This week I had to endure the wildly unpleasant experience of being away from my partner. I was flying interstate for a writer's festival and it meant that we had three full scheduled nights apart. This is, to put it lightly, a very big deal in my usual schedule and the whole thing honestly made me feel incredibly anxious.
Of course, I acknowledge how completely absurd this must sound. Most people I speak to, regardless of how great their relationship is, relish the nights they have away from their significant others. I know that I should enjoy time alone in hotel rooms where I can enter my slug zone and watch hours of the stupid TV shows that I love and my partner cannot stand. But I really don't – I feel strange, uneasy, and I sleep terribly.
Whenever I'm away from my partner, at least for the first couple of days, I find that I'm completely overwhelmed by separation anxiety – and I'm really embarrassed by that feeling. It's one thing to feel sad because your fun, sexy best friend isn't around, it's another to feel actively lost and worried about it.
A friend mentioned to me a while ago that, while in a relationship, she went on a month's long trip to South America, alone, and it sounded like one of the most alien concepts I could imagine. Meanwhile, I work myself up into a state of acute panic whenever I have to travel to Melbourne for a couple of nights.
My partner and I have been together for around four years, and in that time, I think we've spent a maximum of a week apart. And when we are apart, I feel like one of those dogs that tears the house apart when their owner goes to work.