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Surviving a Long Distance Breakup

January 17, 2013
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Your guest blogger, Laura!

This week’s guest post is written by Laura Thomson-Bache, a British-born New Zealand marketing graduate planning on spending the next few years traveling the globe. Laura loves painting, all forms of chocolate and hopes to one day have a successful blog and PR career. You can read about Laura’s adventures on her Tumblr account.Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Find out how you can be the next writer for Simply Solo here!

Simply Solo Spotlight: Surviving a Long Distance Breakup

I remember reading blog posts a year ago warning me of the turmoil long distance relationships bring. At the time, I was in the midst of head-over-heels love for my then-boyfriend. He would be moving back home to the other side of the world soon enough, abandoning me to finish my degree as he had finished his here in New Zealand. I remember thinking to myself, “We’re not like all those other couples. We’ll be able to handle the late night Skype sessions, the ongoing calls for hugs and kisses that won’t be answered. Our love is what keeps us together – not hands!”

A year later, and I’m coming up with excuses to encourage him to break up with me. I’m a wuss avoiding the potential burden of regret as the breaker-upper. I’m telling him I won’t be able to move to Canada for another year, it’s too expensive, it’s not going to work. And he agreed. He accepted what I said and we broke up. I cried over Skype, begging him to join me in my sudden resurgent wish to fix us, a mere grasp at straws for the fear of being alone and unloved. We haven’t spoken since.

Long-distance sucks, well and truly. Whilst in the relationship, the need for stronger trust and dedication to keeping in constant contact can be tiring and disillusioning. Whilst you’re getting ready for bed, they are just getting up, ready to do something with their day without you. The relationship is an attempt to mesh two worlds that don’t align. Because of this, I had made the decision after much brain wracking that I would visit him. Despite this decision requiring me to miss weeks of classes and spend all of my savings, I thought, “It’s worth it. This is the love of my life and we’ve come this far already. This is going to be an amazing trip that will cement our relationship’s strength and will create beautiful memories.”

Little did I know, whilst I was in Canada, the so-called “love of my life” would continue to display characteristics I thought would long be gone by now, characteristics that should disappear when you’ve put so much into the commitment of another from great distance. Something that shouldn’t be happening when this distance is finally closed and you have a long lovely month to appreciate each other’s company.

I was wrong. Touching up girls in sexually inappropriate ways, sending flirty sweet texts professing his love to girls who were not me; this was not what I signed up for. My mind was constantly thinking things over and spinning round in circles during my trip. If he was doing this while I was living in his home, what on earth was he like when I was back at mine on the other side of the world?! The demise of my trust for him was on its way, and by the time I had arrived back home, my trust was practically non-existent. Hence, I pushed us into arguments with lies that I couldn’t return to Canada, just so I didn’t have to deal with being called a “whining, complaining girlfriend” for bringing such “petty” things up as I had experienced before. He thinks we broke up because of the distance and the arguments. In reality, we broke up because I realized I didn’t deserve to feel like an idiot.

Considering I am usually an emotional wreck post-any situation that causes the slightest bit of stress, I have been recovering rather well over the past few months. I had this vision of my recovery post-breakup; an aftermath of countless months lying in bed and a red, puffy face stuffed with ice cream. The reality has been significantly less movie-esque. My heart sometimes aches, but instead of aching for him like I thought it would, it is more a deep sadness that he stole a year of my life. A year that could have been spent with someone who respected me enough to be faithful and wouldn’t crush my self-esteem in the process.

I have learnt a lot about long-distance relationships and the ensuing breakups. There are both pros and cons of having a breakup with a partner on the other side of the world. Whilst you’re not going to bump into your ex and your surroundings are unlikely to remind you of them, a relationship built so strongly on constant conversations and an emotional rather than a physical bond leaves you feeling empty inside when it is torn away, something a simple rebound just cannot replace. This however has forced me to seek new avenues to fill the void that is heartbreak. I’m planning my travels to new continents, signed up for classes over the summer, and I’m bettering myself day by day by putting time into me, rather than a dead relationship.

Having no contact has helped a lot, and is easier to maintain in a long distance breakup. No contact allows you to distance yourself from the memories rather than constantly creating new ones through ongoing conversations with an ex-partner about their new life without you! Simply block all avenues of online and mobile conversation and voila, you are free from the unwarranted misery that drunk dialling/Facebook stalking can cause.

