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“My Long Distance Relationship is Depressing Me”

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My boyfriend and I have been dating long-distance for almost two years while I am working at a temporary position. He still lives in my hometown, only about 90 minutes away, and we have been lucky enough to be able to see each other almost every weekend. Now, I realize this situation is probably as good as it ever gets for “long-distance;” however, I’ve been finding myself getting into depressive slumps after our visits. The weekends are amazing together, but as soon as he leaves, I’m sad and lonely. I get cheered up again as soon as I get to see him the next weekend, but as soon as one of us has to leave, I’m right back to feeling a little empty. We’re great about keeping in contact during the week, and we usually make a point to video chat once or twice, call each other a couple times, and text constantly, so it’s not that I feel like I’m lacking contact or connection.

I think maybe if I had more time to readjust between visits, I would come out of my funk, but since each goodbye puts me back at square one, I never get to “ride it out” and see how I feel after a week or two. I’m not sure how I feel about the answer being “see each other less” since it hurts so much when I can’t see him and it seems crazy not to take advantage of how easy it is to see each other.

I don’t want to sound like I’m crazy co-dependent either. I’m actually incredibly fulfilled, I love my job, and I have friends in the town I am living in that I see regularly. I also have good solo hobbies–I like crafting, cooking, and reading, and I generally have a list of to-do’s that I would love to tackle (and could do on my own). Lately though, I’ve found that my feelings of depression when he or I leave each other are making it hard for me to get motivated to enjoy these things.

This man is without a doubt the person I want to spend the rest of my life with; however, I’m really struggling with how to cope with the continued long-distance. He plans to join me in a new city within a year, so we have an end-date, but until then, how can I deal with this ever-increasing feeling of loneliness? I thought the longer we were long-distance, I would get used to it and it would get easier, but in fact, the stronger our feelings for each other have grown, the more I’m struggling. — Long Distance Lonelyheart

I know this feeling you’re talking about. I used to get it back when Drew and I were long distance and we’d have a wonderful visit together and then I’d feel depressed when it was over. More recently, it happens to me when I get back from a particularly great vacation or weekend away. I call it “reality blues.” And you’re right — you aren’t giving yourself enough time to let reality feel normal again before you get lost in another weekend with your boyfriend where the demands of your daily life are put on hold. Luckily, you have an end-date to this long distance and it’s less than a year away. Until then, though, you need to figure out ways to decrease the feelings of depression you get when you and your boyfriend are apart. At the very least, you need to have more control over the dramatic up-and-down roller-coaster of emotions you go through every single week.

My first suggestion is the one you don’t want to hear: see each other less. That doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t or can’t see each other every weekend, but perhaps instead of spending the whole weekend together, you limit some of that time to just one night, or even one day. If you’re only 90 miles apart, you could easily each drive about an hour, meet in the middle for the afternoon and then drive home. That way, you’re still staying connected on a regular basis, but you aren’t spending an entire weekend getting lost in your couple bubble only to have it pop on Sunday evening when your carriage turns back into a pumpkin (I’m mixing metaphors here, but you get the drift). And if you can’t stand the idea of not spending the whole weekend together, why not split some of that time doing those solo activities you mention — the reading, crafting, and cooking — and tackling some of the things on your to-do list while your boyfriend does something else. Or, when you visit him in your hometown, spend an evening with your friends or family without him. Carving out time away from each other while you’re still enjoying a visit together will not only protect you from the low you’ll feel when the weekend is over and your couple bubble bursts, it will prepare you for what your life will be like when you aren’t long distance any longer.

