Anxiety in a Long Distance Relationship

The first thing anyone will ever tell you about long distance relationships is that they’re hard. And they’re not wrong, long distance is one of the biggest challenges a relationship can face, although it’s definitely becoming a lot easier with the technology available to us.With apps like Skype, Facebook and Snapchat, you can get in touch with your significant other as quickly and frequently as you’d like.

But – if you have anxiety, long distance probably just got a whole lot harder.

Before I started dating my boyfriend, I don’t think I really understood my anxiety, or even if I knew what it really was. But after the first seven months or so, it began to cause such a strain on our relationship, that I decided that in order for him to understand my anxiety, I had to first learn to understand it myself. So after two years of managing anxiety in a long distance relationship, here’s what I’ve learned.

This won’t apply to all types of long distance relationships, or even all types of anxiety – this is just what I’ve experienced.tumblr_nvcsasU6gO1ugddz5o1_1280

Understanding and explaining your anxiety

It’s important that your significant other understands how your anxiety works. It will help them know what to do and how to react when it flares up. A lot of people don’t fully understand what anxiety really is, even if they think they do. However, you can’t explain your anxiety well enough, if you don’t understand it yourself. Try to look at your anxiety from a different perspective, see if you can notice any patterns in your behaviour, or any triggers (be aware that there may be multiple). If you can understand how your anxiety works, then it will only make explaining it to your significant other easier. Everyone experiences anxiety differently, so make sure that your significant other understands how anxiety effects you as an individual – what your limitations are, and how severely it effects you. You don’t have to have this conversation straight away, but it’s in important step in communication.

(Maybe) lower your expectations

As much as they want to, your significant other may not always be able to be there for you. Time zones are an unfortunate factor in many long distance relationships, and can often mean that your significant other is unable to respond when you might need it most. Though that doesn’t mean that you have to deal with your anxiety alone. Family and friends can be just as helpful, you just need to figure out what makes you feel better and make sure that the people closest to you understand that as well so they can provide that for you.

Trust them

The most important factor in a long distance relationship is trust. Being unable to see your significant other for prolonged periods of time can put some pretty worried thoughts in your head – but if there’s one thing that you should always remember, it’s that they love you. Long distance relationships are hard, and if that person didn’t love you and wasn’t committed to you, then I guarantee that they wouldn’t be in the relationship in the first place. They want to do the best that they can for you, even despite the barriers between you when you’re apart.

Your friends and family are there to give advice – but it’s not fact

Going to friends and family for advice – especially when you’re anxious – is great. It can be incredibly helpful just to be able to talk it out with someone, especially if your significant other is struggling to help with your anxiety as much as they’d like to. But you have to remember that your friends and family are different people. They only see as much of your relationship as you let them, and so their advice might be a little bit misguided, especially if you only discuss your relationship when it’s a problem or a worry. While they might give great advice and make good points, they won’t always be right.

Be understanding

As much as you wish it didn’t, your anxiety will effect your significant other as well. They’ll probably feel like there’s a lot of pressure on them and that there’s not much they can do, so it might be a good idea to check in on them every once in a while. Even if you just occasionally send them a quick message about it and see if there’s anything either of you can do to make dealing with your anxiety easier for the both of you.

Every relationship is different

Comparing your relationship to others can be harmful. It can make your anxiety so much worse and make you worry unnecessarily. Every relationship is different, just like every person is different, as so comparing your relationship to someone else’s is pointless. Especially when you’re in a long distance relationship. Your relationship is going to be drastically different to those around you, and that doesn’t make it any less valid.

Another thing that’s important to remember is that no relationship is perfect. You may hear other people talking about their relationships and start wondering why yours isn’t more like that – but that won’t be the whole story. You only know as much about that relationship as they’re telling you, so everything might not be as it seems. And besides, there is no such thing as an “ideal” relationship. What may seem ideal to you can’t be said of everyone.