As I graduate and figure out my plans for traveling the world, I’ve realised I don’t need my ex and I never did. I have put things into perspective and realised that if we stayed together, I would have moved to Canada to be with him. I would have been adopted by his friends, adopted as a part of HIS life – I wouldn’t be making mine. In long distance relationships, there is always this notion of sacrifice. I have learnt that although I’m willing to sacrifice money and time for a long distance relationship, I’m not willing to sacrifice my dignity, self-respect, or my life.

What’s the biggest sacrifice you’ve made to maintain a long distance relationship? Do you think recovery is easier or more difficult post-LDR breakup?

 

Copyright 2013. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

39 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2013 8:40 am

    I’ve Mainly Had Long-Distance Relationships, So I Can
    Easily Identify With This Post. Thing Is, I Find They Work Better
    For Me. Not Because I Want A Long-Distance Relationship, But
    Because I Generally Have Better Luck Keeping The Other Person
    Around. Those Whom See Me More, Whom Spend More Time With Me,
    Always Seem To Be Chomping At The Bit To Escape. I’ve Yet To
    Figure-Out The Whole Relationship Gig, But I Remain Hopeful.
    Excellent Post, Fo SHO! -B.

    • Laura TB permalink
      January 17, 2013 10:47 pm

      I think if you can find a type of relationship that works best for you, then you should definitely go for it! You’re right – in long distance there is less likely to be that sense of getting sick of one another, as you are living your own separate lives. Its as if your long distance relationship is in a bubble of its own, a bubble made secure through internet and phone calls! All the best figuring out relationships, I think we all are in our own way!

  2. January 17, 2013 9:25 am

    Great post, Laura. Glad you are happy and making YOUR life awesome first and foremost.

    • Laura TB permalink
      January 17, 2013 10:51 pm

      Thanks Tori! Its a great feeling to know something so negative can impact our life and mindset so positively. Gives me hope for any future obstacles I face!

  3. January 17, 2013 9:57 am

    You are lucky that you found out in good time, Laura.
    Commitment is important in a relationship.

    • Laura TB permalink
      January 17, 2013 10:55 pm

      I couldn’t agree more, and its true for any type of relationship! Love is a two-way street. Certain road rules like commitment and trust make it a more secure and straight-forward path!

  4. January 17, 2013 10:00 am

    I don’t know is long-distant relationships should be
    specifically described as turmoil. It more fizzles out and die out
    because of the lack of physical contact. I really haven’t seen much
    turmoil opposed to a fizzle out into break-up land. And frankly, I
    don’t think anyone should get involved in such
    relationships.

    • Laura TB permalink
      January 17, 2013 11:13 pm

      Long distance relationships certainly do fizzle out with a lack of physical contact. However, issues with commitment and trust make it that much harder and can cause tumultuous breakups. It is so much easier to slip into worry and questioning in a long distance relationship as you’re living separate lives, and it is even more painstaking when there is no light at the end of the tunnel where you will be reunited. When a lack of commitment is involved, I feel there is definitely a mix of this ongoing turmoil and a ‘fizzling out’ of the chemistry! Thanks for your insight!

  5. 2NewBeginnings permalink
    January 17, 2013 10:15 am

    Long distance relationships are rough. I just married my long distance partner. Were there sacrifices , yes, but in the long run…well worth it and I got far more than what I sacrificed. There were times that you questioned or wondered what the other was doing….but through communication and yes sometimes tough talks, we were able to get through it and now have a wonderful life together. I really think you both have to know deep down that you are committed and want to be together in order for it to work. It can’t be one sided or one doing more to make it work. I am sorry you didn’t get that happy ending through yours, but seems you did learn a lot about your self and want you want out of a relationship. And ultimately that will bring the relationship that you deserve.

