It’s hard to admit sometimes, but here it goes: My partner goes to gaming conventions. My partner goes to several gaming conventions, often traveling hundreds of miles to play in a tournament here or see a particular exhibitor there. I tried going with him once, and it was a total nightmare for me and a disappointment for him, so now I stay home while he goes off to play.
Whether your partner travels without you for business or pleasure, it can be hard to stay home alone while your partner is out of town. You may feel left behind, or just not know how to fill the time you’d normally be spending with him. I’ve found that the trick to staying sane while your partner is out of town is to pretend you’re on vacation, too. Being home alone gives you the perfect opportunity to do things you wouldn’t normally, and you may eventually find yourself looking forward to your partner’s trips.
Sleep somewhere different.
For many, the hardest part about your partner going out of town is the prospect of sleeping alone. You get so used to just having another body next to you in bed that not having your partner there can cause insomnia and distress.
When your partner is out of town, beat the sleeping alone blues by sleeping somewhere totally different. Sleep on your couch, or build a blanket fort with your living room furniture and camp on the floor. Put a sleeping bag in your kitchen, or nap in the doghouse with your dog. Wherever you decide to sleep while your partner is out of town, make it seem like a treat and not an unexpected punishment.
Schedule hangout time with your friends.
Your partner going out of town will leave you with some free time to fill. Use it as an opportunity to catch up with old friends, or do something special with the friends you see regularly. Since you’re home alone, you could have a party! Make dinner, order takeout, or have a potluck for ten of your friends. Enjoy the freedom you have to socialize without worrying about cleaning up right away or your partner getting up early for work the next morning.
Rent movies your partner would hate.
Enjoying some quality alone time is another possibility when your partner goes out of town. Does your sweetheart hate chick flicks? Does your honey hate heist movies, or heavy foreign films? Whatever the case may be, you can have your fill of movie watching without giving equal time to your partner’s preferences. When your partner is out of town, you always get to hold the remote.
Spend quality time with the pets or kids.
Sometimes the pets or kids get pushed aside when you want to spend time with your partner. That’s perfectly normal. When your partner is out of town, though, take the opportunity to do something special with them. Buy your kitties a National Geographic film and watch them go nuts for the birds on the screen. Take Fido to a park you’ve never been to before. Pack the kids in the car for a day trip to a planetarium or a buffalo farm. Do something neat with them so your partner’s absence isn’t so hard on them.
Organize or redecorate something.
Do you ever wonder what the bathroom would look like with orange walls? Always wanted a shed in the backyard? Imagine finding hidden treasure in the junk drawer? When your partner is out of town, you’re king (or queen) of the castle. Wave your scepter (or hammer) and make magic happen.
Play with your inner child.
You may be an adult, but your inner child is lurking in there somewhere. With your partner out of town, no one will see you play if you want to. This is the perfect opportunity to remember exactly why you loved finger paint so much as a toddler. If finger paint isn’t your cup of tea, try coloring books or Play Doh. Set up the army men behind Lego forts and see which side wins-green or green.
Stay away from alcohol and recreational drug use.
It may be tempting to indulge in a vice or two with your partner out of town. Abusing alcohol or recreational drugs to cope with your partner’s absence will only make you more depressed. And no one will be there to hold your hair when you throw up, which will only make you feel even worse. It’s a lot easier to stay sane with your partner out of town if you stay sober-you’ll have more control over your thoughts and moods.