Let’s be honest. Breaking up is never fun.
But if you’re in a long distance relationship and need to break things off, the miles between you and your partner don’t make breaking up any easier.
Here are five things to keep in mind if you’re calling it quits on a relationship where the miles separate you.
1. Be intentional
It can be tempting to avoid those hard conversations if you’re dating someone long-distance. It would be easy to avoid phone calls and not respond to texts. But don’t ghost your partner because it’s convenient.
Start by giving your partner the heads-up that you want to talk. Let your boyfriend or girlfriend know that you’d like to have an intentional conversation about your relationship with them. Ask them when they have time in their schedule.
If you’re intentional, you won’t run the risk of a poorly timed conversation. Breaking up is hard enough. Breaking up and not being able to have a good conversation because of time constraints is even worse.
2. Don’t send that text
It’s tempting to write out all of your thoughts and send them via text to your partner. In fact, you may wonder if it’s the best option. After all, it gives both of you time to respond and process. But even if it seems like a good idea at the time, don’t break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend with a text.
It’s optimal to break up with someone in person. This can be tricky with long distance dating relationships. After all, you probably don’t want to bridge the miles between you only to break up when you see each other.
If it’s not feasibly possible to get together face-to-face, take advantage of today’s technology. Get on your computer for a video chat, or at least pick up your phone for a call.
Yes, it’s hard to watch someone process through what you’re saying over a video chat. It’s not enjoyable to hear their voice over a phone call as you share your thoughts about the break up. But avoiding the conflict won’t help you or your partner during this time.
3. Think about what you want to communicate
Just as important as knowing when you’re going to talk about your break up is knowing how to talk about your break up with your partner.
If you’re open to mending your differences, make sure you have a game plan for what would repair the relationship going forward. But if you’re wanting to end the relationship and break up, don’t lead your partner on.
You don’t want this conversation to be full of cliches, or to leave your partner feeling confused about whether you’re breaking up or not. So leave phrases like “it’s not you, it’s me” behind and take the time to think about what you really want to say.
4. Be honest about the reasons behind the break up
There’s a reason that you’re considering breaking up with your partner. Maybe there were red flags that you encountered during your relationship together. After discerning your goals, perhaps you two aren’t on the same page.
Whatever the reasons behind your breakup are, convey them clearly to your partner. Be honest about your feelings.
Make sure the break up conversation doesn’t turn into a blame session. You can explain how you feel unloved, disrespected, or disconnected without insulting your partner or pointing fingers.
At the end of the day, you’re responsible for your actions, not someone else’s reactions. If the conversation results in anger and insults, or if you’re worried about your safety, remove yourself from the situation.
5. Take time to heal from the break up
If being intentional before and during a breakup is important, being intentional after that hard conversation is key to a healthy breakup.
Log off the online dating apps for a while and take time to process the breakup. Your online dating profile will still be there when you come back, and you won’t run the risk of jumping into a rebound relationship.
If you find that social media is making things harder, it’s okay to unfollow your ex for a while. Even if your relationship ended on good terms, seeing what your ex is up to on a regular basis can make healing hard. No one transitions from romantic partner to platonic friend instantly, so give yourself time to process and heal.
Your emotional health (and the heath of your future relationships!) will thank you for it.