Hey There, Lonely Girl

Hey There Lonely Girl (tips for dealing with loneliness) fitness-4all.comBy now you may feel (hopefully) that you’re getting to know a little more about me. My love for cats, leather, and all things sparkly are pretty apparent from my posts, but you may not know that my home life is a little different from most people I know.  My husband, Todd, is a musician and has been a touring player for the last 11 years that I’ve known him (he currently plays guitar for Mutemath). Sometimes we have periods where the band is writing or recording and the tour schedule is a little lighter, but then we also have other seasons where he can be gone for 8-9 months out of the year. Ouch. So, for me, dealing with loneliness is a big (and ongoing) part of my life, and it took a few years for me to figure out how to deal with feeling alone. 

I remember when I was in the middle of moving into and completely renovating our new house (all while Todd was out on a 3-month tour), and I hit some pretty low points during that period. I was stressed, physically exhausted, and pushed to my emotional limit. At one point, I had a full meltdown on my kitchen floor because I couldn't get the lawn mower to start, and I sat there, covered in lawn clippings, bawling my eyes out, feeling completely alone. Obviously, you don’t have to have a traveling spouse to feel lonely at times and these suggestions are just my opinion (they may not strike a chord with everyone), but these are the ways that I’ve learned to keep my chin up and face feeling lonely head-on:  Hey There Lonely Girl (tips for dealing with loneliness) fitness-4all.com Keep busy: I have to admit that working on my master's degree during the height of Todd’s touring seasons was actually one of the best things for me. I was honestly too busy to be sad or lonely; I just didn’t have the time! I don’t suggest this idea as a way to completely avoid or try to stuff your emotions deep down (that’s not emotionally healthy either), but when you are involved in things that you enjoy and challenge you, your focus shifts from negative thoughts to positive ones. Set a goal or make a challenge for yourself to fulfill. You could spend more time on art projects, train to run a race, renovate a room in your house, learn to cook, volunteer, or even start blogging. Trying to combat loneliness is one reason that I started my own blog last year. I was done with my master's degree and had free time on my hands that wasn’t getting invested into anything else, so I knew I needed another project to direct my energy into. Sometimes I’ll save a big project I’m looking forward to (like a room renovation) for a time I know Todd will be gone for a bit—it gives me something to look forward to and adds some exciting thoughts to my bummed-out ones. It doesn’t always have to be the same venture, so feel free to switch up your projects every so often as the thought or opportunity presents itself.

Lean on a support network (but not too much): Unfortunately, I don’t have the physical presence of my family in town to lean on when Todd is gone (although they are great at phone support!), but I am blessed to have lots of great friends that I know I can count on if I’m feeling a little down. But as tempting as it can be to make a call and hang out with someone anytime I feel a bit blue, I don’t want to be totally dependent on my friends to cure my loneliness every time I feel alone—that’s ultimately my job to deal with those feelings, not just their job. And yes, sometimes being with people you love lifts your spirit like nothing else can, but don’t make your friends and family to be the only cure for your blues every time. What if they are busy or unavailable? They have their own lives and struggles to deal with sometimes, and it can put a lot of pressure on others if they feel that they are your sole source of strength. So make your loved ones an important part of your support network, but not the only part.  Hey There Lonely Girl (tips for dealing with loneliness) fitness-4all.com    Watch out for “bad habit” coping skills: This one can be a big deal depending on what your bad habit is. It’s possible that your bad habit may be a genuinely unhealthy action that’s brought out when you feel upset or stressed, but most of the time it’s a normal thing that gets taken to the extreme when you feel down (like eating tons of junk food when you feel upset). While I’m also totally guilty when it comes to lonely sessions of Taco Bell and Cheez-It eating, my personal bad habit is going shopping and spending more than I normally would just because I feel lonely (and also because I just love shopping). Most people can pinpoint their bad habits pretty quickly, so just make sure to keep an eye on that negative coping skill to keep the activities you enjoy at a healthy level.

Get a furry friend (or two!): I have to say that this suggestion is a big deal for me. Not everyone is a pet person (and I know not every pet is furry), but getting my oldest cat Charlie during one of Todd’s three-month tours was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The house felt so empty and lifeless when I was home alone, but the moment she stepped out of her carrier when I brought her home from the Humane Society, I knew that was about to change. Now your apartment or rental may not allow certain kinds of animals, but there’s just something about having another heartbeat around the house that is so comforting, so if you can, I would totally recommend an animal buddy. We have two cats now (we just adopted another rambunctious kitten named Mac), so I always have someone fuzzy that wants to cuddle when I’m alone at home, and I love it. Even when I feel lonely now, it’s not nearly as strong a feeling as it was before I had those fur babies.

Embrace being alone: Okay, I know I just suggested getting a pet so you don’t have to be alone all the time, but let’s face it: As great as pets are, it’s not always quite the same as being with another human being (especially if you are missing a specific human being). Even with my projects and goals, friends and family, and kitties, I still feel lonely at times when Todd is gone. But you know what? That’s okay! Loneliness creeps in when we want to feel connected to others (but don’t at that moment), and with our Internet and social-media-obsessed culture, it can be an especially uncomfortable feeling to realize you’re disconnected. But that feeling doesn’t have to be a negative if you can take it as a time to breathe and reconnect with yourself. Being an introvert, I draw my strength from times of being quiet and alone, and I can use that alone time to unpack my worries and breathe a bit. And if you feel really bummed and just can’t move past the feeling, it’s okay to let that out too! Sometimes I just need to allow myself to feel sad for a moment, have a good cry to release the emotional build-up, and then wipe my eyes and move onto something I enjoy.  Hey There Lonely Girl (tips for dealing with loneliness) fitness-4all.com  Overall, if loneliness is something that you deal with a lot, learning how to deal with those feelings when they come up can really improve your overall quality of life and keep you on a positive path. What are your tips for dealing with loneliness? xo. Laura

Credits// Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.

  • I love these tips. My fiancé works in another part of the state four days a week, and while I get my weekends with him, the week gets lonely. I started a Ladies’ Craft Night one Wednesdays, and it was one of the best decisions ever! It breaks up everyone’s week, and keeps me from falling into the mental lows when he’s gone. We also got a furry friend (a cat), which has made all the difference. Thanks for sharing your story!!

    xo
    Sarah
    http://excitinglittlethings.blogspot.com

  • I feel this post is a very beautiful and honest one and think it will really help me! So thank you so much Laura, best wishes!!

    PS. I love your style!!

  • Loved this, Laura. I have a long distance relationship with my boyfriend (Moved to Boston from Chicago 2 years ago for work – he’s still in Chicago) and it definitely gets lonely. Relying on people can end in further loneliness, especially when you are in a new city with few acquaintances. But learning to love yourself and the time you have alone is vital to self growth and can actually make the relationship stronger! You are not alone in this! 🙂 I take myself to movies, dinners, etc and now I actually enjoy it. And you appreciate the moments with him even more 🙂

  • This is a great article! I like the depth you provide when pointing out comforting/bad behaviors, such as shopping, and encourage readers to just feel sad/alone sometimes. I don’t watch much Louis CK but it reminds me of an interview he did with Conan O’Brien where he touches on the importance of connecting to feelings of discomfort and sadness. It’s mixed with laughter from the audience but I thought he was speaking with a lot of clarity (perhaps the laughter in the audience was at the discomfort of a comedian being something other than funny): http://youtu.be/5HbYScltf1c It’s actually one of my favorite videos.

  • I’m a single mom and don’t have a significant other in my life. Learning how to cope with lonliness the last several years has been hard so I can understand where you’re coming from. For me, it’s keeping busy and being in a state of flow, spending time with family, and spending a lot of time in nature. It seems to do the trick though I wouldn’t be against having a boyfriend again 🙂

    Lots of luck,
    Laurali Star
    http://www.thesecretsurprisinista.com

  • This is wonderful, thank you Laura. I’ve been in a long distance relationship since August 2011, and while we’re bringing it to a close this May (yay!), I’m still finding struggles in my loneliness. And somehow, knowing we’re as close as we are is making those moments even more intense! I just want to get it over with! 🙂 Stay strong, girl! <3

  • I can’t say I know exactly how you feel, but when I lived across the country from Joel I cried A LOT, it just sucks being separated from the person you love most. Now, can I just say you have made being a “crazy cat lady” a trend that everyone wants to follow, and for that I thank you! Secondly, next time I know Todd is going on tour, I’ll keep you occupied by texting you about Mad Men and/or other random things I see on Netflix and think you’ll enjoy :). I’ll probably also send you some random YouTube videos of cats because they’re great!
    Xoxo

  • Mutemath? No way! They had a show in Portland (Oregon) a few years back that my husband and I particularly remember and enjoyed. I love getting to know more about you through this blog; and then to find out who your other half is makes it even more fun. Chin up girl, you’re awesome.

