When trying to think of what to call this post, I came up with a few ideas. One that I nearly used was ‘Top 20 Reasons to Choose a Long Distance Relationship’. But then I actually sat and thought about what I was saying. No-one chooses a long distance relationship; they are difficult and require a lot of work. Nobody enters into a long distance relationship because they want the distance, but because they wholeheartedly love their partner. The distance is just a side effect of that, another challenge in your relationship to overcome. But that does not mean it doesn’t have its benefits (as surprising as that may sound). This is our list of the top 20 benefits that LDRs have to offer.
1. If You Can Survive the Distance, You Can Survive Anything
The classic benefit to a long distance relationship is the knowledge that if you are able to survive it, your relationship can survive nearly anything. Once you close the gap, your issues will pale in comparison to the memory of your long distance relationship and the sheer effort it takes to maintain (financially, physically and emotionally). So knowing that you were able to get through it is a comforting thought, and more importantly, you are safe in the knowledge that life can only get better.
2. You Develop Great Communication Skills
A central aspect to any long distance relationship is communication. Being so far apart forces you to develop your communication skills. Without being together in person, body language (and even texts) can be very difficult to understand from an emotional point of view. So you naturally learn to communicate your feeling openly and concisely. This makes for a much more open and connected dialogue with your partner, and makes you both feel a lot closer.
3. You Know That Both You and Your Partner Are Committed to Each Other
There are a lot of commitments in an LDR; whether it is time to your partner, money to visit them, or just being open and understanding. But it is comforting to know that you both feel the same. Long distance relationships require commitment to each other, and knowing that your partner is just as committed to you as you are to them is a great feeling. And there are so many more opportunities to express it in a long distance relationship too; write them a letter or email telling them how you feel, surprise them with a visit, or just even try to set up a surprise date night.
4. A Deep and Lasting Trust is Developed
For any long distance relationship to succeed, you must trust your partner. Of course, this is a two way street, you must both trust each other and remember that trust is earned rather than automatically gained. But, when you do trust each other completely, despite being worlds apart and sometimes not even awake during your partner’s day, this is very hard to break. It means that when you are able to close the gap, you will trust each other completely, and have an amazing foundation upon which to build your lives together.
5. The Relationship is Based on More Than the Physical
Seeing your partner only a few times a year can be difficult. Particularly because it often means you must go without the physical element of the relationship. You do not notice how important just being able to hold hands, or cuddling is until it is gone. This forces you to build your relationship on something else – on an emotional connection. And this runs much deeper than the physical, connecting you on a completely different level.
6. It is a New Experience
Long distance relationships can be a novel experience. Sometimes you feel a little detached from the real world, living your life in two different places at once. It can be a little scary at first, but it is fun, exciting and enjoyable too. And when you finally close the gap, you will have plenty of memories to think back to and remind yourself how glad you are that you made it through.
7. You Learn a Lot About Yourself
In any long distance relationship you learn a lot about yourself, and it may not be the same for everyone. You learn how you deal with the distance, and perhaps the time difference too. The circumstances can be trying, and you will end up learning a lot about yourself and how you respond in these situations. Knowing more, it gives you the opportunity to improve and try to become the best person you possibly can be, for both yourself and your partner
8. Learning to be Interdependent
The term interdependent means that you rely both on yourself and your partner. In some respects you must become completely independant, capable of living on your own and supporting yourself. However, in other aspects you become very dependant on your partner, particularly in terms of emotional support, which you will need in a LDR. Learning to rely on both your partner and yourself can help build the foundations to a great relationship, and will help you when you move in together too.
9. Always Having Something to Look Forward To
In every step of your LDR there will always be something to look forward to, whether it is meeting for the first time, your next trip, or closing the gap completely. You don’t even need to know exactly when it will happen, just knowing that it will is enough. There is always another goal, another step to work towards, and something to look forward to. It means there is never a dull moment, and always something to be excited about.