    • Laura TB permalink
      January 17, 2013 11:18 pm

      That’s so great to hear! I definitely believe long distance can work, but as you say, it is a matter of both pulling your own weight to achieve the best outcome of being together in the end. You both just have to want it enough. I also think having a common goal to work towards, that will see you coming together in one location permanently, is key. It can often be difficult however in mutually deciding when/where/how this will be. I’m happy to hear of a successful long-distance relationship and I hope more turn out similarly to your own! Thank you for your comment (:

  6. January 17, 2013 2:39 pm

    Long distance relationships CAN work – I’m living proof of that. But they certainly require exceptional levels of trust, commitment, and love. And without a doubt, you’ve got to make the time to see each other as often as possible. In the end, I believe they lead to a stronger overall relationship, because if you can survive the distance, there’s not much else life can throw at you that you won’t be able to handle. And best of all, you’ll conquer it together.

    • 2NewBeginnings permalink
      January 17, 2013 4:14 pm

      Completely agree with Mark. Living proof here as well. We are so much stronger because I believe the distance made us that way. Sometimes when couples get together, it’s all about the passion, attraction, etc that sometimes the communication lacks. When you are long distance, sometimes communication through phone, text, skype etc is all you got. It forces you to either build a strong bond or let go…

      • January 17, 2013 6:28 pm

        Exactly! We had phone conversations that would last an hour or two, every night, seven days a week, for six months. How can you not build a strong bond that way?

    • Laura TB permalink
      January 17, 2013 11:33 pm

      I totally agree! I have much respect for any couple that can survive a prolonged period of long distance as it requires a lot more work than those new to the scenario could imagine. You are right about it making you a stronger couple. Despite the lack of commitment that eventually came to light, I’ve never been so in tune with someone and felt a love so strong on an emotional level. You’re so bound to one another through conversation/thoughts/hopes/plans to be together, that the relationship becomes a much more engaging part of your life-plan, compared to a ‘traditional’ relationship where you see one another so much in your everyday life that its just a normal part of the present. Thank you both for your comments, I’m glad you’ve had successful and strong LDR’s!

  7. January 17, 2013 5:43 pm

    I was recently in a long distance relationship. I meet him while vacationing in Florida (I live in Georgia 5hrs away). Everything seemed perfect, we got along really well had lots of fun and were both crazy about each other. He asked me to move down to Florida to his beach house.. a dream come true. Well as I was working out my plans he was busy flirting with other girls. We ended up breaking it off since he meet someone else. At first I was hurt but then realized it was for the best. I didn’t need to live HIS life. I can only imagine how much worse it would have been if I had moved and he suddenly “meet someone else”. Glad you stayed true to you! Great post!

    • Laura TB permalink
      January 17, 2013 11:41 pm

      This is a great way to think! The best thing in this scenario is to remember that his life is of no matter to you anymore, that you have your own amazing life full of possibilities and better men! Its nice to know other people have been in similar situations to myself, and are thinking in the same positive way – thank goodness his unfaithful actions came just in time to save me from making the biggest mistake of my life! Thanks for the comment (:

  8. January 18, 2013 12:52 pm

    Long distance relationships are literally terrible. I just recently got out of one myself with a girl who was studying abroad in London for the fall semester. We attend the same university which makes it a little more complicated I suppose. I agree with you all when you said everything seems fine, you do the midnight skype calls, the unanswered calls for hugs and kisses. I suppose that these kinds of relationships could work for a very limited amount of time, but you need that reassurance of being with them and trust that you just can’t get when you are stuck across an ocean without them. Great post, I enjoyed reading it!

    • Laura TB permalink
      January 20, 2013 2:21 am

      Yes you’re right – you really need that light at the end of the tunnel, and it has to be within reach, not something you are merely squinting your eyes in hope of seeing! There is definitely hope for long distance relationships if the circumstances are right. Thanks for your insight Russell!

  9. January 19, 2013 1:47 pm

    I am so glad for you that you are making the decision to live your own life. This struck me as my husband and I were in a long distance relationship many years ago as we moved around the country and I did internships and what not.
    It took A LOT out of both of us. Some days was easier than others. Yes, it was worth it but it is difficult to have the balance of US and your own life when a long-distance relationship and two seperate lives are involved (especially when they are on opposing time schedules.) Some nights I’m sure we were both wishing we could go to bed, hang out with friends or just not have one more thing on the “schedule” to do instead of trying to make meaningful converation when we were brain dead – but we hung in there anyway.
    It does take a lot of trust and a lot of love. We were lucky in that. We were focused on living apart so we could live together eventually and were never much of going out people anyway.
    I wish you the best – I am glad that you have no contact as you are much more “free” to do what you need to for yourself.