  • This is such a great post! I work at home without any co-workers, and my husband often works long hours. I couldn’t agree more about learning to cope on your own and without bad habits. Although I can’t tell you how many Cheez-It benders I’ve been on, myself! (SO glad I’m not the only one!) Ever since I got my dog, though, I hardly ever feel lonely. And he is such a good excuse to get outside and go for a walk or sit somewhere and read – which helps break up the monotony of being in the house without people around! Go lonely girls! ♥

  • Laura! Just wanted to say how much I can relate. My boyfriend of several years is in a band and tours pretty frequently, though not as often as your husband. It gets really tough but you gave some great tips. Also wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed your projects here, I love your style.
    -a fellow cat enthusiast

  • Awesome post! Thx for sharing…I can totally relate especially with the shopping!!
    I have to know where those curtains are from???

  • Awe thank you for sharing. I’ve been in the same boat…my bad habit was constantly drinking tea and coffee, and then I wondered why I had insomnia. I was never well rested and would just wander around my apartment until 6 am and then burst out crying whenever the smallest thing happened. Loneliness makes you crazy if you don’t find support.

  • This post really hits home for me. My boyfriend is also in a band, and they’ve been on tour for a few weeks now (but coming home soon!!) and even though this isn’t months, it’s been a hard few weeks. I was let go from my job, and have been job hunting, but spending so much time at home by myself is enough to drive me crazy! The hard part is that my family is also far away, so I can’t see them very often, and I don’t have a huge support system where I currently live, since I’m fairly new to the city. I’ve started keeping myself busy with little projects and started the ‘100 happy days’ challenge to keep myself focused on the positives in life instead of the negatives! Oh, and of course, I have a furry friend of my own to keep me company! 🙂
    Thanks for the post Laura! Good to know I’m not crazy for feeling this way! 🙂

  • I loved this post! Thanks so much for sharing — as I (and I’m guessing a lot of others) can strongly relate to the feelings you shared. I work from home, by myself (totally agree with chickything’s comment to say “by myself” instead of “alone”), and sometimes the long days can make me crazy.

    One thing I’ve been trying to do is take myself on solo “dates” — special outings or activities that honestly are best when I’m doing them by myself. Some favorites: trip to an art museum or gallery, buying a new book and treating myself to a chai to read it, going on a long photo-walk, taking some time to do yoga practice at home.

    Best of luck with continuing to figure this out! 🙂

    • I am always alone. Empty nest my daughters are doing great I was a great mom a single mom nope I’m alone I’m lost and sad I had the worst date ever tonight so I feel even more alone was it me ? I don’t know too tired to care anyway I’m alone I’ve got to love myself but it’s hard to do but I’m sick of feeling I need anyone to validate me ! Can’t I be ok alone? Can’t I have a full life alone single? Just asking.

  • What a lovely post. These are really great ideas. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE animals, and I couldn’t agree more that a pet makes for a great instant buddy and companionship. I was single and living by myself for the first time in my life when I went to law school, and having a cat made the world of difference. They’re such wonderful companions. I love her to pieces.

  • This was super helpful 🙂 One of my big things is that if you don’t want to hang out with yourself, why would anyone else want to hang out with you? So I try to cultivate a healthy relationship with myself.

    A big thing that I would add, though, is being able to go places by yourself & appreciate the experience. It can be kind of exhausting, and super tempting to just post a bunch of photos to social media to compensate for doing things alone, but it’s also pretty empowering.

  • Thanks for sharing this Laura. My husband and I are both from a small town, and when we graduated college and got married, he got a job at a huge accounting firm and we had to move to another city. He was working incredibly long hours, and weekends, and I was away from my family for the first time ever. It was terrible, I cried all the time. I have definitely used these tips of keeping busy, and finding positive outlets for this feeling. Many people undergo these emotions, and it’s really nice to hear everyone’s story (and I don’t mean that is makes me feel happy that other people feel this way, because I would never want that). I guess I just mean this post and everyone’s comments make me feel less crazy, and well human. Ha. Thanks again for sharing ^_^

  • We use gchat a lot to combat the fact that I have a 2 hour commute each way daily and work between 50-60 hours per week. We make plan for projects we want to do together and sometimes those plans end up on the blog!

  • My partner works away regularly too but never for that long! I felt like a bit of a wuss for feeling my lonely, 4 days a week has nothing on months! I like to cook up a tasty meal and watch lots of episodes of Gossip Girl, Netflix is a lonely girl’s best friend. I lived on my own for 7 years so am pretty good at filling in just me time, and I totally agree that keeping busy works really well. Hope you get to see your man soon x

  • Beautiful post and totally relatable. My husband is a guitarist in a band as well.

  • I think it’s great you posted this! Not everything is adorable DIYs and sunshine and daisies. This is a great REAL post.
    Keep up the good work!

  • this is a beautiful post! and mutemath is awesome. 🙂
    my husband and i have very hectic schedules and i am often home alone. one of my “coping” methods [other than a house full of wonderful animals] is visiting my family. i’m lucky enough that my parents are a 20 minute drive away. it helps a lot. 🙂

  • Thank you so much for this! I go to a different college to my boyfriend and will continue to be separate from him for most the school year for the next two years as well. Plus we are not from the same home town so some holidays are not spent in the same place.
    Long distance is hard and there have been times in which I have wanted to give up (we have only been together for a year) but I know its worth it and thanks so much for the tips. I’ll definitely be putting them into practise.

  • Thank you, Laura. I appreciate this post more than you know. It takes a lot to be honest like this and your tips are quite helpful. My boyfriend of seven years recently started working out of state for weeks at a time. We literally went from spending no more than a few hours apart at a time to this radical change. It is no where near the months you spend alone, so I cannot imagine. However, I know my pets help me tremendously as well as working full time and doing things around the house to keep my mind busy. Thanks again, you are a strong woman.

  • This was a great read. While my husband does not leave town a lot, I barely get to see him and it has taken me awhile to get used to it. We also have no family around, which is very difficult with two young children, but I keep myself very busy with my small business and girls. Last summer, he was in China for 9 weeks and it was actually kind of nice to get some projects done!

  • Wow. This is just great! I love that you chose to talk about this subject so openly. Everyone goes through this at some point of their lives. Such great tips!

  • Love this so much! My husband and I dated long distance for four and a half years (June 2008-December 2012) while I was in college and he was stationed in various locations across the country (and the world) with the Marine Corps, so I can totally relate to missing someone you care about and feeling the loneliness creep in! One of my favorite things we did to feel a little less alone was attempt those “photo a day” challenges that go around online/on Instagram. It was really fun to collect images throughout the month & send them to one another via text/email—a great side-by-side comparison of how different our lives were from one another… yet still so similar 🙂 Somehow, it made all the miles between us feel not so huge. Thanks for sharing, Laura; this was such a great post!

  • I really enjoyed this post. My husband works from home and is studying for some certifications, so sometimes he is here, but not realllly here. Our dogs and my new blog keep me busy.

    Sidenote: I have liked Mutemath ever since I was in high school! I guess I’ve never really though about what it’s like for the families of the musicians when I go see their shows.

  • The bit about not leaning on family/friends too much is so, so true. They have their own families to attend to, and shouldn’t be on call 24/7 for you. I am separated from my husband, and my friends were great, but I would never burden them by making them hang out with me every night!

  • Thanks Laura,
    this is a wonderful post and i love the advices. It’s important to learn to make the best out of the situation.

  • Aww, thanks for being so honest about this! It must be so hard and big kudos for you for finding ways to make the best of it. My husband recently worked a job where he traveled a lot and it was a big point of contention in our marriage. I’ve gotten better at dealing with it and he’s also gotten a new job w/ less travel needs (unrelated, of course!). I also appreciate how honest you are about needing to cry about it sometimes. I am a bit of a crier myself, but I feel like it is so stigmatized in this culture. Sometimes a good cry and a nap is really what I NEED to feel better about something. Luckily my husband has caught on and stops taking it so seriously when I get upset now. 🙂

  • Great post. From one introvert to another, I think we often grapple with the need to be solitary without edging into loneliness. I’d be interested in learning more about how the ABM team works around different personalities and the introvert vs. extrovert dynamic. This is something I (and I would presume others) struggle with a lot in the professional and personal world. Anyway, I look forward to learning more about you and seeing more cat posts!

  • This is exactly how I feel right now! My husband went back to university recently, and the program he wanted to take is in another province, so I’ve been on my own since September (with a few visits, yes).
    I think keeping busy is very important, as I’ve had the last few weeks mostly off of work, but he is so busy with school that it didn’t make much sense for me to go visit. (That, and with school fees and me earning an artists’ wage… there isn’t that much money around for plane fares.) Just hanging around the house all day, with no one else here has made it MUCH worse than it was when I was working all week.

