If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, there’s a chance you’d go through that FOMO (fear of missing out) phase at least once — especially when this is the first person you’ve been dating exclusively with.
While it might not be the best feeling to have, it’s important to acknowledge it because denying it will only make you suffer in the long run.
I didn’t know that FOMO was even applicable in a relationship until I had one recently. It was two days after my 27th birthday that I started thinking about everything that’s going on in my life deeply. At that point, my partner and I have been together for long enough, and the current long-distance situation just makes it worse.
From thinking something is missing in your life to questioning whether this is the right relationship for you or not, it’s such mixed feelings: regrets, loneliness, and confusion.
What I noticed so far when it comes to this FOMO, people tend to underestimate how much impact it could do on your relationship. Often people make impulsive decisions which later on bringing more problems. To say the least, the feeling can break or make the future of your relationship.
So what can you do? Below are several tips you can try. I personally have applied this, and while it won’t disappear right away, doing these steps will reduce it and eventually helping you come back into a much stable mental state.
Think of Yourself Outside the Relationship
The first thing I did when I experienced FOMO was to block some time and spend it with no one but myself. I booked a quiet place somewhere in Ubud, Bali, for a couple of days so I could detach myself from all the distractions.
Sometimes you get too caught up with the endless demand of life. It’s like you are on the spinning wheel trying to keep up with everything — which most of them are people’s expectations.
That’s why I asked myself, “what do I really want? Do I have this feeling just because I think people tell me that’s how I should live my life? Is there anything that makes me truly happy outside this whole relationship thing?”
List Down Your Favourite Things in Your Relationship
We tend to take for granted the things that are insignificant. The constant companion your partner provides, the 24/7 listening ear, the small activities you always do together — those things still count even when it’s hard to see.
So to make it easier, you need to list those things down. I didn’t value how much my partner actually put the time to talk to me every day until I wrote it down.
The main goal of creating this list is to bring gratefulness back into your mind. When you are feeling of missing out, you will forget all the things that you already have and actually makes you happy. That’s why this list will be your reminder every now and then.
Discuss It With Your Partner
This will be the most obvious step you have to do, yet not many people do it because they are too scared of their partner’s reaction. I’ve, too, had that hesitance. I thought it’d be better if I kept it for myself, and the feeling would go away anyway.
But guess what? It won’t go away. You have to work on the feeling, not numbing it and pretending you are fine. On the other side, your partner most likely will find out since you’ve been together for so long. It’s just how it is.
I’m lucky that my partner is super understanding, so it’s easier to be open with him — even if he knew some words would hurt him.
Try Out New Routines Together
The last thing to do is to change the routine inside your relationship. Spend two hours together instead of one, come up with new ideas that you could try out together — whatever it is, it has to be something new that you both haven’t done before.
Since my partner and I live a thousand miles away, it’s harder to apply this tip, but that doesn’t mean we can’t come up with something else that is just as exciting. Adding more hours to talk or just chill to doing activities together virtually has helped a lot in making the “FOMO” feeling disappear slowly.
For a recap, here are things you can do if you are feeling FOMO in your relationship:
- Detach yourself for a while and take a break if needed. Use the alone time to get to know yourself better and think of yourself outside your long-term relationship. Remind yourself of all the things you would like to do solo and small things that make you truly happy.
- Acknowledge the small things your partner do for you and make a list of them as a reminder. This activity will eventually make you become more grateful — that everything you need is actually already in there.
- Sit down and talk directly to your partner about what’s happening. It’s going to be a hard and very uncomfortable conversation, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Your partner deserves to know where your head is. If they are a good one, they’ll understand and give suggestions on what you both can do to make you feel better.
- Come up with new ideas of things you can try with your partner. Starting something fresh can help you gain that excitement feeling. We all crave that once in a while, and it’s never too late to work on it.
After all, it’s not easy to get over the FOMO feeling — no matter how stable your relationship is. It has nothing to do with your partner and more to do with yourself, so it’s important to do the inner work on your own first before involving or even blaming your partner for how you feel.
Many couples I know have broken up because either they didn’t want to be open with their partner and ended up chasing that high new feeling, or either one of them decided to quit all of a sudden. I also know the latter one always has regret later on.
So avoid neglecting the feeling altogether and take it seriously because you never know when is it going to take a toll on your relationship and your life in general.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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