1. The way every chance to talk feels sacred
Dead phones, time zones, crowded bars, work schedules, long commutes: these are the bread and butter of long distance relationship hell. Yet, in spite of all the hang-ups (literally and figuratively), the two of you make time to talk like other no-distance couples wish they could. In the context of a long distance relationship, the way you value each other’s time and savor every single second together becomes heightened in a way that makes every interaction sweeter.
2. The way you’re reunited and it feels really
Quality over quantity: the sexual tension builds until you have to restrain yourselves from being PDA-tastic in public when you finally see each other. The sex is better. That first day together is some of—if not the absolute best—sex you’ve ever had. Also? Reunion kisses are mad iconic and romantic. You don’t see a black and white “The Kiss” poster of two people who see each other every day on some freshman girl’s dorm wall, do you?
3. How you can hear, think, or say something and know what their smart-ass response would be
You learn each other’s speech patterns, mannerisms, quirks, and preferences—just like any other couple—but you can hear their voice like it’s your own sometimes. It doesn’t feel like you’ve lost yourself, though. It’s like when you and your best friend say the same thing at the same time; it’s a feeling that transcends miles. You can hear their giggle, you can see the way they lean back into a cackle. You laugh together, even when you don’t.
4. Your single friends love you and you appreciate them even more
Your friends are there for you and they’ll listen to you bitch about things that they can’t understand in that moment. They’ll invite you to every single event that demands a plus one. If you’re doing it right, you’re the ultimate wingman. You’re the exact opposite of the annoying friend who can’t go out because they’re up their significant other’s ass.
5. The little things are the big things
Getting an “I love you” text in the middle of the day feels like getting flowers at work, or seeing dinner on the table. You appreciate the littlest things so much that the bigger things feel even better.
6. The way you work as a team in spite of the bullshit
It takes two very skilled pilots, cruise directors, travel agents, therapists, phone sex hotline operators, and trusted friends to get you through a long distance relationship, and the two of you play both of those roles every damn week. Don’t you want to find the person who first said “absence makes the heart grow fonder” and nail your travel and phone bills to their door before lighting their house on fire? You have to help each other to keep the relationship going, even when you’re pissed off and hate the other person. But there’s no bathroom to lock yourself in, no place to which you can storm off: you have to deal. And when you—because you always do, in the end—you deal in spades. The two of your are the house, and the house always wins…even if one of you has to lose.
7. The way “no matter what” feels real
You’ve said things like “I’d do anything,” and “I wouldn’t trade this for the world” before, but the “no matter what the _____” isn’t something you just say anymore: it’s a fact. No matter what the cost, dollars and all else. No matter what anyone says. No matter what happens, no matter how far: you’re in love and you’re making it work, and that’s the tangible thing that keeps you warm at night, every night, until they’re next to you. You’ll still wake up to their face every day, until you see them again—no matter what.