Are Long Distance Breakups Easier? (10 Things You Must Know)

Breakups can be incredibly tough, no matter the distance.

However, many people find there is a unique set of challenges (and upsides) that come with long-distance breakups.

Are long distance breakups easier?

Long-distance breakups are easier because you are less likely to see the other person in your daily life. They are also easier because you have built up separation tolerance, and possess fewer physical ties, mutual friends, and geographical reminders of each other.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the difficulty level of long-distance relationships.

10 Reasons Long Distance Breakups Are Easier

Curly brown-haired woman with glasses - are long distance breakups easier
I made this image – Are long-distance breakups easier?

From lack of communication to fear of the unknown future, ending a long-distance relationship can seem daunting.

That’s why we’ve decided to explore this topic and answer the question: Are long-distance breakups easier?

Here are 10 reasons long-distance breakups are, in fact, easier than geographically close breakups.

1) You Already Have Separation Tolerance

Breaking up is never easy, but long-distance breakups are actually less painful than those happening between two people who spend a lot of time in the same vicinity.

This is because, over the course of months or even years apart, you have been building up your separation tolerance.

Consequently, you are more used to not being around each other constantly.

That doesn’t mean having a long-distance relationship is easy – far from it! We all need physical support when going through tough times and, if you’re away from each other, it’s hard to provide that kind of comfort.

But at the end of the day, when it’s time for the relationship to end, distance can make that transition smoother – emotionally speaking.

After all, while geography can be a barrier to being together, ironically, it can also act as an ally at its close.

2) Fewer Geographical Triggers

Long-distance breakups may be less emotionally stressful because there are fewer geographical triggers that can bring back bad memories or feelings.

For example, you may walk by the coffee shop where you used to hang out before or after school, stirring up bittersweet memories.

But with a long-distance breakup, there is more distance between so many of these memories, making it easier to move forward and get closure.

You aren’t constantly reminded of the good times connected to places you once frequented together.

The physical disconnection from your partner also allows for emotional disconnection, giving both partners a chance to separate themselves from each other.

3) Fewer Random Run-Ins With Your Ex

Long-distance breakups offer the ability to minimize contact with your ex.

Thus making it easier to move on from the situation without random run-ins as you might find in a normal breakup. No more unexpected trips to common places or uncomfortable run-ins at mutual friend gatherings.

This takes away a lot of doubt and stress associated with leaving someone behind.

It also makes complete avoidance of your ex and their life much simpler since there’s less chance of crossing paths again.

4) You Don’t Have To Watch Them Move On

You don’t have to bear witness to them moving on and being with someone else.

Seeing your former significant other with another person can be an agonizing experience, filled with a mix of emotions from disappointment to resentment.

Not having that added reminder in person makes it significantly easier to get over the breakup.

All without feeling oppressed by hurtful comparisons or a suffocating sense of post-breakup regret.

5) Fewer Mutual Friend Ties

With long-distance breakups, you don’t have to worry as much about managing the complexities that come with extricating yourself from overlapping social circles.

There are simply fewer mutual friends between two people in a long-distance relationship.

This makes it easier to break all ties without hurting anyone’s feelings. And, obviously, it is much less awkward to try and keep things copacetic when those friends don’t live right down the street or up the block.

In short, long-distance relationships can make it easier to fully part ways and move on.

There are usually far fewer shared contacts that need to be addressed or avoided after a breakup.

6) Fewer Heated Interactions

Physical distance serves as a much-needed buffer during difficult times of transition and acceptance.

In-person breakups require time away to recover but may still compel both parties to linger in one another’s presence long enough for simmering feelings of anger or sorrow to resurface.

As you can imagine, this can seriously complicate the already challenging process of letting go.

7) Easier to Remove Traces of the Relationship

With a long-distance ex, it’s much simpler to remove all traces of the relationship—just delete them from your life like they never existed and stop responding to them online.

This isn’t always the healthiest way of dealing with heartache, but it is more convenient and less gutwrenching than being reminded of the other person so often if they lived near you.

Social media makes the process quite simple, as all you need to do is block the person on Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms so that their posts no longer appear on your feed.

Going through symbolic “rituals” such as frying a photo or tossing out mementos no longer applies in most cases of modern-day long-distance breakups.