    I definitely shop when I’m sad, which I’ve had to curb, because of school fees, paying 2 rents, and me being the only one working. I find it hard to go out and ONLY window shop, so I stop shopping by not going out, which is awkward.

    In these downtimes between contracts I’ve been throwing myself into my hobbies: my Etsy store (http://www.rycrafty.etsy.com), my knitting, and my podcast (http://www.knittinggo.com). Although this weekend I may give our computer room a makeover. 🙂

  • thank you so much for this post, Laura!

    I’m in a seriously relationship with a guy in a local band, and they have gone on a few tours before (just 2 week ones) and this summer they are doing more extended tours, festivals, and releasing an album. It’s something that I’ve known about waaaaay before we even entered a relationship, so I’ve had a while to prep myself for it, but still. It’s rough.

    I think that a lot of the time people don’t really take my loneliness while he is gone because of the whole “OMG your boyfriend is in a band! That must be so awesome, glamorous and cool ALL THE TIMEEEEE!” Which yes, it is a lot of the time, but then a lot of the time it isn’t, either.

    Anyway, really thank you for posting this and making me feel a bit less alone in my struggles. It’s really inspiring to read about how you make it work!

    With your posts, and my awesome cat I just might survive this upcoming tour season 😉

  • This was great. I am married to a lovely man with aspergers syndrome (a very high functioning autism), which means in most ways he functions as everyone else and most people in casual acquaintance would never notice, but he has a very hard time connecting and has times where he’s physically present but I’m very much alone, as he is unable to connect. Loneliness is a huge part of my life. I love him very much and he’s the best man I’ve ever known, but he was diagnosed 2 12 years ago, shortly after we were married, and I have to admit I struggled quite a bit with facing a life of perpetual loneliness right next to the man I loved, which I never expected. To know what it’s like: i usually can’t touch him without warning. We didn’t live together before we were married, and I was surprised to find I couldn’t touch him almost our whole one month honeymoon, and it took several months for him to be able to fall asleep with me in the same bed as him. It was too many changes. I will never get to know how he really feels about me. We have never fought because we aren’t capable of the level of communication required to do so. If iI sit right next to him crying he doesn’t notice I’m sad, and things like that. And those types of things lead to you only kind of feeling like someone I’d there with you. I really struggled with all this, then came to realize what a mistake it was for anyone to pin all their emotional well being on one person, like I was doing. Besides it not working, it’s an awful amount of pressure for anyone, but especially someone on the autism spectrum who is so painfully aware of their social and emotional deficiencies. So i came to realize that regardless of other people’s actions or inactions, so much of how I felt was in my hands. I was single and lived alone for years out of the country away from my family and traveled the world completely alone and loved it before my marriage, so what would I do when I was sad then? I dealt with it myself, I didn’t wait for comfort from someone unable to comfort me and than pity myself for it. I know it sounds strange, but remembering how strong of a person I was then strengthens me now. And taking responsibility for my emotions. And cheez its too! And, also, giving him more alone time strangely helps him, but allows me to find happiness in my endeavors, so I go rock climbing a night a week with girl friends and have decided to finally go to school, for early childhood education, so I’m away a few nights at classes too. I especially want to work with kids on the autism spectrum, since my heart is really with that cause so much, and everything I learn helps me too. And every once in awhile on the home chalkboard there’s a message for me that says something like “I love you. I hope someday I can tell you that in a way you understand” ….and wouldn’t you just do anything for a sweetheart like that??

    Ps- sorry I wrote a whole story. There’s not really support groups for this sort of thing, and you can’t much talk even with friends because it’s such a unique issue. Guess I got carried away, but it’s because your post was great and got me worked up! 😛

    –J

  • This is amazing, and I think it’s awesome to include posts like this on ABM…

    Laura, I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now (back in the day when it was .blogspot.com), and I’m so impressed with you. You’re so strong, super fashionable, and clearly very intelligent. I think you’re crazy brave for talking about this on the blog, and I think it’s totally kick-ass. I also showed my parents the Thanksgiving turkey blog post you did on your own blog, and now we do that in our family 🙂

    What I love about this post most of all is that you emphasize that loneliness is okay, which it totally is. It’s okay to be alone, it’s okay to be lonely, it’s okay to cry on the kitchen floor (my all time favorite crying place), and I think it’s great that you don’t write how to “fix” your loneliness.

  • Im never lonely and I feel Im never alone enough.
    I would love to be in a rship where my bf lived in his home and I in mine. However my life isnt like that. My live in bf doesnt approve of those kind of rships for grownups as he calles it,but we wil never marry so I dont see the differece, Atleast when we didnt live together we didnt argue over every little thing. Im always greatful he is travveling alot for biz <3
    But then I also have a grown up daughter with epilepsy who cant sleep alone as her seizures occurs during sleep state. Either during naps, just before waking up or falling alseep Sp we basicly quit sleeping around here so Im bushed. And I do long for her to find meds that work, she getting her life back and Im mine 🙂
    I do have furry friends 3 small doggies:)
    I belive we are all built differently and we enjoy life differently. I have always taken care of others and I longed for a time alone. My dughter moved out ( before she got sick) and I bought a neat cozy flat for myself by the ocean. Then my bfs house got some work done while he was on vaca and when he returned he couldnt move back in because of groundwork that made his house unsafe. Needless to say things didnt work out as planned and he never moved back home and she got terribly ill and had to quit work .school and her apartment. So we had to sell my place and move and once again Im waiting for MY time to start 😀

  • Dear Laura,

    I couldn’t have put it better! My husband’ s work requires a lot of traveling too especially during the Winter season. Your tips are very helpful and more important: so true! Even though I already coped with being by myself for a few years now, your article helped me see things from another perspective (especially the bad habit part).
    My tip would be not only to deal with free time on hand when it’s already there. I like to make lists with things to do for the time when my husband is gone. Things you always wanted to do but never had the time to like tanking a sewing class, cleaning out the closet or watching the whole season of My so called Life. Stuff I can look forward to.
    Thank you so much for this article!

  • This was a great thing to share, and it’s very interesting. I’d love to hear the other side… from the half traveling if at all possible. I used to be away from my home and husband for work all the time. I finally made the choice to change jobs. I’d be curious to know what the traveling half does to cope.

  • Great post Laura! Love these tips. Sounds like you’ve given an important emotion we all struggle with some real thought, due to your unique circumstances. I found this very empowering and encouraging. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • I think music and tv works good too. ( not listening your own voice on and on the first cure )
    So Laura, you’re not alone 🙂 kinda – we all need to say and hear this I guess. Knowing we’re normally suffering a little. Juuuust a little 😉 great post.
    http://www.comedomenica.blogspot.com

  • Oh, I can so relate! My husband used to travel for work. Now I’m happy to say he doesn’t travel any more, but his work schedule includes all day Saturday and Sunday (like, til 10 pm). So I still spend a LOT of time alone.

    I find that putting on some music + doing a crafty project is the most soothing for me. I also have to consciously limit my TV time, because otherwise I’ll spend waaaaaaay too much time on the couch. SVU marathons while the husband was out of town were also a super bad idea, haha! I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep after!

  • Great tips. I am single so I occasionally struggle with loneliness. I do have my sweet dog Maggie so I am a proponent of animal companionship. It really does help to have a furry friend around. She is great company.

  • Since I started working for myself again, I often struggle with loneliness. I live with my boyfriend, who is home every evening, and I have three cats, but I still have moments during the day when I really crave the company of other people. And I’m a person who actually likes and needs alone time!

    I haven’t come up with a perfect solution, but forcing myself to get out of the house helps. However, sometimes I have too much writing or editing to do, and solitude is required. I can’t say enough about exercise–it’s so awesome for mental health. If I don’t move my body regularly, I start to feel the negative effects on my emotions in about one-two weeks. It’s amazing what a difference it makes.

  • I LOOOOOVE MuteMath! What a small world sometimes. My husband and I have seen them three times here in Texas and once in New Orleans and we are seeing Eisley next month in Austin! I love these tips, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • You rock Laura! I also experienced the long distance thing, bad coping mechanisms (shopping and wine… ahem!). What Masters did you do… fair play by the say! I did one in Health Psych to deal with it… great post xxx

  • Oh dear, I almost got a bit starstruck reading that your husband plays in Mutemath, I had to tell my husband, we both love that band! 😛 They are not very famous in Norway I think, but my husband found them on Spotify a couple of years ago. They have great lyrics!

