After nine years together, Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler made the decision to part ways. Here’s what caused them to call it quits on their longtime relationship.

It’s hard to have a relationship with someone you hardly see. That turned out to be what caused Vanessa Hudgens, 31, and Austin Butler, 28, to split up after nine years as a couple. They currently both have red-hot acting careers that kept them apart for long periods of time. Vanessa spent much of 2019 away from L.A., filming Bad Boys for Life in Atlanta, and The Knight Before Christmas in Canada and Ireland. In July of 2019, it was announced that Austin had landed the coveted lead role in director Baz Lurhrmann‘s highly anticipated upcoming Elvis Presley biopic, beating out hot contenders such as Harry Styles, 25, Ansel Elgort, 25, and Miles Teller, 32.

“They had to spend too much time apart the last few months, that’s what did it. Vanessa was so busy with back to back projects that she was hardly home. And Austin has been just as busy with work. He’s doing a movie in Australia [Elvis biopic] and he’s had to be over there on and off for months doing pre-production. They are very good when they are together. But when they’re apart, that is when things get tough and they were apart for months,” a source tells HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY.

“They’ve made it through long periods before without seeing each other, but this time they didn’t. It’s really sad because they truly love each other. But it’s one of the hard realities of this business, it is very hard on relationships,” our insider continues. Their split was first reported on Jan. 14. Exactly one week later on Jan. 21, Vanessa was photographed on a romantic dinner date in Brooklyn with L.A. Lakers star Kyle Kuzma, 24. “Austin is a level-headed guy, he’s not going to freak out about her dating again. They’re broken up, and she’s a very beautiful woman. Of course men are going to be lining up to date her. That doesn’t mean it won’t hurt. He’s not going to want to hear about it,” our source adds.

Austin and Vanessa had a deep love for each other and still have so much respect for each other. The distance and the careers they both have really got in the way”,” a second source confirms to us EXCLUSIVELY. “He is now in a completely different stratosphere thanks to Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (where he played Tex Watson), so he is just getting used to the more roles he is being offered. It was no big fight or disagreement. It was just that they drifted apart thanks to their careers, and they both have flourishing ones. It is sad, but is something that had to be done. They are both being very mature about it, and are accepting the change and being apart gracefully.”

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