How to Cope with Long Distance Relationship Depression

Every May since 1949, the United States observes Mental Health Awareness Month. This year’s theme is Life with a Mental Illness. 1 in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime, and every American is affected or impacted through their friends and family and can do something to help others.

People in long-distance relationships often feel lonely and depressed when they are away from their significant other. In fact, research shows that when we are separated from someone we love, anger, guilt, depression and anxiety are normal emotions. People in long-distance relationships report more symptoms of mild depression, such as feeling blue, difficulty sleeping, feeling uninterested in things, and difficulty concentrating.

People in long-distance relationships are bound to be missing their partners every single day. Wait, no, every hour and every second of the day. If you haven’t been in a long-distance relationship, I’ll walk you through it.

Do you have a pet? If yes, have you gone to a trip or a vacation outside of the country? You have to leave your pet with someone who you know will take care of it. Don’t worry. They’re taking good care of it. But the presence of your dog is missing. You walk the dog three times a day. You spend most of your days with your dog. But now you’re all alone in your hotel, cuddling the pillow, probably watching some videos or browsing photos of you and your dog. You’re missing your best buddy! That is what it’s like to be in a long-distance relationship — kind of.

But really, is it really that bad if you’re in a long-distance relationship? Honestly, for me, it’s a 50-50 chance that it could be that way. Why? Seeing the face of your partner after a long and tiring work day is really — and will always be — the cherry on top of any dessert. You will still miss them even if you just ended a five-hour video call. That’s the truth. You’ll always miss your partner. You’ll miss their face, their smile, the way how your bodies wrap around each other …

We all experience downtime or often just being sad. It’s OK to tear up a little bit. There is no shame in crying over a guy who makes you happy and who loves you despite the distance. And this feeling isn’t really just for couples who are in long-distance relationships — but we sure experience it a lot. Even close-distance relationship couples experience sadness.

The best way to overcome these feelings is to communicate. Always communicate with your partner. There is no harm telling them you missed them a lot and that you’re lonely. Tell them what you really feel.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, here are some other ways I know that might help you and your partner to cope with sadness.

1

Set Up a Skype Date

Set Up a Skype Date
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Video calls are always the best way to avoid missing your partner. They ease some of the I-miss-you days of your relationship. Set up a date where both of you can digitally get together and talk about everything. It will always be the best thing! The best way for people to get close is for them to share with each other. Try working your way through 1000 Questions for Couples, written by best-selling author and relationship expert Michael Webb.

You can also plan dates with your long distance partner, read some of our date ideas here. 

2

Surround Yourself with Friends

Surround Yourself with Friends
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Being surrounded with friends will help you forget — or more like lessen — the sadness you are feeling. Believe me. Go out with friends, watch a movie together or go shopping!

3

Listen to Music

Listen to Music
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Whether you enjoy Adele or Chris Brown, music soothes the soul. It helps you clear your mind and change your mood. You can go from crying over Adele’s “Someone Like You” to dancing to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It.” Music really helps our mind and heart to be calm.

4

Read Books

Read Books
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Or read old messages. I used to read Chicken Soup for the Soul when I needed some encouragement. It’ll be always an inspirational book for me. For other people, reading their partner’s messages could help. Reading “I’m thinking of you today” or “You just make me happy” will always feel good.

5

Send Your Partner Some Love

Send Your Partner Some Love
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Care packages are always the good solution for people who are in long-distance relationships. Send your partner some packages of things they absolutely love! If your budget is a little tight, there are cheaper alternatives. Surprise your partner by making him a sweet montage video or photo slideshow or write him an online letter.

6

Draft Future Blog Posts

Draft Future Blog Posts
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If you run a blog like me, drafting future blog posts can also help loosen up the tight emotional state you’re currently feeling. Besides, writing blog posts, especially if you are an LDR blogger, helps you in a lot of ways. You think of your partner and the things you do — which I know will make you smile.

These are just a few ways I know to cope with missing your partner. What are some ways you know what to do when you miss your long-distance SO?

Major depression describes a situation when someone is significantly depressed to the point that they have difficulting doing activities of daily living and may have thoughts of hurting themselves. If you’re worried about yourself or a loved one, call the National Suicide Prevention lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).

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  12. Thanks this really help me . My boyfriend and I are long distance . I just came back from seeing him last week. And ever since I got home I’ve been thinking about him and been getting extremely sad that we aren’t together.

  13. I’m in a boarding school and my girlfriend is at university and we only see each other every three weeks if we’re lucky. I’m really prone to depressive episodes and it’s going to be almost two months until I see her again, I love her so much but how am I supposed to handle this?

  14. I’ve been in a LDR for the past 4 years. We met online when we were both 15 years old, we are now 21 and just got married the week before last. We’ve only met 4 times since starting our relationship, he’s in the UK and I’m in the US. He was here for 2 weeks visiting and just left yesterday morning. It feels like every time I see him the harder it gets to be apart. It’s strange how all the little things create such a large hole when you or your significant other returns home.

    Now that he’s gone, the house is so quiet.. and besides work I’m not quite sure what to do with myself now that he’s gone back home. I feel like a piece of me is missing.

  15. Hi,
    I’ve been in three LDRs and none of them have been easy at all.
    But now that I’m in the third, it feels so much different than the rest. It feels like I need to do my best to keep it alive because I really do think he is the one.
    So thank you for this entry, it really made me feel much better in a moment of sadness.

  16. And im sad because there is no signal in the middle of the sea that we cant communicate each other. I miss him so badly . what should i do?

  17. My thinking, 9 months in, with no hope of my partner ever leaving his country, is why am I doing this? We see each other once a month. I also just found out that, despite the fact he said he wanted to spend his life with me, he doesn’t want to get married. And he never wants to leave his city/country. What’s the point?

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