How to End a Long-Distance Relationship: 9 Simple Steps

How to End a Long-Distance Relationship

Are you looking for a way to end your long-distance relationship with kindness and empathy?

Long-distance relationships, while filled with moments of hope and connection, can sometimes feel like a puzzle missing a few crucial pieces. The distance, once manageable, can start to feel like a vast ocean between you. When you break up with someone, feeling sad, lonely, nervous, or emotionally overwhelmed in some way is part of the course, so you’re not alone in feeling this way. A healthy breakup in long-distance relationships requires a special kind of understanding and care, as the physical separation seems to magnify emotions.

This guide will give you simple steps on how to break up with someone long distance while being compassionate and respectful of your and your partner’s feelings.

1. Recognise When It’s Time to Let Go

Before we dive in, let’s acknowledge that not everyone can stay in long-distance relationships for a long period. A long-term relationship of a romantic nature requires close proximity, so while it’s possible to maintain an emotional connection for some time unless there’s a clear plan to move in together or relocate to the same city in the near future, the distance can impact your emotional well-being.

Long-distance couples who try to make it work across the miles tend to develop a false hope that they don’t need close proximity to have a healthy relationship and live full lives. And while for some long-distance couples, physical distance isn’t a big deal, only you can decide how long you can be without physical intimacy. Only you can decide at what point you either find a way to close the distance or break up.

A good indication that it’s time to make a decision is when your day-to-day life and your partner’s life are suffering as a result of physical separation.

It’s perfectly normal for feelings to change, and sometimes the best decision is to part ways. Faded feelings, a lack of emotional connection, doubts, concerns, and circumstances are all valid reasons to break up.

While you may have clear reasons for breaking up, feelings can make things confusing. You might feel that ending your relationship is the right thing to do, while at the same time, feeling sad and nervous to make a final decision.

As your feelings change, you may no longer feel romantic attraction, or you may start having feelings for someone else. It can be scary to see yourself losing feelings for the person you once loved. But that’s the nature of feelings; they change all the time.

If your feelings have faded, acknowledge this new reality and spend time understanding each other’s point of view.

Recognising long-distance breakup signs is an important step that can tell you it’s time to end things. Pay attention to those valid reasons that might be telling you it’s time to move on.

Check out an article about red flags in long-distance relationships to know what to look for. If you observe these signs for a few months, you know it’s time to reassess.

At the moment, your situation probably looks something like this:

  • You are in a long-distance relationship
  • It isn’t working
  • You are having doubts if you should keep trying to fix things or if is it time to break up.
  • Do you keep trying to fix your problems and make it work or are you ready to end things and move on?

Your steps to a healthy and easy solution could be like this:

  1. Take a few minutes to reflect on your situation.
  2. Acknowledge your feelings about your partner, your relationship and the distance
  3. Share your feelings with your long-distance partner
  4. Ask your long-distance partner how they feel about you and your relationship
  5. Share your doubts and concerns with your long-distance partner
  6. Together with your long-distance partner find a way forward that works for both of you

Here are some questions to guide your decision:

  • Can I make it work?
  • Is distance a problem?
  • Will it work if we were to move in together?
  • Is this relationship worth saving, or has it run its course?
  • These doubts can be overwhelming.

2. Prepare for a Heart-to-Heart Conversation

Having a serious talk when you want to end things can be a tough task, especially when a face-to-face conversation isn’t an option.

Take a deep breath and find the right time for both of you. Whether it’s over a video call or during a face-to-face visit, choose a setting that allows for an open and honest discussion.

When planning a breakup conversation, focus on a clean break that will allow you to stay friends. Plan a sincere talk, choose a comfortable space, and give yourself the time you need.

3. Choose the Right Time and Place (Virtual)

Ideally, you’d talk to your partner face to face. However, in long-distance relationships, where in-person face-to-face conversation may not be possible, a video call is the next best thing. Choose a time when you won’t be rushed and can talk in private.

Finding the right way to connect, is crucial. Video chat provides a face-to-face connection that can help convey emotions and intentions.

While expressing yourself can be difficult, try to focus on doing it in a caring way, with empathy, honesty and understanding. Granted, it’s not an easy task, especially when you get overwhelmed with emotions.

When breaking up with someone, it’s important to choose your words carefully and be gentle and considerate.

Many common phrases have the opposite effect of leaving your ex-partner hurt and abandoned. A slight change in how you put your words together can make a huge impact on how the other person is feeling.

