Feeling a bit blue after saying goodbye to your long distance love recently? For our first post back after the holidays, I thought you might need a bit of encouragement. Here is a post I wrote recently for LifeHack about 10 positives of being in a long distance relationship…
Everyone knows that long-distance relationships are hard work, but here is something you may not know: being in a long-distance relationship—at least for a season—can actually be good for you.
Here are 10 great benefits that can come with long-distance love.
1. You get to know each other very well
When you’re in a long-distance relationship, you have nothing to build your relationship with but words. Recent research suggests that long-distance couples talk less frequently than those who live in the same city, but that their interactions tend to be deeper and more meaningful. Talking at this deep level helps you as a couple get to know each other very well. In the process, you also develop communication skills and habits that will help your relationship in the long run.
2. You are less likely to confuse lust with love
Attraction in a long-distance relationship tends to be based primarily on a foundation of emotional intimacy and shared values rather than physical intimacy. Being attracted to someone mostly because of the conversations you have (rather than the sex you share) is not an iron-clad guarantee of long-term relationship success, but it certainly helps.
3. You get to road-test your trust
When you are far away from someone you love, it can be difficult to keep your imagination in check. When your partner is out without you and having fun, it can be easy to second-guess them and let jealousy get a foothold in your mind. Being in a long-distance relationship forces you to recognize and confront some of these types of insecurities. It lets you practice trusting and being trustworthy. The confidence and sense of security that you can gain as a result? Priceless.
4. You learn to communicate and resolve conflict well
In a long-distance relationship you have nothing to do most of the time except talk to each other. In the process, you learn to connect deeply and communicate well. No matter how good you are at communicating, however, you and your partner will experience misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and conflict at some point.
When you’re far apart from each other, it takes even more trust and skill to negotiate these challenges. Couples who learn to address and resolve problems and conflict over distance equip themselves well to deal with future challenges in-person.
5. You really appreciate the time that you do spend together
Seeing each other less frequently helps you fully appreciate the time that you do spend with each other. You learn to savor time together regardless of whether you’re doing something mundane like grocery shopping or living it up at a fancy restaurant. Since feeling grateful is a surefire way to increase your happiness, this sort of appreciation both feels good in the moment and also provides a long-lasting mood boost!