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Long Distance Relationships - the Break Up


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Hi all


Been thinking about this for a while and have spoken to the ex about it too.


What makes us want to stay in them and why do they rarely work out? Also, is the connection shared between 2 people in a LDR stronger because you are putting such a strain on your relationship by living apart?


My theory is that to start a LDR (whether its how you met or moving for because of jobs etc) then you have a strong connection with that person that makes you want to make things work. In this kind of relationship, the love and connections aren't an issue, but the circumstances can take their toll on both involved.


The distance makes it difficult to have a normal relationship. Time to be together has to be planned rather than just living around each other. What i mean by this is, you can't just get home and spend a lazy evening on the couch, even that has to be planned and time made to do it.


I also think there is a lot of strain put on the relationship. Things have normally changed since the last time spent together, whether its something as simple as a haircut, or something more like a problems at work or something. yes, they can be spoken about over the phone, but the physical assurance is missing. This means to an extent time has to be made to get to know each other when you do spend time together. I found this with my ex, the first half hour of being together would be tense, but after that it would just go back to us being a normal couple. But this brings me onto my next point.....


....all normal couples fight. And when you are in a LDR, having an argument is amplified ten fold because it eats into the time time you are getting to spend together, or its done over the phone and things get taken out of contact and it can be weeks before you get the chance to hug it out and say sorry properly.


Finally is it easier or harder to get over a LDR? I think its easier for the dumper and harder for the dumpee.


The dumper has battled past the connection and the love and taken the step to take the emotional hit and move on, but they have the advantage that they never have to see (or dont have the daily contact) with their ex. For the dumpee, that connection is hard to see past and the emotional hit may be harder to take and can leave scarring for a long time.

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HI Token,


Interesting thread and point of view on long distance relationships. I do agree with your points. I think that long distance relationships is a lot harder to maintain than any other normal relationship simply because of the distance between them. You have to put more effort into the relationship than you normally would have. In my case, I would drive every weekend three hours to my ex and three hours back to just be with her for one day. Also, arguments tend to intensify more, too, just because you can't be in person to talk things out and calm your partner down any time. I think this is one of the main reasons why long distance relationships don't usually work out. We need our partner to be here in our most needed moments to comfort us and to assure us that things will be okay, and unfortunately, that's not easy to do in a long distance relationship.


In my case, it's been a bit of work to get over my long distance ex. I think it's mainly because I invested myself emotionally into her more than I have before. I put more effort into this relationship than into any other relationship before.

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LCA, i think you've hit the nail on the head with your last statement there. we put more effort into LDR relationships because we simply have to, and we are fully emotionally invested in it, and when it goes bad then its hard to let go of that.


My story is we were living in the same town for 2 years, we fell out, she was in debt, so she moved away believing us to be over. we both didnt want that, and for the last 4 years we have been in a LDR and invested a lot of time/effort and sacrifice into it. We ended up only seeing each other once a month and our lives became more disjointed.


We have been talking now and we both know we have a strong connection and love each other, but dont actually know how to sort things out or if we would work now. She has made the big effort to try and emotionally dis-engage from us, and now she feels that it would be too difficult to go back down that path again, and it possibly not go anywhere positive and she is scared of taking that chance and having to go through it all again. She is also seeing someone else which i suppose makes it harder for her.


LCA, do you think that your emotional investment in the situation makes it/made it difficult to move on properly from all that, and do you think it was/is going to be difficult to find someone that you are willing to go to those lengths for?


I am just back from a stag weekend and for the first time since the break-up, i made a conscious effort to go for girls. But i just realised that, however much i enjoyed talking to them, or how attractive they were, i just saw nothing in them that made me think, 'i'm glad i'm single'. You'll know yourself LCA, when you live apart like that, you rarely get stopped from doing what you want to, or get into trouble for speaking to attractive girls when out, because you have a large amount of trust in such a relationship. The only difference at the weekend was i could take things a step further, but i never really wanted to. And the guys were all like, 'you're single now, you can do what you want, why didnt you?' they just didnt get it.

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Hey Token,


Your relationship was definitely a lot longer than mine was and I am sure the connection is a lot more stronger than my relationship ever was. Mine was a relatively short relationship, 8 months. Which is why I am in awe and surprised of how much it affected me.


In my case, I had a long term live in relationship of fours years with S before my current break up with A. The difference is that I still feel like I put on more effort with A than I did with S. For A, I made the effort to see her every single weekend. I think I only didn’t see her for about 1 or 2 weekends during the time we were together and it was due to family’s gatherings around christmas time. And even then, there still was a weekend where I drove twice to her only to be with her for a few hours. I never really met anyone nor felt this strong for anyome to go such lengths for, and even with S there really wasn’t any need to go these lengths since we lived together. I have also noticed that with S, when things ended… it was still hard to move on, but I felt at peace because I knew it was for the best. I felt like we really did try and it just didn’t work out. The hard part was getting myself used to not being with someone I had been with for four years. But I was okay. With A, it’s still hard, but what makes it different is the “What if’s”, the constant thoughts about not having had a good and fair chance to be with my ex and to let the relationship grow. I can’t help but feel like I was cheated on a chance of being happy with someone I was willing to go all these lengths for. But also, I can really say that I genuinely still care for my ex because she, like your ex, is also with someone new, and it pains me to know that I am not the one she is with, but at the same time…for the first time in my life, I genuinely care for her enough to only hope that she is happy.


