How To Break Up With A Long-Distance Partner

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Nobody likes to be the one to pull the plug on a relationship and adding distance to the equation doesn't make things any easier. Depending on the situation, there's a chance that you haven't seen your partner in months and have felt the weight of their absence for some time. So your choices on how and when to end a relationship start there.
First, if you absolutely cannot fathom ending a relationship via the phone, computer, or carrier pigeon, then waiting until you see your soon-to-be-ex is an option. However, taking things like travel plans into consideration is important -- you wouldn't want your partner to pay for a trip just to get broken up with.
Advertisement
Either way, giving your partner a little heads up isn't always easy, but it's the most humane way to start the break up process. In the age of ghosting and technology, it's all too easy to simply phase out someone you no longer want in your life, but don't be that person. Instead, send them a message to say, 'I want to talk to you about our relationship. Do you have some free time later?' This opens the door for the breakup discussion, so it's not completely out of the blue.
Relationship coach and professional matchmaker Sameera Sullivan told Elite Daily that if you can't end a relationship in person, then talking on the phone is the next best option. Primarily, it's much more personal than a text message or email, although breaking up over text is still very much an option — especially in situations that involve abuse or for people with anxiety.
It's also courteous to pay attention to your partner's schedule. Do they have a major exam coming up? Have they just been fired from their job? Best to hold off a couple days. You'd want the same courtesy if it was you, right?
After all your preparation, it's not unusual to get nervous about actually doing it. Enter a confidant -- your best friend, your mom, your therapist -- don't be afraid to open up to them or even have them nearby as you do it. Chances are, even though you're the one initiating the break up, it will be emotional. Having someone there for support will help the process.
Overall, relationships are extremely personal and unique to each couple. Break ups are no different. Trust your gut and know that you have to do what's best for you.
Advertisement

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.