Another suggestion I have is to exercise more. Among the hobbies you list, you don’t mention anything active. Incorporating some endorphin-releasing activities, like jogging, tennis, swimming, or dancing, into your daily life will help you stave off feelings of depression and loneliness and keep you motivated to enjoy your other hobbies. I would also set weekly goals for yourself. Choose something you’d like to work on — incorporating more exercise into your life, trying more recipes, reading more books — and give yourself a goal to work towards each week. You could even start a blog to help keep you motivated, or get an app to keep you on track. Back when Drew and I were long distance, I had to finish my master’s thesis, so my goals when we were apart were tied to that: write at least five pages in the next two weeks; find at least two new sources to reference — stuff like that. I was also committed to exercise and gave myself weekly mileage goals for running and biking. And, of course, knowing that I was going to be leaving my friends soon (I moved to Drew to end our long distance) gave me an extra incentive to spend as much time with them as I could before I moved.

Beyond all that, keep your eyes on the prize: one year is a very short time in the big scheme of things. Unless you’re pregnant in the summertime. Then every day feels like a month.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter and ‘like’ me on Facebook.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

avatar Sunshine Brite June 14, 2012, 9:04 am

Great advice, I hope the LW can hear that seeing each other less could be the answer even though that’s precisely what she didn’t want to here.

avatar ReginaRey June 14, 2012, 9:12 am

I totally agree with Wendy, LW. Part of the reason you’re feeling so depressed is because the “couple bubble” bursts every time you two go back to your separate realities. I’m guessing that when you’re together, it doesn’t really feel like “reality.” It probably feels like two days of awesome, wonderful fantasy. Which is great, but it’s going to make whatever you go back to (even if that’s awesome, too) feel less fun by comparison.

So try to make the time you DO spend together more like reality. If you shut yourselves in for two days straight, don’t. Go do things with other friends, introduce your boyfriend (and vice versa) to things you do and places you go when you’re in your own. Give each other a taste of the lives you live when you’re not together. The fantasy bubble is awesome, but like Wendy said, it’s nothing like reality will be when you two are living in the same city again. Life won’t always be happy and exciting and glowy every time you’re together, like it probably is now. You’ll have logistics to work out, arguments to navigate, and you’ll get used to seeing each other…which means you may even have to work at keeping the romance aflame at some point (which seems silly now, I know).

And though you already put my mind at ease about it, I’ll still say it again, because it’s that important: Make sure that no matter where you are in relation to each other, you still have independent lives. You can easily venture into dangerous territory if you’re only feeling great when your boyfriend is around, and if your solo time is something you resent.

avatar ReginaRey June 14, 2012, 9:16 am

And one more thing, LW — Make sure that you guys are constantly “working on” your relationship, and building it in new ways. I know because I’ve been there…it’s easy for your relationship to stay in one place when you’re in an LDR. Partially because you don’t have a lot of time together, and partially because the time you DO spend together, you’re just so happy to be together that you spend two days basking in the glow and not doing much of anything else. So go new places together, try new things, have new and pointed conversations. Continue to learn as much about each other as you can, so that when this LDR DOES end, you’ll have more in common than just having missed each other for the past year or more.

avatar kerrycontrary June 14, 2012, 9:19 am

I wonder if the LW is actually suffering from depression instead of short-term sadness. She’s saying that she’s finding it hard to enjoy/participate activities that used to interest her-which is a huge sign of depression. While I get sad every time I leave my boyfriend (we’ve been in an LDR for almost 3 years, ending this month!) I feel like the LW’s feelings of “depression” actually sound like real depression and it may be something she wants to see her doctor about.

avatar painted_lady June 14, 2012, 11:33 am

Agreed. I’m finally getting treated for depression now – six months after my boyfriend and I moved in together after a year and a half of long distance. I’m pretty sure I was depressed the whole time, but I could chalk it up to missing him or stress over being long-distance or whatever. Once he and I were seeing each other all the time and I had time to get used to “OHMIGOD! You’re here!!!!!” the feeling of being horribly, inexplicably sad started creeping back in without any reason, and I finally saw I needed to do something about it.

avatar Kristen June 14, 2012, 9:19 am

LW, I know exactly how you feel, and I’ve been exactly where you are. I went to college two hours away from home while my now fiance stayed home to go to a local university. And because you’re just far enough away that you can’t see each other every day but close enough that you can see each other on the weekends, you fall into a really weird mental/emotional state.

