Ending a long-distance love

It’s never easy to break up.

Here’s what our elder has to say about mending a broken heart from afar.

Dear EWC:

Last year I was in a relationship for eight months. Because of distance and problems with the relationship we broke up and ended on bad terms. I haven’t spoken to her in six months, and it took me around three months to stop being so heartbroken. But until this day no matter who I try talking to, no matter how great they are, I just want to be back with her. It breaks my heart and is so hard because I know that there’s no way to be with her again for a long time. She was everything I could have wanted but there were so many factors that were against us at the time. Honestly, I never felt like that with anyone and it still feels like we were meant to be. How can I get over that feeling and try to move on? I know there’s not much I can do so I need to get over it but I just don’t know how.

Joseph replies:

Your eight-month relationship ended with a thud. You really liked her, and you are having problems getting past the emotional fallout. What’s your best course of action?
The last thing any of us thinks when we begin a relationship is that it might end someday. I mean, how much fun would that be? We’re too caught up in the thrill of mutual affection to think of anything else. But most relationships don’t work out. Consider that it takes most of us multiple tries to find someone that is the right fit. For me it was six, for example. Five disappointments before I finally got it right. And a lot of people I know burned through more relationships before finding their forever love. This means that there are currently a lot of brokenhearted lovers in this world who share your sorrow.

You mention distance problems; long-distance relationships almost never work out. Why? Because at a distance communication becomes uneven. Gaps between interactions lead to fear and suspicion. The assurance of human touch is absent. Tone of voice and body language–which tell us a lot about a person’s intentions – are also frequently absent. Differing schedules mean not being able to communicate when the time is right for both people, leading to frustration. Sexual needs go unmet. Jealousy can creep in. The lack of everyday face-to-face contact that nurtures normal relationships leaves distant partners waiting and wondering and unfulfilled. Physical presence and easy access to regular communication are really important to a healthy relationship. Facetime and texting are great, but can’t create the same depth of human intimacy.

You haven’t met anyone you like as well as your ex. This only makes sense. Why would you think you could meet someone as special so soon? It takes time for any of us to find someone who feels like a good match. Don’t paint yourself into a corner by convincing yourself that she was “the one.” It’s a myth, like Cupid shooting arrows. There’s not just one right person for any of us. There are lots of people we can be happy with, as you will no doubt discover yourself.
You want to move on, but your emotions don’t take orders. They have a timeline all their own. There’s a cost associated with giving your heart to someone. It’s an emotional investment that you don’t always get back. It takes time to heal. It’s not something you can just “get over.” Accept that things didn’t work out and all the sadness that goes with it knowing that the way you feel today isn’t the way you are going to feel. Over time, you’ll heal, and you will have learned from this experience in ways that will help you in future relationships. I like to say that I learned about love by being pretty bad at it.

I hope I have shed some helpful light on your situation. If anything I said is not clear, or if you would want to discuss this further, please feel free to write back. I’d be happy to hear from you.

Letter #: 457700
Category: Dating/Relationship

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