Spend time to prepare your message, so you can have a productive conversation while considering your and your partner’s feelings. In case you can’t make your long-distance relationship work and will choose to break up, at least maybe you can stay friends.

4. Share Your Truth, Gently and Honestly

Approach the breakup conversation with empathy and respect, allowing space for your partner to express their feelings as well. Offer kindness, listen actively, and discuss a path forward that respects both of you. Sometimes, a clean break is what both of you need for a fresh start.

  • Get clear yourself why you want to break up.
  • Be honest and direct.
  • Start the conversation honestly but kindly.
  • Be clear about your feelings without being hurtful.
  • Share your feelings, doubts and concerns.
  • Avoid blame and accusations. Use “I” statements to express your feelings. For example, say “I feel” instead of “You make me feel”.
  • Express gratitude and appreciation. Acknowledge the positive aspects of your relationship and the moments you shared.

Opening up to talk is the most challenging part. If you manage to connect in the right way, discussing the practical aspects of the break-up is a breeze.

Check out an article that covers common problems in a long-distance relationship and consider a communication guide to help you along.

By sharing your feelings, you are opening the door to honesty and authenticity. Now that you’ve had a chance to be heard and understood, it’s time to acknowledge your partner and their feelings.

5. Listen and Validate Your Partner’s Feelings

In the spirit of sharing and understanding, your partner also needs to express their thoughts and doubts.

  • Give them space to react.
  • Ask how they feel about you and your relationship
  • Allow them to express their emotions without interruption.
  • Validate their feelings even if you don’t agree.
  • Make this moment about your partner’s life.
  • Avoid talking about yourself.

Involving your partner in a breakup process and emphasising their significance will help you work together towards a clean break with understanding and respect.

Once your partner knows that their feelings matter, they will feel included and will be less defensive. Understanding how they feel will help you see your relationship from their perspective. After all, isn’t this what a relationship is about?

6. Discuss Practical Matters

When you know each other’s feelings, doubts and concerns, it’s time to find a way to move on. If there are any shared responsibilities or belongings, discuss how you’ll handle them.

Establish boundaries and agree on how you’ll navigate your relationship post-breakup. This may involve adjusting communication frequency or taking a break from contact.

7. Avoid False Hopes

Be clear about the decision you made together. Avoid giving false hope of reconciliation if you’re certain about the breakup.

8. Aim to End Your Long-Distance Relationship on Good Terms

While the decision to break up or stay together is a tough one, there is a right way to do it and a wrong way.

  • The wrong way is when a person decides to break up and then informs their partner about this decision. The person who decided to break up may also feel guilty.
  • The right way to handle a breakup is by taking a step back from your final decision. And, instead of telling your partner about your decision, express your thoughts, feelings, doubts, and concerns to them. In turn, the other person may suggest fixing the problems or they may agree that it’s time to break up. A mutual decision to end things and break up can save a lot of unnecessary heartache and emotional pain. You may, of course, feel sad and empty for some time, which is perfectly normal.

9. Seek Closure and Open Your Heart to New Connections

Ending a long-distance relationship can stir up a whirlwind of emotions. Just remember, that these feelings are all part of the healing process.

  • Embrace your feelings.
  • Allow yourself to feel sad or even a little guilty.
  • Take the time to process and heal.
  • Take care of yourself.
  • Engage in self-care activities.
  • Reach out to close friends or a relationship coach for support.
  • Take small steps towards emotional well-being.
  • Open yourself to new beginnings, new opportunities and a new relationship.

The bright side of a long-distance breakup

  • Breakups can be a catalyst for self-discovery, leading to personal growth, increased self-awareness, and a stronger sense of self. You have the freedom to focus on your own life goals, aspirations, hobbies, and interests without considering a partner’s preferences.
  • Ending an unhealthy or unhappy relationship can alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, giving both partners a chance to live full lives.
  • You have the chance to rediscover who you are outside of the relationship.
  • Reflecting on the relationship can lead to improved communication skills, which can benefit future relationships. Breakups provide valuable lessons about what you need and want in a relationship, helping you make better life choices in the future.
  • Breakup often highlights the importance of trusted friends and family, strengthening existing relationships and creating opportunities for a healthier and more fulfilling new relationship.

Remember, it’s normal to experience a mix of emotions after a breakup, including sadness and loss. However, recognizing the potential benefits can provide a glimmer of hope for the future.


