How to Nurture Yourself

Kindnotes

Dear Miss U,

So my boyfriend is a senior this year and I get it, he has to go to prom. Obviously. With a date and I understand. When he told me about it, I was like, “Yeah okay,” but now I don’t know. It’s kind of hitting me that he has to go with someone else. I just need some advice on how to be okay with this. I know he loves me and wouldn’t do anything to hurt me. But I do not want to share. Understandable, right? I know it’s just for one night, but still. How do I get over this?

Thank you.
Blessie

Dear Blessie,

Is it at all possible he can take you? Because that would be amazing, and if it’s possible I’d prioritize 

If not, it really is just a dance. I’ve been to a couple of “formals” (That’s what prom is called in Australia) and they weren’t life-altering events. “Barely enjoyable” would be how I ranked the experience, and one of the times my long distance boyfriend had flown in for the occasion. If your guy can take a dress-wearing friend to make the evening a bit more enjoyable, so be it.

It’s not even sharing. Sharing would be him pretending they were dating, or him bringing her flowers and kissing her goodnight at the end. Sharing would be him cooking breakfast the next morning or mowing her lawn. This is your boyfriend going to a big party with a friend who just happens to have a vulva, participating as best he can in an antiquated heteronormative mating ritual that has little bearing on modern society.

How you feel is completely normal and understandable. But it’s also an unnecessary torture.

My advice would be to plan something fun for yourself on that date. Make sure you’ll be out having the time of your life while he’s suffering through whatever terrible music the popular kids decided on for the dance. Give yourself something to look forward to and something to talk about when you Skype afterward so you’re not sitting at home staring at his offline icon on Skype.

And practice saying, “I trust my boyfriend. Nothing can happen without his consent. He might be gone but he’s thinking of me.” Say it over and over, because it’s the truth.

You’ve got this! Good on you for being the cool girlfriend rather than the paranoid jealous one.


Dear Miss U,

I feel like a bit of an idiot for posting on here, because my boyfriend literally lives in the same state as me; about 2 hours away and 120 miles…. and I know a lot of people have worse situations.

I’m just horrible with change, and I have had a lot of change lately. Before I started dating my current boyfriend, I was extremely – like weeks – fresh out of a breakup with my 4-year long boyfriend who I lived with. So being in a relationship with someone any distance away is something I know nothing about.

I have been having trouble because I seem to only look forward to the weekends and am only happy on the weekend because I know that’s when I will be seeing my boyfriend. And if there is a conflict and I am not able to see my boyfriend one weekend I get extremely upset and can’t snap out of it and find something else to do to make me happy.

It’s like I can’t be happy or do fun things without him, which makes me feel pathetic and dependent.

I also keep making myself anxious thinking too far into the future planning out weekends to make sure we can see each other as much as possible.

Is it normal to be this nervous about the future and this sad when he’s not here?

I also keep thinking too far into the relationship in regards to the fact that if we are still together by summer (which I assume we will be) there is 100% chance I’m going to have to move which scares me a lot for many reasons (1 being I just got a new job) plus I hate change.

I feel like I just needed to vent, but any advice is greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

Mary

Dear Mary,

I’m going to say this is a little more worry than is normal, but it’s understandable under the circumstances. Besides, normal is pretty boring!

I feel that what you’re actually struggling for here is a sense of security. What is your long distance relationship like? Do you have a comfortable routine established? Do you talk every day? Do you feel within your heart that if you desperately needed him he would drop everything and come? This is what I think you need to focus on, building up your sense of trust and security. Being able to know within yourself that even if you can’t see each other for whatever reason your relationship is just as enduring. That you’re loved even when you are completely alone.

I also want you to give yourself some self-help homework: Once a week I want you to do something fun just for you; with your phone and social media turned off. An activity that has nothing to do with him. Often where we are in long-term relationships (particularly the kind that don’t work out because they tend to stifle our growth) we forget who we are and what we love. We forget how to have fun and entertain ourselves. Children do that to you too; you get so accustomed to every moment being accounted for, that when you have no one you need to please, you can’t relax and enjoy just being yourself. So practice. Practice enjoying the privacy of your own thoughts. Practice doing the things that feed your soul and make you the interesting multi-faceted person that you are.

This can help you during periods of change too. For example, I know that no matter how much I hate my day job, what the kids destroyed today or where I live, I am a writer and nobody can take that passion away from me. It is my constant. I can’t draw or paint. I can’t drive or ride a horse. I’m afraid of talking to other humans and going places without a support person there. But no matter what life throws at me I’m a writer, and I can return to those places and people of my imagination, take refuge and through that media reach out and connect with others. I might not be able to be with the people I care about, but I can make them laugh or cry with the words I put on the page.

Find your thing. Nurture it. Then run back to it when the big changes happen. Make it a priority so you can use it – this part of who you are – as a crutch, not your boyfriend or another fallible human.

Everything works out ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author
Miss U

Miss U

Miriam Cumming is a writer, witch, and LDR survivor with more than a decade of trans-Pacific experience. She’s currently living in paradise with her one true love and their three little gentlewomen where she indulges in coffee, tattoos, and World of Warcraft. You can learn more about her writing and LDR success from her blog The Wicce Writes.


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