My long distance girlfriend and I have broken up. Now….what do I do?
My long-distance girlfriend and I have broken up about five weeks ago. In the early days of the breakup, I had wondered if it was even going to be possible to win her back. Some of my close friends have advised me that it may be best to focus on moving on. There are a few things that I am looking to do to improve my odds of rekindling the romance and winning my ex-girlfriend back, even though she currently lives a very long distance away.
First of all, there’s one important thing I need you to understand: from what I know about my ex, I can’t convince her to take me back using simple words to change her mind. I desperately want to reach out to her and tell her how much I still love her, and I am tempted to plead to her for us to get back together.
My girl is very special to me and I believed that she was potentially my life partner. If I sacrificed a year or two apart, this would be difficult in the short term. However, in the long term, the hope was that we would spend our lives together.
There are things that can be taken for granted when partners in a relationship live together or nearby to eachother. The main challenge of any long distance relationship is the lack of physical contact not only sex. Physical contact creates a bond. Our natural instinct is to want to be close to the one we love or have strong feelings for, so when that opportunity is removed it is very challenging.
The critical thing for us was to make sure that we had honest and open communication and have an end date for when we would wrap up this long-term, long-distance relationship.
While we were together, we tried to be practical, and none of this “attempted practicality” worked without trust. My girl and I had our own way of making the distance work, how we dealt with trust issues and other areas that presented fears. I think fear is normal in all relationships, regardless of distance.
Allow me to give you the background of the story of my long distance relationship.
My girl and me lived in different countries, with a time difference of 7 hours. Despite the distance and time difference, the first six months seemed to pass somewhat smoothly. However, we did miss each other very much.
Without spending time together on a regular basis, we knew that we would miss out on all the little details that would help to strengthen our relationship. While these details may not have seemed important, knowing them allowed us to feel closer to eachother and helped us build intimacy.
Without these interventions, she wouldn’t know what radio station I listen to in the car, or if I have a different morning routine today than I did yesterday. Also, I may not hear about her favorite new blog or Youtube channel.
We had busy schedules, but we made time for a quick video chat or visual connections each day.
Being able to see one another daily, even for five or ten minutes, went a long way for us. Also, sharing photos taken of experiences during our respective days was laid-back and fast, thanks to the technology on our phones/tablets.
Traveling between our respective locations was draining but we had felt that this was critical for us to work through. We’d travel to each other’s location every other month. Every time we saw each other we were very intimate, and this made the whole experience all the more exciting.
However, as time went on, we had slipped to seeing eachother every three months and the travel expenses were starting to add up. We decided to reduce the frequency of our visits and see each other just once every six months.
Of course, not seeing my partner for long periods of time causes sexual frustration – and so when we did see each other, the release of sexual tension was intense.
Time together became these “f@#%fests” with not much more of anything else done. As a cruel twist of fate, the potential for a long term healthy relationship seemed to suffer when we were with each other.
When we were apart, instead of focusing on how much she wanted to share every moment with me, she appreciated the personal time that she had while we were apart. She did things that made her happy, and she told me about them. She was happy and comfortable as a person, and the better she was able to communicate with me, and the more intimate our relationship could become.
Except I didn’t see it that way. We continued to grow apart. As our relationship evolved, the feelings of loss when we parted ways started to become less intense.
Video calls and instant messaging started dwindling. Arguments got triggered and we didn’t have the drive to get back to civil terms as quickly as possible. We were distancing eachother – and trust and communication were lacking. And, we got used to the time spent apart.
What happened then?
The problem was that when I made the personal choice to pursue a long-term long-distance relationship, I didn’t have a clear number in my mind as to how long we would be able to live apart.
Along the way, my vision of living together with my partner at some time in the future became blurry. I felt that the steps along the way were not enough, and not bringing me to where I would have liked to reach. And I deviated from the plan.
I got jealous of the people who were in my partner’s daily life — I envied people who may have known more of the details on a day to day basis.
I started to reduce the effort to make time for her when I was busy, or talking/video chatting when I didn’t feel like communicating, and not spending the time and money on travel to meet her or in receiving her when she was available to meet me.
In time, I began to feel more distant and that there was not much to feel excited about and to talk about…and our intimacy started to decrease.
No matter how much we had loved each other, it was not enough without both of us putting in effort to contact and making time to see each other regularly.
