How To Kill Your Long Distance Relationship

Disclaimer: I am in a long distance relationship. While I have been guilty of some of the behavior listed, I am one of the ones who has tried to correct that behavior when I realize it's happening. Just so you know. This isn't like a subtle confession or anything. I do write out of experience, however, and even if these don't apply to me, I can guarantee they have applied to someone at some point.

The myriad ways in which men can jeopardize or ruin relationships is on par with digits only dreamed and imagined by savants and God. Or crazy people. The field gets noticeably more difficult when you're engaged in a long distance situation where contact with your girl is minimal. The reasons for long distance relationships are varied, often having to do with psychological aversions to everyday contact or the inability to commit full time to one person. Sometimes it's inconvenient timing, or the lack of options.

If you are looking to sabotage or otherwise infect your relationship with little stains of ill behavior, you have come to the right place. As a relationship expert with no credentials but tons of real-world experience, I have reduced these heretofore unquantifiable screw-ups into an easily digestible list, which you can print out and review when you come to a crossroads. Should you desire to ruin your relationship, simply continue or amplify the following behaviors. If you wish to avoid such devilishness, the list also helps point out potential pitfalls, proving that forewarning the birds in the bush will prevent them from becoming a bird in the hand, which as anyone knows, is a metaphor for a break-up. Whilst the list is by no means complete, it does cover a lot of ground.

Feel free to pass this on to other males who are in or about to be involved in a serious relationship. They are:

Seven Ways To Ruin Your Long Distance Relationship

(These also apply to non-distance relationships)

1). Lie about the little things. This is a slow burning fuse. It won't have the effect of a massive deception, such as an affair, but will actually have a cumulative effect that is as destructive as sleeping around. She won't know you're lying. But you will. And then she'll catch you in one. Every lie is like a broken brick on the wall holding the bridge up. Take a few of them out, and you have yourself a Jenga game. Take a lot of them out, and you've got a collapsed bridge with all the 8am work traffic on it.

2). Don't apologize for your little screw-ups.This is good because it will slowly alienate you from her, creating an ever-widening rift of unresolved quibbles that soon require major surgery to suture back together. It's much easier and feels better to remain steadfast in your own rightness. You can even try and manipulate her through tone of voice or specific key phrases into feeling bad, even though you're the one who was an ass.

3). Want her only for what she can do for you. The classic selfishness approach to relationships will leave you satisfied and happy, but her feeling diminished as a person and a lover. Your needs should trump hers if you don't want the romance to last.

4). Substitute being with her with doing things for her. This is a subtle distinction, but one that creeps up on you when you get busy or just don't feel like spending time with her on the phone or shooting her a longer email. Whenever she asks you for a favor, you should have the best attitude and willingness to do it. This will make you feel less guilty later when you are "too busy" to talk or you have to fit her in. It won't be too long before she realizes you've given up actually caring about her and are only paying lip service to the relationship.

5). Stop being romantic. Don't send her gifts or packages. Procrastinate on that mixed CD. Don't send her text messages or emails throughout the day telling her you love her. Be passive when you're with her, let her make all the moves. Stop cuddling and holding hands when you are together.

6). Stop trying to understand her. In the beginning everything she did and said was cute and maybe mysterious. You wanted to know everything about her. Now that you want out, stop asking questions. Don't inquire into her day or deeper things about her life that you haven't discovered yet. Make the relationship surface-oriented, and you'll soon discover there's not much you have to do to quit completely.

7). Don't sacrifice for her. This is kind of a corollary to #3, since this goes back to your basic assumptions about the relationship. Since you're in it for you, sacrificing doesn't make sense, unless it might mean a greater reward for yourself down the line. Sacrifice is stupid if you don't truly believe in you as a couple.

Following these suggestions will make you happy, at least temporarily. They will most likely make her unhappy, so if you can live with that, then they're great "human follies" that will put you in the book with millions of other men who were unable or unwilling to put in the effort necessary for a long distance relationship to work. Many of these happen by accident, or in the natural course of every day life. The surest way to cause a relationship to fail is to simply ignore the signs that you are committing these basic errors. However, if you desire to maintain your desperate hold on this girl who has put up with so much, you can offset the damage by following the graphic provided as a progressive solution to each foible. Many are cross-linked for maximum benefit to men of both stripe as targeted by this article.

How To Kill Your Relationship Chart
(Click image to view larger version)

Signals To Yourself

You can easily tell when these methods of ruining your relationship have become ingrained to your interactions with her. Each has a corresponding signal, either emotional, mental, or physical, which can guide you into making the decision to either continue said behavior or adjust so as to minimize the risk that she will take the initiative and dump you. After all, the author understands that many men are desperate, and will take being dumped as a fracture to their fragile ego. This has caused many wars and the development of the sports car industry.

  • When you visit you insist on paying for everything, then you mentally stab her in the face because she didn't pay (even if she offered and you refused)
  • You discover new ways to say "I'm busy that night." Often this involves vague mentions of meetings or work.
  • You replace her photo with a new desktop of something technical or enhanced (like a gadget or a bikini model).
  • You no longer write her poems.
  • You have "I love you!" as a quick dial option for text messaging. Then you stop using it except when she texts you.
  • You try and make her feel guilty for something you did wrong.
  • You don't feel happy "down there" when you think about her naked.
  • You don't think about her naked.
  • You start wanting a social life. The funny thing is, you never had a social life before you started dating.
  • You think those little things she always did that you thought were cute are just annoying now.
  • You take longer glances at other women's legs, breasts, and butts.
  • You plan phone dates around your schedule.
  • Phone dates used to last four hours. Now they last one. You're always relieved when she takes a break to go to the bathroom. You're disappointed when she calls again.
  • You don't poke her on Facebook anymore.

Ruining Your Relationship May Be Hazardous To Your Health

Okay, so I don't actually want you to ruin your relationship. I want you to recognize if you are heading down the road to Singlesville. Believe it or not, the relationship hasn't changed. You have. You, along with countless other males, have been taught by culture to jump ship at the first sign of trouble. It's likely that you've considered breaking up with her because you've started experiencing these signals and you've noticed these patterns of behavior in your interactions with her.

Don't let the culture fool you! If you do, you just might be a douchebag. And when the dust clears and you're single again, you'll realize that you're back to being a one-dimensional guy with no attachment and no hope for love because you're too self-absorbed, ego-driven, and attached to admit when you've been a douchebag.

Suck it up. Call her up. Tell her you've been messing up. Admit that you've been lazy and ego-centric and unresponsive to her needs. Tell her you want to do better. Tell her you want to make things work, and that to do so, will take change on your part. Tell her you do love her, and ask her to forgive you. Repeat every six months or as needed.

Author's Bio: 

Jeremiah is the author of Fringe, a blog about writing, film, humor, and just all around life.