Why I’m Thrilled About Being Away From My Boyfriend (A Lesson For The Ladies)

Okay, so maybe ‘thrilled’ isn’t the word. But I can’t lie—for the past few weeks that I’ve been without my boyfriend, I’ve been experiencing an emotion one can only classify as ‘joy,’ or something like it. Now, I know that the more cynical readers probably think I’m just happy because I get to prey on all the FiNe PiEcEs Of aSS that I see on a daily basis, but I assure you, that’s not why. In fact, I don’t think I’ve even seen that many fine pieces since I’ve been home from school (attractive males were never a selling point for my hometown.) The real reason for my recent happiness is deeper than that, and I think a lot of girls may benefit from hearing it, because I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way or is capable of feeling this way. Check it.

My boyfriend is amazing. He’s funny, witty, silly, gorgeous, blah blah blah. He’s one of my best friends and we’re pretty much inseparable at school, so when I first learned that he would be staying an extra month or so to take summer classes, I was not excited. Yeah, I know, a month really ISN’T that long. But for someone who’d never gone more than a week without him, it seemed like an eternity. Immediately after hearing the news, the worst possible thoughts entered my head. What if he cheats? What if he loses interest? What if we realize we’re only compatible in person, on a physical level? What if he gets kidnapped by pirates? What if I get kidnapped by pirates, and he’s not here to save me!?!?

If you’re noticing a pattern here, you’re onto something. These fears were not only the result of intense over-analysis of the situation, but they were centered on HIM. And when I realized this little flaw, it got me seriously thinking. I used to be a girl who did what she wanted. I used to be totally content with lounging around on my ass by myself, enjoying the simple, slow moments in life. I took great pleasure in hanging out with my girlfriends, an activity that (I’m ashamed to say) falls a little by the wayside when he’s around. And it’s not his fault—he is the least clingy person I know; he encourages me to be independent and is always supportive when I need to do my own thing. It’s ME whose lost control a little bit. But why?

We as females are biologically inclined to attach to our men. It’s nature—they try to ‘spread their seed’ to ensure the passing on of their genes, and we try to lock ‘em down to ensure our own safety and the safety of our offspring. And while this bit of information may have some of you yawning, it’s real valuable information that explains why so many women seem to lose themselves in their relationships – and ultimately end up driving their men away. The key in relationships is to take and learn from the other person as much as you can without losing yourself completely. These past few weeks have been so joyous because I’ve managed to focus on myself again, and find out what makes me happy other than my boyfriend. Hobbies that I simply ‘didn’t have time for’ are suddenly becoming my favorite pastimes, and my friends and I have hung out more in the last month than we have on any other break so far.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I miss him. I still feel a little lonely when I watch romantic movies, and still wish I could ‘Blue Skadoo’* through the computer screen whenever we video chat just so I can lay with him again. But the bottom line is that I’m alright without him. Still living, breathing, and finding ways to entertain myself without my man around. So maybe on second thought, the feeling I’ve been experiencing isn’t necessarily ‘joy,’ it’s just ‘me.’ I’ve been feeling more like myself in recent weeks than I have in months, and I have a feeling that when he gets home, things will be better than ever. I’ll once again be the independent girl he was so attracted to when we first met, and he’ll once again be the boy I can’t wait to share myself with. Falling in love all over again… Now THAT is a thrilling idea.

*A reference to all the Blues Clues fans out there, past and present. Not in any way related to the Urbandictionary definition of the term. Ew. TC mark

image – Klaus with K


More From Thought Catalog

  • http://twitter.com/jkymarsh J. Ky Marsh

    Now this was a good read. Bravo, Lisa.

  • http://twitter.com/elyseholladay elyse holladay


  • http://brianmcelmurry.blogspot.com/ Brian McElmurry

    relationship vacation, nice.

  • Christina

    Feeling it! My BF and I have been long-distance since January. It's not easy, but it's amazing to have tons of stuff to share whenever we do see each other, and notice the little ways in which we're both changing and growing. We're happier than we've ever been. It's weird.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Josef-Horacek/1601891786 Josef Horáček

    Suggested Sequel:
    “Now don't get me wrong, I know that men are biologically predisposed toward violence, and when he hits me, he's really telling me he cares about me. But it's nice to get away from him from time to time and reconnect with the experience of having a bruise-free body.”
    How's that for biological determinism?

