Long Distance Relationships Uncovered

Being in a long-distance relationship involves commitment to maintaining a deep connection to each other.  How do you ensure you remain close while being so far apart?

Being apart from each other can be extremely stressful for couples.  Routines change and support for the partner at home is left to those who are able to step in and be there when their partner cannot.

Not being able to turn to your partner and discuss emotions, situations, and day to day events with them in person is made all the more difficult when the communication is limited to short periods of time.

The partner left at home takes on sole responsibility of the household while also managing their emotions and sense of loss.  Demands of childcare, work and hobbies are now managed solely.  For some, this is done without the support of family and/or friends.

It may be that your partner is unreachable or that their job doesn’t allow them to talk to you regularly, possibly for weeks at a time.  They may be based where written communication is the only way to communicate with each other.

Phone calls may be limited.  It can be very emotional to discuss matters that need attending to in such a short time.

Unfortunately, the added stress can surface when talking to each other and can potentially soak up the quality time that should be spent on maintaining a deeper connection.  Some relationships are simply not strong enough to sustain the distance. 

Currently, Russell is on rotation in Auckland for six weeks as part of the NZDF MIQF role.  I am finding the distance particularly challenging and didn’t expect to feel so isolated and alone.  It doesn’t help that I was made redundant two months ago.

Being able to keep busy is key to helping pass the time.  Finding the motivation to keep busy is also difficult.  With all this time on my hands, I am left to focus on the loneliness.

This time apart has taught me that our love for each other is so deep and powerful that the distance is consuming our thoughts almost every minute of the day.  We miss the closeness and hugs which boosts oxytocin levels and helps in the healing of negative emotions of loneliness, isolation and anger.

What other ways can we boost oxytocin levels to replace a hug?  Here are 12 ways to boost oxytocin naturally:

  1. Try Yoga
  2. Listen to music or make your own
  3. Get or give a massage
  4. Tell someone how much you care
  5. Spend time with friends
  6. Meditate
  7. Make your conversations count
  8. Cook and eat with someone you care about
  9. Have sex
  10. Cuddle or hug
  11. Do something nice for someone
  12. Pet dogs

Obviously being in a long-distance relationship, 9 and 10 are not possible however the other suggestions are a great way to fill your oxytocin tank.

David JP Phillips, Communications Coach, has a trick for those who are over thinkers.  "It's for all of us who ruminate and overthink, it goes like this... Keep your eyeballs still.

By holding still and focusing on one thing, the mind cannot process thoughts.  It needs the eyes to move in order to think and fetch memories.  Does this work for you?

I think the key to surviving a long-distance relationship is each of you to have a sense of purpose.  Find and do something that makes you happy.  Kindness goes a long way to increasing oxytocin levels.  Doing something for others and focusing on their needs ahead of your own will alleviate some of the loneliness.

I constantly remind myself that there is always someone worse off than me.  I am extremely grateful for being loved so deeply.  I can feel his love for me regardless of the distance.

We remain close by talking often, using ‘Open When’ letters and being honest with each other about our feelings.  The care packages I make for Russell when we are apart is one way I can be there without actually being there.

I make sure the last t-shirt he wore before he left remains unwashed so I can nuzzle into it when I am sad and feel as though he is right there beside me.

I mark off each day on the calendar and count down the days until we see each other again.  This too shall pass although now that we have a lockdown thrown in the mix, feeling isolated became a little more isolating.

Till we are together again my love xox


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