When your long-distance relationship isn’t going anywhere, your feelings change and you no longer feel excited about being together, a break-up may be on the horizon. As soon as you become aware of it, talk about how you feel and what’s on your mind.

Express your concerns and point out the problems you are seeing and experiencing. When you talk things out, you can identify the issues that exist in your relationship. Knowing the problems will allow you to find solutions to solve them together.

The steps in this article are meant to guide your thinking and help you make an educated decision. If you can’t meet your partner face to face, talk to your partner over a video chat and avoid talking on the phone or over text. Trust your instincts and consider getting advice from a friend, family member, or professional.

If you do things right, after talking to your partner, you should have a clear idea of what’s the best decision for both of you.

Remember that like with any other breakup, the healing process will take time, so let it take as long as it takes while focusing on your emotional well-being. Approach the emotional aspect of the breakup process with kindness and care.

Handle the breakup process with care and remember, it’s natural to feel a mix of emotions after a breakup, including sadness and relief. Trust that with time, both you and your ex-partner will find ways to heal and move forward. If you need further guidance or support, feel free to reach out.

Many people unilaterally decide to break up. Ending a relationship with someone you love or facing the fact that your feelings have faded isn’t easy. At some point, you’ll need to tell your partner about it.

Making unilateral decisions to break up is not the right thing to do because it brings a lot of unnecessary suffering. Instead of informing your partner of your decision to break up, tell them how you feel and what isn’t working for you.

Long-distance relationships end in one of three ways:

  1. Moving in together
  2. Ending a romantic relationship but remaining friends
  3. Breaking up completely and moving on.

Successful long-distance relationships end in couples moving in together to share their day-to-day life in the same place or at least in the same city.

A breakup doesn’t have to be a final goodbye. If your romantic feelings have faded, and break up is inevitable, you may still want to have this person in your life. Provided you have trust and understanding, a lack of romantic attraction isn’t a reason why you can’t be close friends. A great friendship can be more valuable than a dysfunctional romantic relationship.

That said, when you don’t want anything to do with the other person, the solution is to break up and move on.

Before you decide to break up, it may be worth reflecting on your situation with your partner, just in case there’s a way to work out your differences and stay together.

Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Breakups are a part of life, and even though it may not feel like it now, there are brighter days ahead. Trust yourself and your feelings, and take each step with compassion.

If you need help, see our coaching options or get in touch. We will show you how you can learn from your past relationship to create a healthier and happier one in the future.

A relationship coach who specialises in long-distance relationships will help you and your partner reassess your relationship and make an educated decision that works for both of you.

Finding closure and letting go allows both you and your partner to begin anew. Don’t be afraid to open your heart to new connections when you’re ready.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ending Long-Distance Relationships

What is the best way to break up with someone long-distance?

The best way to break up with someone in a long-distance relationship is through a video call or phone call. Choose a private and comfortable setting, be honest, and kind, and express your feelings directly. Allow your partner to share their thoughts and feelings as well.

Is it okay to break up because of long distance?

Yes, it is absolutely okay to consider a breakup due to the challenges of a long-distance relationship. It’s important to prioritise your own life and happiness.

How do you break up with someone long-distance over text?

While it’s generally recommended to have important conversations like a breakup through a video call or phone call, if this isn’t possible, be sensitive in your text message. Clearly express your feelings, avoid blame, and give your partner the space to respond.

How do you break up with a toxic long-distance relationship?

Breaking up with a toxic long-distance relationship is essential for your well-being. When your long-distance relationship becomes toxic, take a week away from your partner and your relationship. It will allow you to reassess whether you’re happy in this relationship or if is it better to end it. Choose a safe and private environment for the conversation. Be clear about your decision, and if needed, seek support from trusted friends, family, or a relationship coach to help navigate this challenging situation.

How do you know if it’s right to break up?

If you find that the relationship consistently brings more unhappiness than joy, if there are unresolvable issues, or if the relationship is causing emotional distress, it may be an indication that it’s time to consider a breakup.

How long is too long for long distance?

The duration that is considered “too long” for a long-distance relationship can vary from person to person. It’s important to have a plan for eventually closing the distance, and for some, an indefinite long-distance arrangement may not be sustainable.

How do you end a relationship peacefully?

Ending a relationship peacefully involves choosing a calm and private setting, expressing your feelings honestly but kindly, and listening to your partner’s perspective. Avoid blame and focus on finding a resolution that respects both parties.