I was that girl who went home every single weekend. I absolutely lived for Fridays, making tallies throughout the week of how many more hours I had to go. And yeah, it was pathetic. And then I’d go home, have an amazing two days, and then have to mentally brace myself to leave on Sundays at 3 to make it back in time for a 5 p.m. newspaper meeting. The emotional roller coaster was awful. I still can’t think about college without the most predominant memory being that aching. I was in a really bad mental place, and I wish I could have read Wendy’s advice back then because it’s wonderful. As it was, I worked insanely hard so I could graduate in three years and get out of there. And now I’m in a much healthier state of mind because I got off that roller coaster and re-learned what it felt like to have predictable emotions from week to week and day to day.

The good news is that you’ll get off it too — and soon. Even though a year seems like forever now, it will go by fast, and you won’t have to go through this anymore. Keep your eyes set on that truth.

Oh, and Wendy is spot-on about the post-vacation blues. It’s the worst feeling, coming back to reality from the great bubble you’ve been in. All the regular stuff, like going to work, seems impossibly hard. But it’s good to know other people experience those same emotions! I always felt so crazy (like, I just had a great vacation! Why am I so miserable?)

avatar ReginaRey June 14, 2012, 9:29 am

I’ve definitely been here, too, but I want to point out (lest the LW be confused) that the emotional roller coaster isn’t something that just *happens* to you that you can’t control. You have control over it, if you want to. I personally think it rests in how you think about it. In college, I was also the girl who hated my week and loved my weekends, but that was completely my fault. I didn’t try to enjoy my personal time, which was dumb, because think of all the stuff I could have been doing instead of moping and making countdowns! I think she’s doing a much better job of balancing her life, and appreciating the time she has by herself, but even still, it’s all about perspective. Realizing all of the great things you have the opportunity to do because of where you are, having so much time to yourself, etc.

I’m not trying to nitpick, I just want the LW to be perfectly clear that she doesn’t have to wait for the emotional roller coaster to be over. She can change things for herself.

avatar Kristen June 14, 2012, 9:34 am

Oh, I totally agree. That’s a great clarification. I wish I had taken the initiative to actively enjoy those other five days of the week. At the time, I was 19 and 20 and never realized I had the ability to control it. Like you said, it felt like it was happening TO me. It felt inescapable. I’m really glad the LW is making a point to fix this and not let the same thing happen to her. Eventually, it can lead to true depression, not just beginning-of-the-week depression.

avatar kerrycontrary June 14, 2012, 10:15 am

Ugh, that sucks that your memories of college are like that. College was the best time of my life so I can’t imagine not enjoying it and rushing to get out.

avatar Kristen June 14, 2012, 10:26 am

Yeah, it sounds crazy, but graduating early was actually the best thing I could have done for myself at that time. It was purely a self-preservation measure. I do wish I had given myself the chance to enjoy it, though. It would have been an entirely different experience.

Luckily, I have wonderful memories from high school and tons of wonderful memories after college to make up for it. Plus, I’m determined to live the best life I can going forward. That way I’ll have lots of “best times of my life” all piled up 50 years from now :)

dandywarhol dandywarhol June 14, 2012, 11:30 am

I *hate* the post-vacation blues. I get them every time. Its like, oh why go back and work and be yelled at, when I can be laying on the beach?? But so it goes!

avatar va-in-ny June 14, 2012, 12:50 pm

I lived that way in college too – and honestly, it is my biggest regret. I didn’t join clubs, didn’t participate in anything because I needed to be available for phone calls, weekend visits, etc. and my life right now is worse because of it. My friends are few and far between and though I have always lived with a “no regrets” mindset, I would do anything to go back and change those 4 years of my life.