10. Never Running Out of Things to Talk About
The chances are, in your long distance relationship, you will not be able to spend whole days talking. Sometimes we are lucky and able to, but for the most part, work, studies and time differences can get in the way. This means that when you and your partner do have time to talk, you will always have something about your day to share with them. And, if your day hasn’t been particularly interesting, there is always your next trip or your future plans too.
11. The Community
Of course there will be days that are difficult, days where you will miss your partner beyond belief. But one of the great things about being in a long distance relationship is the supportive and empathetic community. There are hundreds of long distance couples all across the world who understand how you feel and willing to lend a listening ear, so that every time you feel down, someone is there to pick you up again.
12. Learning to be Creative
Creativity may sound like an odd skill to be developed through long distance relationships, but it is true. To be successful, you need to learn to be creative. You can only have so many Skype dates that follow the same format, at the same time before they become boring. You’ll need to think of creative solutions to keep them interesting, and think of new ideas you and your partner can do together even when you are separated by the miles.
13. Creating Memories
It can be easy to forget how important memories are, especially if you are in a close proximity relationship. But, in an LDR you never take them for granted. They are all you have until you see your partner again, and that can make them extremely precious. You will never pass up an opportunity to take a photo with your partner, and will cherish it forever. Your memories and photos of your partner are all you will have to remember your time together, and so creating those memories and taking those chances will be more important than ever.
14. Staying In and Going Out Together
While you are apart, you will usually only be able to communicate via video chat or instant messaging. And a lot of the time this will be at home, with a stable WiFi connection. This gives you plenty of time to watch TV and browse the internet together. It also means that when you are together in person you want a break, to do something different. This is the perfect opportunity to go outside, walking, playing sports together or just exploring the local area. In a kind of roundabout way, LDRs are great for structuring your time and activities together.
15. Living Together and Living Apart
Quite often after only a few months of dating, couples will move in with one another. In a long distance relationship however, you will spend most of your time living apart, and a little living together. While in most regards this is definitely not a benefit, it does give you a chance to work on your habits between each visit. I know there are some things I do that drive Chelsea crazy, but I know what they are, and on our next trip when we live together for another few weeks I will be able to make a conscious effort not to do them, constantly improving myself.
16. Becoming More Patient
Long distance relationships involve a lot of waiting. Waiting for your next trip, waiting to close the gap, it almost always seems as though you are waiting for something. And while you usually are waiting for something exciting, that does not make the wait itself any easier. At first this is difficult, and it always will be to some extent. But long distance relationships teach you to be patient, and to remember that good things come to those who wait (amazing things in fact).
17. Learning to Sacrifice
LDRs are not easy, and there are often things you will have to go without. It could be an opportunity to hang out with friends so that you can be there for your partner in a difficult spot. Or it could be your savings & earnings to be able to visit on a regular basis. Whatever it is, you will soon learn that there are a lot of sacrifices, but the more you do the easier it will become, until one day you realise you are not thinking about me anymore, but we.
18. Having an Amazing Story
It may seem that your friends and family are wary of your long distance relationship now, that they do not understand it. But when you are finally able to close the gap, you will have an amazing story to tell. One about how you overcame all the difficulties and challenges, and persevered through it all until love won out.
One of the most obvious benefits to a long distance relationship is the endless opportunities to provides you to travel. You always have an excuse to visit your partner’s state or country, and explore it as much as possible. Each visit feels like a holiday, even if you are your partner have to work through it. And that means you can take daytrips, explore the local area and just enjoy being tourists. And, if you are able, it might even be possible to meet in the middle and explore a whole new place together every time you meet.
20. Your Partner
Through all of this, there is one person who has stayed at your side the entire time. Your partner. No matter how tough things have been, they have been there for you. It takes a special kind of person to make a long distance relationship work, and both you and your partner are. You know that no matter what you go through, or how long it takes, they will stand beside you, and support you every step of the way.
Those are our favourite 20 benefits that long distance relationships provide. But we would love to hear your thoughts too. Do you agree with our list? Do you have your own favourite benefits that we did not mention? Let us know in the comments below and start a conversation!