When you think of long distance relationships, what comes to mind? For me, it used to be hard work, loneliness, and eventually inevitable heartbreak. Why? Because not many people have a good outlook on these relationships. Experiences point towards a breakup. The distance just isn’t easy and manageable for most. And, handing your heart over to something that historically doesn't work never seems like a good idea.
But what if I told you long distance relationships don’t always have to be about hard work, loneliness, and eventually inevitable heartbreak? I’ve done it. Yes, it’s true that this particular relationship I’m speaking of didn’t end up working out. But I now know so much more about myself, and I know so much more about what I’m looking for in my next partner. Having that relationship taught me a lot, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
If you want to know what I know now, keep on reading. Long distance relationships can work, and they can actually be pretty darn great if you give them the chance to.
Communication becomes a real staple.
All relationships require communication. The difference is that long term relationships heavily rely on communication to form and keep a strong bond.
Think about it, all you can really do in a long distance relationship is talk and use your words. The two of you don’t see each other as often as you’d like obviously. It’s all about texting, calling, and video chatting. Conversations can get really deep and the two of you can really get to know each other on a different level.
You can learn the true definition of patience.
Long distance doesn’t allow you to get what you want, when you want, where you want it. You have to get that waiting and understanding is crucial. Certain things will have to come in time - it’s not as easy as buying a plane ticket and flying to your person. It’s not a traditional kind of relationship.
The two of you will definitely cherish one another’s devoted time.
Traditional relationships are easy to keep up with; you get to see your partner whenever you’d like and do whatever you’d like with them. Unfortunately, that means a lot of couples will get a bit lazy, only participate in certain activities, etc.
With a long distance relationship, you want to make all the memories you can in the short period of time you have together. That means a lot of significant others are willing to do some crazy stuff together. Instead of going to dinner and a movie, you’ll probably want to branch out and go rock climbing, scuba diving, mountain hiking, and so on.
The activities will get more fun and intriguing and you’ll make sure you don’t take advantage of even a second when you’re together.
Trust is much stronger with distance.
Oddly enough, this portion of a long distance relationship may shock you. In the beginning, you may have your doubts. As time goes on, those doubts will dwindle away and your trust issues will dissipate.
Here’s a quick tip to get there faster: Communicate about your trust issues and always reassure one another. You’ll get used to trusting your partner faster than you think.
You’ll know what real independence feels like.
I’m not saying that you can’t be independent in a regular relationship, but it’s definitely easier to be in a long distance relationship. You’re able to focus more on your life goals and bettering yourself when you’re not spending every second with your significant other. Being distracted by a relationship is a real thing, but the only distraction time you’ll have in these situations is in-person visits - and those are far and few between. A phone call every night doesn’t really take you away from working on yourself all that much, after all.
With this kind of independence, you can also spend time with your friends and family back home guilt-free, whenever you want.
Traveling can ultimately become a big part of your life.
For me, traveling is a big part of my life. With a long distance relationship, I was able to travel quite a bit.
Sure, every couple months we would visit one another in our hometowns. But one thing we didn’t realize in the beginning - and that I think is super cool - is that we had opportunities to travel outside of our hometowns together. All we had to do was book a flight and meet somewhere to enjoy some tropical time together, to look at some cool architecture, or to experience an entirely different type of food.
The relationship isn’t all about sex.
You can’t see one another all the time, that's obvious. Which means you can’t constantly be sexual and sensual. Limitations on sex can bring out a different type of intimacy in your relationship, though. A stronger connection that will last past lust and turn into love.
The bed is your bed almost all of the time.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand sharing my bed. I have less space. I can’t stand when others snore and hog the blankets. And I have my own nighttime routine - fall asleep with the light and tv on and shut them off when I wake back up in the middle of the night. It’s comforting to me.
Long distance relationships give you the entire bed almost all of the time. And those couple of nights every few months that you do have to share the bed become not-so-bad (especially because at that point, you’ll miss the cuddling aspect).
There’s always something to look forward to.
Regular relationships can get stuck into a routine. Date night on Friday. Breakfast on Saturday. Binge watch shows on Sunday. Blah, blah, blah.
With long distance relationships, spontaneity isn’t off the table. Being unpredictable is welcomed. And with that spontaneity and the unpredictableness of the situation, you always have something to look forward to. It’s refreshing.
Sure, being away from one another is a crappy situation. But you have something to be excited about at the end of the day when you know you’ll be seeing them in a few short weeks.