The one question I am always asked by people that are new to long distance relationships is “how do I feel better when we leave each other?” That in itself is a difficult question to answer. I’m not even convinced that I can answer it, but I want to try to impart some advice.

I am at a point in my relationship that leaving is okay. It’s not the best feeling in the world, but it also doesn’t feel like my world is collapsing around me. However, I have been there. The first time I met Bradley I spent the week crying because I didn’t want him to leave. The second time I met Bradley, I sat alone in the train station crying for two hours before I walked back home. The third time we met, I collapsed on his floor in tears, unable to pack my suitcase before I caught my train. But with each visit it got easier, I was a train wreck for quite a while, I cried at the end of each visit, even after after a year and a half of our relationship. I still do now, sometimes. But it does get easier.

There aren’t any hard and fast rules to help you feel as if your heart is whole once you walk away from your partner at the train station/airport. You can fill up your time any way you want – spend as much time on Skype as you like. But nothing is going to replace the soul crushing feeling of seeing your loved one trapped back inside that same little box that made you fall in love with them in the first place. It’s a weird feeling.  It’s deflating and frustrating, and overall heart breaking, because it is the starkest reality that they are miles away from you, and it will be a long time until you can touch them again.

My best advice to numb the pain of leaving is to have patience. It takes time and many visits to accept that they are gone. It even takes time to accept that your life has to return back to normal without that awesome person being by your side. It sucks, but it’s all just a part of the baggage of a long distance relationship. Before you know it, you’ll be counting down the days before you see each other again.

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Published by Sarah Shields