avatar kerrycontrary June 14, 2012, 1:48 pm

I know it works out for some people, but this is why I truly think its best to go to college single. Most (not all) of the girls I knew in college who had a boyfriend at the same school didn’t make new friends throughout their four years there. And the girls who had boyfriends at different schools wouldn’t go out because they had to talk on the phone/AIM, and they weren’t 100 percent committed to getting acclimated to their new environment. I don’t know anyone who really benefited from starting college with a boyfriend.

avatar Kristen June 14, 2012, 1:48 pm

The funny thing is that I actually DID participate in things (I was a tutor in the math department and chief copy editor of the school newspaper, among other things). However, I kept my commitments strictly to things during the week. So that meant I never went to parties on the weekends (actually ever) or joined any kind of club that met on Saturdays. And, yeah, that was a pretty stupid thing to do. Back then, I was in the mindset that I had enough relationships and attachments in my “real home” that I didn’t need many there. I regret that, too, but I don’t get stuck on it much anymore. I’m just happy to have my degree and be able to move forward with my life.

Fabelle Fabelle June 14, 2012, 9:20 am

Wendy’s advice is seriously perfect here. I actually get a little bit of this feeling after every weekend in my current, NON- long-distance relationship. The “couple bubble” thing is real– after a few days of being glued at the hip, giddy in each other’s presence, the work week feels like hell. Really, it’s just too much reality.

I like the suggestion of just meeting for an afternoon. If you know you won’t be together the whole weekend, sleeping over or whatever, the time you guys spend could be more fulfilling without leaving you with that draggy feeling when it’s over.

avatar artsygirl June 14, 2012, 9:21 am

I hear you LW – there was a specific apartment complex that marked the end of my now husband’s city on my way out of town and it always made me want to cry when I saw it. Along with Wendy’s advice, I would also suggest possibly thinking of some activity you can plan for the future. I would look into a kick-ass vacation to celebrate the end of your program, or possibly start mentally planning where you would like to live and how it should be decorated. That way you will be focused on the future and the end prize.

Budj Budj June 14, 2012, 9:21 am

I really like Wendy’s advice here. I’d also add that I don’t even know if I could consider 90 miles as long distance…haha….not to like down-trod what you are experiencing or anything as I know it isn’t an “in-town” relationship, which depending on people schedules means the number of miles doesn’t make it any less long distance than NYC to Chicago, but for me…hopping in the car and driving a little over an hour is NBD and I wouldn’t have an issue meeting half way for dinner a couple nights a week. However, this is all contrary to Wendy’s advice…so maybe ignore me.

avatar Kristen June 14, 2012, 9:24 am

I think this is a really great idea. Instead of having minimal contact for five days and then constant contact for two, maybe they can space it out. Meet halfway for dinner three days a week so it seems more normal and their relationship evens out emotionally.

avatar bethany June 14, 2012, 9:42 am

Didn’t mean to copy you in my reply below! I didn’t read the comments before posting!

Budj Budj June 14, 2012, 9:48 am

Stop plagiarizing my thoughts!

avatar Addie Pray June 14, 2012, 10:53 pm

ok you and bethany need to stop flirting because i can see you and it’s disrespectful. i haven’t flirted with anyone in the last 24 hours except for *maybe* the LW below but that’s only because of my Burger King reference.

avatar Addie Pray June 14, 2012, 10:53 pm

besides, she’s married. to a fabulous guy I might add bought her a scooter. i can’t remember the last time you bought me a scooter.

caitie_didnt caitie_didn't June 14, 2012, 10:32 am

my friend used to insist that her and her ex were in a long-distance relationship because they “had different area codes”. They did, but it was a 25 minute drive from his house to hers. My then-boyfriend and I were a 7 hour drive apart, and our other friend and her then-boyfriend were a 5 hour drive apart. We used to side-eye her like crazy whenever she went on about how hard “being in a long-distance relationship” was.

theattack theattack June 14, 2012, 2:52 pm

I’m pretty sure that would piss me off enough to drunkenly put her in her place.

