What is one of the most memorable times in a long-distance relationship?
A friendly greeting. That glorious moment when all the anticipation for the next visit is finished and they’re finally in your arms.
And what is one of the most difficult aspects of any long-distance relationship?
A final “goodbye.” They’re terrible, and they don’t appear to get any better over time. In reality, many people believe they become more difficult.
But here’s the positive news regarding saying your goodbyes during a visit: If saying farewell is difficult and painful, it indicates that there is a meaningful emotional bond. Whether they go, or you return home from saying good-bye, and the house (and your life) feel absolutely and unnaturally empty without them around, it implies you care. A great deal!
Allow the heartbreak to tell you that the long-distance relationship is worthwhile and that you will see each other again. Often, be kind to yourself. There are no two ways about it: saying goodbye is difficult. Learn what makes them marginally better for you and what makes you feel less wretched afterward.
Here are five tips for saying farewell in a long-distance, partnership before, after, and after.
5 Ways To Say “Goodbye” in a Positive Manner
1. Try to Hold Your Mind in The Current Moment Until The Departure Date.
Mike and I spent two weeks together the first time we met. We were at the house of some mutual friends in Melbourne near the end of the two weeks, and both of us had an evening where we felt exhausted, quiet, and poor. One of my friends said to us that night, “you two are already saying farewell, aren’t you?”
We were right, she was correct. We learned we’d be splitting up in 48 hours for an unknown period, and it was weighing on us.
So it may be difficult (I know!) to do this. However, remember to hold your mind in the current moment when you’re together. Spending so much time and energy worrying about goodbyes or what is next is a waste of time and energy. Focus on being together, particularly if you only have a week together. Once you say farewell, you’ll have plenty of time to reflect on or discuss what comes next.
2. Have a Plan to do Something Different About Yourself When You Say Goodbye
After you say your goodbyes, make a good-for-you plan. This may not always be what you want to do at the moment, however, you know yourself…
If heading out to dinner with friends is easier for you than sitting at home alone watching TV and consuming a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s (my favorite form of saying goodbye), then go out to dinner. Do this even though your current preference is to sit at home with the TV and ice cream.
Ask yourself what is best for you, not just what seems nice at the time (though they may be the same thing). When they are not the same thing, though, do what is best for you.
3. Keep in Mind That You Will Be Riding an Intense Roller Ride For The Next Few Days
All in long-distance partnerships experience an intense roller coaster. However, after several weeks, the rises, declines, and loops are steeper and quicker than average.
You’ll typically be on an up-and-down segment of the LDR roller coaster for the first few days to a week during saying goodbye after a tour.
The highs are very enjoyable, and the pleasure and vitality that can be derived from gazing at pictures and reliving a visit are normally exhilarating. But there would almost certainly be several low points—moments where you feel really sad, second-guess yourself or your partnership or get frustrated at the prospect of ever being able to make things function.
It will help to note that you are on a roller coaster and that this part of the track will pass. Only stay on and keep going.
4. Do Something Thoughtful About Your Significant Other
Take some of the post-visit energy to do something sweet with your significant other once they’ve left. Make a care box for them, give them a postcard, or email them a series of open-when messages.
This is a perfect opportunity to release all of your pent-up feelings while still giving your companion a real lift as they get it a week or two later. And they’ll most likely get your shipment just about the moment they’re about to reach a post-visit low.
5. Complete all Necessary Life Administration Tasks
I’m not suggesting that returning home from dropping off your girlfriend at the airport and doing two loads of laundry is enjoyable. It isn’t. However, if you’re going to feel down, you may as well feel down AND like you’ve taken care of the life admin “things” that need to be done.
So clean the toilet, start the washing, go food shopping and plan out your meals for the week, pay any bills, and purchase some items you never get around to buying (hello, oven cleaner, and paper towels). Do something that has to be done. That way, you’ll feel like you’ve done something, which will help you move in the right emotional direction.
6. Begin Making Plans For The Next Hi
After the pain of saying farewell, it will be very beneficial to begin preparing for the next hello as soon as possible!
When are you going to be able to see each other again? It makes no difference how long into the future it has to be. And if you realize you’ll have to wait a year or more, start thinking about when and how you’ll be able to see each other again. It will offer you anything to look forward to at a time when you are most likely feeling sad.