Long Distance Relationships: How Not to Be Miserable 

5 months.

That is how long it would have been from the time I said goodbye to my boyfriend at the airport until he comes back. That prospect really scares me. The fact that it is not our choice to be away from each other just makes the whole situation worse. It is not for work or anything remotely logical. We have been forced into this situation and you know how it goes – when someone says you cant do something, you want to do it twice as much!

Without going into too many details, I am Australian, he is Norwegian and my Norwegian visa was rejected. Other things happened with the process that I’m not sure I want to talk about but basically we wont see each other until he travels to Australia in his summer holidays (June). To be perfectly honest, it just freaking sucks.

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Nothing better than white roses from your love!

I want to share a few things I have come up with that seem to be helping. When I say helping I mean things that have stopped me from being a crying mess (not to mention helped with my sleeping patterns).

 

Schedule a time to talk

In the beginning it might be more often then a month or two into the separation. We are so lucky to live in the digital age where Face Time, email, WhatsApp etc exist. I don’t know if I would be able to cope, not being able to see my boyfriend’s face for 5 months, not being able to have a conversation with him and see his facial expressions, his smile and all those things. A face to face conversation really puts me at ease. Don’t get me wrong, hearing is voice is awesome but looking into his eyes is a whole other thing (even if it is a digital version of them).

Have a date to work towards

For me it is easier being apart knowing when we will be together. I considered getting a calendar and marking off the days – the physical process of crossing off days is meant to be therapeutic but it just wasn’t for me. Instead, I have the date in my iCalendar. Every time I put something in, I check how long it is until he arrives. Also, the more I put in my calendar, is more time I am occupied and not pinning over him. Which brings me to  my next item.

Occupy yourself

There is nothing worse for me, then being at home alone missing your other half. I was so used too spending every minute of the day with mine (except work hours) that when it came time to be apart, being at home by myself was really weird. I didn’t have my other half to make a weird comment too about the movie I was watching. there was just soo much silence…. So I enlisted my friends and family. Lets just say I invite people and say yes to invites a lot more than I used too…. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I just need some me time to reflect, plan, day dream and this is usually when I walk the dogs but in a way it is still occupying myself. It is an activity and one that helps with those negative thoughts – bringing me to the next point.

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Exercise!!!!!

We can thank Elle Woods for letting us in on the magical power of endorphins. This point really depends on what type of person you are and how strong you can push yourself. I find it really difficult to exercise when I am feeling down but once you do it you feel 100 times better then you did before. The actually doing it is the hard part – which is why I said how strong you are can affect this. For me, just a walk in the surrounding suburbs gets me in a better mood. Maybe it is something to do with the fresh air and how grounded I feel afterwards?

Feel what you want to feel and do what is best for you

Yes that is probably two points but I like to thing of them as one. The other night I just really needed to have a big cry. Probably had something to do with that time of the month…. I could feel it building all day long and I held it in all day until it was time to get ready for my friends dinner. I didn’t know what to wear, I tripped over my dog and just fell into a heap on the floor. I cried or what seemed like an hour but really was just 5 minutes. Billie (my dad’s Labrador) just sat there and watched me in complete confusion but my dog Dolce (the poodle) was constantly trying to lick me and have cuddles. In their own ways they both really helped me to calm down. I don’t know what I would do without the dogs in the situation I am in. I am a crazy dog lady though. I kept thinking to myself afterwards that if I had just listened to myself earlier in the day and felt what I needed to feel instead of bottling it up I would have completely lost it at my clumsiness or lack of an outfit. Also, puffy “cry” face is never a good look when you are going to an event. I ended up telling my friend I wasn’t going to make it as I just needed to do what was best for me in that moment – have a bubble bath, eat Chinese food and watch a melodramatic English Legal show with my dad and the dogs. It was glorious.

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Beautiful Billie

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My Miniature Poodle Dolce being ridiculous as ever!

I try to remember that it is not forever and we have the rest of lives together. If that doesn’t work, as bad as it sounds, I think, at least no body has died or has cancer. That usually does the trick. Sometimes whiskey helps too.

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Lots of love,

S.L.

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