The Benefits Of A Long-Distance Relationship
But what about your boyfriend? Is he okay with this? Do you think you two will last through this? Won’t you miss him? These were some of the first questions that were asked of me when I told people about my plans to study abroad.
Those questions were pretty forward, but I understood that I wasn’t the only person how reacted like that. It was a big decision. Long-distance relationships are not a common thing and it’s certainly not easy to try to maintain a relationship when you’re suddenly more than 1,000 kilometres apart from your partner.
I’m a pretty optimistic person, but of course I didn’t know what to expect, either. Looking back, I can say that despite all of the sacrifices and hard times such a separation in distance can bring along – there were many up-sides and chances to benefit from this experience, both personal and relationship wise.
Here’s a list of things I found where the positives of having a long-distance relationship (LDR):
Fulfilling your individual dreams.
When you look back in time, you never want to just say “I could have…”, “I should have…” or “I would have…” You want to be able to say, “I DID!” A relationship shouldn’t be something that holds you back from fulfilling your dreams. I, personally, don’t want to make my relationship or my partner responsible for what I didn’t do or maybe missed out on. Of course, it also is important to find compromises, but to a certain extent I think it is very important to do what you need to do as your own person, even if that means to spend some time apart from your loved ones.
In the end, when you look back you can see that you had a wonderful time with your partner, you didn’t hold each other back from doing something and there are no reasons to regret anything.
Growing as an individual.
Living abroad and spending some time apart gives you space to grow as a person. Your personality has some time to breath and to shape. You can concentrate on your own needs; what you want, what do you not want, who you are, where you stand in life and where you want to go. All these things are a bit easier to figure out in a self-reflecting “conversation” with just yourself. Defining what makes you unique as a person outside of your relationship can strengthen you in your role as a partner.
Standing on your own two feet.
Relying on each other is probably just as important in a healthy relationship as being independent. Especially when (like me) you’ve never lived on your own before moving in with your better half. It can be empowering for both to stand on your own feet. You’ll have the chance to learn how to manage a household all by yourself, travel solo, make new friends and have fun without your partner around for some time. In short: you’ll actually have the chance to prove to yourself that you can survive on your own without your partner as support system. Isn’t it good to know that, independent from someone else, you are still able to be okay and live your life to the fullest? I know it was for me!
Missing the other person.
I know missing someone probably seems like one of the things you would never list when asked about the positive sides to a LDR, but let us take a second to really think about what it really means to ‘miss someone’. It means that you think about someone; that you wish the person was with you; that you enjoy spending time with this person; and, that you have feelings (where platonic or not) for this particular someone. So, missing someone is (in reality) a pretty nice thing and probably the cutest confession of love ever. Being apart shows you how much your partner actually means to you. You will also notice abroad how much you appreciate each other. This will make both the time you two share together and the things you do for each other while apart hold much more significance than before. Indeed, the little things you miss are actually the things you love the most.
Skype dates and hour-long telephone talks.
Both of these things will help you to cope with prior-mentioned ‘missing part’ of a long-distance romance. But, additionally, they have the potential to become much more. As you’re not able to spend your whole days with your partner, like you did in the past, this leaves so much more to talk about when you DO call one another. Skype dates and telephone calls can become a time you’ll soon look forward to (and you’ll maybe even miss updating your partner on everything when the long-distance part of your relationship ends!).
It is kind of nice to be able to tell your partner about your day; to exchange your newest accomplishments and experiences; and to tell them every little detail about it. Your talks can now go on and on and on. When you compare this to how often you really do these kind of long, descriptive chats when you spend all day, every day together, the answer will probably surprise you. Plus, there are also so many great ideas to turn your daily or weekly skype into a special and intimate time you two can enjoy, so that this virtual togetherness can bring you closer together than ever!
Finally being able to visit your partner.
The longer you aren’t able to spend time with your partner, the more unique and memorable the moment will be when you are both reunited. Every small visit will be something you’ll look forward to – so much that you’ll be counting down the hours and, when the day finally arrives, your heart will go nuts in excitement and happiness. You can make these rare opportunities even more unforgettable by planning special activities and trips, or you could even turn the whole reunion into a vacation for you two. You’ll realize that the memories you create while visiting each other are the unique kind that you’ll still be talking about when you two have long overcome your LDR status.
Long-Distance relationships as a challenge.
Like I already said earlier, maintaining a long-distance relationship is a challenge. Every challenge, though, means that you will come out of it stronger and smarter. Taking on this challenge means that you’re not choosing the easy way out, which makes you pretty brave. You could easily choose to end the relationship to not have to worry about it, or you could easily say that you won’t go abroad because it is too risky or complicated. But wouldn’t it feel awesome to manage to have it all? To not have to say no to either or?
Despite personal challenges, studying abroad allows you the chance to test your relationship to the core. Is it strong enough? Is it “meant to be”? I always figured that if not, then it was probably for the better. If yes, however, that means that you and your partner can stand through pretty much everything… and that this person is probably THE person.
Which brings me to the last point of this list:
Growing together by being apart.
Going through a LDR will definitely teach both of you a lot. You’ll get to know yourself much better and you will learn that you can rely on your partner even when you’re 1,000 kilometres apart. You’ll see soon that you miss (and, by extension cherish) your loved one. Being so far apart for such a long time forces you to believe, to trust and to commit. So, being apart from each other can actually help you to grow together much more – so much so that upon reunion, you’ll be much stronger than before.