    (And I think you’re strong being alone for such long periods, don’t think I would cope…)

  • I love that you were able to share this with the entire world of The Internet. When I moved out of my parents’ house this past December, I was so lonely even though I moved in with my boyfriend of 5 years. I was so used to living in a home that constantly was moving with people coming in and out and so many animals (2 dogs and 2 cats!). I really struggled with the quiet when we first moved into our apartment even though I wasn’t even that far from my family and there was another person in the other room, it was just such a strange sense. It really helped to start making our apartment into a home during that time and having my kitties around me that were still familiar. Obviously, I wasn’t feeling the loneliness that you feel a lot of the time, but I can see a glimmer of where you’re coming from and it’s tough; I give you a lot of credit for that lifestyle.

    xoxo
    Taylor

  • What a lovely post, thank you so much for writing it. Sometimes people can be lonely even if they are surrounded by people, I don’t seem to be able to make long lasting friends especially since I don’t have children and most people around me at my age do and the chasm between our conversations is huge. You provided some very helpful and positive ideas…….thank you! xx

    ps love your gold bracelets, do you mind me asking where they are from?

  • Wow, what a very real post. When my kiddos are not with me I drink hot tea with raw honey. The raw honey lifts my mood (has all the B vitamin and acts as an antidepressant.) As of late I haveadded essential oils to my self care regimen–lavendar&frankencense. I also pray and meditate. When I cry, it’s out to God. It puts me back to focus on the fact that He is in control and also with my babies when I am not. There is a classical pianist named Thad Fiscella and his songs soothe my soul. I love to learn and also pour into people and causes that bring me a community of those focusing on others.

  • I work at an office pretty much alone most of the day, and then I go home alone as well, so alone time and I are super good buddies. I’m an introvert too so I’m used to being not around people and I appreciate that time to do things, ANYTHING, but when the blues strike I’m able to get out of my comfort zone and ask for help. This is important, just ask someone to hang out. You make the first step, don’t stay at home or wherever waiting for somebody to ask you to do things. Prevent feeling lonely!

    That’s what I do, anyway.

  • Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. My boy-friend opened a restaurant almost a year ago and works really hard and everyone might know that gastronomy has the worst working hours which means I am alone a lot, especially at night. Maybe it’s not quite the same because at least we see each other every day but we have very little spare time together and I have to deal with that and sometimes it’s hard. Keeping myself busy with projects and my blog helps me a lot.
    xx,Sarah

  • I dated a guy who was also in a touring band for almost three years. It was one of the hardest things I had to do. Being in a relationship when the other person is gone 80-90% of the time is hard. Kudos to you for doing it so gracefully!
    –julie

  • My husband and I are about to go down the same path! He just went on his first tour with his band Max and the Moon and I was MISERABLE. I definitely tried to embrace each of the tips you have here and I am hoping everything gets better for me with practice. We just found out he may be leaving again at the end of April for a month and I’m already trying to plan ahead on how I can make sure I stay busy. I can’t imagine having my husband leave for three months, but I know that if and when that day comes it will be because he has worked so hard to make many of his dreams come true. Even if I’m temporarily lonely, its such a sweet blessing to see your partner living a fulfilled life.

    I love reading your insights Laura! xo, Brittan

  • Thank you for your candor. I relate to nearly every aspect of this post. As much as I love all the positive, happy, beautiful topics that dominate the blogs I follow, it sometimes can be a bit much. Life really is a beautiful mess sometimes. I think all of your suggestions are spot on. The most important tool I have found in dealing with loneliness is learning to own it. It’s okay to feel lonely, and having more than one “tool” to deal with it really is helpful.

  • I don’t typically comment on posts here, but I just wanted to say, this was great! As someone who has moved across the country on my own, worked to build a support group, and may move again and have to start over… this is a great reminder of finding strength in ourselves. I also have to second getting a kitty! I don’t know what I’d do without mine. 🙂

  • seems like there are several people here who have boyfriends/husbands in bands who tour a lot which is kind of cool. i am one of them too. my bf has been in a band since we got together about seven years ago but each year, his band tours more and more. they will be gone for over three months straight this summer which is our longest time apart (with not even a day visit) so i am interested to see how that plays out. crafts, pets and dating myself are all things i take comfort in. you are right, it is unfair and not practical to rely on friends and family to constantly hang out with you when you are bored/lonely so it is good to find things that you dont mind doing by yourself. it is funny because for me, i mostly dont like when he is gone for so long, of course, but when he comes back after being gone for multiple months straight, there is that re-adjustment period with thinking about someone else and what they may want to do/where to eat/etc that is kind of strange. it is like, i miss him like crazy then i get used to him being gone then i have to get used to him being back. funny how that works. anyway, good post! 🙂

  • This comes at a very perfect moment to me. I am currently struggling with my relationship because i feel so lonely. My boyfriend lives in another city, we both are in busy Jobs plus he has little kids in a third town (he´s in the middle of a divorce). And he is an athlete, training every day.
    So i see him every second week one to three times.
    This wouldn´t be so bad if i haven´t had moved to a new city where i have no friends or family.
    I try to keep myself busy too, learning how to play the ukulele and startet my own workout routine. I would love to have a furry friend but i am too busy with work. It (of course would be a dog) would be lonely too – the last thing i want. Also i was thinking about starting a blog with a friend but every blog seems to be so professional that i am a little scared the entry level is too high.
    Every now and then i am thinking about breaking up with my boyfriend bit i love him and he loves me. This should be working somehow, right?

  • I like this post. It’s not very often that women (maybe it’s just me) admit to being lonely. Shopping is definitely one of my coping mechanisms, but sometimes feel worse after. Cleaning and organizing is a less expensive and more productive way I distract myself.

  • I left out…I actually visited a health consultant at a health food store who created a protocol of foods to eat & avoid. After two weeks I was amazed at how much mental clarity I had and also how what I thought were just stress reactions to life were food reactions. Gluten in particular leaves me foggy. So I diet manage in order to avoid antidepressants.

    There are great self care models on Pinterest.

  • my husband travels typically 2 weeks out of every month…it’s definitely NOT nearly as much as your husband, but i can relate!! i’ve got a great support group of girlfriends and have learned to love that super quiet time at the house when i read and snuggle with my furry friend one-on-one 🙂

  • First of all – i think you are an amazing strong person. I once had a boyfriend who had symptoms like that as well. He was on medication since childhood but then decided to refuse it. It didn´t work out, it was so incredibly hard and the worst emotional thing i ever went through. I really admire your courage and your willingness to keep your marriage working.
    After all love is always the willingnes to work on it – and never easy. You go girl!

  • These are really great tips! I like it when you guys do more personal posts like this. When I’m lonely I like to play music or strum around on the guitar–making sound helps a house or room feel less empty.

  • Thank you so much for sharing such a personal post and being so open and honest. I’ve definitely struggled with loneliness too. Hugs from Toronto.

  • I love all your tips! One of the things that has always helped me when I’m lonely is that I love reading. As long as I have a book to read, I don’t have to feel completely alone. And I can definitely relate to the shopping, that’s something I’m working on!

  • this is a great article Laura! My husband works a two week on/two week off schedule in the maritime industry. I try to do all of my craft + jewelry projects and catch up on all my bad tv when he’s at work. It gives me something to look forward to when he’s gone, even though I miss him! You have such great tips above; it’s so important to find the balance between missing your significant other and taking time for yourself. As a fellow introvert, I have come to value my alone time, as well as my time with my husband.

    We are expecting our first child this summer however, so I imagine I will have to re-learn all my tricks!

  • No way, I love Mutemath!! Very cool. Meanwhile, it’s great that you are able to share your experiences and give some advice and encouragement to others. Great post/blog!

  • I can relate to this so much, my husband is in the forces for the last 25 years and this is how I managed – thank you, so lovely to not feel the only one !

  • Hey Laura!
    You nailed this post today. I often feel lonely since my friends are all introverts and I am definitely not. Since I stay at a dorm I can’t have my dog here, which can be really hard. The way I deal with my loneliness is going to a public place to do something. If I have to study I go to the library or a cafe, if I’ve got free time I go to my local pool, either way just having people around helps me feel content doing my own thing. If that still isn’t enough, I find volunteering, especially at an animal shelter, makes me worry less about my own problems but someone else less fortunate than me. It really puts my issues in perspective, while I help make a difference. Hope these pointers help you like yours did mine!
    Keep creating,
    Sophia

  • I really enjoyed this post! My boyfriend is also a musician. Our relationship is still new, and so far we have been able to see each other fairly often, but I know it won’t always be like that, and sometimes I wonder how I’ll deal with it. So this is definetely an inspiration.

  • Such good tips! My boyfriend works abroad,so he is always away for 2 months. And I like it a lot. I have so many things to do that I kind of look forward to my time alone (although I miss him a lot and our time together is wonderful). I work fulltime, I have 2 studies (one fulltime and the other one I take slowly), lots of friends, hobbies and (future) projects. I just don’t have a lot of time to be lonely!

