Breakups already suck, but one of the things that can make them even more awful is if you were in a long distance relationship. If this is the case, it is likely that you were not dumped face to face, but rather via phone, text, email, Skype, maybe even snail mail. This can make the separation process more difficult in many ways, but it can also make it easier too, depending on how you look at it.
I’ve never been in a long distance relationship, because I asked some of the ladies who are dealing with the situation to give me some help. I got a lot of great pointers, many from women who had successfully gotten their ex’s back who they were in a long distance relationship with!
The overall main piece of advice that I got also lined up nicely with what the first step of the Ex Boyfriend Recovery Program is: No Contact.
For many people, No Contact is the hardest part of the process. But because your relationship was long distance, you will have some distinct advantages.
Embrace No Contact
No Contact is an extremely important time period in the Ex Boyfriend Recovery process, possibly the most important part. This period acts as a reset so that you are able to gain back your confidence, and get back to a more emotionally centered place.
After your breakup, it is understandable that you would be emotional. I imagine long distance breakups are even more difficult in some ways because you don’t always see it coming. In all of my past breakups, I’ve sensed my guy pull away a bit before the end, so I had the heads up that something was wrong, and I wasn’t super surprised when he ended it (though I was definitely still heartbroken). In a long distance relationship, it’s harder to see those signs, so I imagine that there are even more instances of it feeling like the breakup came out of the blue.
But this is good when it comes to No Contact. You want that distance there. The distance is your friend. Sure, you still have to see his name in your phone and his picture on social media, but you don’t run the same risk of, say, running into him on campus or at the grocery store.
Put him out of your mind as best as you can for your No Contact period, whether it be 21, 30, or 45 days.
A couple of the girls on the Facebook group offered the very wise counsel and advice to come back to yourself during your no contact period. Take the time to embrace being alone and think about what you can do to make yourself happy.
Chances are, you were putting a ton of effort into your long distance relationship. I’m sure it put a strain not only on the bond between you and your partner, but also on you and your lifestyle. So during No Contact, embrace the time to get back to your roots. Instead of logging onto Skype at 9pm each night to talk to your guy, go out dancing with friends, or have dinner with your sister. Call your mom. Work on all of the relationships that inevitably got less attention when you were nurturing your relationship.
And take the time to think about you and what you want. It could very well be that after thinking it through, you realize that the whole long distance thing wasn’t working for you anyway, and you may find you enjoy your independence. The bottom line is, take some time and energy for yourself. It will act as a reset between you and your ex, help you to get your bearings, and it will likely make him miss you.
The Tightrope between Friends with Benefits and the Friend zone
Once you and your guy are back in contact, pay close attention to how he is acting towards you. You’ll want to try and gauge where you fall between the two categories of Friends with Benefits and The friend zone.
Friends with Benefits is a little harder long distance, obviously, but it is possible. Your ex could want sexy photos and texts, phone sex, skype sex. And if you guys do get to the point of a meetup, he may be hoping to get physical.
On the other hand, you have another, probably more dangerous category: the friend zone. When you and your ex were in a long distance relationship, he probably considered you his main friend and confidante. It’s going to be hard to let that go.
My ex and I were in the opposite of a long distance relationship, but it’s still very clear he views me as the primary person he feels comfortable being vulnerable around, and he still considers me his best friend. People are habit forming, and it’s difficult to let go of someone you were so comfortable around…even if they are miles and miles away.
So what you have to do is walk the tightrope between the friends with benefits, and the friend zone. This means not letting things get too comfortable on a friend level – you want him to be vulnerable around you – that is your power, but you don’t want him to get comfortable with you in that space. Because of that, you should keep up some flirting in your communications so that he has no choice but to see you in an attractive light.
But you can’t go too far with that, of course, because then you get stuck with him texting and calling you late at night when he’s drunk, lonely, and horny.
Other techniques you can use to maintain this balance include:
The Push/Pull Theory – When he starts getting close, push him away. When you sense him pulling away, you pull back too. Many women tend to do the opposite, and when their guy starts pulling away, they start pushing. Sometimes guys just need space. It is important to give it to them. They will always be back. Men are built to chase. Let him.
Don’t Be Too Available – When you were in a long distance relationship with your guy, you probably turned down a lot of fun things so that you could go home and chat with him at a time that worked for both of your locations. Once you two are broken up, you are no longer required to make those sacrifices. Go out and make him wonder what you’re up up and why you’re not answering your phone.