    • Laura TB permalink
      January 21, 2013 12:05 am

      I definitely agree that having a lot of trust is vital to the survival of an LDR, and I’m glad you had lots in yours! I also think the scenario you are in plays a huge role. The paths you are on as individual people may have intertwined and allowed you to be together, but those paths certainly need to be running alongside one another to allow an LDR to work out in the end. Thanks for the kind words Jennifer! Being free and not weighed down by a life that is intertwined with mine from afar is a very liberating feeling!

  10. Angie and Annie permalink
    January 21, 2013 3:45 am

    Catherine, we really miss your blogging, can we expect something from you in near future?
    Guest blogging is nice, but most people came for you and your experiences. Thank you.

    • January 22, 2013 7:57 am

      Hey Angie and Annie – thanks so much for your comment. I do hope to write soon, I just have a lot going on right now and I’ve had to put the blog on the back burner to keep a little of my own sanity :). Soon though I hope to get a post up! Thanks for the push… I need it :)

  11. January 26, 2013 7:39 pm

    Catherine, I really enjoy your blog! It is awesome. My blog is…sad. Not good. At all. I don’t think anyone actually reads it, but I don’t care though. Keep up the awesome blog!

  12. January 30, 2013 2:48 pm

    I had long distance relationship for 6 years(did not see her for 2.5 years straight while doing my Masters in the USA while she is in India). It is the trust, mutual respect, mutual understanding which matters a lot…we were truthful to each other..I ask sometimes myself ,does love needs each other to stay close? I have written about love in my blog :)

  13. February 5, 2013 8:45 pm

    good post.. it can definitely be hard

  14. rimassolosailingaroundtheworldm permalink
    February 6, 2013 5:04 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing blog I really enjoy it to read and discover a new blogs

  15. February 9, 2013 1:03 pm

    My second relationship was with my then-bestfriend who moved to the other side of the globe and enlisted in the army. The relationship lasted for four months and took a lot of my time, attention and understanding.

  16. March 5, 2013 6:27 pm

    Reblogged this on My Escape :).

  17. April 20, 2013 1:36 am

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s
    new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be
    book-marking and checking back often!

  18. May 5, 2013 9:25 pm

    Hey Laura! Beautiful post. I can relate to those feelings you experienced of losing that trust and being treated like garbage. Its brutal and painful. Something I learned from that experience is my value and how I need to be with someone who treats me the best. I feel true love is when two people are willing to hear each other out and make sacrifices to help the other person be happier. The trust can be easily shattered but sometimes we stay with that person thinking, “It will never happen again. That was just a once in a lifetime experience.” A sacrifice I’ve had to make for such a relationship is losing focus on other important aspects of life like my education, hobbies, friends, my happiness, and even family. Its painful coming out of such an emotionally connected relationship and filling that void. At first, its horrible. I decided to fill my time in with meaningful activities. I got much more involved in my university and started taking on several roles in organizations at it. Although that was a brutal experience I never want to go through again it has helped me become a better person. Again beautiful post! You have a gift for expressing your feelings Laura :)

    http://lifeismuyfantastico.wordpress.com/

  19. July 12, 2013 11:29 am

    Reblogged this on thekogm's Blog and commented:
    to be read… later… much later…

  20. Benedicta Lartey permalink
    September 20, 2013 5:50 am

    howdy
    i cannot seems to get over it.seeing him post things to Facebook is aggravating everything.i am torn apart,i cannot focus in school anymore.
    but he is happy living his life.what do i do to move on with my life completely?.
    because i think is taking eternity to get over it.all the time i spent chatting with him,the calls i had to make even when i need that money for something very important.to the extent of lying to mum in order to get money for him.
    i am rlly a mess right now dnt think i can trust anyone with my heart again because i am tired of getting hurt n taken for granted.

