Pursuing a long distance relationship is quite an admirable task. To the friends who swore off the notion and to the strangers who questioned your senses, it’s likely they never considered the situation was not your number-one choice.
The fact is, life happens. Sometimes long distance relationships pop up and unfortunately, sometimes so do long distance break-ups. But regardless of what those unfamiliar in the world of long distance will tell you, handling a long distance break up is quite a different beast.
To anyone experiencing a long distance break up, here are some things to keep in the back of your mind:
It’s okay to feel lonely – even if you were miles apart from the start
Long distance is just different. Sure, your sheets may not smell like your partner post break-up, and maybe you won’t have that awkward ex-encounter on campus, but it still hurts and it’s still natural to feel lonely whether that person was physically there all the time or not.
Dating someone, especially at a distance, requires that person to take a special place in your heart. Maybe you don’t suddenly lose their everyday presence in your life because your relationship demanded the opposite, but there is always a feeling as though you’re lost when something so important is suddenly gone.
When a break-up disrupts the arrangement of your heart, it’s natural to feel like a piece is missing. There’s no denying it’s scary, but make sure you acknowledge that missing piece. It’s painful and it’s challenging, but it’s also eye-opening and a crucial part of your healing process.
A new way to practice distance
Distance between you and someone you love can become a constant disheartening barrier in your way. Putting the reasons behind your break up aside, it’s important to know that your life is now in the midst of change. Instead of treating distance between you and your ex as discouraging and twice as hard, think of it as an opportunity to reclaim yourself.
You are under no obligation to quickly dive back into the dating world, but you are certainly under obligation to re-examine and take care of yourself. Distance from your ex-partner, especially when that distance is no longer something you’re working through, is one of the best ways to take a step back, heal and gain valuable insight about yourself as a person.
You can do this
With any break up, it’s often unavoidable to question whether it was the right decision. When the going gets hard, it’s easy to crumble and to tell ourselves that it wasn’t right to sever ties. Do yourself a favor during the hardest parts of the day and trust that there was reason behind why things ended. Whether the distance was too much, your lives became too busy or your feelings changed, trust that life is giving you an opportunity to get things back in order.
Take time to separate yourself from the overwhelming amount of feelings and thoughts swirling through your head, and then allow yourself reevaluate the decision that was made. Who knows what you will come to? You may just come to the realization that through distance or not – you’ve been doing just fine on your own for longer than you were ever aware.
Photo by Ashley Zucker