Dear 100 Hour Board,
Did any of you experience romantic loneliness on your mission? What was it like and how did you cope?
-pizza pie in the sky
Dear the food not the horse,
I didn't because I didn't go on a mission, but I have friends who did. One mentioned listening to and playing music to help cope, but that might be tricky depending on the regulations of the mission. The other friend I got to talk with a little more. He said the loneliness was present both in times of great focus and when his focus was less than great, though it seemed to bother him less when he was more in the missionary mindset. One hard thing was seeing others in happy relationships because it would remind him of "home in that sense," or get him excited about the future that he was so far away from. He said it was especially difficult to feel torn between where he was and where he wanted to be, but it helped to know and accept that he was where he needed to be. It also helped that he couldn't really do anything to change his situation, so he tried to channel the energy into becoming the kind of person he wanted to be for a future relationship.
Personally, staying centered has really helped battle loneliness. People do this in lots of different ways, but scriptures, meditation, prayer, and music are especially beneficial for me. I think the the root of some romantic loneliness I've heard about or felt has been feeling just generally disconnected, misunderstood, or unappreciated. In those cases, it's nice to remember that I've got a heavenly being on my side.
Sometimes, though, it's rooted in other things and I just have to ride the wave until it passes. It can be really lame, but it's a good reminder of how awful loneliness can be and that pushes me to be a better person and friend.