    • http://www.facebook.com/sasjam Sas Jam


    • Teukros

      Right, because beating the crap out of a woman is a great way to get her to have healthy babies.  You see many males beating up on females in the animal kingdom?  Do you even know what biological determinism is?

  • http://twitter.com/stefinmotion Stefanie J

    I relate to this so much. Such a simple and well written piece!

  • inflammatorywrit

    I've been in Germany for six months, and am going to see my boyfriend in 2 weeks and I'm kind of weirded out/nervous about it, as much as I am excited. Most of my anxiety centers around questions such as, what if I've forgotten how to kiss? But it took me a couple of months to get to the point where you are now, and I'm totally jealous of you for that.

  • Jessica

    “We as females are biologically inclined to attach to our men. It’s
    nature—they try to ’spread their seed’ to ensure the passing on of their
    genes, and we try to lock ‘em down to ensure our own safety and the
    safety of our offspring.”

    that's dumb. i think you need to meet some different “ladies” to help dissuade you of these bit of fiction, and maybe investigate the real reasons you were an obsessed girlfriend instead of blaming your vagina.

    thought catalog: do you want to sound like cosmo magazine?

    • xra

      except it's true

      why the knee-jerk responses to obvious facts that we wouldn't even blink over if they were referring to some other mammal? hormonal-neural inclinations and urges don't translate directly to action, or necessarily determine social norms, but they're still there, and the difference between the gene depositor and gene incubator when it comes to forming bonds is a pretty bedrock one

      • Jessica

        and how about lesbians, trans women, and those who aren't “inclined to attach to our men”? are they not biologically female?

        different women have different kinds of sexual relationships, and i am not impressed with this author's attempt to explain her attachment to her bf by inferring some unprovable truth about all women.

      • Lisa D

        I think you're looking a bit too far into the inclusion of that “unprovable truth.” I take responsibility for my “loss of self”… every woman is not the same, and people today don't walk around in caveman garb clubbing each other and hunting in the wilderness. It's just an interesting thing to think about… especially when there is a sufficient amount of research and study to back up the tendencies that many women have (note many, not all, dont worry, you and your vagina are not included.) I've noticed this kind of behavior both in my own friends and in strangers.

        and as for lesbians, trans women, etc… i cant speak for them. I'm not one. If you want a lesbian or trans woman's opinion on the matter, don't read an article about a straight girl's reflection of time off from her Boyfriend.

      • http://twitter.com/no_cazador hunter ray

        I understand your point, but in the patriarchal society that we have existed in for centuries, it is really impossible to extricate biology from socialization. Yeah there is research, but you can not remove social/cultural factors indefinitely. I don't think it makes sense to say things like: “this is the way women are, this is the way men are”. It seems kind of harmful and also kind of ignorant.

      • beatricekt

        Different chemical balances in their brain. Why argue?

      • http://twitter.com/no_cazador hunter ray


      • http://likethehours.wordpress.com/ devin howard

        shit, i posted before reading yours, sorry.

    • http://likethehours.wordpress.com/ devin howard

      its not actually dumb, primate gender dynamics typically adhere, admittedly roughly, to a format in which males seek polyamorous reproduction and females seek the maximum 'male paternal investment'. 

      Now, before assigning me to the douchebag chauvinist category let me say this: as humans we have developed complex moral, ethical, and legal systems which arguably transcend conceptually the limited consciousness of biological determination, therefore, just because our DNA may urge us into certain patterns, that is no longer any excuse for behavior as we have advanced ideas and subsequently became aware that we had advanced and legitimized such ideas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sasjam Sas Jam

    Codependency puts me off. I feel as “independent” anyone claims to be in a relationship is a clever ruse. A self manipulation to deal with complacency. I don't aim to have a negative outlook, I believe you should only be in a relationship with someone in your twenties if both parties are consistently motivating the other to better their life/become more successful.
    To each their own; even if it's Trial by Fire.