So, to answer your question; yes, I believe my emotional investment and all the effort I put on this makes it harder to move on and yes, I believe it will be hard to find someone else I will be willing to put so much effort on. But now, I find myself getting better as days pass by. I am in a point in the break up where I am content and I don’t really need her, but I still want her. It’s like I am in a point where I don’t need her to be happy, but having her would be like a bonus to my life, if that makes sense.


I know what you mean. If there is one of the good things about a long distance is that you get to have space for yourself and that freedom to be able to do whatever you want without the constant worrying of getting in trouble. I am in your same spot, I have had the chance to meet some very cool people, and be able to talk to them… but at the end of the night, they are not her; my ex. They are not who I want to be with, they are not the girl who is on my mind. Also, I have always been kind of a slow mover when it comes to dating. I take my time between relationships. My friends, like yours, are not very supportive and understanding, but this is why I came looking for ENA.


How long ago did you and your ex break up?


Hope your week gets better.

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Just had to answer to this. I'm currently in a LDR and we are having serious problems at the moment. In fact it looks very close to breaking up this weekend.

I feel exactly the same way, there is a lot of effort to be put into an LDR and it can't be treated like a normal relationship. It takes us a while to get used to being together at the weekend...in fact sometimes she only gets used to me the morning that I am leaving.


I do most of the driving and had a couple of weekends at home for us to think about things. The first weekend was ok but this weekend gone just sucked. To go from having no time to all the time in the world is difficult. I often think what would are chances be if we were together but because of the strain, I cannot leave my job in the hope that we will be ok. IT is hard when you aren't getting along and as you say, arguments are amplified 10 x!

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We officially split 3 months ago, but had been on the cards for 3 months before that too.


I am also at the point where i can be happy on my own, but i know that she would make me happier, so i know what you mean. I'm glad that we did split because it has given me time evaluate everything in my life, and our relationship. I know what i would have to do to make it better and try to make it work, but i also know that there are no guarantees that it would work out. I know i have had to change, i moved out of my parents home at the beginning of the year which coincided with the beginning of our decline, and i know ive grown up a bit now. I know that i have to compromise more and at the end of it all, i know i have to fully commit to her and look at the living situation as in living together. It might be too late now however.


The week should get better....i am off to amsterdam on thursday!

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So, your break up and mine ended up around the same time. It's ironic, I have seen and heard of lots of break up ending up during March. Going to Amsterdam?! that sounds great! I think that will definitely do you some good




I am sorry to hear about your situation. I can only imagine how restless you must feel. One thing is breaking up without seeing it coming, but another thing is waiting for it. If you feel like it, why don't you share your story with us and we might be able to share some insight on it. How long have you guys been together? what kind of problems are you guys having that can't be fixed?

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I too am in a LDR that is heading down the drain, although it is only a short one - 5 months, so we really are only long distant DATING, but I felt trouble a-brewin this past week. Now he is ignoring me - I called twice this past couple of days, and he has not reached out at all. Initially, it sent me into a panic mode, and I had a good cry last night, but today, I am a bit more calm about it. I have never been in an LDR before, so I am not sure how to navigate this tricky terrain. But for now, I have thrown the ball into his court, if he doesn't reply, I will assume he is done with this. Not sure how long to wait it out....

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Hi VMC (apologies, I didn't see your post earlier) and MissyMolly


The one thing I have figured out the last while is that communication is difficult during an LDR.


Let's put it this way, we spoke everyday, several times a day, for 4 years. 'Hi, how you doing' starts to lose meaning pretty quickly. So we spoke, but we never really communicated. She tried, I can't say she didn't, but when she did I would just get frustrated about not being there with her to help or just give her a hug. This usually resulted in needless petty arguments, so basically fighting coz we loved each other.


I would suggest to you both to take the chance to communicate with your partners and really sit and listen to what each other are saying. Then, if things improve, make sure at least one a week one of the conversations you have is a deep one talking about the relationship and what options you have to move closer to each other and get the relationship you both want, to actually be together.


My ex basically never got that communication with me and got scared it would never happen.

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I am living your story right now. My ex and I just broke up 12 days ago and I am DEVASTATED!! The LDR really did us in.....we even were in the process of buying a house, but things happened with my job, and I had to take another much farther away from the house we were buying so it feel through the purchase. He was my sole mate, I know it in my heart and gut. He was everything that I waited for all my life. Now he is gone, he said the emotional distance was killing him and he saw no change in the situation...etc...... I have been crying for 12 days and I don't know how to let this all go...... It is sooooooooooo unfair I feel cheated, like I know if we were a "normal" couple we would be getting married.

