For the classical space of functions with bounded mean oscillation, it is well known that $\operatorname{VMO}^{**} = \operatorname{BMO}$ and there are many characterizations of the distance from a function$f$in $\operatorname{BMO}$ to $\operatorname{VMO}$ . When considering the Bloch space, results in the same vein are available with respect to the little Bloch space. In this paper such duality results and distance formulas are obtained by pure functional analysis. Applications include general Möbius invariant spaces such as$Q$_{$K$}-spaces, weighted spaces, Lipschitz–Hölder spaces and rectangular $\operatorname{BMO}$ of several variables.