Curse of a DIDO girlfriend: the fear of missing out

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Hi! I'm Sarah Long. I arrived in Australia from the UK in early 2010 and met my Mr Miner soon after. We're based in Sydney and he does drive-in, drive-out (or DIDO) to Orange in country NSW. I came out here as part of a six-month backpacking trip around the world, and never went home!

The Olympics might have been an anti-climax for the Australian swimming team (sorry had to get that in!) but for us Poms it was a serious cause for celebration and national pride.

Watching the opening ceremony for London 2012, flanked on either side by gold and green Aussie advocates of Sydney 2000, I was overcome with emotion for my home country.

This went on for the whole two weeks of the Games, and of course left me pining for the green pastures of England.

But I don’t think it was true homesickness. No, this was more a feeling that I was missing out on something seriously BIG at home.

Now, I am a chronic sufferer of Fear of Missing Out (or FOMO, if you will).

Symptoms include:

  • Going out four nights in a row, even when your liver hurts;
  • Trying to fit in three dinners in one night because you can’t turn down an invitation; and
  • Catching two buses and a train to the other side of the city just for after-work drinks on a Friday night.

When Mr Miner is away at work I often find myself suffering from FOMO too, wondering what kind of 'couple things' we could be doing if he was home.

At times like these I start to build a hatred of couples walking along the beach holding hands, or enjoying a cup of coffee or glass of wine outside a cafe. I imagine the perfect relationship they must have.

In reality, I know I'm looking at their relationship through rose-tinted glasses. What’s more, I also know that Mr Miner and I are not that kind of couple. (For a start he hates walking on the beach, and I don’t even drink coffee!)

The same goes for the Olympics. I convinced myself that everyone I knew was over there having a great time - that they were all in London having some kind of huge, two-week party. In reality, they were (mostly) all at home watching it on TV too – just at a more convenient time!

When you're part of any kind of long-distance relationship, it's easy to feel like you're isolated and missing out. Whether it’s a big event or just doing things as part of a couple, you can tend to feel a bit sorry for yourself.

The truth (for me at least) is that the grass is greener on the other side, and you always miss what you can’t have. It’s a bit like telling yourself you’re on a diet, and then everything you see suddenly resembles a bar of chocolate or a tub of Ben and Jerry’s icecream.

I can’t have it both ways. And as much I craved the UK when the Olympics were on, no sooner had the Spice Girls finished singing on their London taxis, than I'd dried my eyes and turned my attention to the quickly approaching Aussie summer and the allure of life at the beach.

Sometimes, and especially in DIDO and FIFO relationships, you have to make sacrifices. You have to accept that you'll miss out on certain things.

What I need to remember is that when Mr Miner is away, I get to spend great times with my friends. In fact, I'm free to take up any offer thrown my way.

And let’s face it, how else am I going to fit in four nights out and three back-to-back dinners all in one week! 

More from Sarah:

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