When to let go of a long-distance relationship? is a question that becomes more popular as globalization and the flexibility of remote work in a post-covid world force more couples to live apart.
Long-distance relationships are committed partnerships where the partners retain connection and closeness despite not physically being together. In a healthy long-distance relationship, people are connected through emotional intimacy rather than sexuality.
Some couples live apart due to social, political, or financial constraints. A couple may also divide by cultural prejudice. This is difficult yet rewarding for those who can do it.
The evolution of long-distance relationships
Before the Internet was invented, our ancestors habitually suffered months of separation while traveling for business and other reasons. This typically meant leaving a wife and children behind to go on a trip lasting months or years: a crusade is a good example. In some cases instances, dedication trumped distance, in most, it didn’t as the former unions collapsed under pressure as at least one of the sides was unable to withstand the onslaughts of sexual withdrawal, often plunging in outright promiscuity as long as there was nobody to tell.
Today’s reasons for traveling are more diverse than ever. Millions of people around the globe seek education and better employment opportunities, leaving their loved ones behind and hoping for a better future. And, while some expats do cherish the hope of marrying a native of the country they came to, most learn fairly quickly that those treat them as second-rate people and don’t consider for anything better than a one-night stand induced by intoxication.
This means that, whether they like it or not, people nowadays have to rely on means to make their long-distance relationships work. But should they? Aren’t long-distance relationships flawed at their very core and expose us to some of the hardest romantic-related challenges?
Let’s find out.
What makes long-distance relationships hard?
Many people assume that familiarity with the term “long-distance relationships” means they understand what it actually means. The truth is: they don’t until they find themselves in one. And then come the surprises.
For starters, there’s fear. You aren’t near your loved ones, meaning someone else can take that place, especially if there isn’t enough communication going on between the two of you. Then all the hard work that went into the makings of your relationship can be wiped out before you realize something is wrong, leaving you no opportunity to react.
Distance often lets you see that your long-term aims aren’t aligned with your short-term goals. In some instances, it’s possible that you rushed into a relationship and learned that you’re looking for entirely different things (happens left and right, especially with sexually deprived people). Even if it’s a harsh revelation, it’s a hard reality. It feels like being caught between two worlds mediating a fight of the mind and the emotions.
While terminating a long-distance relationship with someone you care about might be difficult, it can also mark the beginning of something fantastic. Let’s be realistic: it’s completely fine for a relationship to come to an end, especially when you don’t care for the other person and are much more into somebody else. There is no need for unrealistic or unnecessary explanations and justifications to end it. Whatever your concerns about your relationship may be, don’t ignore them. It is good to move on with a new beginning rather than being stuck in a poisonous relationship.
When to let go of a long-distance relationship?
If you are still confused about ending your long-distance relationship, here are a few common signs that can help you make up your mind about letting it go.
Lack of communication
Are you or your spouse becoming more irritated and defensive?
When you begin to worry whether you made a bad bet on your relationship every night, it’s time to end the connection. Mistrust or lack of communication may result from a lack of communication, putting your relationship in jeopardy. Regardless of how much you love your partner, a relationship lacking communication is doomed to fail. While it’s possible to spend many days without contacting your spouse, it’s also possible that your relationship may break down if you don’t have anything new to say.
Considering your relationship a burden
When you start seeing your relationship as emotional baggage, it’s better to get rid of it. You may be checking your phone constantly, expecting a call or text from your lover when you have a lot of work to complete. Every call ends in a full-blown dispute about something stupid such as:
- Why don’t you Facetime him?
- Who calls first?
- How many rings before they pick up?
Your mental turmoil is wearing you down. Don’t allow relationships to dictate your life; you have responsibilities in your family, job, and community. Long-distance relationships won’t function if this is the case.
Pretending to be happy
Even the finest of marriages have to agree to differ on some issues. A relationship might become shallow if you avoid all disagreements, even those directly impacting your life together. When your interactions start becoming superficial, and you start pretending to be happy, excited, sad, or romantic, it is alarming. If you can’t get around it, consider whether or not it’s a deal-breaker for you.
No more romance and future
Long-distance relationships are complex, particularly when you see couples traveling here and there. Your closeness may entice you to indulge in sexual or emotional intimacy. These conditions put your long-distance relationship in jeopardy, and you may lose it.
Most people desire to have a family with their spouse, but you and your companion are doomed. Your time is valuable, so don’t waste it on a long-distance relationship that won’t work.
Both of you have too many secrets
You don’t have to tell everything to your spouse, and it’s completely normal to keep some secrets. You don’t have to share what you’re thinking, doing, and fantasizing about. But when it comes to your core principles and long-term ambitions, if you’re holding a lot of secrets about them, this might be another hint that you’re not in it for the long haul.
Relationships are more than a list of responsibilities. They must be a perfect combination of love, romance, understanding, and respect. Long-distance relationships need the same base to survive and thrive. But if you feel there’s something crucial missing, do yourself a favor and weigh all pros and contras carefully before making up your mind.
The sad truth is: if you’re thinking about ending your long-distance relationship, it’s very likely that a lot of the reasons to break it are already there, so, whether you like it or not, you’re already on the tracks to calling it quits. This may be scary, but it’s way better to get out than to get stuck. Remember: nothing will improve unless both of you want it and act accordingly, so if there is no chance for that… well, you know what to do, right?