Stop Asking Why I am in a Long Distance Relationship

It is common for those in a long distance relationship to be asked WHY they choose to participate in a relationship with such challenges.  The easiest answer is sometimes as simple as you just have to follow your heart to the path that you believe is correct.  Robert Frost wrote a famous poem called The Road Not Taken where “two roads diverged”. 

When it comes to relationships, it is not always that easy and life doesn’t always present two diverging roads to choose from. Sometimes, only one path is presented to us and we must embark on the journey the best way we know how. Friends and family might not understand your reasoning for wanting this kind of connection. You may want to scream from the rooftops, “stop asking why I am in a long distance relationship already!” It can be frustrating, but there are a few advantages of being in a long distance relationship. 

Absence makes the heart grow fonder – Increased Intimacy

To begin with, distance doesn’t always have to be viewed as negative. Studies have shown that those taking part in a long distance relationship have a higher chance of sharing their thoughts and feelings with each other and are able to communicate intimacy better.  For instance, it is likely you will find your conversations leading to deeper, more meaningful discussions as opposed to small talk.  Topics like your future, goals, expectations and more will spin into perceptive conversation as you continue to build the bond between you.  

Getting to spend time separated can also allow you to refocus and prioritize what you really appreciate about your partner If you spend too much time with them it is likely you will start to find minor things bothersome or irritating.  When participating in a relationship at a distance, you have the ability to overlook the small stuff that might normally be an issue.  You tend to focus on the real aspects of your relationship and about your partner.  This aligned focus directly impacts your relationship and can lead to increased intimacy between the two of you.  Over time, you will find yourself longing for your partner more and concentrating on spending quality time over quantity.  

Love over Lust

When we see our partner daily or on a regular basis, it is easy to blur the lines between love and lust.  Is your attraction more physical than emotional?  Do you have a connection with the person you are dating or with the activities you engage in?  Is there a deep emotional connection or just a lust driven attraction that will dwindle over time?  

Sometimes we become infatuated over the wrong aspects about a person.  Physical traits or other superficial aspects can guide your emotions in the wrong direction when you should really be focused on our partner’s character.  The separation allows you to uncover the true aspects of your partner’s personality, interests, humor, morals, life goals and living habits.  Knowledge of these areas will be tremendously helpful as you look to take your relationship to the next level and you will have established whether or not you two have a strong foundation at the beginning of your relationship.  

Improved Communication

Communication is the key to all relationships – near, far or wherever you are.  If you and your partner cannot effectively communicate, it does not matter if you live in the same home or in different hemispheres – your relationship will suffer.  Engaging in a relationship where there is distance separating the two of you lends well to communication, as this becomes the primary basis of your relationship.  

To illustrate, you will likely have scheduled calls throughout the day and week.  You will be more focused on key aspects of your partner’s day and routine that might not normally be discussed during day-to-day interactions.  You and your partner will find yourselves respecting one another’s time and efforts as you will both need to develop interdependence as you rely more on yourself than shared roles in the relationship.  

Appreciate Time Spent Together

Previously, we discussed how absence makes the heart grow fonder and leads to increased intimacy in the relationship.  How about the quality of the time spent together?  We all miss our significant other when they are away.  But if we do not get to see them for an extended period of time, we are more apt to REALLY miss them.  While sometimes painful, this is one benefit of a long distance relationship that helps partners appreciate the time they spend together more.  

In fact, couples in long distance relationships find themselves planning their activities and events more efficiently.  Instead of spending a lazy day on the couch binge watching Netflix, they participate in more dates and work to increase the quality of the time spent together.  Partners who work to make memories and nurture their relationship have a better chance of long lasting success.

Personal Independence – Interdependent

Not having your partner directly by our side can lead to us developing better personal independence, as we are not able to lean on our partner to help us with things we would normally ask of them.  It is easy to get into a routine of letting your partner do this or that or taking care of this task instead of doing it yourself.  For instance, in some relationships, one partner takes on all of the housework while the other takes the yard work.  

However, when participating in a long distance relationship, often each member of the relationship has to take care of items their partner might have overseen or shared.  Couples also find themselves more appreciative of the things their partner does for them.  When the long distance part of your relationship ends, you will both be much stronger and ready to help one another in the relationship moving forward.  

Solidified Commitment / Tests the Love / Builds Trust

Decidedly, long distance relationships are no walk in the park. Being apart can truly make or break a relationship.  Separation, time and loneliness can take a toll on your emotions.  The separation alone can make your mind go a little crazy.  You think about them, wonder what they are doing, if they are thinking about you, who they are talking to, who they are with and if they are happy or when you might see them next.  

However, through these challenges you will find that your patience will grow and so will your trust in your partner.  Engaging in a long distance relationship will require a considerable amount of trust and faith in the relationship.  Over time this trust will grow as you and your partner will continue to work together to maintain levels of communication. 

Appreciate the Little Things

Anyone who has been in a long term relationship knows there are times where we take things and experiences for granted.  We get used to certain activities, routines, small talk and more.  When you have large gaps of time between getting to see that special someone, it really opens your eyes as to what is important.  

Perhaps dinner at your favorite spot is more magical, the breeze on the walk home as you hold hands feels nicer and the small gestures you do for your partner are that much more rewarding.  Whether it be a simple love note, a bouquet of flowers or dinner made at home, the time apart really makes you appreciate the smaller aspects in life.  The little moments are where we make our big connections. 

Conclusion:

In short, all relationships will have their own unique challenges.  Even short distance relationships experience unique trials and tribulations.  Many couples find themselves in very successful long distance relationships, but it requires work and understanding from both parties involved.  If it is a one-sided effort, it will surely fail.  

However, if you are willing to commit to the relationship, find ways to increase the quality of your connection and commit to one another, it is very likely you will be a part of something amazing. The effort put forth has a great opportunity to blossom and grow into a long lasting relationship due to the levels of trust, interdependence, communication and appreciation you have developed for one another.  

It is important to focus on the journey and experience of the relationship.  Try to find joy in all of the positives and negatives that you may encounter.  Sometimes taking the road less traveled will be what makes all of the difference.  

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Elena
Written by Elena