Laura Laura June 15, 2012, 2:47 am

Wow, my mind totally replaced “put her in her place” with “punch her in the face.” I swear I’m not a violent person.

CatsMeow CatsMeow June 14, 2012, 10:53 am

Seriously.. My hometown is about 100 miles away from here and it doesn’t feel “long-distance” AT ALL.

Also, because of our insane schedules, I see my boyfriend MAYBE once a week on “date night” Tuesdays, and usually one or both days on weekends depending on what’s going on. And we live in the same town.

avatar bethany June 14, 2012, 11:50 am

At one point when my husband and I were dating we lived 4 blocks away from eachother- a 5 minute walk- and there were some weeks where I only saw him once or twice!

avatar bethany June 14, 2012, 9:33 am

I haven’t read Wendy’s advice yet, but 90 minutes away isn’t that far… Can’t you guys meet somwehere in the middle once or twice a week for dinner or something?? You could even do a random mid-week sleepover every other week or so- So what if one of you have to get up at 5:30am to make it to work on time. Lots of people get up that early every single day to go to the gym!

I remember when I was in an LDR, all I wanted was to hang out with my bf on a regular Tuesday night, like ‘normal’ couples. So every now and then I’d drive to NJ, and do just that. Yeah, it took extra time and money, but we made it work.

If you have less than a year left or long distance, it would be a real shame to not make the sacrafices now that will enable this work out in the long run.

Kate B. Kate B June 14, 2012, 10:34 am

I had the same thought. Living here in the Bay Area, 90 minutes to someone’s house can be par for the course. I really like the idea of getting together in the middle of the week for dinner or something. It would be a great way to space out their visits and still have some time to themselves on the weekends to pursue their own interests. I, for one, get very testy if I don’t have my alone time and to have it on the weekend is even better.

avatar SweetPeaG June 14, 2012, 9:39 am

I have never been in a long distance relationship. However, I have been what I so eloquently call a “bag lady”. Living one place, but spending a HUGE chunk of time at my boyfriend’s house. It always left me feeling so disjointed and unsettled. I hated it! And at the end of a weekend in the “couple bubble” living at my boyfriend’s lovely home, I would get completely depressed having to return to my shabby apartment. I hated dragging a bag back and forth. I hated that I felt like I was living two lives. I felt displaced and a little crazy. Although I am sure a good part of your depressed feelings are wanting to be around your boyfriend… my guess is part of your mood swings are also hating to constantly be living these two separate lives. If you are anything like me… you just long to feel settled! Even if he comes to you most of the time and you aren’t a “bag lady”- you are still living two lives, in a way.

As usual, Wendy is giving great strategies to cope. One of these days, I am actually going to take her exercise advice myself. When I used to jog, any bad mood swings I got were so improved with a little physical exertion. And there is nothing like it to help you sleep at night.

In addition, have you let your boyfriend know how you are feeling? If you haven’t, I suggest you do that. He is after all, such an amazing guy that you have decided to spend your life with him! I know that when I was feeling cranky from going from my apartment to my boyfriend’s house constantly, I would always confide in him. He would make me feel SO much better. He is very empathetic, but he is also very rational. He would remind me of the end date. The date when I could come home to him every night. And it helped a great deal to get his rational pep talk.

Good luck!

KKZ KKZ June 14, 2012, 9:51 am

I can relate too – I got this way in college when my boyfriend went home on Sundays. For me it typically only lasted for the rest of the evening Sunday and maybe into Monday, but I remember feeling just as confused – “Why am I crying? I’m going to see him again in a few days!” We were constantly connected too, by text and by AIM (oh, the days when everyone used AIM…) and he only lived 45 minutes away from me so it wasn’t even long-distance.

I don’t think the heart understands distance. It wants what it wants and sulks when it can’t have it.

