Long Distance Relationships: How to Know When it's Time to Call it Quits

If your partner isn't willing to communicate, it can often cause resentment and hard feelings
If your partner isn't willing to communicate, it can often cause resentment and hard feelings | Source

Long-distance relationships are more common than many people think.  With people meeting and connecting over the internet or moving away for jobs or continued education, many couples end up living in different towns, provinces, states, or even countries.  As with any relationship, there needs to be trust, communication and honesty, but long-distance relationships often need more of all these things in order to work.  Some people are able to make distance work for them, and others will find the strain too much to handle.  Both partners need to be fully committed to making the relationship work despite the distance.

If you're currently in a long-distance relationship and find yourself wondering if it's really worth it, or if it may be time to call it quits, the following signs might help you put things into perspective.

There's a lack of trust on one or both parts
Trust is one of the most important aspects of any relationship.  Without trust, there will always be questions and doubts, and these questions and doubts can cause problems in a long-distance relationship.  Do you question your partner's honesty, particularly about their whereabouts and with whom they spend time when they're away?  Do you wonder if your partner might be taking advantage of your trust, of if they're being completely honest about how they spend their time?  Are there things your partner says or does that don't add up?  Is your gut telling you that something is going on behind your back?  Sometimes intuition can be your best guide, and if you have a feeling something is going on, you could be right.  Are there signs, or even proof that your partner isn't quite as trustworthy as you originally thought?  On the flip side, is your partner always questioning your honesty and asking where you've been, what you've been doing and who you're with?  There's a difference between a partner asking these questions because they're interested and asking them because they're suspicious.

There's a barrier in your communication
If your partner isn't willing to talk about what goes on in their life when they're not with you, that could be a warning sign that something's not right, or that they have something to hide.  As with trust, communication is another cornerstone of any healthy relationship.  If the lines of communication aren't open and one or both partners aren't willing to share with each other, what's the point of being in a relationship, long-distance or otherwise?  If your partner isn't willing to talk about their friends or the people they spend time with, you have to consider if their friends know about you.  If their friends don't know about you, it could be easier for your partner to date other people and not be ridiculed for cheating.  If your partner avoids answering questions about how they spend their time, or with whom, or if they refuse to talk about what goes on in their life, that is definitely questionable.

Doubts and questions about your partner can lead to major problems in your relationship
Doubts and questions about your partner can lead to major problems in your relationship | Source

There's always an excuse
At the beginning of many long-distance relationships, not much is different than any normal relationship.  You talk all the time - telephone, text, messenger, etc - and maybe even see each other often, on weekends, holidays, or days off.  Soon, the phone calls might come fewer and farther between, the visits are almost non-existent, and the messages are rushed.  The excuses are likely not far behind - why your partner can't call or visit or make plans.  Everything becomes 'soon' or 'later' or 'some day', or other vague, non-committal statements.  In some cases, there might not be anything suspicious about this - if you know that your partner's job is very demanding and time-consuming, this may be nothing new for you.  If that's not the case, and it's simply been a slow progression as you spend time apart, you might find there's a limit to your patience and tolerance.  In a relationship, you want to be a priority, and rightly so, but if you find that your partner isn't making time for you and isn't making any plans, those old questions and doubts might begin to show up again.

There's little or nothing left for you in the relationship
Relationships aren't always easy, and they often take hard work, but they should also be fun.  If there's no fun in your relationship and it seems hard all the time, maybe you should stop and consider if there's anything left for you in this relationship.  If you find you can't trust your partner, there's no communication, there's always an excuse not to see or talk to you, or if you're just unhappy in general, it could be time to consider other options.  The distance itself may be too much for you - you need to be able to see and spend time with your partner whenever you want, talk to them, touch them, plan a life and a future together.  You might find yourself resenting your partner for being non-committal or for being so far away.  If you're questioning why you're even with this person, chances are, those questions are there for a reason. 

If you're experiencing any or all of these situations, it could be time to seriously evaluate your relationship.  Among the other questions posed in this article, ask yourself a few more: Is it worth the time and effort?  Is it worth the doubts and insecurities and unhappiness, if that's what it's come to for you?  Would you be happier without this person?  Do you find yourself wishing you were single again, or that you could find someone who would treat you better, make time for you or is closer and more available to you?  Is there any way to work through the problems with your partner, or are they completely unwilling to talk about things?  It's never easy to end a relationship, but sometimes it's for the best.  Hanging on for the sake of hanging on doesn't do anyone any good, and can end up causing resentment and hard feelings in the end.

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Comments 28 comments

Madison Parker profile image

Madison Parker 6 years ago from California

Hey, Marie, good article. With tech companies leaving California for states cheaper in which to operate, long distance relationship are growing everyday. My friend still lives while her long time husband has been moved to Oregon. Meantime, her company is making noises about moving to Mississippi! Craziness but I expect more moves will come.

Good piece and really timely.

Madison/Shay Davidson

SweetMarie83 profile image

SweetMarie83 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you for the comment, Shay! Long-distance relationships can be so difficult, but I think especially when people are married because they've gone the extra step and are fully committed to each other, which may not be the case in other relationships. California and Oregon...that must be so hard for your friend!

TurtleDog profile image

TurtleDog 6 years ago

Long distance relationships can be brutally hard, especially if you really want someone around on a regular basis. Well said about excuses,barriers to communication, and lack of trust. They apply well to more local relationships as well, but especially well for long distance. Distance = more challenges. Thanks for the hub! I voted UP! useful

SweetMarie83 profile image

SweetMarie83 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you TurtleDog, I appreciate the comment and feedback. You're right, those things absolutely do apply to local relationships too, every relationship should have trust and communication, but in a 'normal' relationship where you see the person all the time, you have more of a chance to build trust I think. Thanks again!