  • This is a great article. My husband is in law enforcement and is gone for long stretches of time as well. Thanks for your honesty. Oh, and I can totally relate to the shopping :), but have learned to cut myself some slack as sometimes retail is good therapy!

  • I have 3 children who never allow me to be lonely but I do get stressed out and overwhelmed sometimes and my favorite go-to when things get to be a lot is Rescue Remedy. It is an herbal stress remedy that you can find at Whole Foods and other health food shops. It is a real help when you could really just use a little healthy boost without being a mind altering substance or habit forming drug. It kind of gently erases tension, stress and grumpy moods. They also make a sleep remedy that I love.

  • All of the above are tried and true. I’d add getting physically active and ruthlessly eliminating things that make you unhappy to that list. I’ve found getting rid of things that make me feel bad, cuts down on the time I spend feeling lonely.

  • Thank you so much for sharing- I so relate to this. I struggle with loneliness often, sometimes imagined, sometimes real. But it’s nice to hear from someone else who also has these struggles! I’m thankful that there are an abundance of connections to be found in the internet world 🙂

  • I love this post and your pics! Colors look great and I love how your cats actually “go” with your home-ha! I started my blog http://www.girlnesting.com for the same reason: My husband travels a lot for work-he’s not in a band but being in medical sales, well.. it has it’s share of “touring” events too lol. Really good advise on how to best deal with the loneliness. Great advise!

  • They are good tips. I moved to a big city a year and a half ago, my family is away and I left my friends behind. I’ve made friends here, yes, but they also have very busy lives and tons of other friends from school and things I never took part of, so sometimes it gets lonely. Now that my best friend here (and flatmate) got herself a boyfriend, I’ve had to relearn tricks like these to cope with it. Sadly I cannot get a furry pet because I’m not settled at the moment, probably won’t be in a while, as I want to get my Master’s degree abroad, but these are really really great tips.

    I might have to take you up on the starting a blog one, too, as I’ve been wanting to do so for a while and it will surely keep me busy! 🙂

  • WOW! Laura, thank you for sharing such a personal story… In a way I can relate to you. I don’t have a partner who happens to be off for some time. I just don’t have a partner at all.. and for a very long time… So, being alone (or feeling lonely sometimes) is a feeling very familiar to me… However, the last couple of years I have made my peace with the situation (or trying at least)… I just want to be happy without being affected by something I can’t control. My work keeps me busy (more than I really wish), I have hobbies (crafting, singing in choirs and learning the cello) which help me do what I really like: creating something. And I have very good friends that I’m really grateful for. I just want to wish you many fulfilling days and moments taking away the feeling of loneliness… xxx from Greece

  • This is one of the strongest and most personal blogpost I’ve ever read – so touching! You know, it really just gives something MORE to a blog, when the writer does this, and my respect for those are really SO high, it is so brave of you!
    My sister is also dealing with a lot of loneliness – her boyfriend is away on a boarding school for the rest of the year. Even though I’m constantly around her, trying to be there for her, it’s tearing me apart watching her without being able to REALLY help. But anyways, I’m totally going to show her this update. I really think it could help a lot. So thank you for being this openminded! I seriously adore your blog! xx

  • Hi Yella!
    Tough question! I think it really just comes down to if the other person is worth it or not. I knew what kind of life I was getting into when we started dating and I thought that he was worth having to deal with that life. It’s not a life that everyone is willing to do (or can do successfully) so it just depends on the people. Although maybe if it’s long distance dating I guess the goal is being in the same city someday, so it can help to think of it as temporary if it would be. Hope that helps some!

    Laura 🙂

  • Wonderful tips! I’ve lived alone for several years and having a cat is the only reason I never felt truly lonely. 🙂

  • Some beautiful advice for when your life feels a mess! I like it. Your drawing got me thinking actually how great it would be to learn different art techniques. I’ve heard you mention printing and I think batique before, I’d love to learn these things! Any chance of a beautiful mess doing an online art workshop? Maybe a different medium each week or something.

    Have a great weekend.

  • Thanks for sharing! it’s never fun to find yourself alone, but you really gave me ideas on how to make me feel better when that happens.

  • What a great post, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! I’ve definitely gone through those periods too, since my husband travels internationally for his sales job. I moved in to his apt in his hometown, but when he was gone I felt totally alone! I started a random blog, but it really didn’t have much focus. Then when we moved overseas, it was the same thing, just in a foreign land where not everyone could speak English! So lonliness + homesickness were just killing me.I ended up finding out through trial and error a lot of things you’ve already mentioned. I really valued the time I have with my two cats (cat–>kitty–>biddy, lol). I also tried not to stay cooped up in the house, even if that meant a lot of window shopping (plus exercising unconsciously, woohoo!), When I started learning more about makeup, I learned about being cruelty free and I quickly took the pledge. I now write a little blog mainly about that, which having a specific focus and drive really helps me. We just moved back to the states, in a bigger city so I have a lot more chances of being social, but even in the down periods I know how to deal with my lonliness

  • My husband is always going to conferences and such. But as much as I miss him, I like being home alone! I’ve learned to embrace it with hobbies hobbies hobbies (that and running around pants-less!). It’s an opportunity to try new things you’ve always wanted to do! I started brewing kombucha in addition to my regular painting, drawing, crafting, crocheting, ect. Find fun recipes if that’s more your thing and whip up weird treats that suit your fancy! Embrace that novelty of when you were a kid and your parents let you stay home alone (forts, whipped cream, movie marathons)! It can be fun!

  • What a brave post, thank you for sharing! I really love how you mention that you actually draw your strength from times of being quiet and alone, sometimes I couldn’t agree more.

  • Wow, this post shows up just a few days before my husband leaves for France for four months. He’s going to work on his PhD research while he’s over there. I can completely relate. Today, I worked on a list of things to do while he’s away. Thanks for the post.

  • I wish I had read this a few years back when I was in the middle of a really stressful long distance relationship. I think they’re great ideas for everyone, no matter what your relationship status is though.
    By the way, your cats are SO CUTE.

    x Kenzie
    http://easy-lucky-free.com

  • Lovely post! My boyfriend is a pilot in the army and just left for a nine month deployment, so this tips will definitely come in handy over the next few months. Keeping busy is the way to go!

  • I love this post. As a fellow introvert; cat lover; and proud, independent human being, I believe learning to be alone is valuable. I used to practice going to a movie or a restaurant by myself…it feels kinda strange at first, but I got used to it, and now I find it empowering.

    Check out this AMAZING poem/movie by Tanya Davis and Andrea Dorfman called How to Be Alone:

    http://youtu.be/k7X7sZzSXYs

  • Such a wonderfully written post, Laura! I’ve experienced loneliness in a few different times in my life. The first was when my husband and I were engaged and he was living in CA for a year for school. I was planning our wedding and starting school. I moved out to CA with Matt after we married and knew only a small handful of people. On top of being lonely, I lacked a lot of self confidence in myself. I think the most important thing in hard and persevering times is to remember that we are growing and will be stronger because of it all. I think it was important for me to not be afraid to put myself out there, especially in a new surrounding and having to meet new people. The more I opened up, the more I grew and the less lonely I became. And yes! It’s okay to have those lonely moments.. And ball your eyes out! 🙂 We just need to remind ourselves to not get stuck in that and continue through each day with positivity. I have a puppy and at times I feel like he’s my therapy! 😉
    Really loved the ways you listed to cope with loneliness. You are so strong Laura

  • I’ve been reading A Beautiful Mess for a few years now and I must say I love both Elsie and Emma and after reading for so long they feel like old friends, when Laura joined the team she just seem like such a natural and great fit. She has quickly become one of my favorite contributors to A Beautiful Mess (you’re all great of course!), but it’s posts like this that make me feel connected to Laura. Thank you so much for sharing this post! Hope to see a lot more like it.

  • awesome post. it is sooo awesome that you are married to todd from mutemath. one of my favorite bands!

  • My husband has a full-time job and is also a regular playing musician – so I totally get where you’re coming from. It took me a few years as well to adjust too. I found that sometimes if my friends are busy, I go work at the coffee shop down the street or go for a walk around the shops. Sometimes it’s just nice to be around people.

  • I’m so glad you wrote this blog post. I think it’s so easy to just let our lives go by and act like nothing is wrong, but the fact is that it’s a realistic part of life and many people have to deal with loneliness often. And I think this post helps know that we’re not alone — at least not in our situations!

    My husband and I have been living long distance for two years (we were initially dating and recently got married). I moved to a new town two years ago to pursue my career while he finished up school, and I knew no one and things were hard for awhile while I figured out how to deal with being alone. But now we are getting ready to start our lives together (in the same place!) as he starts a career in the army.

