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On Your Mind: How To Deal With Loneliness When You Are An Expat Spouse in Singapore


Expat life in SG often means one spouse spends more time on a plane than at home. The first step? Realising you are not alone.

Looking for companionship and collaboration is how humans survive as a species, so it is not surprising that so many of us find it difficult being alone. Especially when your partner is frequently out of town. This can lead us to find comfort in behaviour such as workaholism, excessive shopping and alcohol or food binges, which can affect our well-being. The “trailing” partner is particularly vulnerable because of the need to find a new identity, new friendships and new possibilities for involvement.

The key to coping? Look at it as an opportunity rather than as a setback, suggests expat counsellor Ralitza Peeva. “Explore a hobby you’ve always wanted to try; learn to meditate and to stay present; switch off from social media for a set time every day; and listen to your inner conversations,” says Ralitza.

She also encourages SG-based partners to “find your own squad” in a club that offers a sport you enjoy or even in a new language class. “Also, stay in touch with your friends from home or other parts in the world. Be honest and open with them, too – they know you best.”

However, if you experience prolonged periods of sadness or feelings of despair and hopelessness, reach out to a qualified counsellor for help. If you are a parent, find time to speak with other parents within your circle, advises Ralitza. “Chances are, they are going through the same experience. Remember, you are not alone.”

From The Finder, Issue 295, November 2018 / Updated August 2019 

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The Finder - Issue 299

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