Preparing for the inevitable breakup

Do you have a lingering question about your love life? Are you coupled or single and wondering what's next, post-vaccine? Send your questions to [email protected] or fill out this form. Let us ponder our futures together.

Also, we're collecting stories for Season 5 of the podcast. The whole season will be about starting over. Do you have a story about a time that you did a big re-start in your romantic life – even if you rebooted an existing relationship? Send an email to [email protected] with "Season 5" in the subject line and tell me about it.

Hi Meredith,

I've been in a long-distance relationship for over two and a half years now. We are in different time zones and our only routine is wishing each other good morning and good night when one of us wakes up or goes to sleep. We also share how our day was.

With this pandemic, we don't know when we will meet next, or if we ever will. He doesn't want to come back; I can't just relocate. I don't want him to let me go, but I think at the back of my head I know where we're headed. What can I do to prepare myself — and us — to deal with this?

– Far

It doesn't sound like the two of you can overcome these logistical barriers. But you know that.

You seem to be asking about breakup preparation. My advice is to think about who you might call or what you'd like to do to mark the start and end of every day when you're single. It's all about replacing old routines with new ones, so maybe you start the day with a special coffee. End it with a good song. It doesn't sound like you were on the phone for hours with this man, so the new tradition can be simple. Also, make a list of friends to call during lonely moments. Ask them about their days.

After you have a few ideas in mind for what to do with your extra time, let this man know that the future is clear, and that it's time to address it. Come up with some boundaries (Is it OK to call each other as friends? How much do you want to know about each other's lives for the next few months?). Then say goodbye.

It sounds like you've been getting ready for this ending for a long time. I think you're in a better place to do it than you think.

– Meredith

Readers? Does COVID have anything to do with this decision? I'm not sure it does.