Dear Mind Over Miles,
My man is in the army bases over seas. We’ve been together over a year and we connect brilliantly both over communication and in person. But that first week when he leaves is like someone’s punched me in the gut. Everything reminds me of him in our flat and I just want him home. So, my question is, how do I make this easier?
There’s no doubt that distance is hard. Especially when the transition to the separation of long distance is fresh. Like a new wound, it can hurt so much more when the person we love first leaves us or when an amazing visit together finally comes to an end.
The pain that comes from distance will likely get easier as time passes or at the very least lessen to some degree, but there are still some key things you can do to ease the initial pain you’ll feel when the person you love first departs from you.
Schedule a Skype Date or a Phone call
It doesn’t have to be “Skype” necessarily, but when you’re feeling most sad it can be extremely comforting to be able to see and hear the person you’re missing. Try to communicate every single day in whatever way possible, but especially in ways that mimic physical intimacy. Seeing your boyfriend’s face on screen or hearing his voice everyday can really cushion the blow of being apart.
Exchange Gifts That Can Be Opened Over A Period of Time
If you already know that the week after you and your SO are separated is your worst week as far as distance goes, prep in advance. You need an extra dose of positive thoughts and vibes to help you get through that tough stretch – so you and he can work on that together.
Talk to your man, and tell him you’d like to create a series of gifts that you can both exchange on the day that he leaves. These gifts should be packages, boxes or letters that can be opened over the course of 7 days after the visit is over.
Everyday you and he both will have something positive to look forward to as well as something heartfelt that will help to reinforce your love for each other. Having just this little thing to look forward to can be the difference between a terrible day apart and a bearable one.
Plan Your Next Visit Before The Current one ends
The final thing you can do to make the separation more bearable, if possible, is to plan your next visit or at least set a goal for it before the current visit ends. This will give you a light at the end of the tunnel, something positive to look forward to. In this way the distance is not indefinitely undefined, but is finite and you can look to the future with an end point.