Being apart from your partner

My treatment means I can't see my girlfriend very often, and it's making me miserable. How can we keep our relationship strong while we're apart?

Advice columnist and relationship expert Matt Whyman answers:

Some people cope well with time apart from someone special, but many find it difficult. It's natural to want to be with that person, especially at a time when you're feeling vulnerable and would appreciate the support.

Put your treatment first

Right now, it's important to put your treatment first. At the same time, put your mind at ease by letting your girlfriend know what's worrying you. Even if the circumstances aren't ideal when you get the chance to talk, it'll still feel like a weight off your shoulders.

Keeping in touch

If you can, phone, Skype or text, or use apps such as Snapchat or Instagram to share parts of your day.

When you can't be together, let your girlfriend know you are thinking about her. Social Worker, Simon Darby advises going a bit old school: "Send a letter to her house or flowers, and remind her how much you care for her."

You could also make her a music playlist or CD, or a photo collage.

Make time to talk

Relationships thrive on being honest with each other. No matter how you're feeling, it's better to talk things through than worry about it alone.

Review the situation regularly. This way, even if you can't see each other often you can look back knowing you handled a tough time to the best of your abilities.

Young People's Community WorkerBethany Scutt offers this advice: "Make the most of the time you have when you can be together. Get some time for just the two of you, kick your family and other friends out for a bit!"

Extra support

Clinical psychologist Kate Hancock says: "CLIC Sargent can help in practical ways. They offer holiday breaks, and grants that you can use to help with the costs of keeping in touch."

Content added: November 2015
Review due: November 2017