People show love in different ways (especially in an LDR)

Don’t be worried if your partner’s ways of showing affection are different than what you’re used to, or what you expected. Everybody has different ways of expressing their love, and when we don’t understand this, we tend to assume it isn’t there at all. But that’s not true. You just have to get used to the different ways in which your partner shows that they love you, even if they may not be immediately obvious.

Reason with yourself

If you haven’t heard from your partner for a few hours, or are beginning to worry about them, take a moment to just think to yourself. It’s so easy to start concocting impossible stories in your head, but you have to try to be realistic. Especially if you’re living in a different time-zone to your significant other. Consider the time and what it is that they might be doing. They could be at work, or spending time with family, or even just having a nap because they’re overtired. When you can’t see your significant other as often as you’d like, any time spent not talking becomes immediately noticeable, though it doesn’t always have to mean something bad.

Keep them updated

Your partner loves and cares about you, and if there’s something going on in your life, then they’ll want to know about it. Even just giving them semi-regular updates on your anxiety and how you’re coping with it will hugely benefit your relationship. It helps you stay in-tune with each other and makes sure that they know what to expect.

 

I still struggle with my anxiety on a day-to-day basis, although I like to think that I’m better at handling it now than I was before. Two years into my relationship I still get anxious thinking about these things, but I’ve found that it helps to be able to put my anxiety into perspective and understand how it effects me. You can’t find an immediate solution to your anxiety, but you can take small steps to understand and cope with it, and in many ways that’s just as important.

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Anxiety in a Long Distance Relationship

  1. hanrimando says:

    This post is what i’ve been looking for!!! I’m also in a LDR, and this is very helpful and relatable! Very informative. Good to know that anxiety is easily conquerable and it’s easy once you understand it. Thank you very much!

  2. alifewithtrials says:

    I met this guy in july while on holiday. We have met each other twice, once he come over to the UK and second I went over to switerland. We have been talking for a while. He said that loved me! Im just scared that he is going to hurt me, I’m scare that he won’t be able to do the ling distance relationship even though he has told me a number of times. I’m worried that in a couple of weeks he will say that he can’t do it. Even though he has said that he won’t and to just enjoy our time together and see how it goes. Any advice as to how to manage a long distance relationship. I’m scared that I will push him away!

    this was a very long message

    • Megan Alicia says:

      I’m so happy for you! Honestly, I thought exactly the same thing when my boyfriend asked me to be his girlfriend. I actually took two days to decide because I was too scared! Though really, I was more scared that I might change my mind or hurt him than the other way round. I didn’t think I could handle a long distance relationship. But in the end I just decided that how I felt about him was more important than that. There’s not much point in worrying about what could happen in the future if you get into a relationship, because really the possibilities are endless. You just have to take that chance, especially if it’s going to make you happy. I did, and I’ve been with my boyfriend now for over two years! I think I’ll write another blog post soon with advice on how to handle a long distance relationship, but for now just try to make the best decision for you. If you two love each other, it will be more than worth it.

      • alifewithtrials says:

        The thing is he has said how he feels. but he doesn’t want to be in a relationship and what I mean is he doesn’t want to put a label on it. He said because he hasn’t been in a relationship before where as I have he wants to get it right he just wants to give it a chance and take it slow. I just don’t for one if I can do that but also I’m scared that if he has time he will change his mind. I’m just being a baby because he has already said how he feels

      • Megan Alicia says:

        I think he’s probably doing what he thinks is best for the both of you. If you’ve never been in a long distance relationship before, it’s so different to a “regular” relationship, and that can be scary. He’s probably just as scared as you, which is why he doesn’t want to put a label on it. The fact that he wants to give it a chance but take it slow is probably a good idea, it’s best not to rush into things, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before. It sounds like he’s just afraid of it going wrong or either of you getting hurt, which is understandable. Just take it slow for now and see how it goes, that doesn’t mean it won’t turn into something wonderful! Plus, he’s already said “I love you”, which is a big and scary step!

      • alifewithtrials says:

        What your saying makes sense and is actually what he has said! I totally understand. I will take it slow because he makes me happy. It is a big and scary step I was totally shocked!
        Thank you xx

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