Attachments, how we bond with others and our love languages inform our response to distance or time apart.
●8th May 2023
There are two major quotes about being apart from loved ones that are wide spread: the first is “out of sight, out of mind” while the other is “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. Although people have pointed out that the first quote has a much less popular addendum attached at the end, I like to believe that we either belong to one section of said quotes. We subscribe to either the first or the second quote, and this informs how we view our attachment styles in response to connections. Love languages could also play a big part in our romantic or platonic relationships as they tend to enmesh regardless of their nature.
Separations can be very difficult; some people do better with them than others. Our childhood traumas, parental upbringing and subsequent relationships with people have a genuine impact on our attachment styles. As someone who grew up anxiously attached and is still in the process of achieving secure attachment, I find it somewhat difficult to reconcile my distress when lovers are away from me. It is a constant worry that I over-compensate or in fact, over-exaggerate my feelings as a result of not being securely attached.
One thing is for sure, missing people will never be a unique experience. The important thing is what we decide to do with those emotions and how we let them guide future actions. If you miss someone whom you ended things with badly, that does not mean the relationship must be necessarily rekindled. Often, we let old feelings take credence and convince ourselves that those past relationships must have been so great, meanwhile they tend to more bad than good. If you know you are the type of person to do this, it is important to resist the urge to overly romanticize the past. Instead, talk to someone who witnessed the relationship play out and can give an objective perspective. Then, let yourself feel those feelings and move on.
If you are missing someone with whom you have a relationship with currently and they happen to have traveled, be realistic with what your expectations of that relationship will be going forward. If they have traveled permanently or relocated, do not feel that there is an obligation to remain as close with them as when you were physically available to each other. This will only bring on feelings of guilt and exacerbate the healing process. In a temporary separation, prioritize other tasks that you may have been behind or missing out on when the person was available. Doing this will help you to re-focus and align some interests lost to you. Rather than spending time obsessing over what the other person is doing and straining the relationship entirely, practice secure attachment with reasonable detachment.