The advice that’s already been given is great, and I don’t have anything to add but empathy for your situation, LW. At least the end is in sight.

avatar sarolabelle June 14, 2012, 10:26 am

i suggest Bikram Yoga!

avatar Addie Pray June 14, 2012, 11:54 am

i concur!

avatar Addie Pray June 14, 2012, 12:00 pm

I think you need to make your weekends together boring. It’ll be a good for you – not just to help you deal with your depression while you’re away but to set more realistic expectations for when you are able to live together. I would bet that you do all your chores (laundry, bills, grocery shopping, cleaning, etc.) while you’re away from each other so that, when you’re together, it’s a mini vacation full of breakfast in bed, walks on the beach, nights on the town. Cut that shit out, now! Next time you see each other, plan to spend the morning pulling weeds. Grab lunch at Burger King. Spend the afternoon at Home Depot comparing paint samples of various shades of gray (barf – I can’t even use that expression anymore) for whatever room you need to paint… Nothing will make you more excited for your life back home for those few days before you *have* to get back together to actually paint that whatever room whatever shade you picked. That’s what I would do.

avatar Rachel June 14, 2012, 12:24 pm

I like this advice.

katie katie June 14, 2012, 1:17 pm

preach.

i have huge huge doubts about this LW’s relationship once they are not long distance anymore…

avatar kerrycontrary June 14, 2012, 1:41 pm

I think this is why a lot of LDRs don’t work out when the people finally move close to each other. They do all these fun things and have these mini-vacations so their relationship is always the positive stuff when they are together: going to brunch, seeing shows, going to the zoo, whatever floats your boat.Obviously people in short-distance relationships do exciting things, but it can’t all be exciting things. It’s important that you get along with a person during not only the exciting stuff, but you can also have fun with them doing the boring grown-up stuff, like going to target to buy massive amounts of toilet paper on Sunday.

CatsMeow CatsMeow June 14, 2012, 1:50 pm

Yeah. It’s almost like they’re prolonging the honeymoon period by being long-distance-ish.

Roxy_84 Roxy_84 June 14, 2012, 2:16 pm

Agree. Also, are you “saving” stuff for when you see each other? Like you see a new restaurant that looks great and you’re like “Oh I should take M there this weekend” instead of seeing if a couple girls want to go tomorrow night? Or “Hmmm, it’s rollerblading weather now! I should get M to bring his blades this weekend.” That’s easy to do, but then it starts to feel like you only do the things you want to do when he’s around.

avatar Anna June 14, 2012, 12:03 pm

Believe it or not, this kind of thing can happen even in a non-long distance relationship. When my ex and I were still living together, we worked opposite shifts and didn’t get to see each other much during the week. We spent the weekend attached at the hip for the most part, and when Sunday night rolled around and it was time for me to go back to work I was miserable. I didn’t want to leave him and not have any more time together until next weekend.

It’s great that you have an end date when you will no longer be long distance. When you do end up living in the same city, don’t underestimate the value of having similar schedules. If you have to take a particular job just because it’s the right schedule for your relationship, it would be worth it to avoid the hell that is living with someone you should be seeing all the time but can’t.

For now, Wendy made a good suggestion to break up the weekend more instead of spending the entire weekend in the couple bubble. Maybe go to dinner and hang out with him Friday and then go out with your friends Saturday night.

Kristina Kristina June 14, 2012, 12:39 pm

Yeah, I really don’t consider a 90 minute drive long distance. Lots of people have work commutes like that everyday. Regardless, I think there are things you can do during the week occasionally, instead of always relying on weekends to see each other. I think what Wendy said is really spot on. Sometimes when I fly home to my hometown where my boyfriend is to visit him for a few days, it’s a little depressing to have to go back so soon.

As in all relationships, it’s important to be your own person, but even more so in an LDR. You spend a lot of time by yourself or with friends, and when you see your SO, you may want to spend all your time with them, but it’s really important not to get lost in that attachment, because then when you are physically separated, you feel it more. It’s part of why they say that distance makes the heart grow fonder.

