Blame long distance.

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Red carpet twirling and non-confirmations aside, Vanessa Hudgens and her boyfriend of eight years, Austin Butler, made headlines when they reportedly broke up earlier this week. Before the big news, however, it seemed that they were ready to take a big step forward. Peoplereports that they were considering taking the next step in their relationship and get engaged. According to a source close to the couple, "they had talked about an engagement before they split up."

"They really loved each other and have been through some of their toughest life moments together," the source added. "Busy work schedules and travel definitely put a strain on the relationship. They were a wonderful couple and it's really sad that it didn't work out."

Vanessa Hudgens Austin Butler Unicef Summer Gala
Credit: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

Just how much distance was between them? Ellenotes that Butler is shooting currently Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic in Australia. As for Hudgens, she's shooting The Princess Switch 2 abroad. The first Princess Switch film set was located in the Romanian cities of Carei and Bucharest, so it's safe to assume that the sequel would be in the same general area.

In a recent issue of Cosmopolitan UK, Hudgens explained that she and Butler hadn't been apart longer than four months. "It's eight years this year — FaceTime, good communication, respect, and trust [are what keep us going]," she said. "The longest we've been apart was four months. It sucks! You start hating hearing yourself say 'I miss you.' But if it's your person, you make it work."