  21. Claudia permalink
    September 23, 2013 11:26 pm

    I just got out of a LDR. We met on holiday earlier this year, then went back to our respective countries. We spent four months of talking endlessly on Skype (despite the time zones) while I saved up to go visit him. We became incredibly close and were counting down the days until I arrived. I was there for two months, but shortly after I arrived he realised he wasn’t ready for a relationship and it would have to end when I got back to my country. I’ve been back for two months and it’s been awful. We tried no contact for a little bit, but we never talk, even though neither of our feelings have changed (apparently). From messaging and Skypeing for hours every night, then flying to the over side of the world to spend two months together, and now nothing. I don’t even think he’s sad. We planned a future together, and now I have nothing. I feel so alone.

  22. Rosne permalink
    November 13, 2013 3:32 pm

    Long distance relationships are exhausting and very emotional and break -up is much harder! So true what you said, it leaves you so empty inside! Had a few months of very intense LDR, he called 4-5 evenings per week, sent 4-5 photos, videos and super romantic messages on whatsapp. I did enjoy
    emotional connection and only looking at his photos reminded me the hot summer when we spent time together, but it was getting so intense and not easy as late skype sessions can be exhausting. He invited me to visit him for a few days and was so excited when I finally booked flights. 2 days after he told me that he would like me to meet his parents, romantic messages stopped. There was only : I need to tell you something when we speak on skype. He said he found it too difficult , he doesn’t want to see me for 5 days and then again no physical contact for 5 months was too much for him. Its only been 1 week but I m feeling terrible! I believed we can work on this distance but now just feel so empty and hopeless!

    ntt

    p

    sessions can leave you exhausted and Just a week buago

  23. November 20, 2013 2:40 pm

    Long distance relationships are really hard to handle, but the break up it’s even harder because you create all these ideas in your mind about how perfect everything is going to be when you get together,i had a long distance relationship for almost a year, we share so many dreams, i felt completely loved and secure, but after many fights he just told me it was over for him, he only needed a couple of days to realized that and that completely broke my heart :( i find it too hard to move on, this happened a couple of days ago, the emptiness that you have after being so emotional attached to someone it’s quite hard to handle. I believe in long distance relationships, because it’s just like any other one, you have to be committed to make it work. I hope i can move on fast enough to continue to my life because it’s hurting me really bad right now :( but it’s good to find a place where you can share and read what other people went trough to feel some support.

    • Rosne permalink
      November 27, 2013 5:51 pm

      Andrea, how are you feeling now? I totally understand how devastating it is, I m in very similar situation. The fact is that its so hard to find lasting connection with someone special even in the same city .And when you meet and spend wonderful time together and then go to different cities or countries but keep contact makes you

      emotionally attached to the

  24. Jay permalink
    December 1, 2013 7:15 pm

    I feel for you, Andrea…going through a long distance breakup myself with a girl from a different culture and country. We met on vacation. Introduced a friend I met there to her sister as well, and the 4 of us spent a good chunk of our time together. Met up with my ex on vacation again for New Years, and since then spent countless hours chatting/texting/Skype the past year….had planned to go visit her…my friend was there as well, visiting his girl (her sister). Days before my non refundable flight (application, invitation letter, and visa. all processed, gifts for her and her family), she broke things off. Was devastated…still am, and this was 4 mths ago!

    Found out through my friend that she started (or maybe was for a while) seeing her coworker the day after the breakup…and I believe they’ve moved in together and are planning to marry in a few months! Destroyed me! I’m trying not to communicate with my friend who’s still with my ex’s sister, b/c it’s just really hard knowing he’s still a part of their lives.

    Been through breakups but nothing compares to this. Perhaps b/c I felt she was the one. Cultural differences definitely played a role in our breakup. I just want to get through this and live life again, as soon as possible. Andrea, hang in there, you will be okay. Laura thank you for posting this information…it does help.

  25. chels permalink
    April 2, 2014 8:09 pm

    My LDR boyfriend of 3 months just broke up with me yesterday. I feel so devastated. I’ve given everything in this relationship to make it work. But still, he only sees the negative things in me. He calls me clingy, needy, and he accused me of not trusting him. All i am asking was some reassurance and i believe i deserve that! We text everyday, we Skype every other night but i feel he’s not interested at all. He cannot give his full attention when we Skype. He hides his phone when he reply to his texters. Should i not be worried about his actions? We had plans of moving in and spending the rest of our lives together. But now, he’s gone. I feel so lost and alone. I don’t know how to get over this sh*t i am into. :(

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