Long distance relationships are tough to make work.
When you’re apart from the person you love, it can make you crave them more than ever.
Or worse, you can begin to forget why you enjoy the relationship in the first place. Or you just get sad wondering what events in their life you’re currently missing out on.
However, there is hope.
There are 5 unexpected benefits of long-distance relationships, which I’ll outline in this article.
If you can get through your period of long-distance, you have a chance of coming out the other side stronger and more deeply in love than ever before.
So let’s look at the positives…
1. You get a clear view of whether the relationship is worth it
Although a long distance means you don’t get to spend enough time in each other’s company, it does also mean that when you do finally reunite to spend quality time in person, you see very quickly whether the relationship is worth the wait.
If you end up only seeing each other once every 3 months, but then find yourselves arguing and getting frustrated with one another when you finally reunite in-the-flesh, then you know that this relationship isn’t for you in the long-term.
2. It makes you plan ahead for the future
When you live in a separate country or city to your partner, it forces you to plan a little more ahead into the future and think about what you REALLY want.
Do you want to move from your current home to be closer together? Does one of you plan to change their careers in order for you to end the long distance? What are you willing to give up for this person?
You find out very soon what sacrifices you’re willing to make and how you both see the future, which lets you know if you’ll ultimately be compatible in the long-term. If you both act as a team, you can overcome this challenge and love each other all the more for having truly put in the effort to make it work.
3. You really appreciate your time together
Most couples take their alone time for granted, especially when they spend every weekday and weekend just hanging out and going through the normal routines.
When you’re doing a long distance relationship, you learn how to make the moments together really count.
You plan romantic dates for when you get to see each other, you think of sweet gifts, you fill your bedroom with all their favorite things before they come to visit, you write love notes and come to cherish physical closeness.
You learn to appreciate everything about your partner and work on creating wonderful memories together in those brief times you get to meet in person.
4. You learn independence
Many people use their relationships as shelter from having to build a real social life. But when you’re in a long distance relationship, you no longer have that excuse.
You have to invest real time away from your partner to build a life with meaning outside of them. And that’s healthy. It means you have interests, hobbies, friendships, and work that enrich your life and enhance what you can bring to your relationship.
This stops you from losing yourself and killing the “spark” in your relationship – when you don’t solely rely on your partner to give you connection, you have more confidence and inner happiness which makes you a better girlfriend.
5. You become better at communicating your feelings
When your relationship is restricted to Skype calls and Whatsapp, you start to learn the value of honest and real communication.
You learn all kinds of things about your partner from hours of conversations, and what’s more, you establish a true emotional closeness that can be hard to create when you’re doing the usual day-to-day activities together that couples who live together do.
It takes time and patience, but you begin to learn your partner’s feelings and you can really practice getting to understand every part of their character by setting aside quality “phone dates” where you discuss your day, your dreams, and your deepest feelings.
So while long distance is often a tough place to be, it can have unexpected benefits for when you finally close the gap. Take heart from this next time you’re despairing about not being able to be together 24/7.