When you are in a long distance relationship, one of the hardest things to cope with is that feeling of emptiness after a fulfilling visit to your partner’s place or vice versa. Just the thought of not being able to physically touch them again for a long time is enough to make you feel depressed and do not want to get out of bed.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with their emotions after seeing their long distance partner. However, there are some ways that many people find very helpful when they are trying to adjust back to being away from their partner again after just meeting them.
Getting over your long distance depression
Connect farewells with something positive
The first thing you can do happens even before you say goodbye. Bidding someone you love farewell is always something that will break your heart and make you sad. You are probably already starting to feel unhappy even before the day you have to part ways. Goodbyes are usually filled with tears and heartbreaks. When you have done it so many times as a long distance couple, you will inevitably dread goodbyes – even if it is just for a few days.
The key here is to try and replace that sense of dread to something more pleasant and positive. Create a farewell ritual that will put a smile on your face instead of tears in your eyes. For example, hide a love note in each other’s bags so that when you are apart, you can look forward to discovering a little surprise note somewhere in your belongings. You could also make it a tradition to exchange a special gift at the airport, train station, or bus terminal. Only open the gift when you have parted ways which will give you the excitement of wondering what the gift is in your final moments together.
Be constantly in touch with each other
The first few days when you are apart again will be the most difficult time for both of you. Therefore, it is vital to try and maintain that bond you have built while you were together as much as possible. If you are the one who was visiting or traveling, try and get in touch with your partner during your journey back as much as possible. Look for WiFi in a cafe at the airport where you are on a layover and Skype your partner. If that is not possible, you can always send a message to update your partner about your journey.
If you are the one who stays behind, then make sure that you are there for your partner. Dealing with long distance travelling can be a daunting situation so try to be available for your partner whenever they could establish a connection.
The first few days when both of you are back in your respective homes, make time to talk to each other every day. Do not let your partner feel like you have abandoned them because they might be feeling insecure and vulnerable at this time.
Arrange your next visit together
There is nothing like looking forward to the next visit to help you stay strong and keep you motivated. Even if neither of you has any idea when you will see each other again, planning something together will keep you looking forward in a good way.
Talk about where you might want to go or what you would like to do together in your next visit. You can explore maps together or look at old photos to see if you want to recreate something special that you have already done before. It is easier to forget that you have just seen each other and it might be a while before you meet again when you are planning something in the future together. Not only that, discussing the future will give the much-needed reassurance that both of you still want to be together and are ready to face any challenges to reach your final goal.
Do not keep your emotions bottled up inside
Although you might think that putting on a brave face and not letting your feelings of sadness get to you is the best thing to do, it is not. When you keep everything bottled up, you will eventually have a breakdown and that will cause more harm than good.
It is actually quite normal that long distance couples often feel something akin to depression after visiting each other. If you are feeling this way, let your emotions out. It is all right to feel sad and it is also OK to cry. However, you should never isolate yourself when you are going through this tough time. Try and be around people you trust and they could help to ease you back into your normal life. Talk to your partner about how you feel. They most probably share the same feelings so you can rely on each other to get better.
While it is normal to feel awful for some time after visiting your partner, you should be able to get back on track after some time. Should you think that it has been taking too long and that your emotions are having a negative impact on your school, work, or just everyday life in general, you should consult a professional.
Even though you are no longer next to your partner in person, you should still take good care of yourself. Apart from basic hygiene and grooming, you should do something extra to make yourself feel better. You can go to a spa or get a facial at a beauty salon. Get your nails done to feel pretty or even buy yourself a new dress.
When you pamper yourself and make yourself look good physically, your mind will release happy hormones and this could be just what you need to get you out of that post-visit depression. Taking care of your physical body will nourish your mind too and when you feel good, you are a better person for your partner.
Find something new to do
You need to find a way to get your mind off how much you miss your partner. Focusing too much on negative feelings for too long could get you into depression for real. Therefore, the best thing to do is find a new hobby. You can learn a new skill, attend language classes, experiment with recipes, etc. Just make sure that you maintain a good balance between spending time with your partner and on your own personal life.
Finding something new to do does not always mean that you need to exclude your partner. There are many activities that you can do together even when you live thousands of miles apart. For example, you can both start playing a co-op video game together. If you are not a gamer, you can also choose a TV show that both of you are interested in and watch every episode together. Then talk about it over Skype which will help keep your daily conversations more diverse.
Do not replace your partner with something or someone else
There are some people who tried to cope with the emptiness of being apart from their partner after a visit by distancing themselves from their partner. It is a type of defence mechanism at work and they try to look for friends or activities to replace their partner. They might hang out with friends too often, work late without a good reason, or get involved in too many activities. Now if you are doing this, you need to stop immediately because your partner is most likely feeling very hurt and abandoned right now.
The key here is to accept that feeling of emptiness and not try to fill it with something else. Focus on the positive side of things like your next visit. Look forward to the small things in your relationship like your daily Skype sessions. This could help ease the emptiness a bit but know that it will always be there. It is part of being in a long distance relationship and you will have to learn to accept it.
It is inevitable that you will feel hurt when you are in a long distance relationship. You must accept that nobody is perfect and it is all right to feel sad for a while after a visit to your partner has just ended. Try to cherish the good memories you have created together and the fact that you have found someone who is willing to sacrifice so much to be with you. Remember, this is not a permanent situation and you will eventually be together for good without the distance.