My Dear Lover,
In most of the long distance relationships the time you are
apart is bigger than the time you are together, and probably
you will be between being together and being apart more than once
in your distance relationship.
And I can tell you, because I have been there more than once,
that the experience of being apart after being together, is one of the most difficult periods in a long distance relationship.
It make us feel so horrible, that sometimes we wonder
"What is wrong with me? Why do I feel like this?".
Each time we go apart again, mainly three emotional phases
happens (Protest, Depression and Detachment) .
While you were together, you were inseparable, took long walks
together and made all moments count, but now is arriving the time
your beloved as to go away.
It's like something triggers inside you, that say that your beloved is leaving, and you start the first phase, the Protest.
You fight against the separation in all the ways you can.
You feel terrible, you cry without control, some will be angry with "life", or even with their beloved, some will hold and kiss each other like you will never see each other again.
And even at the last moment, when you are at airport, you will
ignore the last calling of the departure, until you finally realize your beloved really have to leave. Did you ever did this? I did!
But no matter how much you protest to prevent the separation, you
are apart again.
Now comes the second emotional phase of separation , the Depression.
You can not stop crying, you miss your beloved like hell, you can not
sleep, can not eat, lose interest for things, you can not concentrate
in anything, and all you want is to be together with your beloved
all time. And that is natural reaction when you love somebody so
This phase of depression and loneliness can last only some minutes, but in most cases it will last for several days.
Finally comes the last phase, the Detachment .
You have to continue with your life, even being apart from your
beloved, and being depressed will not bring your beloved back.
And finally the day that you will be together again arrives, and
probably, you will have to go throughout the phases of separation
again and again!
So now that you understand "what's wrong with you?" each time you
have to go through the process of separation, does it means that
you can not do nothing about it?
No, no and no, keep reading and I will show you my advices.
But remember, it's a fact that no matter how many times you
go by the experience of separation again and again, nothing
eliminates this three phases. The only thing you can do is to
realize their existence, understand each phase, and take action
so you can make this experience more "soft".
But do you want to know something very interesting?
It is not only me and you and all the people that are living a
Long Distance Relationship, that goes by the Protest, Depression
and Detachment emotional phases, each time we go apart again.
Dr. Gregory Guldner, of the National Institute for Building Long
Distance Relationships, shows in his book
"Long Distance Relationships: The Complete Guide",
that puppies also "feel" the same as us.
According to Dr. Guldner, "Although it's difficult to
apply conclusions from research done on animals to the emotions
described in humans, I've found that the reactions of the pups
are strikingly similar to the reactions of many of those in LDRs. "
And he continues, "When the researchers removed the mother dog
from the kennel, the pups began to protest. They cried and ran
around the kennel sometimes for hours and even days. Eventually the
pups stopped protesting, but they began to behave as if they
He was depressed. They slept poorly, they lost their appetites, they stopped playing with toys in the kennel, they lost weight,
and they withdrew from other dogs. "
And more, "This pattern of protesting the separation, then
behaving depressed, then developing some emotional distance, seemed to represent the usual reaction of the pups to separation.
Because these reactions occur very early in the lives of the pups, there is good reason to believe that the sequence of emotions may even be programmed to help them survive. "
And he states that, "Researchers speculate that the sequence of
separation, protest, depression, and detachment may reflect an
almost automatic protective reflex in many mammals. How much of
this reflex remains in us humans we do not know, but I think it
unlikely that we have managed to escape it entirely. More likely, the emotional reactions remain, but we have learned to change the behavior they evoke. "
"But the emotional triggers that cause the pups to cry for days,
and us to feel saddened by our partner's departure, remain deeply
He ingrained. "
And as I told you before, it's a fact that no matter how many
times you go by the experience of separation again and again, nothing eliminates this three phases. The only thing you can do is to realize their existence, understand each phase, and take action so you can make this experience more "soft".
And the advice's I am going to give you, comes from my personal
experience, and from the help of 2 fantastic books, (you can find
their references, at the end of this post) that I did buy, read
and apply, that did in fact help me a lot living again and again
the experience of being apart again and again.
So my advice's to help you in the phase of Protest (when you fight against the separation in all the ways you can) are:
– Spend the morning or afternoon before your beloved leaves, with
friends. Do something active, to keep your minds "off" of that
moment, and avoid being alone, crying all the time.
– Do not focus on the pain of being apart again, focus on the
pleasure. How bliss you are for loving and be loved. And you will
not be apart forever.
– If it is too hard for you to take your beloved at the departure
place, like to the airport, and stay together as long as possible, then either say goodbye at your home and let your beloved take a taxi to the airport, or take your beloved at airport but say goodbye in the car.
My advice's to help you in the phase of Depression are:
– Let out the emotions, cry, scream. Give permission yourself to be "depressed" (but not for long time!), But please please please do not make yourself miserable.
– Surround yourself with friends and family that can give you all
the support you need, and do not be alone at your room crying all
– Go to work, go to gym, set goals like getting in shape, and stay active. Go to a comedy movie to make you laugh!
– Do not focus on how long your beloved will be away. Take comfort
in the fact that you are not really alone, only separated by space.
My advices to the phase of Detachment are :
– Detach yourself of the "pain" of being apart again, but please
do not detach from your beloved. Keep strong communication with your beloved. Nowadays we are so lucky to have all the technology to make staying in touch so easy, like phone, text messaging, email, faxes, web cams, etc.
– Do not make the separation between you and your beloved an
obstacle, see as an opportunity to grow.
My Dear Lover, face your feelings, understand them and learn to live with them.
I know it is easier to speak than do, because to me, one of the most difficult things in a Long Distance Relationship, is this emotional phases of separation.
But I am learning, and getting better each time, and very soon it
will arrive the time when there will be no more go away again.
And the same will happen to you.
Be strong, you are not ALONE !!!
Do not measure the distance, measure the Love, Maria Madeira.