When it comes to relationships a long-distance one is surely the hardest to maintain, but also one of the most rewarding when it works! And it can only work if both parties put in huge amounts of effort to communicate, see each other often and plan for a future where they aren’t separated by distance.
Being able to maintain a relationship with someone from afar is one of the hardest things you might ever face in love – but you don’t choose who you fall in love with, or where they live.
Sometimes, however, despite all the effort and the time put into keeping the spark alive, long-distance just doesn’t work – it becomes a chore both partners wish to avoid and a trap that makes you feel like you are living for some dreamy future that never begins.
How do you know that it’s worth fighting to keep the relationship going, or you should give up?
Here are some examples as to when you should give up on a long-distance relationship.
1. You are too far away
Long-distance relationships come in many shapes and forms and some couples are lucky to have a smaller distance, and a lot more opportunities to see each other regularly.
Whereas others are literally on opposite sides of a continent, or an ocean apart. Being too far from the one you love makes maintaining the relationship that much harder. It’s more expensive too fly long haul, it’s harder to find time to talk when you’ve got a few time zones between.
You may be able to maintain a long-distance relationship for a while despite the time zone difference, despite not being able to see each other that often, but in most cases, if you are too far away and don’t have any immediate plans to get together permanently, then you should probably give up before it becomes more painful.
The best thing you can do to prevent feeling miserable for months, or even years is to end it early. If it feels like hard work that won’t pay off, be honest with each other. Sometimes love is just not enough.
2. He’s not helping to make it work
One of the main reasons long-distance relationships fail is because one party isn’t pulling their weight to keep it going. If you feel like you’re the only one making all the effort to keep the spark alive, to make future plans, to plan trips to see him, and he’s not helping make it work, then you should probably find someone who lives close by.
Long-distance relationships take a lot of hard work. And we mean a lot! You need to work at them day in and day out making sure you talk regularly, you share different parts of your life, you stay honest and have your eyes on a future where there is no distance anymore.
Why won’t he commit to seeing you more often? Why is he choosing to spend all his money on travel and experiences with his local mates? He either has his focus on you, or he doesn’t.
3. You don’t have a strong foundation
If you walked into a long-distance relationship with someone you barely knew or had barely spent any face-to-face time with, then it will be really tough to maintain it. You just won’t know what to expect of him, and the trust won’t be there to keep you going.
A long-lasting relationship takes a lot of work, and one hindered by distance is even tougher. You will need to build trust, patience, understanding and most of all – true friendship and respect for one another if you want to make it work.
Without much in common or much time spent to get to know each other prior to the distance, you probably don’t stand much chance to keep it going for a long time.
4. A future together seems impossible
A long-distance relationship can bring so much happiness and joy to your life, despite how tough it is. There are so many cool things you can do to maintain it. And you do feel like you are part of a special club – the people who love each other so much they are willing to be apart! That shows true courage!
But if your relationship feels fun for now but not in the long-term, then perhaps there isn’t that much point trying to make it work, just to find out later you spent all this time and resource on something that was never going to work.
Think about it – not every relationship ends in marriage or long-term partnership, but every long-distance relationship should at least end up with the two people being on the same postcode. If you have no idea what the future holds, then why torture yourself day after day with trying to navigate the distance?
Wouldn’t it be better to spend your time and love on someone who lives close by? Someone you can see whenever you want and for however long you like?
It might be the hardest decision you ever make because the relationship feels perfect when you are face-to-face, and you believe it’s worth the fight. But without a clear future together, it’s a lost cause.
5. The relationship is making you miserable
Despite how much you love him and how much time and effort you’ve already put into seeing him, and making it work if most of the time it feels miserable, then it’s time to walk away.
Nobody will ever blame you for giving up on a long-distance relationship! It’s literally the hardest relationship you could possibly have! It can make you question your sanity at times!
It can bring paranoia, mistrust, and jealousy into your life, where prior to it you’d have never felt those emotions. It can make you wake up feeling anxious and go to bed feeling completely hopeless.
You’d be constantly thinking about him and not knowing what’s the best thing to do.
It feels lonely watching all your friends get boyfriends who live around the corner and you always feeling like the single one in the group when you aren’t even single.
It will be hard to say goodbye after time spent together and always take some time getting to know one another each time you meet after months of being apart.
