The Best Way to End a Long Distance Relationship Without Looking Like a Dick
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While summer is the season of margaritas and bikinis, it’s also the season of transitions.
Maybe you’re going to college across the country next year, maybe you’re traveling for a new job, maybe you’re just moving back home to figure your life out post-grad. Either way, there’s a chance that you’ve separated with your bae and are having second thoughts about a long distance relationship. Like, masturbating over Skype is fun and all, but you think it’s time for both of you to move on now.
But what’s the best way to end an LDR? You don’t want to spend time (or money) traveling just to break your boo’s heart. And what if you show up planning to dump him only for him to have made grand plans for you two, or God forbid – propose? This may sound crazy, but it happened to at least one Galore staffer, so you never know.
We talked to Kim Samuels, dating expert and comedian, and Marissa Nelson, relationship therapist, about how to dump your long distance boo so that you don’t feel guilty and that your soon to be ex doesn’t think you totally suck.
Do Some Personal Reflecting
The only person that should be making the decision to dump your bae is you. Not your BFF, not your mom, not that fortune teller who said she sees you “making a big decision for the better” – just you. Lots of people are kind of anti-long distance relationship… or even anti-relationship in general, specifically your single pals. Don’t make the mistake of dumping someone when it’s not even your idea.
Marissa Nelson suggests that you ask yourself these questions before deciding if it’s time to break up with your long distance boo thang:
“What exactly is broken in the relationship? Is it salvageable? Does it have to do with trust issues? Or is it an effort to be unattached and date other people? I think it’s important to be clear on exactly where you are in your life and what your current wants and needs from a relationship are before you can express them to your partner.”
She adds, “If you decide that it’s best to go your separate ways, it may not be necessary to go visit them in order to break things off unless you are open to a chance for bridging the gap to reconciliation.”
Don’t Be A Dick
Just because you don’t want to ride your boyfriend’s dick anymore doesn’t mean you need to be one. If you’re dumping him because you really miss Tinder or you really want to fuck your new co-worker, don’t tell him that.
“It’s best to be honest, but in a nice way, you don’t want to break anyone’s heart here,” says Kim.
“Some examples are: ‘I just feel that I need something more,’ ‘I am not ready/able to continue on this journey with you,’ or ‘I want you to find someone who will be able to give you what I can’t and what you deserve,'” she says. “Yes, I know it’s all sappy, but that is not the point! In the end it’s more important to end on good terms if possible.”
“Be kind and be big about this breakup,” says Marissa. “Comforting someone or being there for them emotionally doesn’t mean you want to get back together, [it] just means that you care about the person enough to show up for them one last time.”
And Don’t Be A Fuckgirl
“Don’t ever break up over text or email, that’s a pretty lame way to end things with someone you care about simply to not deal with the emotional aspect of the breakup,” says Marissa, and she’s right.
I get that breaking up is hard to do, but imagine if you got dumped via text… or worse, Snapchat. The least you could do is a phone call, but video chatting is also a good idea as long as you have good connection. You don’t want to be trying to deliver your break-up speech only to find that you got frozen on Skype.
“Honor your relationship and the connection you had by doing a video chat and knowing that while it may be a long and/or difficult conversation that you can express how you feel and be there to allow the person to understand where your coming from and see if perhaps they feel the same as you, or learn what their perspective is on where things could have veered off in your long distance romance,” suggests Marissa.
If You Want To Do it In Person, Do It Right
If you feel that you should see your partner in person to break things off the right way, good for you. But make sure that your SO won’t convince you to change your mind once you get there.
“If you do decide to break things off in person, make separate hotel/sleeping accommodations,” says Marissa.
Spoiler alert: having one last fuck won’t give either of you closure, and will only make things harder for you both.
Instead, get closure by actually talking through things.
“If you find that you really want more physical closeness than this relationship can give at the moment or its not for you, then say that,” urges Marissa. “You want relationships to bring out the very best in you and it’s not fair to either person if you have one foot out of the door and are not invested wholeheartedly. Use ‘I’ statements to express yourself.”
Don’t Cut All Ties Immediately
If you agreed to try long distance, it probably means that you two had been dating a while before that. Since it’s (hopefully) a break-up on good terms, it’s natural for you two to remain in a little bit of contact afterwards. It’s hard to go from texting someone everyday to not talking to them at all.
“After you break up you may still talk occasionally, or maybe not at all,” says Marissa. “Perhaps (and in most cases) it will take more than just one conversation to go your separate ways. Understand that both of you will be adjusting to a new normal. It may hurt sometimes, and you may really miss that person but just begin to embrace what is and grieve the loss of the relationship.”
Even if you don’t really want to be texting your ex anymore, it may help them ease out of the relationship more naturally. It won’t kill you.
But Also Know When It’s Over
Eventually, you’ll both move away from the constant (or not so constant) communication, and when that happens you can’t suddenly decide that you want them back.
“Don’t turn this breakup into a casual booty call situation because your lonely, or use your now ex as a place holder until you find someone else,” cautions Marissa. “It’s not fair and only sets up false hopes and expectations of possibly getting back together.”
You’re the one who wanted to end things, so don’t pull the whole “I didn’t know what I had until it’s gone” BS, you’re better than that.