Long-distance relationships are often viewed as complicated and impossible to manage. They require hours of staying on the phone and testing the waters to see if your relationship can survive. However, if you are willing to put in the effort, there are reasons to keep up the good fight. As someone who has weathered this storm, I provide you with 5 reasons why long-distance relationships CAN be worth the effort:
- You can discover yourself in new ways outside of the relationship
This is not to say that, in a relationship, you’re a completely different person. Still, when you are by yourself, you learn the values of having time for yourself. The extra space also gives you time to figure out what you can do for yourself without the dependency of having someone around (meanwhile, not moping about being “single” and spending your hours lamenting that status). It might inspire new interests that you never thought you had. Being in a relationship means being in a bubble but with distance; it gives you room to figure out the things you like and what you want to do.
- You have to blindly trust your significant other
I know it’s difficult to trust the simple words of your boyfriend hanging out with another girl but jealousy isn’t going to get you anywhere. Allowing these sensations to get the best of you shows lack of trust. Not being trusted is one of the worst feelings in the world. If anything, accusations just make him think more about the “other,” and your tendency to solidify the idea of another person into his head only exacerbates the issue. You do not want that. Trust me, I know from experience. I was paranoid with my ex-boyfriend, thinking that he was with another girl all the time because he always hung out with her. He left out the details of her being a family friend, which made much more sense later. Some people say “it’s not that we don’t trust our partner; it’s that we don’t trust the other people who interact with them.” You just have to hope for the best and show some confidence that good people tell the truth. If he/she stayed in the relationship and agreed to do long-distance, it means that this person really loves you. Most people will not throw that away.
- Spending time with that person becomes much more valuable
When you are always exposed to the person you’re in a relationship with, you tend to take the little things for granted such as the things they do for you or how they go out of their way. You get mad about silly things and don’t spend your time in a meaningful way. When you don’t see this person as often, you treasure your time and do new things together. You get creative, planning picnics or going sightseeing or generally trying to make the most of your time together. Exploring new things with your partner is fun and allows you to see the perks of being with this special someone.
- You have quality time to spend with other people
I tend to shut out my friends when I’m in a relationship and barely have any time for them because I spend it with the one person that I want to see every day. Being in a long-distance relationship can help you evaluate some of your friendships and can help rekindle/solidify friendships you didn’t spend time with. Boyfriends come and go but friends stay. Distance also makes you less reliant on the fact of having a boyfriend. You don’t see him every day and you just cope with the fact you’ll see each other less. It gives you some wiggle room to see your friends more often and spend time on those relationships—the ones that matter.
- You establish an emotional connection
When you’re in a long-distance relationship, personality shines through more than the physical part of love. You focus on their personality and what they say without hugs or kisses distracting you. Distance allows a connection on an emotional level to happen, rather than physical.
With my ex, we had established a really good emotional level of connection but at the same time, when he came to visit, he pressured me for many things. Clearly, he and his friends had made a bet regarding the expectations of the visit. This is one of the problems with long-distance relationships: expectations formed in isolation can be unrealistic. Distance can increase the pressure of being more intimate when together simply because you don’t see each other that often. But these are not the rules of consent. If your boyfriend can’t accept that, he’s just not worth it. Someone who cares about you will want you to feel safe and comfortable. The best thing is communication, and you have to set boundaries or else the relationship is bound for disaster.
So if you are deciding whether or not to enter into a long distance situation, or are currently in one, know that there are positives to be enjoyed. But also remember that, from the beginning, you must ask yourselves the right questions and consider all of the best answers in order to guarantee a mutually successful relationship.