If overall your long-distance relationship feels like too much work and not much happiness anymore, then perhaps it’s time to give it up.
6. There’s someone else
One of the biggest tests to the strength of your long-distance relationship will come when you meet someone who might just seem perfect for you, and you’d love to give it a try, but you are already taken. Do you just push them away? Do you give them false hope? Do you cheat? You feel so lonely all the time and this person is just there!
What should you do if you don’t see a future with your long-distance boyfriend, and there’s someone close by that you are starting to like? There’s no way to know whether the new guy will be any good for you, but simply the idea of an easy relationship seems tempting?
You might resist once or twice because you love your boyfriend, but no one would judge you if you simply chose the guy nearby. You will be choosing a lot easier life, with a lot more chance to be together for longer.
Ultimately it will be your decision and probably no turning back from it.
7. Keeping in touch feels like a chore
If keeping in touch with your long-distance boyfriend is starting to feel like a total nuisance, then there’s definite trouble in paradise. At the beginning of a long-distance relationship, it will probably feel exciting and new, and you’d be just happy to talk to him as often as you can.
You will be making plans for when to see each other, you’ll be sending gifts to each other, and planning various surprises.
But after a while, the newness of the relationship wears off and even scheduling time to talk will feel like a chore. You are rushing to get home so you can skype him. He has to cancel his evening plans to make time to call you. Why is everything so hard to plan?
You end up feeling like you live a sort of double life – one in the real world with your friends where things feel normal, and one behind a screen which is the only connection you have with him. Neither feels happy or content, and you just feel lonely.
If you are starting to feel like you aren’t enjoying it, it’s time to address whether it’s worth even trying anymore.
8. It’s just not for you
Perhaps you met at university and promised to stay together despite the distance. Or he was a summer fling on your holiday that you continued texting? Or you met online and thought you should meet in person?
Despite going into a long-distance relationship being all smitten, sometimes it might just not be for you – there really is no telling until you are in it. There’s nothing wrong with admitting you just aren’t into it. The chats, the calls, the missing, the jealousy, the trips, the planning – some people just don’t want to put in the effort, and the cons outweigh the pros.
If you feel like a long-distance relationship is simply not for you, then just tell him and make life easier for both of you. The worst you can do is waste his time and yours.
9. You have completely forgotten your goals
A relationship should be there to support you through whatever it is you want to achieve in life, not be the main goal you are working on.
If your long-distance relationship feels like the main thing you spend effort on and you are falling behind on your other personal goals, then you need to have a word with yourself.
An all-consuming relationship that needs that much time and effort won’t leave much space for working towards other goals and developing yourself. You will end up hating yourself and resenting the relationship you’ve chosen to be in.
10. He is building a life without you
Whilst you are in a long-distance relationship and you hold hope for a future together, your boyfriend seems to be prioritizing everything else but your future together! He is building his life without you and not sharing much in the process.
Whether it’s going traveling or buying a property, if he doesn’t even think about consulting with you then he doesn’t see you in his life for a lot longer.
You know what you need to do…
11. You can’t agree on the plan
Planning a future in which you are no longer apart is a conversation you need to have quite early on. While any other relationship wouldn’t require that chat for months or even years, long-distance make little sense if you are not on the same page.
Does it feel like he just expects you to move countries or cities for him? Could he not even entertain the thought of making that step himself?
If you can’t even agree on the plan for what’s next, then perhaps you shouldn’t waste your time trying to make it work. It is a lot of work!
12. You don’t trust him
Regardless of how much you want the relationship to last, you have the nagging feeling that he’s not in it for the long run. It’s a feeling that’s just impossible to shake off, especially when you don’t get to see him daily, and you wonder what he’s doing and who he’s with.
Before you know it, you start to stalking him on social media and feeling a little paranoid. Why does he like that girl’s photos all the time? Where was he the other night when you rang him late?
Whenever he’s out with friends you demand to know if there were any women there, turning yourself into the jealous girlfriend you really don’t want to be.
It’s a nasty situation to be in – constantly wondering if he will cheat or has already cheated. Let’s face it, if you cannot trust someone from a distance, you probably won’t be able to trust them even if there was no distance.
No one can tell you when to give up on a relationship, and you cannot blame anyone if you stayed for longer than you should have, ending up with a messy heartbreak. At the end of the day – you have to look after number one, that’s you.