8) Fewer Physical Enmeshments and Entanglements

Long-distance breakups are easier because there are fewer physical entanglements to worry about.

Two people can end things without having to immediately move out of a shared home, divide bank accounts, and split up furniture.

Without the physical presence of their partner, the emotions that follow can be intense but don’t need to be prolonged by tangible reminders.

As someone who has suffered through several close-proximity breakups, I can appreciate how this long-distance benefit.

9) Less Temptation to Impulsively Rekindle the Relationship

Without constant face-to-face contact, it’s difficult to fall back into old habits that can lead to rekindling a toxic relationship out of pure impulse.

Not seeing one another also eliminates powerful emotional cues such as physical touch or verbal persuasion.

This isn’t to say that emotions don’t still exist after a long-distance breakup.

You may still have strong lingering feelings or feel the need to talk things out, but staying away from your partner tends to prevent those dialogues from becoming too serious and progressing into deeper conversations about getting back together.

No matter the distance between you, it’s essential that both parties remain firm and remember why they decided to part ways in the first place.

10) Time and Space to Heal Emotional Wounds

The space and distance from each other provide you with an atmosphere conducive to emotional processing and self-reflection.

This ultimately helps in the healing process.

For example, if two people are faced with a breakup and both live in close proximity, then they could potentially still be running into each other on a regular basis.

Seeing each other can prevent you from going through stages of grief – such as anger and bargaining – that may give you closure.

Moreover, it can keep one or both of you pining over the relationship.

On the flip side, those that have broken up while living in different places can find peace knowing that there’s a physical distance between them, allowing for emotional processing and closure.

They can even limit contact with each other so that all energy can be focused on individual recovery.

Here is a good video about how to make long-distance breakups easier:

YouTube video by Love Advice TV – Are Long Distance Breakups Easier?

Do Long Distance Breakups Hurt More?

When it comes to long-distance breakups, people sometimes assume that the additional geographical distance makes things worse.

However, this tends to not be the case.

Yes, not being able to see each other in person can definitely add another challenge to the process; however, in most cases, it actually ends up making things easier in certain ways.

One advantage of a long-distance breakup is that someone might find they have more psychic space.

Mostly, this is because they’re out of the daily routine of being around their partner every day. This mental room can often encourage a person to take extra time for increased reflection and clarity without constantly being surrounded by triggers or reminders of their former relationship.

A long-distance breakup often minimizes the extra stress and strain on both parties involved.

Meaning it can end up being less painful for both people.

3 Times Long Distance Breakups Are Harder

There are three specific times that long-distance breakups might actually be harder.

Those three times include:

  • Deep emotional investment
  • High level of entanglement
  • The relationship started geographically close

Deep Emotional Investment

A long-distance breakup can sometimes be harder when the couple has developed a deep emotional connection regardless of physical distance.

They’ve gone above and beyond what some couples would be able to demonstrate in their relationship.

Such as virtual date nights, cooking classes and even traveling together on video screens. In these types of relationships, there is a much stronger feeling of closeness and vulnerability, making it that much harder to part ways.

High Level of Entanglement

A geographically distant breakup might be particularly hard when the two parties become heavily entwined in each other’s lives.

Caring for each other emotionally develops in person and over facetime or text messages.

It results in an intense attachment where partners rely heavily on each other for comfort and security, thus posing a challenge to overcome when breaking up.

In addition to these emotional attachments, the couple might share many accounts, financial and otherwise.

In general, the more connected the couple, the harder the breakup.

The Relationship Started Geographically Close

Another difficult situation arises when the relationship started out geographically close but then goes long distance.

This type of breakup tends to slowly occur over time.

It also can create mixed emotions because of the memories and level of understanding that you have between each other.

This can often leave you questioning if you should have done something differently or if there was more that could have been done to prevent the demise of your relationship.

Final Thoughts: Are Long Distance Breakups Easier?

In general, relationships built on a foundation of e-dating seem to be easier to end than physically close relationships.

There is just something so powerful about the physical connection in close proximity dating.

Related posts:


Scholar UTC (Research on Long-Distance Relationships)
Pepperdine EDU (Research on Long-Distance Relationships)