I know whenever I visit my boyfriend, I’m usually staying with him, so it’s like we are living together for that period, and when we started the long-distance, it was too soon to be spending 4 or 5 days together, practically all the time. Maybe that’s part of the issue too.

katie katie June 14, 2012, 1:23 pm

i also dont think a 90 minute drive is long distance. it was kind of hard for me to be sympathetic about that.. lol

katie katie June 14, 2012, 1:22 pm

i dont think this has anything to do with your relationship. this has everything to do with the fact that you are not fufilled in your life… i think you need to take a real hard look at your life and see if you truly are as independant and not co-dependant as you think you are…

BUT, if this whole “vacation blues” parallel is whats happening, then you need to make some huge changes before you two are short distance, or the “vacation blues” is going to become reality all the time… because, the reality is that living with someone is definitely not a vacation.

theattack theattack June 14, 2012, 3:04 pm

I used to have this problem with my long-distance now-fiance. We live five hours apart, so our schedule is a bit different than yours but still similar since we meet in the middle on most weekends. We meet up and do really fun things, and it feels like a little visit to Perfect Land instead of the reality of life together. I’d be wallowing in sadness on the drive home, sad all day Sunday, numb on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then by Thursday I was counting hours until I could see him on Friday night. Then we realized that our parents (who we stayed with since they live in the middle) were getting tired of us spending 100% of our time in Couple Land instead of socializing with other people. So we started splitting it up some on our weekends together, and it has helped enormously! A typical weekend for us at my parents’ house alternates activities between couple time and family time. Sometimes we go for walks by ourselves, but then we have dinner with my family. I might help my mom cook while he helps my dad with whatever projects he has going on. Then we’ll have a date to ourselves. It helps SO much to share your time together, because it’s more like normal life. When we have a weekend that’s just the two of us constantly, I still get horrible sinking feelings about leaving.

I’ll also say that our engagement has radically changed our departures. I was always confident we’d be together for life, but having a solid commitment takes away any questions about when you’ll see each other again. I’m not suggesting that you get engaged to alleviate this problem (that’s ridiculous), but if you haven’t had conversations about where your relationship is going, do it! It might help more than you would expect.

avatar LW June 14, 2012, 3:19 pm

Thanks for everyone’s comments… it’s so helpful to hear that other people have experienced this too! And super encouraging that Wendy went through it and her and Drew have made it to the other side :)

I think Wendy’s advice was spot on and just the kind of “snap out of it” encouragement I needed. I love the ideas for seeing each other less without cutting down on visits, I think that will help a lot. I’m also so grateful for the practical suggestions to get myself doing the things I enjoy, I’m already feeling more motivated to do them.

Also the exercising part was especially relevant! I’ve struggled with real feelings of depression in the past and being more active has helped, it’s just easy to lose sight of that when I feel like all I’m feeling are relationships blues (thank you to the commenter who mentioned this might not just be to blame on my LDR). I’m going to make more of an effort to monitor my emotions and try to do things that get my endorphins up to avoid going down that slippery slope.

I didn’t include in my letter, but we actually do do mostly boring things on our weekends together (I said we were broke, burger king is par for the course for us haha). We regularly do our laundry when the other person is visiting, we talk about our finances (we’ve both recently had to seriously reevaluate our budgets), we’ve helped each other clean and I actually spent a couple weekends doing a deep clean with him when he moved, we go grocery shopping and on other boring errands together, etc. A lot of times one or both of us has to work over the weekend, so we’re doing boring work things but we’re together.

I think the sadness sets in because everything feels so “normal” on the weekends, like I can tell we will transition well to living in the same city so it makes me upset that we’re not already. So, in a way it is a vacation from the reality that we aren’t in the same city all the time… but it’s not exactly an all sunshine, rainbows, amazing walks on the beach type of vacation.

For those of you thinking that we won’t work when we transition to short-distance, I appreciate your concern and reminder to always be continuously working on our relationship, but I think we have made it past the honeymoon hump and are capable of dealing with (and have dealt with) serious issues and can work through them and we both feel prepared to navigate a life together, including the boring and rough parts. I know that transitioning is going to have it’s challenges that I can’t anticipate yet, but I feel confident that we’ll get through it.

