For the majority of my life, I’ve been leaving people.
It all started when my mom stole me away to Amsterdam at the age of 11. I fell in love with the world and began leaving little pieces of myself everywhere: in photographs, conversations, and relationships that I share with people I meet travelling. I developed a ritual: I settle myself in, form strong friendships, and suddenly uproot myself when I start to feel a little too comfortable.
For the first time in my life, I’m beginning to experience how it feels to be on the flip side: to be the one left behind.
My boyfriend’s only been in Berlin for a couple weeks, but I’m already ridiculously jealous of his travels and miss having him around. Here’s how I’ve began to cope with dating a boy whose wanderlust combats my own:
Stay busy, not distracted
It’s impossible to distract yourself from missing your significant other – but moping around the house won’t help. Get outside, be active, catch up with friends. Do the things you loved to do before you became involved with the person you’re missing. Don’t see it as an excuse, but as an opportunity to develop yourself and be a little selfish.
Commit to a project
When you’re suddenly cut-off cold-turkey from being around someone you are used to seeing everyday, you may feel at a loss and lonely. Take the time you usually spent with them and focus your attention on something you’ve always wanted to do. Write a book, paint a landscape, learn a language. Try something new and exciting!
Whether or not you actually mail them, there is something pure and honest about putting a pen to paper. Rather than bombard each other with endless online messages that you can’t answer due to time-zone differences or frustrate yourselves over frozen Skype screens, go old-school and scribble out your emotion. You’ll feel better. Trust me.
Live vicariously through them
It’s a total different experience for the one who’s leaving then it is for the one being left. They’re venturing off to a new, exciting place to do new, exciting things, while you’re stuck with the same places, people, and things you shared together. The plus side? You get to experience their travels through their stories and photographs, without spending a penny!
Or, you could….
Go with them!
I’ll take just about any excuse to travel. Visiting friends and family is one of my main motivations . Why wouldn’t I want to explore Europe with my boyfriend?
It’s important to remember that whether with friends, family, or a significant other, traveling will change your relationship. When you’re together 24/7, your character will be revealed, and your compatibility will become transparent. Make sure you’re ready for whatever will happen next.
If you can’t make it to where your partner is, go on your own trip! Even if it’s just a road trip to the nearest city, an adventure with good friends, or spending a day at the beach, it’s healthy to get out and enjoy yourself.
The most crucial thing to do is the most difficult: let them go. Being in a new place can be as terrifying as it is exciting. Support them. Encourage them. Don’t weight your loneliness upon their shoulders.
I know it won’t be easy, but nothing that’s worth it ever is. Time moves faster than you think. Before you know it, you’ll be sick of being back together again 😉