    However, I know a time will come when my husband will get deployed and being alone for that period will, undoubtedly, be incredibly difficult. But hopefully through these tips, and what I’ve learned being alone for the last two years, that I can work on myself and be alright being alone for that time period.

  • Thank you for this post! My husband and I spent 10 months living 5400 miles apart while we were dating/engaged. As I was the one living in Europe and he was back here on the west coast I felt wicked lonely some days — especially while I was busy culture shocking! I ended up using many of the same coping mechanisms you did, except I got a plant instead of a cat. And ultimately it made us so much stronger and we got crazy good at communicating when all we could do was watch each other’s heads talk on skype.

    Best of luck in your periods of loneliness!

  • Thank you for sharing this! I can’t imagine how hard it would be to be separated from the person you love for such a long period! My partner often works away for 1-2 weeks at a time, and for the first 3-4 days, I love the me time, but then I get lonely, so these tips are great! 🙂

    I checked out your blog from here as well, and I have to say, I quite like it, especially the Valentine’s day photo booth!

  • Awesome post! Quick question… Where’s the chambray shirt from? I love it!!

  • My husband is also on the road 6-8 months of the year with a band so I can totally relate! We had our first baby in Decenber too, which has made for a whole new set of challenges. I agree with all of your tips though, especially having a support system. It’s a different way of life but it also has its upsides (like when they’re home for weeks!)

  • Hi Laura. I’m in a similar situation although my partner is in the forces. He’s currently serving in Afghan on a 9 month tour (home in 3 weeks) but I can definitely relate to those ‘weeping on the floor’ moments. Through it all (and I’ve always been independent) I have grown in confidence being on my own. I would almost go as far as to say sometimes, I enjoy it! I know now that I can cope with what life throws at me having to deal with a move, new job, 2 deaths and planning a wedding all whilst my partner has been away. Your post is inspiring and I say good on you for keeping yourself so busy. Oh, and shipping and cats are my weakness too! Xx

  • My boyfriend has recently started working away from home from Monday evening to Thursday evening. I find I get more used to it with each passing week, but it’s still a little odd. Keeping busy with lots of different projects certainly helps.

    Do you struggle to get used to having Todd back when he returns from tours? I always find the first day after Ben gets home is really weird.

  • That’s a really great post and made me feel like we’re soulmates or sth 😀 Also checked your husband’s band and now I’m listening to them, I really love their music!

    ps every while life seems so unfair to me, I read this book http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Tree-Raising-Disabilities-Remaining-ebook/dp/B008FSDGB4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396081670&sr=1-1&keywords=the+apple+tree+linda+petersen and I feel better. It might seem a sad topic but it’s written with so much love an optimism that you can’t help but feeling well 🙂 Maybe you can read it next time you’re alone with your furry friends 🙂 love xoxo

  • This post is so perfect for me and so true! As I’ve started to figure these things out on my own it’s still really difficult. MY husband and I moved to a whole different continent just 2 months after being married, he’s also getting his PhD so there is A LOT of loneliness going on here!! Thankful for a blogging community and posts like these as a reminder that I’m not the only one!!!

  • Laura, by sharing your experience, you’ve inadvertently given a lot of women courage to deal with their loneliness. So kudos to you for that.

    While I’m fortunate to have my husband with me, sometimes being in a country away from my own brings about unexpected bouts of loneliness and I miss my parents and sisters back home terribly. But I find that allowing myself to be a sad once in a while and having a full cry always helps me feel better quicker and faster.

    So I’m in favour of letting it out:-)

  • I’m absolutely loving that this site is starting to go a little deeper into both its general posts and also into who these wonderful creators are behind it all. This post is so beautifully relatable to me because I live across the country from all my friends and family and granted I live with my wonderful boyfriend but he has a lot of issues that make him emotionally unavailable at times. I can so vouch for all these things you have said Laura, and you’ve handled it all so beautifully xx

  • This is great, and so relatable to my current situation! I love that you highlighted the likelihood of relying on ‘bad habits’ in order to cope – this is something I’m guilty of and that I’ve only realized recently (my sweet treats are your Taco Bell). Thanks for sharing!!

  • Thank you for such an honest post, I’m a ‘band-widow’ a lot of the time, with the season just starting up again now, it is particularly difficult sometimes and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one that finds it hard, it feels very silly being upset at being lonely (it’s not like I’m an actual widow – there are far worse situations…) but as you said I think it’s important to sit with the feeling then move on – it’s important to accept that emotion rather than try to ignore it – then watch a happy movie or something and it’s not so bad.

    Also, I’m very jealous of your kitties! I wish our apartment building allowed them…

  • Such a great post Laura. My significant other has been out of town a lot lately for work so this post was great for me. I totally agree about having a pet. Having our dog helps out so much when he is out of town.

  • Nice post! I’ve had to deal with this ever since my boyfriend, who’s is a pilot, was transferred to another base out of state. So we went from seeing each other everyday to seeing each other once every few weeks. One thing I have done is finally start my blog and get back into exercise. I like finding new hiking trails and practicing my photography. Finding a new hobby, one that makes you grow and become a better person will help keep you focused. It also keeps the conversations interesting with my piolot because when he asks me what I’ve been up to, my reply isn’t “nothing” and sounding lame. I have new stories to share and when he comes home we have adventures together. So helping yourself grow will only make your other relationships stronger 🙂

  • I couldn’t relate more to this! And this post couldn’t have been better timed for me to stumble across. I have recently (3 weeks ago) moved countries to live with my partner, and starting from scratch with no job or friends yet, is proving quite the task. Also theres that added limitation of having a new language to learn. Oh, and did I mention my partner is an A & E doctor and works pretty intense long shifts…

    Your advice resonates with me, and really is the kick up the back side I needed to wake up and get a grip. I can relate to the emotional out pouring and the falling into bad habits, but also completely agree that keeping busy does seem to be the key. Your advice has given me that extra bit of encouragement and inspiration to get off my butt and make the most of things. Just what I was in need of!

    Gemma
    fadedwindmills.com

  • I can relate to this so very well! My boyfriend moved to California for work, while I am still based at home in Australia – it’s SO hard!

    Agree with all these points, especially the keeping busy part! Luckily for me, I’ll be on a flight over to the US tomorrow morning – yippee!

    – Taryn Elise xx
    blog.sugarpushcakes.com

  • Thank you so much for posting this. I am going through a very very painful break up where I spent many years with the person. I’m having a very hard time figuring out how to live without a significant other again, especially when I have few friends. Please know how much this post means to me. I am so grateful for it, just to know that even though were in different situations I’m not alone completely.

  • Fantastic article! Thanks for sharing! I’ve been struggling being away from my partner and I’m glad to know that breaking down over stupid things happens to everyone!

    Nicky
    zeeblikesit.blogspot.com
    xx

  • Hi, your post is the est l have read for months and is so helpful to a lot of readers. I get very lonely at times but l live on my own and have problems walking so can’t get out a lot.
    I have been an artist for a long time and it filled a lot of hours ut l just can’t manage to do any now. Sometimes at night l get excited about painting again by morning l just can’t start so just now l am not getting stressed about it and am hoping it just comes back.
    I have book marked your post as it made me feel so positive reading it and l think l will be reading it a lot.
    I also love cats but l can’t have any were l live now l was allowed to have the Persian that l had at the other house, her name was abbie and she was a cream Persian. She was my baby but she died three years She was 15 which is a good age for a cat

  • Thank you, Laura! So honest (that’s my impression) and written in such a friendly way. I admire you for sharing your thoughts and experiences, and for sharing them like you do!

  • when my relationship was long distance for about a year i felt very similar to this! safe to say, i did A LOT of crafting while i was by myself. definitely felt better to keep busy! thanks for opening up, Laura! I always love your posts 🙂
    xxoo,
    nikki

    http://www.dreaminneon.blogspot.com

  • This is such a great post, true positivity. My other half doesn’t necessarily work away a lot, but he’s a bar man working 5 nights a week, and I work in retail so much of my shifts fall early in the day, so we work at opposite ends of the our days. Although we see each other in passing, the night times can get very lonely. Best tips ever; having projects to keep me busy and things to do is definitely top of my list to keep the loneliness at bay. 🙂

  • I love this post! I’ve been long-distance with my boyfriend for over a year now (3,000 miles away!) and I’m doing a lot of these things to cope. Including starting a Master’s program in the fall! I’m really glad to read a ‘wholesome’ article with really good tips for dealing with loneliness, that goes outside recommending watching chick flicks and binging on ice cream anytime you’re feeling down.

    Although, let’s be real, I’ve had my fair share of X-file marathons with homemade brownies, in bed.

  • Thanks Laura! It’s great learning more about the ABM team. Your honesty really resonates. Love it!