    • beatricekt

      only be in a relationship with someone in your twenties? Honestly, just cos you're in a relationship before college doesn't make you a juvenile cunt who doesn't have the maturity to handle a long-term relationship

      • http://www.facebook.com/sasjam Sas Jam

        It was a longer sentence; one you didn't read fuly. I said, and this is verbatim, “I believe you should only be in a relationship with someone in your
        twenties IF both parties are consistently motivating the other to better
        their life/become more successful.”

        I made no mention of relationships BEFORE twenties/college. Please next time read what I said, rather than making an assumption or point taken from a blurb you gleaned.

        Plenty of teenagers have healthy relationships. I don't date teenagers, so I don't have any beliefs/opinions on their dating lives.

  • xra

    Great article… giving each other space before either party has to ask for it is one of the best ways to keep relationships strong IME, keeps “the pull” strong, the well of wanting replenishes, and the joyous reunion is rocket fuel for <3'ing

  • Cassidy

    I've lived on the opposite site of the country from my boyfriend for a year and we've been more happy this year than we were in the past four that we were neighbors. When I move back to the same state, I will have learned a valuable lesson. The most important relationship you will ever have in your life is the one you have with yourself. 

    Having time to pursue your own interests and friendships is essential.  He fell in love with you, not with a girl who's only interest is him.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Give a relationship room to breath. It will live longer if you don't smother it with over attention.

  • Stefan

    when I read this I thought you were definitely in high school.

    and besides the fact that women are not clingy because of their ovaries, it's also not just girls/ladies/women who can get overly attached to their significant other(s); to frame this in a ladies' club, “this is important for girls because it applies to girls because boys are just the ones that we get obsessed with” is uncritical and nauseating.

    finally, yeah, this shit belongs in cosmo or teen vogue or something. (unless TC is throwing itself wildly into a post-modern pastiche/”what even is 'quality'?” aesthetic, which would be maybe amusing but mostly tragic.)

  • Teukros

    I was all ready to spit venom at one more “liberated woman” thinly veiling a revenge post against her ex, but this turned out to be a refreshing and pleasant read.  Good for you for rediscovering your interests — the time you spend away from your s/o is just as important as the time you spend WITH him.

    Just one little thing, though: it's “lie with him.”  Lie.  LIE.  “Lay” always takes an object.  This is important for you as a writer to know.

  • heyoh

    my roommates need to read this article. they are seriously losing all their friendships because they are obsessed with their boyfriends. jeez, this article was good!

  • Ariel

    I can understand this, I had this problem in past relationships, sort of unintentionally losing myself. My current boyfriend comes and goes because of his job, so about half of our relationship has been long distance. It gets hard at times that he comes and goes so often, but it's also been good to get the time to focus on my own goals, interests, and problems.

    The thing is, though, it's still a balancing game. While you shouldn't be “codependent” I do strongly believe you should be able to depend on your significant other, at least at some point, in the same way you depend on family. You are a team. But you are also two different entities. I think most relationships go through this transition, and it can be hard and take time to figure out.

    It's not all biology, I've seen plenty of men that get just as clingy and some pretty careless women. People are people.

  • yhyhgz
  • Oneiric

    “We as females are biologically inclined to attach to our men. It’s
    nature—they try to ’spread their seed’ to ensure the passing on of their
    genes, and we try to lock ‘em down to ensure our own safety and the
    safety of our offspring.”
    So what you're saying as part of your advice to the ladies is 'women want romance, and men want sex'?

  • Lorrie

    You can’t just say it’s a lesson, maybe some people don’t want to go back to their past? To me without my girlfriend and her love and care, I wouldn’t be here, she saved my life with happiness and I’m glad to say that I’ve dropped everything from my past because she’s made me realise how close to death I actually was.

  • Emily

    Thank you so much for the article. I just had the same phenomena myself and was having trouble articulating myself. 3 months away! But I think it’s going to be better than ever. Well written and lovely 

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Mikaela Ayeera's and commented:
    Perfect article for me tonight :-)

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