I was in a long distance relationship until December last year. I had been with my partner for a year before we had to take things long distance due to university. Everyone tells you long distance relationship will be hard, but what they don’t tell you is how to distinguish between difficult patches and signs that your heart isn’t in it anymore.
What I began to struggle with was a sinking feeling that things were not the same as they were before, that we had less to say to each other, that we weren’t the same perfect couple we were before. At that time, I would have found it so comforting and useful to read about signs the relationship wasn’t working, but I couldn’t find anything that felt like it was written from experience. Here is what I went through and I am hoping it will help other people who are in the same situation I was in.
1. You check your phone less
It’s such a small action but when you’re in a long distance relationship it’s important to feel as though you’re connected with the other person, and text messages are a great way to do this. As the relationship goes on, you may find that you are checking less and less for their messages, and that actually you’re not upset by the lack of communication. This clearly highlights a big issue in your relationship. If you aren’t bothered about not talking to them, should you be staying with them?
This is not to say that you should want to talk to them 24/7 and expect to be texting them all day, everyday. That’s an unrealistic expectation. But if you no longer want to hear from them, or check in with them throughout the day, then this could be a sign that you just aren’t as into the relationship anymore.
There’s something really lovely about having someone to tell about your day, even the seemingly mundane things such as grabbing a coffee from your favourite shop. If you live with flatmates or family then you may notice that you want tell them all about your day, but you don’t have that same desire to share your day with your significant other.
If you live alone, you may find that you are calling or messaging friends or family first before thinking about contacting your partner. This point again may seem small and potentially insignificant, but it is those small things which make up and improve long distance relationships and so if you find yourself not wanting to carry them out, it could be a sign that it’s time to call it quits.
3. You wonder if it’s worth the money
Long distance relationships cost a lot of money. Whether it’s a train ride, a car journey, or a plane ride, you will be spending money on travel. In a good relationship, this will be worth it. Not buying those daily coffees will be no bother because you know you will get to see your partner. However, are you starting to wonder if the sacrifices you are making are worth seeing your partner for? This is a clear sign your heart isn’t in it anymore.
In a new long distance relationship with no visit schedule finalised, it can be a good idea to split travel costs. Both sides are putting equal resources into the relationship. This is what me and my partner did for a long time. But every time it came to transferring money, there was a little nagging thought in my head thinking ‘will this visit be worth it?’.
The point of the matter is, if you are not willing, or feel uncomfortable making sacrifices for the relationship, then it could indicate that your relationship is ending.
4. Calls or video chats feel like a chore
Thanks to technology, it is much easier to have long distance relationships than it ever was before. We have FaceTime and Skype. There’s even pairs of pillows that light up when both of you are asleep! These are all really useful tools. They can be a great way to keep communication up and feel connected. Even during small tasks such as cooking dinner. This really does make all the difference. Despite all the wonderful things technology brings, it can also help highlight issues in the relationship.
Do you feel as though taking time out to talk to your partner is a waste of time? Maybe it’s that you are talking to them out of obligation rather than willingness and excitement. This could be a sign that you are not into it anymore. Are you starting to feel like there are better things you could be doing with your time? Is talking to your partner not worth taking a few hours out of your day for? I’m afraid the likelihood is that you don’t want to be in the relationship anymore.
5. Your time together doesn’t feel special
In long distance relationships, the time you spend together becomes even more important. It may only be one weekend a month. That’s quality time. Spend it together doing things you both love. A key sign that it’s time to end the relationship is when your time together doesn’t feel special anymore. Do you find yourself getting less excited about their arrival? Are you less excited about travelling to see them? It might be time to re-evaluate your feelings towards your partner.
During visits it’s important to do things you both enjoy and can have fun doing together. Are you getting bored doing those things? Do you find your mind elsewhere? This could be a sign that it’s time to say goodbyes to each other.
Many of these signs may be subtle things and you may not notice them at first. For me, I realised first that video chats were becoming to feel like a chore, similar to how I feel about washing up, and that signified an issue to me. I think it’s important to become aware of these issues, and from there you can see if there are any external factors that may be causing issues for your relationship. However, if you think that these things apply to your relationship, it may be time to think about ending it.
Finishing any relationship is hard. In a long distance relationship, i’ts easy to start blaming yourself. You might think that you haven’t tried hard enough. Although, it’s important to remember that a long distance relationship is still just a relationship. If you are not happy in it anymore, you should end it because it will be fairer on both parties.