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How to Break up With a Long Distance Boyfriend/Girlfriend

Three Methods:Breaking the NewsCommunicating Decisively About Breaking-UpAcknowledging the Challenges of an LDRCommunity Q&A

Ending a long distance relationship can be slightly different than ending another romantic relationship. Since you're not living in the same city, it may not make sense to travel simply for the sake of having a face-to-face conversation, for instance. Further, there are challenges unique to long distance relationships that may be part of the discussion. Most importantly, focus on the fact that you've made up your mind to end the relationship and convey this point clearly and respectfully.

Method 1
Breaking the News

  1. 1
    Be direct. If you’ve decided you want to break up with someone, the best route to take is sending a clear, concise message that the romantic aspects of your relationship with them is over. Keep it quick. You may not specific reasons, and trying to explain yourself may actually make the break harder for both you and your partner.[1]
    • Go with something like “I’ve decided that I want to be on my own right now.” You may want to pause after letting them know, and see how they respond. Your partner may understand, and saying more may complicate the conversation.
  2. 2
    Give them a call. Most of the time, you don’t want to visit a partner in another city simply to break up with them. Similarly, you don’t want to have someone visit you, only to break up with them. A phone call is likely the ideal method to have a break up conversation, as it more personal than a text or email, but allows you each to have your own space immediately following the call.
    • If the two of you have been open about how you’re feeling and a visit would be enjoyable for both of you, even if it marked the end of an era, this may be preferable. The important thing to remember is that you want to break up with someone in a way that doesn’t put them in an uncomfortable situation.
  3. 3
    Write them a letter. Some people are better at conveying themselves by writing. Further, a letter allows you to get everything out in one go. This ensures that your partner hears your whole perspective before trying to argue or respond. If you’ve tried to have the conversation before, or are worried your partner may be argumentative or have trouble listening, a letter may be a good way to get your message across directly.
    • Be clear about your intentions for writing the letter from the onset. Start with something like, "I'm writing to let you know that I've decided to end our relationship together." Though this may feel too direct, it's important to be clear about your decision.
  4. 4
    Keep your composure. Your partner may immediately try to make you feel bad about your decision to end the relationship. Do not allow anything they say to make you angry. Even if you become upset, try to keep yourself from participating in an emotionally heated exchange. If necessary, say something like, “I’m not going to fight with you about this. I’ve made my decision and now you know that we’re no longer together.”[2]

Method 2
Communicating Decisively About Breaking-Up

  1. 1
    Don’t offer false hope. If you are no longer happy in a relationship and have decided to end it, focus on sending these messages. For instance, “This just isn’t working out for me anymore.” Include specific reasons if you have some, but keep everything you say focused on the fact that you have decided to end the relationship.[3]
    • In particular, avoid saying things like “I may feel differently someday.”
    • In general, avoid language about temporary breaks, as this may unfairly lead your partner to continue hoping for a relationship that you’re intentionally moving away from.
    • If you only want to take a break, be clear about this, and understand that your partner may not be available in the future. Be sure to tell them if you feel differently at any point.
    • If the conversation happens in person and you feel physically unsafe at any time, leave. If a partner hits you, end all contact with them immediately and report the abuse to the authorities if you are able to do so.
  2. 2
    Default to "I" statements. When you’re the one breaking up with someone, keep the focus of your statements on you. Say things like, “I’ve decided to focus my time and energy on a different part of my life.” In short, make sure your statements indicate that you’re taking personal responsibility for the decision you’re making.[4]
    • I statements are worthwhile even if you’re breaking up with someone because of something that has more to do with them. For instance, say, “I won’t allow myself to be treated like this anymore.”
    • Avoid statements such as, “You’re just not in tune with my needs” or “You seem to be going down your own path.” Sentences that again with the word “you” risk sounding accusatory. Since they place blame on your partner, they are likely to lead to reactionary feelings of defensiveness, and may lead to an argument.
  3. 3
    End the conversation. If the conversation isn’t going anywhere, you may need to end it. You should respect your partner by hearing them out. However, if they start to speak in circles or become too emotional or agitated to have a productive conversation, it's likely time to excuse yourself.
    • Your partner may have a hard time hearing what you’re saying. They may continue asking why you’re ending the relationship, for instance. If this occurs, repeat the reasons you’ve stated and make sure you’re clear that the decision has already been made.[5]
    • For instance, "We've lost touch, and I don't feel the connection to you I once did. I've decided I need to be single right now."
  4. 4
    Do not allow a partner to abuse you. Your partner may become upset. They are entirely within their rights in having an emotional response to your decision. Silence, disbelief, and anger are common emotions in a break up conversation. However, threats or abuse of any sort are not acceptable. If your partner begins calling you names or otherwise attacking you, end the conversation immediately.[6]

Method 3
Acknowledging the Challenges of an LDR

  1. 1
    Note the cost of an LDR. There are a handful of challenges that are inevitable within a long distance relationship. If some of these are reasons you may not be able to stay in a relationship, be honest. Pragmatic reasons for a breakup can help lessen the sting of separation. If you just don’t have the time or money to stay in a committed LDR, tell your partner explicitly.[7]
    • For instance, say something along the lines of “I just can’t afford to be in a long distance relationship right now.” Offer more specific reasons too; “I need to buckle down at work, and I just can’t spend the time a relationship requires.”
  2. 2
    Admit different preferences. If may simply seem as though the two of you are becoming more comfortable in separate cities. If you decide you wouldn’t want to move for the sake of the relationship, it’s worth communicating this to your partner. If neither of you are willing to relocate, it may be better for both of you to separate. [8]
    • Say something like "At some point, this relationship isn't going to be sustainable. It already feels like we're drifting apart. For these reasons, I want to break up."
  3. 3
    Admit that you need a more physical relationship. Even when living within the same city, some couples prefer to get together infrequently. On the other hand, many partners prefer constant close proximity and physical contact. If you realize you’re not getting enough skin time to keep you content, point it out.[9]
    • Say something like “I need more a more physical relationship, and the distance between us is too great to make this work for me.”

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Categories: Long Distance Relationships

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