First installment of significant time apart due to work travel. How do I deal with this?
posted by floweredfish to Human Relations (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Us: In our 30s (him almost 40!), neither past married, not living together (yet) but have a short-term plan, both professionals with high-power jobs and busy lives. His job does not require much travel while mine is essentially hell on wings. We are both people who need to spend lots of time together and have lots of contact with one another.
I've been dating my awesome boyfriend for just over 8 months. We are very serious and I know he's going to propose in the next 6 months (per him telling me). I am totally head over heels, ass over tea-kettle for him. Sometimes I wonder if I feel more strongly than he does, but that's neither here nor there as he is a tough one to read, but I take whatever he says at face value so everything is great. We see each other every day, fall asleep in the same place every night, go running together most mornings and email each other during the day and text. We are basically puking kittens and a committmentophobe's worst nightmare. This works for us however, because we were friends first and continue to be besties despite the crazy-ass romantic side of the relationship.
The situation: My job is insanity, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I am extremely prone to last minute travel, very spontaneous even (as in - *boss phone rings at 4pm*: "Hey, can you go to State that is a 3 hour plane ride away for a 2 hour meeting tomorrow and then come home, same day so you can be at 9am meeting in your office Next Day for XYZ Important Meeting?") yes, it's absolutely ridiculous, but I am OK with this because it's only what I know and I can handle it and it's fun. Next week for example, I will be in 6 states in 5 days and will be sleeping in my own bed every night. I will be spending the entire months of September/October in Europe in different countries.
Anyway, BF does not typically travel for work. At all. However, since we've been dating, for whatever reason, I've been having a heinous dry spell of travel, which means that I've actually been home and can fall into what people consider a "normal" routine. This is fine with me, I am such a road warrior that being home feels nice. It's almost like when I am on the road I have my ROUTINE and then when I'm home, I don't know what to do with myself.
The Issue!: The issue is this. I've been home for 8ish months and have been able to establish this awesome relationship with someone I'm crazy about and who claims to be crazy about me. Well, right now he's currently on another continent for 2 weeks for work and it's absolutely killing me. It's been two days and I'm going through some serious withdrawal. He's called me every day so far, but it's been so difficult talking to him on the phone (I HAAAAAATE THE PHONE) and the lack of contact feels like a hangover. It feels like a breakup, but without the break? Ughs.
Ok, so here are my questions!
1.) What can I do to pass the time/stop thinking about all of this?! I have plans with friends, am busy with my own job, have a list of stuff to do if friends cannot hang out, am exercising...what else? I'm trying to be busy.
2.) I trust him. I really do, although I know I have trust issues. However, I'm worried because with the amount that I travel I've seen countless times how people who don't travel often for work just go balls to the wall and think they can get away with murder. I've been hit on by married men at hotel restaurants while I have been busy reading my newspaper. How do I tell myself to knock it off?
3.) More into number 2 - he's there with downtime on weekends and has concert tickets to two different shows. He's already called me while semi-drunk after dinner. This is not helping. I was thinking about sending an email with all of this just to get it off my chest - is that a dumb idea?
4.) The situation sucks. He's off (working obviously) but in his downtime/in the evenings, etc. is seemingly having the time of his life while I'm at home. I'm catsitting for him, watching his house for him, getting his mail - doing everything a loving partner would do for someone they love while he's off gallavanting. No Thank Yous. No What Can I Dos. Just OMGS I DID XYZ COOLEST THING EVAR AFTER WORK TONIGHT AND I HAVE TO GO EVEN THOUGH I JUST CALLED YOU 3 MINUTES AGO BECAUSE I NEED TO RUN OFF TO THE NEXT COOLEST THING EVER!!!!!!!!
5.) Our Love Languages are very different, despite the copious amounts of quality time that we spend (and love spending!) together. His number one flaw to me is that he epically sucks at showing any sense of gratitude. I was raised to thank everyone for everything - even if I bump into a stranger in the grocery I'll apologize then immediately thank them. I don't feel very appreciated right now. He recently forgot my birthday which sucked and I fully expressed that. I want him to know that I'm doing all this shit for him while he's away because I love him. I would really like just a "thank you". That's it. If I go the email route, how do I say this nicely?
What do I do? I'm trying so hard to figure out my stance and feelings on this and it hasn't registered. Maybe I'm jealous? Maybe I need to learn better tolerance? Maybe I need to let things go? When I travel, I literally get up, go for a run, go to work, leave work, go directly to dinner, go directly to hotel, shower, then book/bed. That is my routine and it's probably this way because I no longer see the glamour in business travel. I feel like he's on spring break or something right now. :/