Breaking up — no matter how pretty the words are, it really just comes down to: You’re not good enough for me.
Think of it this way.
It’s not you, it’s me. (What about me? I don’t think you’re good enough.) I just don’t love you like I used to. (Why? Because I realized that you are/became not good enough.) I never loved you. (You were never good enough!)
You say it’s situational and that there are extenuating circumstances? I met someone else. (I chose them over you because you’re not good enough.) The long-distance is too tough to handle. (Your location isn’t good enough, or you’re not good enough for me to suffer the distance to be with you.) We’re too different. (For some reason, I was thinking of two people who speak different languages, or who come from two different cultures. In which case, you could say the cultural background is just not good enough.)
What about, You’re too good for me? In essence, I see that as coming back to some sense of insecurity on the part of the so-called “Reacher.” So along that line of logic, the “Settler” is not “good enough” at stroking the ego of the Reacher. See what I did there?
While this is, in essence, a blanket statement about breakups, I also don’t want to sound like this is a define-all blanket statement. Of course there are exceptions to every rule. Sometimes, people just need time and space to grow on their own, or deal with unexpected challenges in their lives (death in the family, career change, a personal revelation like, I don’t know, realizing that your one purpose in life is to become a celibate monk). Sometimes, there are external obstacles to a relationship (Romeo and Juliet, anyone?). And sometimes, people turn out to be wrong about thinking someone not good enough.
That said, I find these situations to be very, very rare. How often are people willing to let obstacles stand in the way of getting what they really want? As humans, we’re fundamentally selfish and out for our own survival. We’re just built that way. On that note, when you truly love someone and don’t believe there’s anyone better out there for you, I don’t think many people are willing to let anything — read, anything — get in the way of keeping that someone around, even at the cost of all the other indispensables in modern life.