Missing your partner is an unavoidable part of long-distance dating, but sometimes it can be overwhelming, as if the life you want to live is occurring somewhere else.
To make it worse, this is also when it can be difficult to talk about. You might worry about putting pressure on your partner, or coming across as overly needy, or you might even worry that they aren’t missing you as much as you’re missing them.
What should you do?
A good place to begin is to realise that any major life goal that truly matters to you is likely to cause some anxiety. You can then learn how to break down your feelings, how to address them where you can, and how to remember the bigger picture.
Here’s what you can do to keep things positive when you just can’t get them out of your head.
1. Get specific about what you miss the most
When you miss your partner, what is it that you miss, specifically?
You might be ready to say ‘everything!’ but think about it: it’s likely that there are particular things you long for more than others. And once you know what they are, you can start to do something about it.
It might help to write down a list of what you love about being together (and miss when you’re apart), and then categorise these things.
For instance, do you love waking up next to them? Do you miss kissing? These could come under ‘physical intimacy and closeness’. Or do you feel like you’re not talking enough about important things when you’re apart? Write this down under ‘intellectual connection’ or ‘deep conversations’.
Once you’ve done this you can go to the next step, which is…
2. Acknowledge it to your partner
One of the worst things you can do when you feel anxious about your long-distance relationship is to bottle up feelings and not let your partner know what’s going on.
Instead, talk about how you feel, even though it might be difficult.
This can especially help when you’re feeling insecure about how much they also miss you. They probably are feeling the same way, but they might just be shy about mentioning it – and they’ll probably really appreciate you taking the initiative!
Once you open up, you can discuss what you need from each other and how to make it happen.
For example, if you miss waking up together, why not agree to have some video dates first thing in the morning? If you miss talking about the deeper things, how about reading an inspirational book together and discussing it, or sending each other your favourite articles or presentations on interesting topics?
3. Practice self-care
Sometimes you miss your partner too much because you’ve been neglecting other areas of your life. This could include relationships with friends and family, hobbies and interests, or even simple things like dressing nicely for yourself, having a good diet and exercising.
Here’s how you can get your self-care back on track, if you’ve been neglecting it.
4. Have gratitude
One of my biggest regrets when I look back on my past in a LDR is that I didn’t enjoy the journey a bit more. For a long time, I was living so much in the future that I forgot to enjoy the present and be grateful for the experience.
I know that being grateful for what you have is easier said than done. I’ve heard it said that gratitude is a bit like shaving – you have to keep it up every day to maintain the effects. But if you do, it will make a big difference.
A good way to do this is to write down everything you love about your S.O. and the current situation you’re in together. Think about what you can learn from this experience and the opportunities you have because of being long-distance.
Another great way to maintain gratitude is to express it! Let your partner know what you love about your relationship and ask them to do the same. You could even use an app to send sweet messages throughout the day.
Finally, remind yourself that the pain of being apart is part of loving someone, and be thankful that you can feel it. Some people never get that chance.
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