, this isn’t always something you can fix easily or even if you really want to work at it.
Strong differences and changes in your career direction, values, priorities and personality can come about with time.
You may not be the same person as you were the last time you saw your partner.
The hope is that the love would still be there despite the ways you or your partner have changed.
But sadly, love isn’t always enough.
Sometimes you’ve simply grown apart too much and you can’t relate enough anymore to make the relationship work.
9) You don’t enjoy conversing or relating to them
Earlier I mentioned one of the warning signs that it’s time to let go of your long-distance relationship being that you no longer talk to them often.
I also emphasized that even when you do talk to them, you don’t really feel like it.
This is indeed a warning sign.
If there’s one thing that every relationship needs then it’s communication of some form.
This isn’t always verbal, granted, but it can be interacting in some way and sharing your life and experiences with this person in some form.
If you no longer want to do this and find talking to this person or being around them (virtually or in person) to be a bore, then this relationship is kaput.
It’s as sad (and as simple) as that.
10) You want to break up with them but you’re afraid
Long-distance isn’t always the cause of wanting to break up.
Sometimes it’s a mask for doing so.
What I mean is that some people use the long-distance fact of their relationship to hide from a breakup and avoid it.
They don’t want the drama and heartbreak, so they string their partner along via long distance.
Even worse is benching someone, which is basically using the long-distance partner as a “substitute player” who you bring on the field when you run out of other options.
This is less of a long-distance relationship than keeping someone as a side piece.
But it happens all the time.
If someone wants to break up with you or vice versa, you’re better off just doing it and ripping off the bandaid.
Stringing someone along or benching them via long-distance is a terrible thing to do.
11) You want to be single, but also dread being lonely
One of the worst signs that it’s time to let go of your long-distance relationship is that you want to be single but are only avoiding it out of fear of being lonely.
It reminds me of the saying: everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to go now.
You crave that life of independence and setting out once again on your own terms.
Yet at the same time, you’re locked in fear about whether it might be lonely and make you lose out on all the great times that could be had with a partner.
You want the best of both worlds, or at least not to lose out on the benefits of remaining in a relationship.
This includes physical intimacy, companionship, conversation, connection and even just the inner knowledge that you have a partner and the peace or stability that may bring you.
You want freedom, but at the same time you feel fear about pulling up that anchor and setting sail once again on your own.
12) You’re unsure if they’re really your soulmate
One of the top signs that it’s time to let go of your long-distance relationship is that you have a feeling deep in your gut that they’re just not the one for you.
Now, do we all really have a “one” who will complete us?
I agree this thinking can go too far and lock us into over-idealism, but at the same time I believe there is something to the concept of having a soulmate.
And I believe we should do our best to try to be together with our soulmate.
If your long-distance partner isn’t your soulmate, you’ll be better off in the end breaking up with them.
Want to know for certain whether you’ve met your soulmate?
Let’s face it:
We can waste a lot of time and energy with people who ultimately we’re not compatible with. Finding your soulmate isn’t exactly easy.
But what if there was a way to remove all the guesswork?
I’ve just stumbled upon a way to do this… a professional psychic artist who can draw a sketch of what your soulmate looks like.
Even though I was a bit skeptical at first, my friend convinced me to try it out a few months ago.
Realizing that it hadn’t been my ex who I’d broken up with in my long-distance relationship was a huge relief.
No, my soulmate was actually a completely different type of person!
Now I know exactly what she looks like. The crazy thing is that I recognized her right away when I saw her last month at a cafe I regularly frequent.
If you’re ready to find out what your soulmate looks like, get your own sketch drawn here.
13) Your friends observe your relationship going downhill
Those who know us best and are close to us often observe things we miss in our relationships.
I’m not saying to take their advice as the absolute gold standard here, but don’t dismiss it either.
Friends, family and acquaintances may notice things and aspects of your long-distance relationship that you hadn’t really been paying attention to.
However once they bring it up you realize that they are right on the money.
They may point out things like:
- You rarely talk about your partner
- You get in a down mood when they are coming to visit
- You don’t discuss a future with them
- You often are stressed about whether they’re the right one
And so on…
What may seem like random moods to you may strike your friends as more of a pattern of you not wanting to be in this long-distance relationship anymore.
The question is: are they right?
14) You often ignore their texts on purpose
In addition to not wanting to talk to your partner being a sign of being time to break up, look at how you respond to messages and texts.
In particular, pay attention to the first emotion you feel when you see a message from your significant other.
Even if it’s just a joke or casual hello, look at your instinctive reaction.
Is it surprise, joy, annoyance or even a split second of “oh fuck, not them again.”
Be totally honest with yourself.
Because if it’s anything less than being happy to hear from them, then this person is not the one you’re supposed to be with.
You may truly be extremely busy and not have time to respond or even read what they sent:
But your reaction and gut feeling should be one of anticipation to read what they said later.
After all, this is the person you’re together with!
Every relationship goes through ups and downs, and you may not always be on fire to talk to this person.
But if you basically find it aggravating to have to receive a message from them it means it’s time to break up.
15) You picture a future without them
What do you think of when you picture the future?
Maybe you picture a beach and a nice suntan. But who’s there with you?
If it’s anybody other than your long-distance love, then they’re probably not the one for you.
Even if you picture yourself there alone, the question remains whether you’re innerly craving for a future by yourself.
For this reason, sit calmly and close your eyes. Think of a future for yourself in two years.
Pay attention to the details and the sights, smells, sounds and people around you in this hypothetical future.
What do you see? Is your current partner part of that picture or not?
16) Your best times with them were all in the past
Think back to the last amazing time you had with your partner.
How long ago was it?
If it was more than a few months ago or wasn’t the last time you saw them, there’s a problem.
Basically the problem is that your best times were in the past.
For this relationship to have a future, you want to still be creating memories.
But if you’re together more out of nostalgia than a current connection, your relationship belongs in the past, too.
Breaking up is never easy. But if your long-distance relationship is showing many of the signs above then it’s time to call it off.
If you think you can still make it work, then I wish all the power to you.
Just make sure that you never invest your time and energy in a sinking ship.