Created By: Goldfritha on May 16, 2012 Last Edited By: Goldfritha on December 16, 2012

Absence Lets The Heart Recover

Trying to break love with distance.

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Going away from your beloved may make the love fade. Sometimes, you try it on purpose.

When love is impossible, either unreturned, or forbidden by some other constraint, or even the character realizing their mad infautation does not mean they will be happy together -- the lover can deliberately go far, far away to try to break the love, or at least keep it from interfering with life. Destroying objects belonging to the beloved, either immediately on departure, or long after, can dramatize it. He can also refuse to discuss the beloved.

Avoiding the heartbreak from seeing the beloved happy with someone else is another motive.

The success rate is variable. Whether the lovers can ever reunite -- if the problem was not unrequited love -- is also variable. This trope does not preclude Old Flame Fizzle, if the character did not realize he had recovered.


Comic Books
  • In ElfQuest, Rayek leaves after Cutter wins Leetah.

  • In Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet novel Invicible, Colonel Rogero sends a message to Captain Bradamont telling her his feelings have not changed and therfore they must never meet again. Captain Bradamont agrees and does not even send back a message.
  • At the end of The Prisoner of Zenda, Rudolf leaves Ruritania because Flavia must marry the king. She sends him a rose every year, but no more contact occurs.
  • In P. G. Wodehouse's Jill The Reckless, Jill explains to Freddie that she does not want to talk about Derek and has thrown herself into her work to distract herself. Knowing that he wants her back does not change her mind. Later, she explains to Wally that marriage is impossible at the time because her heart is full from her love from Derek, and she has to clear it out.
  • Edward attempts this a few times in Twilight. It nearly causes the lead's suicide.
  • In Courtship Rite, when Oelita discovers that the Kaiel couple she's fallen in love with are married to the man who's been trying to kill her, she freaks out and runs away to the wilderness to become a hermit.

Live-Action TV
  • In Roswell, Liz went away to a boarding school for an episode or two when she thought she couldn't be with Max because of his being predestined to be Tess's mate. Of course, she ends up back in Roswell and they end up together anyway.
  • After Ted and Robin broke up at the end of How I Met Your Mother's second season, Robin spent the summer in Argentina while Ted stayed home and grew his break-up beard.

Web Comics
  • In Order Of The Stick, Therkla decides to stay in the afterlife rather than stay in the same world as Elan while unable to be with him.

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