when the visit ends

by - July 14, 2015

I've just spent the most wonderful 11 days with my boyfriend. With no work commitments, we were free to spend as much time together as possible - we ate, drank, laughed and enjoyed each other's company immensely. We did all the stuff normal couples get to do with each other every day - make breakfast, have friends over... even something as mundane as walking around the local shopping centre was made more exciting because we were doing it together.

But, like all good things, the fun came to an end yesterday when I had to make that all-too-familiar trek to the airport and head back to reality.

The goodbyes seem to be getting harder. Yesterday I was an emotional wreck and cried so much I worried my boyfriend would think I was crazy... or a little too needy. I cried before we left for the airport, I cried on the way to the airport, I cried when we said goodbye, I cried while I was waiting for the plane to take off and again when I landed in the city I call home but suddenly feels so empty to me.

It wasn't that I was leaving him that made me feel so upset, it was that I was leaving this ideal world where we would wake up next to each other every morning and do those things that other couples probably take for granted like sitting next to each other on the couch and discussing the latest dish on Masterchef or what's really behind Delta and Jessie J's feud on The Voice.

Recently I read a truly beautiful - but very sad - piece of writing by Jessica Lovejoy on Huffington Post about what it's like to say goodbye in a long distance relationship which, I think, sums it up perfectly.

"The ache you feel when they aren't there doesn't go away. Only when you're with them does it subside. Only to return again when the whispered goodbyes are uttered. The ache returns as you wipe away the tears. You can still see them, but you already miss them. You're still holding them, but your heart aches for them to never let you go."

But apparently this heightened emotional state is completely normal. I've read countless blogs and online articles that say those endless tears are OK - if not a little embarrassing.

"It’s normal to be sad when you leave someone you care about," says an article on ldrmagazine.com. "Don’t bottle up your feelings. Remember that it’s okay to cry. Crying relieves you of those powerful emotions and shows the other person that you truly care for them and regret that you have to leave."

But I know it's also important to put things in perspective. Sometimes we all focus on what we don’t have rather than being grateful for the amazing things we do have.

The fact of the matter is, I have a great boyfriend and we're in a strong, committed relationship. OK, so the situation might not be ideal right now but we're working on it and I can't let the fact we're separated by distance cloud my view of what’s really important.

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