At times we exhausted the list of new areas to discuss and we returned to topics/stories that were continuing or recently closed off. For example, a typical portion of our dialogue could be as follows:
“How did your visit to the supermarket go today? You are joking… ! Really? That happened? Tell me more of the details…”
Some tiny details have turned our phone calls into long and intense dialogue. That was all part and parcel of the exhilaration and anticipation of sharing in the adventure and stories of eachother’s life.
Furthermore, there were times when we could not have a visit as a result of some unfortunate circumstance. So the deep interest that we had in the life of one another allowed us to maintain the connection. Or so we thought….
It has been five weeks since the breakup. Where do I begin the process of getting my long distance girlfriend back?
From what I have been advised by friends and from online sources, the first phase for me to go through is a period of absolutely no contact with my ex. As a goal that I can shoot for, I can completely ignore her for about a month. I am not going to call her, not going to text her, not going to contact her via social media. I am showing my ex that I’m moving on, and that I’m not going to wait around and hopes that she changes her mind. I think that this would make it appear to my ex that there are other people eager and willing to take a place at my side.
During the no contact period — and even after that, once I begin to talk with her again — I would use our mutual friends and my social media accounts to subtly convey messages to my ex. I want her to think that I’ve already recovered from the breakup.
I may consider posting some photos of me and some friends (preferably females) on Instagram or as my profile image on Whatsapp.
From what I have read, there is importance in letting my ex know, in an “under the radar” manner, how great my life has been since the breakup, and that I was quickly moving on.
When it is time for me to start talking to my ex again, I would begin with fun, positive, and brief messages via text, instant messaging and social media. This first message would be kept very short (no more than a few sentences). I wouldn’t try to bring up anything serious, start any drama, or say anything dull and meaningless.
I would try to be “in control” of these conversations (meaning that I would decide when they happen, what we would talk about, and when they would end). I would keep it brief and not get carried away.
With this first communication, all I wish to do is to get my ex to remember how much fun life was when I was there to talk to her every day.
When I have re-established rapport with my ex, and had a few fun and interesting conversations via text or instant messaging, then it would be time for the Skype or Facetime chat and, afterwards, an in-person meeting.
The face-to-face meeting
It may take me some time to get her replies. She may be curious and interested. If things go well, she may have let go of some negative memories and forgot the reasons she that decided to break up with me.
An in-person meeting is definitely preferable to a Skype or Facetime chat, but I need a legitimate excuse for being in her location. I didn’t want my ex to think that I was simply going to her location just to meet her.
Our meeting would be kept short and sweet. I would be friendly, upbeat, and positive about my life. I wouldn’t talk about anything “serious” — I would talk about the PRESENT and about the FUTURE. Nothing else.
Attraction needs to start building again. And I can’t build attraction by talking about the past or bringing up old drama.
What advice can I provide to you?
Intimacy is a key aspect of any healthy relationship or marriage. It’s based on a deep knowledge of one another, which typically comes from spending time together. That’s why being in a long-distance relationship brings on special challenges to both emotional and physical intimacy. Long-distance couples have very limited time together, restricting their time for a physically intimate relationship.
My partner and I have heard and read countless stories about how long-distance relationships don’t work. I’ve heard people tell me that this is too difficult, perhaps even impossible. And that I would fail tremendously.
If neither of us were prepared to compromise, then we needed to address the “elephant in the room” and not let it remain unspoken or unaddressed. If both of us are serious about not moving, it was unlikely that the relationships would go any further. If we are both prepared to compromise, then our long-distance relationship can work.
No long-distance relationship can survive indefinitely. There needs to be a light at the end of the tunnel where my partner and I will eventually live together and be together every day.
In looking back to relate the story to you, I realize that our romance involved a lot of natural attraction. The rekindling has to happen on its own. As I indicated earlier, I know that I can’t make her fall back in love with me using words. No matter how badly I want to call her and say I’m very sorry. Or tell her how much I miss her.
Regardless of how things eventually play out, I choose to believe that we will be together. I will continue to see where things go. And I reject the idea to give in to my fears and have them restrain me. It’s easy to be afraid. It’s easy to think that someone will leave you.
As I draw to a close, I would like to leave you with the following, which sums up my views in light of my own experiences:
Put in the effort readily and upfront. For time spent together, aim for “quality” before considering “quantity”. Pursue the objective of making your time more intimate. You would feel more fulfilled in staying closer together.
I wish you all the best on your journey , wherever it takes you.