  • I can so relate to what you shared in your post. I live in Tucson, AZ and my husband has been working in New Orleans for 18 months. He usually comes home for the weekend – sometimes I go there but it is still lonely as I am in a hotel room by myself for a week or two at a time. I do try to get out and explore the area. When I am home I volunteer at a non-profit hospice, our airport as an ambassador and the public library. Shopping is usually therapeutic as is eating out with friends. I am over 60 and this has been a way of life for me for over 10 years. I can’t say it gets easier – you just find new coping skills.
    I am presently in Portland, OR dogsitting for our daughter and son-in-law while they are out of the country. It brings a whole new meaning to being alone as I don’t know anyone here. I will read, paint,(no TV as they don’t have one) and hopefully explore the area between rain showers. “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger!”

  • Such a great article. My husband is a cameraman and works on television shows and music videos and is traveling about as often as your husband. Thanks for some insightful tips. You are so spot on!!!

  • My boyfriend has been working abroad for last year & a half & I only get to see him every 2-3 months. I totally agree with the idea of a pet. My dogs are the best & animals are so intuitive so when I’m feeling down they’re extra loving.

  • Great advices Laura, I am in between jobs and I live on my parents house, which is normal in Brasil, but I feel pretty lonely sometimes. Do you have any tips on how to convince other people to have a pet at home?

  • Definitely can relate to this, and I especially agree on having a cat or two making all the difference in the world! It helps SO much having a little fur ball to cuddle up next to and bring life into your space. When a sick cat I had a little over a year ago passed away, I couldn’t bear the feeling of being alone in my apartment without another living creature. I couldn’t wait to have kittens roaming around again. Luckily it was worth the wait of a few months to have the great sibling kittens I have now and they are always a comfort to have. Anywho, “crazy” cat ladies /introverts UNITE! You’re a lovely gal, thank you for opening up and sharing your thoughts on this.

  • Ah I can definitely relate, my boyfriend works away 6 weeks at a time, which is definitely not as bad as 3 months but still not fun 🙁 I definitely try and have my own hobbies and get stuck into my own goals when he goes away. On the upside it can be quite nice for our relationship – I get super nervous and butterflies when I see him again – which I think is sweet 🙂 We’ve been planning to get a cat for 2 years now and I think we’re going to finally do it when he is back for his break – can’t wait 🙂

  • I’m not sure how I found this blog. But I’m sure glad I did; I spend a lot of time by myself, I have been unable to work for several years due to the cumulative effects of 7 cancer recurrences, I’ve been married for 30 years, we never had children, just Westies and one cat who died last year, I’ve lost 98% of my friends. Most people can’t handle so much adversity.

    I have bad habits I have been controlling for almost a year (yes, shopping is one of them) but I’m turning it around and getting the bills under control. There have been significant financial reversals due to outrageous medical expenses and the down turn of the economy, my husband services the wealthiest people in the world.

    I am lucky to have a large family but, one of my siblings has made herself unavailable. She’s raising two very active children, I miss her terribly. Another sibling has been living in China for 6 years. Thank God, she’s repatriating with her second husband of three years, they’ll be back on May 1st, forever. 🙂 Another is in the Pacific Northwest, another in the Midwest, I am in south Florida. My parents live 30 minutes away, my Mom is a great support (they both are), but they’re starting to have bad health issues at 80 and 76. It’s hard for me to watch what they’re going through, with so much medical background, I want to open doors for them and have them go to my doctors. They have their own sources they are comfortable with so I try to butt out. It’s hard.

    I just spent 14 hours writing a recommendation (4 pgs. in a 12 pt. Didot, Word document). It was the first time I was back on my desktop on a proper keyboard since I lost the feeling in my left hand and became iOS-dependent. I needed to take a break. so I landed here for a breather. This share is way too long. I’ m sorry, next time I’ll try to do better.

  • Heather, last time I looked at Rescue Remedy, it was alcohol-based. I realize one uses only a few drops but for addicts or others in recovery, they need to be aware of the mixture. I knew one woman who used to drop it on her tongue regularly, soon she was drinking the bottle. She had no idea what was yummy to her, it just worked, no wonder, it was old her friend, the cobra coiled up in the bottle. Next thing she knew she was using a bottle a day, she felt great, after all it was “natural.” For an addict, Rescue Remedy would be satisfying yet dangerous, it’s playing with fire especially in early recovery.

  • I love this post. I seem to spend a lot of time in my own company and at first I used to find it really upsetting and even felt a bit bitter that everyone else seems to be surrounded by lots of people. Then I learnt that there was so much truth in the statement “if you are not comfortable being alone how will you ever know if you are with someone out of love or loneliness”. I really do believe everyone needs to spend some alone time and really get to know their inner self xx

  • Thank you for posting this. I just got out of a relationship. I feel like I am completely starting over and can relate to how you feel. I have been struggling with feeling alone. I really like your tips. I am starting a weekly craft night with some friends. I also have a weekly craft night with my best friend out of state online. It’s a lot of fun and a good way to stay connected and be creative. Thank you again!

  • Hi Laura, first I want to say that I’ve really enjoyed all that you’ve added to ABM! Also, I love MuteMath! I actually know some of Darren’s family members and got to hang out with them once before a concert 🙂

    You wrote this post just at the right time for me. I also live in Springfield and will graduate with my masters at MSU this May. My husband and I planned to move to KC after my graduation since that is where we are originally from and both of our families are there. My husband got a job up there much earlier than we expected, so he recently moved to KC to start his new job while I finish up school here. I can definitely feel the loneliness already starting to creep in. Thanks for your reminder and suggestions 🙂 Also, you are so right that sometimes you just need another heartbeat in the house! I don’t know what I’d do without my little dog! 🙂

    Kate

  • Thank you so much for sharing this, it was much needed! I tend to allow loneliness to complete overwhelm me to the point where I feel too anxious to do anything at all except wallow in sadness. It’s good to hear some proactive suggestions.

  • Thank you so much, what a wonderful thing to say. I’ve been thinking about it for days, no one’s ever said anything like that to me 🙂 like I said, it’s not something I can talk about much. It made me worry at first that I made myself sound awesome, cuz I’m not! I was only 22 when I got married and I’m still growing and learning and I forget to handle things as patiently as I should quite often. And we have a great time together and we’re best friends, me and my hunny bunny, its not all hardship. But the fact of real life love is that you are going to have to try to focus on the good no matter who you’re with, that when you find someone who will also put their all into it you don’t give up on them. And I need him to treat me the same, with all my flaws and difficulties, they’re just different ones. Everyone has their flaws and as far as those go i know that I got off easy. Im sorry your relationship ended that way, but I think it says a lot about you that you that you gave it the shot that you did and were open minded about it. In all honesty, I ended up scoring such a kindhearted, humble, manly, self sacrificing, truly good hearted man probably only because other women couldn’t see past or didn’t have the patience to work with his hardships, and I’m glad it ended that way. He’s really a gem and that’s the only way I’m the one that got him, so I think you should count it as a blessing that you’re someone open minded enough to hopefully find yourself find a hidden gem too:-) 🙂

  • Such wise and helpful advice! Thank you; this helped me just when I needed it.

  • Thanks for sharing this! I feel lonely a lot of the time so maybe these tips will help me too. Love the kitties!

  • Thank-you so much for sharing this! I moved out of home in December and although it was fun at first to have my own space and lots of me time, I started to have friends over and I was miserable when they left. Worse still, my boyfriend, who had been around for 5 weeks (he studies in Germany and I’m in Kenya), had to go back “home”. We’ve been in a long distance relationship since 2009.

    Simply put, it got so bad I had trouble falling asleep. But I relate with what you said about doing things you enjoy and having a great bunch of friends. My campus roommate, Hellen, and a close girlfriend, Lisa, have made the quiet space that is my home much warmer. I love cooking and have given reading a short break, but I am slowly starting to cope and enjoy good music in my own company. I had my latest meltdown on Saturday, but I’m okay now.

    Thank-you for sharing this. And also everyone who left a comment on how they deal with loneliness.

  • Great article and tips! I definitely agree with the fur babies! I definitely felt alone when I got my first apartment but two cats later and that’s definitely changed!

  • I so much appreciate your heart felt words in this post and I know exactly what you mean.
    I mean I live with my boyfriedn and he’s not away, he’s always there. But no matter what everyone feels lonley sometimes.
    I would freak out if I knew I had to be alone on a friday or saturday night. But for the past years I learned how to cope with it and now am really excited to have a night for myselfe.
    And you know how I did it? You have to be your own best friend! As silly as this sounds it’s quiet true. I have amazing best friends but -as you already said- you don’t want to bother them with all your emotional stuff all the time.
    Being my best friends, helped me so much to grow not only within myselfe but also in relationship with others. It’s really incredible.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on that, I belive that helps a lot of other girls out there!

