THE GOODBYE



I remember hugging each other and thinking: "Why is this so difficult? Why can't we just say goodbye and continue forward?". Long hugs, many kisses and tears were shared while standing at the airport departure side. Looking at each other's eyes and saying "We can do this!" to remain positive, while our hearts were breaking on the inside. Holding each other so tight without wanting the other to leave.


Eventually the moment came of having to let go and seeing the other person walk through customs. You try to hold your tears and think to yourself: "Be the strong one this time!", but you can't help it and let another tear slide down your cheek. You wait in silence until the plane takes off and disappears into the clouds along with your thought: "There goes a part of my heart". Going back to an empty home and realizing that person is no longer there, just a remainder of their presence. The next time, still unknown...is devastating.


The feeling of goodbye

I would consider this one of the most difficult parts of being in a long distance relationship. I remember crying while seeing that plane taking off and not knowing when we will see each other again. I remember being depressed the next couple of days and having mixed emotions.


Coping

I desperately wanted to talk, but at the same time it was too confronting.

Everyone has their own way of coping with these emotions. Some people want to video call or call as soon as the plane arrives back home, others want to avoid contact because it's too painful. Some people go out to distract there mind, other people prefer staying home in their comfort zone.


It seems as if some people suffer more than others, but after all it's hard for both persons. Some feel this way just for the first couple of days while others have this for the entire first month. I have never experiences this kind of pain outside of these moments. It is crazy how this emotional pain can have such an effect on you, but it gets even crazier when it starts to show physically. Can you relate to this?! The power of the mind can do amazing and terrifying things to us, and it's up to us how we cope and deal with these pains in a healthy way to stay clear of falling off the edge, especially right after these heavily emotional episodes.


The secret?

Unfortunately there is no magical action to take away all the pain. Until now I haven't heard of anyone who has a fast forward button to skip this section and go on to the reunion, so we can cross that option off. But there some things that can be done to make you feel better and more in control of the situation.


Looking for options

The ideal picture would be to have a date planned for the next visit immediately. But let's be honest, this is not always possible. If this option is possible try to plan the next visit as soon as possible to have something to lookforward to. Otherwise, try making a game plan. Plan on how you guys are going to deal with the situation to make it happen.


For example look for a (part time) job, look for deals online and inform when tickets are cheaper (usually outside of school holidays and summer period to give you a head start, although students might find this difficult to achieve). All this information is a great tool to hold on to. Even though there is no date yet, you are actively working towards to the next visit. Not only does this keep you busy and is a mutual goal for both of you, but the payback of the final result can't be described in terms of money.


Give each other space

Although it is best to plan this as soon as possible, it is very important to respect each other's space as well, especially right after the goodbye. Like we mentioned above people react in different ways. While a good compromise for the long term is essential and important (as discussed in previous posts), you may want to allow your partner a little room to deviate from it the first couple of days. That first initial shock has to be dealt with and some can't take up the full compromise immediately after separation.


Also the person who leaves might be exhausted from the flight and needs some time to regain their energy. Exhaustion is a big influence on someone's mood so it might feel even heavier after the long trip back home. Just be honest about how you feel to your partner. If you are having a hard day after the separation let them know, this way you guys can support each other and understand where the other person is at after the goodbye. This is an emotional period that is best dealt with when you are patient and understanding. After the initial separation period you can go back to the routine that you both agreed on and go from there.


Surround yourself with positivity

If you are someone who needs to be surrounded by others to overcome this time, surround yourself with people that support you and your relationship. People that will support you and lift you up in this difficult moment. It can be your family members, friends or anyone close to you that you trust. It's not going to help you being around negative people that tell you that your relationship will not work. Not only will you feel worse, but they may talk nonsense into your head. At this point you are quite vulnerable (and maybe more easily affected) to other people's opinion, so overly sceptical people will talk fear into you where there is none to begin with.


True friends who support you may tell you if something's up, because they care about your well being and not because they are against long distance relationships, but people with a negative look at long distance relationships will only spur hatred, even when unfounded, from their own unfamiliarity with the concept. Spare yourself unnecessary stress and stay with the positive people. They will take care of you and lift your spirit, which is exactly what you need at that point in time.


Stay busy

It's known that staying busy while you feel bad can help you cope with the situation. See this as an excellent moment to find out what your interest are and what makes you feel good. It can be anything from music to sports, cooking, reading, learning a new language or whatever works for you. And this can have multiple positive results. Not only will you stay busy, but if you're improving at something, the payback will give you great satisfaction and will stimulate to continue.


For example Nathan played a lot of guitar during our long distance relationship. Not only did it clear his mind, but over time he got better and could play more complex songs. Another pro of this was that he could give Chery a serenade once they were reunited again. Another good example would be to play a sport. Physical exercise is especially recommended because your body produces positive hormones when being physically active. This will over time make you feel much more relaxed and at ease and will make it easier to fall asleep at night for those who can't sleep because of their thoughts that keep circling around.


I cannot guarantee you that you will feel better or that the depression will go, but at least it's a step in the right direction. Besides, being busy makes the day goes faster, which will make the time go by much faster until you can see each other again.


With love,


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© 2019  Chery and Nathan