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Well written article, Marie. Thanks for your insight with this subject.

SweetMarie83 profile image

SweetMarie83 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you very much, Denise!

Helenee 5 years ago

Hi Marie

Followed you through your 'Online Article Directory'.

I like your down-to-earth approach. Your article covers quite a few issues, while the last section is the real 'juice' of the matter.

Well written too.

SweetMarie83 profile image

SweetMarie83 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you Helenee! I thought simple and straightforward was the way to go - having been through a long-distance relationship myself and seeing all the unfortunate signs, I thought I'd just lay it out there and hope that it would help some people avoid the heartache I went through, when it's really just not worth it sometimes.

loreen 5 years ago

hi there! thank you for posting this article.. it really helps. i want to cry.. everything in here? were all true.. i love him but its not working anymore.. :(

Elle 5 years ago

This was very helpful.

karthikkash profile image

karthikkash 5 years ago from India

Nice article. I can very much relate to this.

SweetMarie83 profile image

SweetMarie83 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you so much for the comments everyone! Sometimes it's hard to admit the signs are there - believe me, I know!

adu joseph 4 years ago

I love d article bt for me,I love tryin nu tins nd makin tins work out well in difficult environment.whicheva way,I wil keep d flow of communication on my part except if my partner wants to quit.it is vry loveli ma fnks.

chrisigh86 4 years ago

After reading this article, I was both relieved and even more stressed. However, I do find this article effectively useful because your tips helped me how to cope with recently form relationships with my girlfriend. It is true that long-distance relationship can be one difficult situation to handle but when you are in control of yourself, everything seems to be clear again and the big picture of having such relationships starting to surface up and made you realize that with strong bond or foundation of the relationship, you can overcome whatever negative thoughts raging in that brain of yours. Once again, I would like to express my gratitude for this article because it helps me a lot in handling my unique situation. Have a nice day. Cheers!

SweetMarie83 profile image

SweetMarie83 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you for comments, everyone! Each situation is unique, and only you can know what's right for you. I wish you all the best of luck!

Meeee 4 years ago

I'm just so depressed over this long-distance thing with my boyfriend. He lives all the way across the world and even though we're connected through text, he hardly texts, with the excuse of being busy with exams and all, and messenger..well messenger, let's just say he's always appearing on there but he'll never reply. E-mails go unreplied. This is so frustrating. Thanks for the article, I'm seriously considering this one. ):

SweetMarie83 profile image

SweetMarie83 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

I can definitely sympathize, and I'm sorry you're going through this. Maybe try just coming right out and asking him what's going on. Sometimes situations build up and there's a reason behind it, and other times it's all in your head and talking about it will give you perspective and help things work out. Either way, I hope you can get things sorted and be happy.

Kat 4 years ago

Long-distance between Japan (me) and UK (him) here. Thanks for the article, it's really made me think... Long-distance relationships are tough, I don't think I could do it without a bit of advice and support! Especially when you reach that point where you've put so much into it already, you don't want to give up, but you're so tired it's hard to stay positive. He makes me happy, but the distance just brings me down. I just have to push myself for the last 4 months until we're together...

SweetMarie83 profile image

SweetMarie83 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

At least there's light at the end of the tunnel - 4 months seems like a long time, but I'm sure it'll fly by and you'll quickly forget all the time you spent apart!

4 years ago

Thanks so much for writing this. I've been going back and forth on whether or not to call it quits with my gf... I love her so much but it seems like she has time for everyone but me these days...

SweetMarie83 profile image

SweetMarie83 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

I've been in a similar situation, and it's extremely difficult. I hope you'll be happy, whatever you decide!

Lorinda 4 years ago

I feel better after reading this...thanks marie.

my bf hardly calls or text and when I do,he complains of it been too much and most times he doesn't even answer at all making me feel sad.we'v been together for four years now and the only time he shows love is when he comes visiting(which isn't frequent)after that,is like 1 don't matter anymore....I luv him so much but I guess my happiness matters too...

SweetMarie83 profile image

SweetMarie83 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Your happiness definitely matters. I completely understand how you feel, and it made me sad when the same things happened to me. I finally realized that if my partner couldn't make me a priority, why should they be a priority for me? It can be hard, but sometimes you need to reevaluate things and figure out if you can be happy with that person in the long run, or if you'd be better off letting the relationship go.

ericdunbar profile image

ericdunbar 4 years ago from FORT WORTH

I have often heard that long distance relationships are great in some instances, but I will admit that a long distance relationship is not for me.

Your imagination will take you off on this venture of trust, thereby creating illusions of distrust when it is not always the case. I wish you well with your decision, but I believe relationships are meant to be close where either party can reach out to the other on a moments notice, even if it is just for consolation and reasurrance.

SweetMarie83 profile image

SweetMarie83 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

I absolutely agree, ericdunbar. They work well for some people, but others - like myself - have to learn the hard way that they're really not the ideal relationship.

Cheese 4 years ago

This article gets right up there where I need it..I've been in a long distance relationship for almost 2 years in a 4 year relationship..a dying one at that. Being half-way across the globe and the absence of communication has been eating away at our relationship, and having the other half giving up on being committed to making it work can be really difficult. Some say, "it's okay to fight for love in a long distance relationship, but it has to be fought on both sides for it to be won". I guess I've been battling alone, even now so close to the end of my 2 year hiatus. Thanks to the article writer. This has given me insight to what has to be done.

SweetMarie83 profile image

SweetMarie83 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

I'm so glad the article helped. I'm sorry for what you're going through - it's painful and hard, but you're absolutely right about it needing to be fought on both sides. Nobody should be in a one-sided relationship, whether it's long distance or not. Good luck!

Alex 2 years ago

Wow. :'( the next day she dumped me. :'( I love her. v.v

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