But like Wendy hinted at, and many other commenters did too… instead of focusing on and living in the future when we will be in the same city, I need to accept the reality of the present and find ways to cope.

I’ve talked to him about these things before, and he’s incredibly reassuring and can generally manage to cheer me up. I mentioned in my original email to Wendy though that I don’t want to rely on him to constantly be reassuring me and giving me pep talks (my need to lean on him has definitely been increasing lately) so I was hoping for some ways to deal with these feelings on my own too. I’m seeing him this weekend (of course haha), and I’ll probably bring up the suggestions about seeing each other less or differently. His work schedule is changing so it actually might be a great time to rearrange our visit schedule and try spending more time apart when we’re in the same city. I’ll try to send an update after seeing how my mood changes!

avatar LW June 14, 2012, 3:20 pm

oh my…. that comment turned out so much longer than I expected haha… I guess that’s what I get for trying to respond to Wendy and 30+ comments all at once!

avatar Addie Pray June 14, 2012, 10:52 pm

By really you were just responding to my comment, right?

avatar Addie Pray June 14, 2012, 10:51 pm

Well I’d just like to take this opportunity to note that *I* mentioned the importance of being boring together and eating BK for lunch, which the LW repeated here. So boo-yah!!!!! LW, I can tell I like you.

avatar Mechie June 14, 2012, 8:43 pm

My husband and I are long-distance – he lives in the Bay Area and I live in SoCal. We see each other almost every weekend. I understand where the LW is coming from …on Sunday nights, I too dread having to face the week on my own and having to come out of that blissful “fantasy couple bubble” which can be such an escape from the reality of one’s routine. But every time I’m back in the familiarity of my own space and routine, I’m happy – it’s just the “blues” of Sunday night/Monday morning that are seemingly insurmountable, but once I am immersed in my routine -school/lab/gym/dinner with friends etc – I am content. In fact, since I spend almost every weekend with him, there are times when I even crave a weekend to myself – me-time is so crucial!

LW, it can be hard to motivate yourself to pursue the activities of your interest if you haven’t chalked out a concrete plan for when you want to do what etc. Maybe if you make a schedule that you’ll absolutely have to stick to no matter how low you’re feeling, it’ll help pull you out of the funk. You mention liking cooking, reading etc – how about you join a book-club (you can find ones in your area on meetup.com or something) or a cooking class or maybe cooking dates with your friends? As Wendy says, exercise can do wonders to uplift your spirits – maybe you could look into signing up for a local Zumba or yoga class? Once you have set yourself a fixed schedule that you absolutely have to abide by (because you signed up for activities or promised a friend you’d join her for a cooking or running date), you’ll find yourself immersed in things you enjoy, and this will definitely offset your feelings of loneliness and depression.

avatar amy June 15, 2012, 10:15 am

To be honest, it doesn’t sound like you are busy enough. I’m a lot more long distance than you with limited contact because my fiance’ is so busy when school is in session in Colorado. He teaches AND takes his own classes so we wouldn’t be able to talk each day. Add the time difference there (he’s two hours behind New York) and the fact that he’s a plane ride away is very problematic.

I had a hard time adjusting at first, but I think Wendy is right in that don’t spend so much time talking to him, texting, face time chatting or whatever. It does make it easier.

I went back for my masters when he went away and between that and work, the time flies by. If he is constantly on your mind by constantly talking to him etc., it just solidifies the fact that he’s gone and it makes you more sad.

avatar ann December 22, 2012, 7:19 pm

Me and my boyfriend are a 24 hour drive apart. Thats long distance. The hardest part for me is the holidays. We have known each other for over 10 years and he decided to give long distance a chance for me. I never imagined it would be this hard. Its worst than being single. Thankfully Our end date is 8 months away. I can’t wait…