We had been talking about him going to Medical school for a while now, but nothing really quite prepares you for a long-distance relationship. For four months prior to starting this journey, I was in complete denial that it would ever happen. It only quite hit me on the last day, as we kissed goodbye, and I realised that I wouldnâ€™t see him for a few months. Letâ€™s just say that things didnâ€™t look to bright from where I was standing at that moment.
The first two days were probably the hardest two days of my life. We occasionally communicated using video chat, but seeing his new sense of excitement towards his new island life somehow broke me down emotionally. Seeing him in an unknown place served as a constant reminder that he was no longer here, and I took it as being synonymous to me not being part of his life anymore. In just two days, I could already feel myself getting more and more distant. The thought of the distance leading to a break up was always in the back of my mind and it would cause panic attacks.
They say time doesnâ€™t stop for anybody, and surely it didnâ€™t stop for me. A week later, I felt much better. I still felt extremely distant, but I had more control over my emotional outbursts. We still spoke every night and shared a few texts here and there, but I constantly felt anxious not knowing where he was or how he was doing emotionally. This anxiety was surely irrational, since I have been with him for almost five years now sharing many milestones, but what made me feel anxious was the uncertainty of how he was doing emotionally. Every time I tried to talk to him about his feelings, I only got â€śI need time to express myself.â€ť
To make matters worse, soon after he got settled, he decided to travel with a friend for a few days before classes began. Despite knowing this was all part of the package, I almost felt betrayed; how could he go out there and have fun knowing that I was sitting here desperately longing and crying for his presence every second? Feeling hurt, I constantly told myself that travelling was his only way of coping with the stress he was experiencing, and I should be supportive and not voice my own sadness. Iâ€™ve been told by many that the next 20-months will fly by in the blink of an eye, but me and my boyfriend have yet to discover how we are going to love each other from a distance.
It’s been three weeks now, and I feel like the harder I try, the more disconnected I feel. So, my strategy for now is to not read too much into what is going on in his life. We have great conversations every night and I continuously tell myself that things could be worse. One suggestion I have for people who are going through something similar is to avoid thinking about how long you are both going to be apart. I know I am guilty of dwelling on the 20 months that me and my boyfriend will be apart, but I have been trying instead to break down the months, telling myself that itâ€™s only 3 more months until I get to see him again. In the meantime, I have many small trips, events, and outings to look forward to that will keep me distracted. Itâ€™s time for me to connect with myself.
Nikita Singh is a graduate from the University of Toronto who is currentlyÂ pursuing a Masters of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. Her future goal is to have her own private practice specializing in marriage and couples counselling.