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loved this post my last relationship he lived 40 miles from me , which meant i could not just pop round for acuppa , if i wanted to go i had to get petrol and loads of organising , i think when u break up from a ldr it is much easier as u are sort of more used to being independent and getting on with your own life ... i am grateful my last toad dumped me as it means i can find someone closer to home yayyyyy !!xx

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What makes us want to stay in them and why do they rarely work out? Also, is the connection shared between 2 people in a LDR stronger because you are putting such a strain on your relationship by living apart?


As someone in a long-term, long-distance relationship, I think the reasons we stay in them are the same as the reasons most people have for staying in any relationship: You love the person, and you want to be with them. Emotions don't know distance...it's just as possible to fall in love with someone when chatting with them via voice and webcam for hours every day as it is to fall in love with them while spending time in person.


I don't know that the "connection" is necessarily stronger, but the ability to communicate is definitely a must. I can't imagine a LDR with someone who doesn't communicate very well...for me, it would be impossible.


Finally is it easier or harder to get over a LDR? I think its easier for the dumper and harder for the dumpee.


The dumper has battled past the connection and the love and taken the step to take the emotional hit and move on, but they have the advantage that they never have to see (or dont have the daily contact) with their ex. For the dumpee, that connection is hard to see past and the emotional hit may be harder to take and can leave scarring for a long time.


I don't think it's any easier for the Dumper in an LDR, because the Breaking Up forum is filled with stories of Dumpers who live a mere few miles away, and yet, never have to see or have any daily contact with their ex. I think breakups are difficult as hell for most everyone, regardless of being long-distance or not.


That being said, however, when my LD boyfriend broke up with me last August, it was the worst BU I'd ever experienced, and I'm in my 40s and have had several LTRs, including a 15-year marriage. I'm not sure that the distance had anything to do with it as much as the fact that I love him more deeply than I've ever felt about anyone.


When he asked me to try again, almost 4 months ago, I never gave a moment's thought to the fact that because of our distance, we don't get to see each other very much at all, and moving him here is going to be a long and difficult process...for me, the wait and the effort is worth it. It isn't a matter of whether or not I could find someone like him locally; most likely I can't, because he is an extremely...unique...person, lol...but I don't WANT anyone else. Period.


And so, I will wait, because the distance between us does absolutely nothing to lessen the strength of my feelings for him.


As usual, what it comes down to is that everyone is different.

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I definitely agree with Token. Communication is essential in a long distance relationship. It always is important in any relationship, really, but I think it weights more in a long distance relationship since that's the only thing that we have when we are away from our partners.

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Token09-- I don't know if we will ever get back together. When we first broke up he sent me sad love songs for like 5 days. I begged him to stop this and we can make this work. We had pretty good commimucation. But, one thing he did say when he ended it was I feel like we are alone most og our relationshiop so why not be alone. It was soooooooooo hurtful to hear, but he was right. Then he started to say how he thinks do we have what it takes to make a marriage work. He seems paranoid because his parents got divorced, and now his best friend is in the middle of a bad one right now. His friend even stores stuff at his house. Some of my friends say because this is happening to his friend and he sees how it just ends anyway then why should a LDR have any shot at all.... I don't know, but all I know is he said he does not want to leave, I want to change my mind right now....... but there is not way to talk it over or fix this and the only solution was to leave.Then he said I am sure after all this there will be no room in your heart for me, but you always have room in mine.....


Like you oneironaut---- I rather wait and have the distance and see where the road may take us cause life changes all the time then to be without him.....but I guess he does not see it that way.... I want no other and like you and I am almost 40 also, and it took me half my life to find him....now he is gone... I just want to stay in bed and never get out...


I told him to stop sending me sad love songs and we have not spoken in 6 days.

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I had this problem, and this was why I broke up with my ex.


She FOUND it very hard to get familiar with me physically after a 2 month break, I did too, but I changed my mindset quickly. Whereas it took her longer to get readjusted to me.


I will never do a LDR again for this reason; too much work, little reward in terms of longitivity.


Oh and arguments were a pain in the arse, only way to truly resolve them were in person.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

I think it is amazing the LDR around us these days. I can feel the frustration and pain of many of you as I am experiencing the same effects. It is most mind boggling to the effect of a breakup. I was in a LDR with a man for 1 1/2 years. It does take a toll to great depths to maintain. It is a two way street and has to be to maintain the relationship. Every effort to plan, to communicate, and to balance has to be projected by both parties. For me I always had to initate things, being emotionally invested is hard to balance without physical contact. I advised I needed the more desired physical, as things never changed, I couldn't bare to continue to jolt my own system at all cost. When an unconditional love hurts, it can be to much being apart. I brokeup with him in January. He did the no contact for about a month. It drove me nuts.. Of course at this point, it made me feel horrible. The distance between us already, and then to create 30 days of no contact or reply. After 6 mos. I still feel the effects of the relationship that bared on me mentally. Its as he done moved on, and that irriates me to the max. The CD never stops of him in my mind. Its frustrating when you want to know things, but get no response. I believe that sometimes we don't realize the hurt we project or receive from someone. Sometimes, its hard to move forward.. No matter how much one tries, those thoughts of an ex never leave... I wish all blessing in your LDR, as they are mentally and physically challanging...


- D

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