Saying goodbye is the absolute worst. And when you know that goodbye is to a partner you won’t see for a long time, it’s doubly worse. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end — or rather, sometimes, just be put on hold. Things happen, people live in other corners of the world, or work takes them someplace faraway. It’s not fun, it’s totally emotionally draining, and even when you reach deep down into your soul to pull out a modicum of optimism, like how super, extra wonderful it will be to see them again after all that time, being in a long distance relationship can really just be the worst.
As I prepare to say goodbye to my husband as he heads back to France yet again, I’m a pool of emotions. I feel a bit off my rocker as I’m aggressively going from one feeling to the next, in the hopes of finding something that will offer a bit of solace. But I just can’t settle on one emotion — I’m all over the place.
If you’ve ever had to say goodbye to your partner for weeks, months, (or maybe even years!), then you get what I’m saying. Here are the 23 awful, excruciating, emotional stages of having to say goodbye to your significant other.
1. ANTICIPATORY SADNESS
“I know what's coming, and it sucks. How am I supposed to enjoy these last few hours?”
2. DEEP, NEAR-VIOLENT ANGER
“This effing sucks! Why do you have to go to such a crummy old place anyway?! Someone hand me some more damn tissues! And a plate ... I want to break a plate!"
3. COUNTDOWN ANXIETY
“We only have T-minus four hours left! Why does time have to move so quickly?”
4. SECOND-GUESSING EVERYTHING
“Maybe this pain isn’t worth it. Maybe we should just call it quits now. Maybe you shouldn't go? You can't go!”
5. DENIAL SPRINKLED WITH DELUSION
“I’m fine. Totally fine. Couldn’t be finer.”
“They're going to walk through those doors any second now and say that they've changed their mind and will be staying … forever.”
7. BLAMING YOURSELF
"Well, I pretty much brought this whole thing on myself, because I knew it would be like this. Who am I kidding, this is the worst!"
8. PASSING THE BLAME TO YOUR PARTNER
“Why are they leaving me? This is all their fault. They're the one who made me love them and now they're going away.”
9. DRAMATIC THREATS BETTER LEFT IN MOVIES
“If you leave me, I’ll never forgive you.”
10. LYING TO YOURSELF
“I have a sneaking suspicion that this will keep our relationship spicy.”
11. TELLING YOURSELF THAT TIME APART IS GOOD FOR YOU TWO
“It’s going to be so awesome once we’re finally together again. The excitement! The joy of it all!”
12. FEIGNED COCKINESS
“It’s cool. It’s not like a need a man in my life anyway.”
13. FOCUSING ON YOURSELF
“Maybe I’ll finally write that novel I’ve been putting off for a decade.”
14. FORCED OPTIMISM
“I will get the bed all to myself. So, yeah, that’s a perk.”
15. NOSTALGIA FOR THE GOOD OL' DAYS (THAT WERE JUST LAST WEEK)
“Remember that time we got lost in the rain and stumbled upon that cafe on the west side of town? That was one of my favorite days. Ever.”
16. MISGUIDED ATTEMPTS AT NEGOTIATION
"If you stay one more day, I'll make it worth your while."
17. TANTRUM THROWING
"This isn't fair! Nothing is fair!" (Either on your bed or while stomping your foot.)
18. THROES OF DESPERATION
“I’ll just save up every cent I have and visit him next weekend! Yes, that’s what I’ll do!”
“My heart is breaking in my chest. I can feel it. Functioning is officially a joke.”
20. UNCONTROLLABLE SOBBING
"This just can't be! Nothing about this should be happening right now. Just breathe. Breathe, dammit!"
21. TOTAL PHYSICAL BREAKDOWN
"I don't feel well. I think I'm going to be sick."
22. ADMITTING THE TRUTH
"I just don't want you to go."
23. TEMPORARY ACCEPTANCE
"I know you have to go. I'll be here when you get back. I miss you already!"