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Trouble coping in long distance relationship

Community Member

Let me start by saying I don't think I've had depression before, so this is all new to me.

I recently (6 weeks ago) moved to overseas for work and am now in a long distance relationship with my girlfriend of 5 years who is back in Australia.

Let me start from the begin: Both my girlfriend and myself are from Sydney. In 2013 we moved down to Victoria for both our jobs. Although we were down here, it was not possible to live together, but that was no issue as 1) we were living at our respective parents places back in Sydney and 2) the nature of my work from before the move meant that I was interstate for a week or two every 4-6 weeks. I was really unhappy with my job, so in late 2014 I planned on quitting and starting work with my father in the family business in the Philippines - the plan was to start in Feb 2015, but in reality the move didn't happen until Aug 2015. As luck would have it, my girlfriend got stationed closer to Melbourne in Nov 2014 so we could live together and we did for close to 10 months. I don't think I was ever as happy as I was when living with her and I know she felt the same way.

So I moved. I knew it would be hard and it hit me harder than I expected, but I knew she was coming to visit 3 weeks after the move for a week so it was manageable. While she was over things were better, but she went home just over week ago and now I'm feeling far worse than I've ever felt before.

I've plans to go back at the start of Nov for a couple of weeks, but my biggest fear is that after this trip I won't see her until late Jan as it's not possible for either her to come here or I to go there until then.

I'm scared it's going to be worse, as currently I'm feeling unmotivated at work, sad and hopeless. My appetite has dropped dramatically and what food I do eat no longer brings me the enjoyment I it once was. My chest and back always aches and it seems I've always got a headache. When I speak with her on the phone I feel infinitely better, but as soon as I hang up I feel like I've fallen off a cliff.

I try to tell myself this is a short term arrangement (I plan on being in this long distance phase no longer than 18 months) and that I'll look back on this one day as a tough, but necessary time, but I'm finding it harder and harder to get by each day. To top it off I'm feeling like I'm expressing my unhappiness too much to her and I'm afraid she'll grow to resent me because I'm constantly talking about how sad I am and how I hate where I am.

4 Replies 4

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Arato,

Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums, I am glad you are talking about this. Is it possible to talk to a counsellor about your situation? Some professional support would help you a lot right now, to get your head around how you will respond to your situation.

I can understand that you feel sad about this, you love each other yet you are apart. When I have been separated from a loved one I too have been sad in the past and I have had to find ways to change this. It can take some time to change our thinking patterns but it can be done with practice. If I find I am sad and missing someone I have to pull myself up and think about how much I love them instead. Replace loss with love, you are only separated by sand and sea and soon you will be together again. Don't miss her, love her...it takes practice to change your mindset.

While you are apart you have the opportunity to divert your attention to the other parts of your self, think about all the aspects that make up 'you', your passions and ambitions, the things that make you feel happy and satisfied, spend your time nurturing these things. And mate, you can talk here any time and we will listen.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

dear Arato, there is no other compromise when you are in love than being together, phone calls do help, but as soon as you hang up, back comes this horrible feeling of being alone, and this hole in your heart can't be filled.

I wish that there was an answer I could give you, but 18 months is a long time to fill in, and in this time there could be changes that happen, although we don't want this to happen and regret it if it ever does occur, and wish and hope that during all of this time the love will stay strong between the both of you.

I am really sorry in saying this, and I hope for your sake the two of you stay connected to one another,but I do know how this does feel, as it causes trouble with your work and your enjoyment in life. Geoff.

Community Member
Hi Arato.  Just a thought, here.  Do you have a way of skyping your girlfriend.  Sometimes being able to see as well as talk helps.  If it is just a 'disjointed' voice on the phone, you can't see whether she's smiling or close to tears.  By 'seeing' her, this will also help 'close' the distance.  Just a word of caution though.  If you can do a skype or video link-up, smile.  If you're unhappy, she will pick up on this and feel it because she can't be there for you.  You could 'show' her where and how you live, she could do the same.  Believe me, I do this with my aunt who I love (she's my 2nd mum), it's great being able to 'see' as well as talk.  

Community Member

Thanks all for the advice and words of support.

I talked it over with my girlfriend and she was quite supporting. She said she doesn't ever want me to not tell her, she deals with too many situations in her line of work that are the result of keeping it bottled up and would not resent her it.

I took Jacko's advice and now when I feel bad because I miss her, I force myself to think of why I love her and it does lessen the impact.  I've also decided to start playing the guitar again (something haven't done in nearly 10 years), I hope having a creative outlet will help... plus it means my life over here isn't just consumed with work.

And we'll start using video calls, it helps quite a bit and I don't feel as back when I hang up when compared to a normal voice call.