Jealousy – Piggy-backing off of the idea of making him wonder: Add some jealousy techniques. Mention a guy’s name in passing. Post pictures of you out at the club looking hot. Remind him of what he can’t have – what is no longer his.
Circle of Influence – If you can use your ex’s family and friends to your advantage in a long distance relationship, do it. People care about what their friends and family think of the person they are seeing. So if you can use social media and friend/family connections to your advantage, do it.
Positive Memories – One of the wonderful ladies on our group mentioned that she texted he ex a lot of memory texts. Even if he was far away, she was able to give him a positive memory of a time that the two of them shared together. This builds up positive feelings, even from miles away.
Leave Him Hanging – When you guys do talk, always be sure to end the conversation on a high note. You want him to be thinking really positively about you, and then cut the conversation short so that those positive feelings continue even after you’re no longer on the other end of the line.
Social Media – One of your biggest advantages in trying to get your long distance ex back is social media. Use facebook to show him what you’re up to, but don’t totally overdo it, either. Post about things you know he’ll find interesting, and see if you can link your conversations to the posts you make (this will also give you a sense of if he’s checking your profile). Use jealousy tactics on social media sparingly, especially if your guy is super sensitive and doesn’t respond well to jealousy. Overall, show your ex via social media what a blast you’re having. You want them to start thinking “does she even miss me?”
Long Distance and the Other Woman
If your ex is in a new relationship with another woman (almost certainly a rebound), and you are trying to get him back, I would recommend using all of the above, but I would also recommend adding the Being There method.
The idea behind this is that you stay present in your ex’s life, trying to slowly drive a wedge between him and his new girlfriend.
A good way to do this is to utilize the concept of vulnerability. Guys have a hard time being vulnerable, but they typically feel more comfortable being vulnerable around women. I suspect this is why so many guys jump into rebounds – whether it be purely physical or also emotional. They seek connection on both levels. So if you can stay in your ex’s life as a person he feels comfortable being vulnerable with, you will automatically have the power.
Unfortunately, your biggest frustration in your relationship (the distance) will also be your biggest frustration as you try to get your ex back. Setting up a meet up is hard. Especially if you guys are very far away or his job keeps him from being able to leave.
Rapport is probably the biggest thing to make a meetup happen. After all, it is going to involve a lot of effort on both of your parts, so he is going to have to be relatively invested. I think the closer you are to rekindling a romantic relationship, the easier it will be to get him to meet up. If there is flirting, vulnerability, and positive rapport, it may be the right time to suggest a meeting.
It may take time, though. After all, you guys won’t have seen each other since before you broke up, most likely. And it could be that there are other things that are keeping him from being able to see you, too, like his job, his rebound, or other obligations. Tread carefully, here, as you don’t want to spook him.
It should be mentioned though, that skype and/or facetime is a great substitute for meetups. If you’re communicating regularly face to face that way, I think you’re on the right path. Building positive rapport and keeping the lines of communication and vulnerability open are absolutely key. Keep chipping away at that block of ice that is your guy’s stubbornness, and it’s likely he’ll melt eventually.
Getting an ex back is hard work, but it’s even tougher when you’re so far away from one another. There is a lot of emotions that play into the decision, and you have to communicate to make sure that you’re on the same page.
Willow and Tara are one of my favorite couples in Buffy. They break up for a period of time in season 6, but eventually reconcile. Tara points out to Willow that the process of rekindling their relationship will take time and effort from both sides:
“There’s just so much to work through. Trust has be to built again on both sides. You have to learn if we’re even the same people we were. If you can fit in each other’s lives. It’s a long and important process.”
It is always important to keep grounded emotionally when trying to get an ex back, but I would say it is especially important in a long distance situation because so much of your communication is via text or phone, where you can’t sense tone or body language. Because of this, it is very important to stay in control of how you feel and not blow up or get emotional when things get tough.
Your time with your ex is even more limited and precious in this situation, so it is doubly important to keep all communications positive between you two. That obviously doesn’t mean that things can’t get serious (vulnerability is often serious), but you should try to keep an eye on the big picture and not sweat the small stuff.
At the end of the day, the only person’s actions that you can control are your own.
The process of trying to get a long distance ex back is a frustrating one. But if you are successful, imagine how much stronger your relationship will be once the two of you are back together. You’ll have re-established intimacy on an emotional level and will have spent a lot of time deepening your connection.
You’ll learn more about yourself and your relationship as you work through this process, and ultimately, that is what matters.