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

Updated on September 9, 2012
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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