Good morning Darling Lovelies – we’re coming to you this rainy Thursday with a piece for those of you out there separated from your loved one! Whether it’s a short-term arrangement or you’re managing a long-term, long-distance commitment, our Darling Lovely Maddy has been there, and she’s on hand to share her advice for making it work:
I wanted to share with you something quite personal today. My husband and I are currently living 5,500 miles apart. It’s only for a short while, but I’m certainly not the only person I know who is doing this right now, so I wanted to share some tips if you or why not share this with someone you know…
A long-distance relationship doesn’t have to be an uphill struggle
Let yourself feel what you need to feel
Relax with all the emotions – whether it’s worry, concern, sadness, longing or simply longing to be together, you can relax right there and know that you are actually completely fine. Emotions are just emotions. You don’t have to build a story about them. Not only is that a waste of energy but it’s completely imagined. No need to jump to conclusions. Just take it step by step and you’ll see very naturally what needs to be done.
No need to make it the subject of every conversation. Back when my husband and I first met, we spent six months apart. I know that I talked about this a lot. Even though I flew out to see him a couple times, it was hard and I wanted everyone to validate my angst. My friends were awesome, and took me out for drinks, climbed into bed with me to eat Party Rings and pancakes and watch episode after episode of Gossip Girl, and let me harp on about it for a short while, before gently changing the subject and talking about something else. I realise I could have been a lot better to be around then had I been a little more self aware and could therefore have used that energy to be a better friend. This time round, I’ve grown up a bit, and I’m more aware, and as a consequence I’ve got the skills to know when talking is healthy and when to keep quiet!
The good, old-fashioned dog & bone is no longer your only option
Technology is your friend
Get tech savvy – these days even in deepest darkest Cambodia (trust me I know from experience) you can get a 3G SIM card for your phone, or a wifi cafe. Using tools like Skype are extremely cheap, we found a deal which means calling mobiles in particular countries is super cheap, and using tools like WhatsApp or good old fashioned email are free! Buying credit on my Skype account to call my husband’s Indian mobile is fantastically cheap!
Make it your driving force
Replacement therapy doesn’t work. Other writers may suggest replacing your longing with getting a pet or your family. Sure you can try this, but does it really work? Why limit it to just one person or place or circumstance? By allowing yourself to feel all those emotions of love and longing, and not replacing them with something else that’s positive, but instead using that energy to fuel your actions in everyday life. I’ve found this works in my life to great effect – it’s very freeing!
Trust that you’ll come back to each other
Ditch the guilt
No need to feel guilty about having fun! I really like to go out and have fun. I love meeting new people, and one of the questions people like to ask when they see my ring is where my husband is/what he does. It could be weird because I don’t know what to say sometimes, but I’m always open about who I met at these events and luckily my husband doesn’t get jealous. And then I realise that my wellbeing isn’t dependent on him at all, we are two entirely separate people and Iuckily he is really supportive of whatever I’m up to back in the UK.
Are you in a long-distance relationship? How do you make it work? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment box!