Does love fade away in a long-distance relationship?

Love in a long-distance relationship can remain strong with effective communication, trust, and effort from both partners. However, if these elements are consistently lacking, it can lead to a fading of feelings over time.

How to get over a long-distance relationship?

Getting over a long-distance relationship involves allowing yourself to grieve, engaging in self-care, seeking support from loved ones, and focusing on personal growth and new experiences. Time and self-compassion are key.

Can distance end a relationship?

A distance can change the way you interact in a romantic relationship. Communication and physical intimacy are the two most affected aspects of a long-distance relationship. If you want to have a healthy and successful long-distance relationship, you need to adjust to these changes.

Should I end my long-distance relationship?

You should end a long-distance relationship when you are no longer feeling that it’s making your life more wonderful. Avoid making a rash decision just because you feel angry or upset one day. However, if these feelings become a norm, then it may be time for a change.

When is it time to break up a long-distance relationship?

It’s time to break up a long-distance relationship when it no longer positively contributes to your life and well-being. Long-distance relationships are great, and they have a lot of benefits. When you don’t recognise and appreciate a long-distance relationship for what it is, it will bring you a lot of suffering. You will spend most of your time trying to survive it, instead of enjoying it.

How to end a long-term long-distance relationship?

When you’ve been in a long-distance relationship for a long time, you probably developed a great degree of attachment. Regardless of how long it’s been, if you are unhappy in your relationship, you should take some time away from it. It will allow you to reassess whether it’s worth continuing or whether is it better to end your relationship one way or another.

What is the best way to end a long-distance relationship?

The best way to end a long-distance relationship depends on your situation and your feelings towards your partner. If you have romantic feelings towards each other, try to find a way to move in together or sort out the problems that cause your discontent. On the other hand, if your feelings have faded away, you may consider staying close friends or breaking up completely.

What to say to end a long-distance relationship?

Suppose you want to end your long-distance relationship for some reason. First of all, get clear on how you are feeling. What do you believe isn’t working in your long-distance relationship? Once you’re clear on your feelings and desires, you can share them with your long-distance partner. You can then take some time to hear their side of the story. After you talk about it, you should make a mutual decision on how you should end your long-distance relationship.

Is it okay to break up a long-distance relationship over the phone?

Breaking up a long-distance relationship over the phone sounds more like informing your partner about your decision. If there is one thing you should never do, is to make unilateral decisions as long as you are in a relationship. If your long-distance relationship isn’t working for you, tell your partner what is bothering you and what you want to be different. It’s best to leave phone calls for casual conversations and opt for a video chat to have a serious talk. If you want to talk about something meaningful and important, it’s best to do it face-to-face or at least via video calls.

How to break up a long-distance relationship nicely?

If you want to end a long-distance relationship, it’s not a question of doing it nicely. When you want to end your long-distance relationship nicely, you are probably at the point of informing your partner about your decision to end your relationship. Take a step back from your decision. Instead, tell your partner how you feel and what is not working for you in your relationship. Give your partner a chance to participate in the decision to end your relationship. It’s only fair that since you started it together, you should end it together as well.

How to break up a long-distance relationship gracefully?

There is no way to end a long-distance relationship gracefully. You can dance with grace, and you can behave gracefully, but you have to do it with respect and love when it comes to ending a long-distance relationship. The only way to do it is to bring your partner in on your decision. Tell them how you feel and what you want, and allow them to help you achieve that.

How to slowly break up a long-distance relationship?

When you decide to break up a long-distance relationship, it’s not a question of whether you should do it slowly or rapidly. The right way to end a long-distance relationship is by sharing your feelings and concerns with your long-distance partner, hearing out their point of view, and making a decision together.

How to politely break up a long-distance relationship?

When it comes to ending a long-distance relationship, politeness is the last thing you want to do. What you want is to maintain love and respect towards yourself and your partner by being open and honest about your feelings and concerns. After you’ve shared this with your partner, you can find the best way to end the long-distance relationship that works for both of you.

Can a long-distance relationship end in marriage?

A long-distance relationship can definitely end in marriage. Suppose you know how to maintain a healthy and successful long-distance relationship until you get the chance to move in together. In that case, there is no reason why you won’t be able to make it work and turn it into a marriage. Keep in mind that having a long-distance relationship is different from living together. Each one has its problems and different ways of solving them.

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