  • Great suggestions! I live in South Africa but am from the US. I live with my amazingly, wonderful husband and sweet basset hound, Rolo. Although I love them dearly and my friends and family here in SA, life can still get lonely. The only other thing I would add is finding a show that either reminds you of home or just puts you in a good mood…The Ellen Degeneres Show does it for me. 🙂

  • Well this was both lovely and brave. I completely understand the lonely feeling and it’s much easier to give into it than to fight it. But this is beautifully written and inspirational to those who may be a bit lonely or who just need a bit of a push to settle into wherever they are.

    Kate

    http://www.thrillofthechaise.com

  • Since my husband is also a musician, sometimes touring, sometimes not, I’m always interested in seeing the lives of other muscian’s significant others and how they deal with sharing their life with a musician. I’m not one for crying or shopping, but when Ben is away, I quickly slide back into my single-girl habits (who knew they’d be there even after a decade of not using them?!), I’m more artistic when he’s not around and I tend to exercise more too.
    Chin up, I don’t want to say I love it when he’s away, but I do enjoy just being all by myself rather than having to consult someone else for plans.
    Also, I don’t know about you, but after he’s been gone on a particularly long run, I have to get used to sharing my house again! 🙂

  • This is wonderful advice, thanks for sharing these tips and for putting yourself out there like this. I too get the blues every now and then and I wish I had these tips when it first started happening. I pretty much figured the same things out myself. Learning to allow these feelings and knowing it’s okay to feel this way was particularly difficult but it’s a valuable lesson. Dealing with your emotions and allowing yourself to feel a certain way is so important. Thank you again 🙂

  • Hi Camila!
    Hmm, I don’t know of a way to convince someone else to get a pet (if they don’t already want one), but you could maybe explain why it would help you to have a pet and see how that goes. You may also be able to volunteer at a local animal shelter and help pet/spend time with their animals if you can’t have one at home. I don’t know if they do that where you live, but our shelter has that option here. Hope you find a way to get a furry friend if you can!

    Laura 🙂

  • As a military spouse, I appreciate this post more than most people! Thank you so much for all of these wonderful tips. My two dogs are my lifeline when my husband is away! 🙂

  • Your husband plays guitar for Mutemath? That’s really cool. I saw them in concert back in 2011. The lead singer lost his voice so they had to improvise and do only instrumental. It was still pretty sweet. 🙂

  • I have a few books/shows/movies that I know always will make me feel better (even if it’s only a little bit); some of them are things that both me and my guy are into (like Game of Thrones and the Song of Ice and Fire books), but a lot of them are just silly or fun (Harry Potter, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and The Emperor’s New Groove are a few favourite ones of mine 🙂

  • Brilliant. I’m a military spouse, and this is precisely the way I handle things. Thanks for writing everything so succinctly and sharing!

  • SO good. It’s so true, you need to learn to be okay with being alone but allow yourself those moments where you need a good cry. Thank you for sharing.

    p.s. LOVE MUTEMATH!! Who would have known.

  • Hi Laura,

    Thank you for putting this out there. It’s difficult for me to talk about being lonely because I feel like it exposes my vulnerability, but knowing that others go through the same thing is really reassuring. My boyfriend of almost 5 years and I have had a long distance relationship for most of our time together. I/we’ve had our ups and downs, and it’s difficult sometimes to get past those emotional humps. I agree that it’s important to stay busy and allow yourself to feel sad, but also push yourself to move on from those feelings. Recently, I started a Master’s program and it’s been very fulfilling, and has helped our relationship in a positive way. I guess the end lesson is that loneliness is only temporary and it’s important to understand how to cope with it. Thank you for bringing it up.

    Sincerely,
    Jennifer

  • YUP, I am in the lonely gal category. My man is a Marine, and deploys frequently. I feel frustrated, sad, angry…and then I work myself slowly through the steps above. I would also have to say finding an outlet to DEAL with the emotions is positive too. Write. Paint. Take yoga. Instead of pushing for every new idea, I also sit with my feelings and acknowledge them, and then remind myself that I have a choice to have a great day or a sad one. I choose positive and great more than sad and lonely;) This post struck a chord with me as we are marching toward another one here soon, and counting down the days for separation, but I’m also counting down days to get the focus all on ME for awhile, and that will be nice too.

  • Very helpful tips! My boyfriend and I live a few hours apart, and being in school and working makes it difficult to see each other more than every three weeks or so. I’ve always been an introvert and it’s comforting to hear that I can reconnect with myself during those times of loneliness!

  • Great post with incredibly mature insights! Best of luck to you and your hubby during those lonely seasons. Without a doubt it will strengthen you and your marriage!

  • I recently started working on my photography business full time. Thanks for the tips, these are wonderful!

  • Thank you for your sincerity on this post, it is quite helpful. But in my opinion it is not the same to deal with being alone knowing that you have someone to wait for than being alone on your own, specially when everyone else arround you are on a couple.

    Although I still think your tips are still good in any case. Learn to be alone is an important lesson to learn in life.

    So thank you very much again.

    PS: I love your cats!!

  • I was in the same boat. Husband gone on tour for most of the year with his band, The Dear Hunter. I had the same bad habits, spending too much because i was lonely, and crying on the kitchen floor sounds extremely familiar… Unfortunately, though we loved each other, his career won out. Even when he was home he was never “there” anymore, always working on another musical venture outside of his main band. Either producing, writing music with other people, just constant projects. I was okay with him being physically away, I learned to deal with the loneliness, we had two dogs and I had projects of my own, but there was no time left in his life for us. I left him this past fall, and even though it’s been really hard, and I miss that part of my life, supporting him at his shows, touring and traveling with him, I’m excited to finally be able to have some sort of “normal” life. I’m really happy that you’ve found a good balance, I know how difficult it can be in a relationship like that.

  • Just found your blog, you have some great projects!!

    My husband travels every week for work, leaving Sun/Mon and coming back Fri/Sat. I have learned to embrace the lonliness, and learned to like just hanging out with myself (I am also an introvert, so our home/sanctuary is where I look forward to recharging). Our culture is so go-go-go and moving from HS to college to jobs doesn’t allow our young adults to adjust to being alone, to learn to like yourself. The pets part is important (they are counting on you, so you can’t flake out when you’re sad). The keeping busy part is huge: gym, crafts, home projects, etc. We have learned so much about ourselves since he and I started this journey 10yrs ago, esp communication. I think it has made us so much stronger.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!!

  • Laura,

    Thanks so much for this post, as I find myself thinking about it often and re-reading to remind myself that I’m not alone! There are so many of us “band wives” out there. My man of 3 years has been touring for almost 10 years now, and he’s not slowing down anytime soon. Not many people understand how different our relationships are, due to their constant touring and then an overnight shift to them being home 24/7. I find myself feeling very lonely and hopeless more often than I like, so I cope with regular ladies nights, gardening, binge watching Parenthood and re-arranging the house. Oh and I can’t forget my pup, Cooper! He’s my little angel.

    Anyway, thanks again! You’re an inspiring woman, Laura!

    Elaina

  • These are great tips! I think you completely covered it. Today’s culture is so fast-paced & distracted; it seems that if I have any time alone when out in public, I instantly go to my phone or something to distract me. Solitude is something we really should look at differently. It’s hard to get into the mindset, but so worthwhile.

  • Such a beautiful piece! I can relate to it myself as I have started working from home and have to deal with periods that I have to entertain myself on my own. While sometimes loneliness gets to me, other times, I just keep myself busy. If nothing helps, watching a series is my best way out.

  • Im 600 miles from my home state, been here for 6+ months.
    Ive been alone since 2013.
    Nearly completely. I did get married 10 mos ago. But, he works from morning til midnight. Everyday. Just got out of army 4 mos. ago. His family lives far away.
    My son went to live with his dad: his choice ofcoarse. But doesnt even say hello to me anymore, its been months, he wont respond to texts or calls.
    My family all went away after mother deceased. No communication at all. Anyways, here i am , isolated. No support system. Some days loneliness is unbearable.

  • I love my spouse .hes awesome!
    i just have noone that calls me or anything, its not an exaggeration. Noone! I feel like sleeping all the time . And i do, literally sleep my life away. I wait for Saturday each week, then hes off of work with me.
    Im tired of lonely. For real!!!
    Ive tried here;people are so different than where im from. Im from warm welcoming friendly. Here folks are not the same. Its more standoffish cold here. Like, “stranger alert” is blinking over my head .
    I dont know what to do, i miss having friends, family, church friends. Again, ive been trying.
    Any suggestions? Any help would be appreciated!!! Thanks so much for listening!
    And thanks for blogging !!