“Wait, you’re in a long distance relationship? I’m sorry…”
Poor LDR, it always gets such a bad rap. My boyfriend and I are seven hours away. It’s not ideal. There’s a lot of frustration and anger that goes along with not physically being able to see each other when we want. But, forever the striving optimist, I try not to take our relationship for granted and appreciate all the good things about our LDR. I realized that it’s not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It’s actually pretty great.
1. You have a sense of independence.
If you’re in a long distance relationship, you have a strong sense of individuality. Not to say that those not in LDRs aren’t strong independent individuals, but it’s easy to fall into the comfort and habit of spending time with your significant other instead of getting out. When you really love someone, all you want to do is be with them. Too many times in past relationships have I turned down nights out with my girlfriends or weekend trips away to stay in and hang low with my boyfriend. But when your S.O lives hours away from you, you’re forced to focus on yourself, your wants, your needs. You go out of your way to stay occupied in order to distract yourself from the distance.
2. There’s more incentive to travel.
Depending on where your sweetheart lives, you get to do a lot more traveling. Sure, it may be to the same city, or maybe your boo lives somewhere that isn’t too interesting, but you’re constantly making trips and exploring a new place. I love traveling to Pittsburgh -a city that, prior to dating my boyfriend, I had never been to. Each time I visit, I accustom myself with more of the city and get to pretend that I live there part time.
3. Your visits focus solely on each other.
When it is time to reunite, you give each other 100% of your attention. All of your time and focus is on each other. You put more effort into constructing kick ass dates and making fun plans. When you can only see each other for a few days out of the month, you make the best out of it.
4. You don’t have to shave.
Ok, maybe this is just a personal gain. I don’t mind when my leg hair gets long enough to curl, but I’d be lying if I thought my boyfriend enjoyed cuddling up next to Chewbacca. So I shave – mostly for him. But when he’s not around, which is most of the time, I let that shit grow. And its glorious.
5. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Every time I see my boyfriend after going weeks without seeing him, I get butterflies all over again. I’m transported to the beginning of our relationship where we were still getting to know each other. I feel forever stuck in the honey moon phase because going without him does make me miss and love him more. Things feel exciting and new when I see him and I’m sure that if he lived in my town, I wouldn’t feel this way nine months in.
6. You find more in depth ways to connect.
Doing long distance forces you to get creative. You can’t connect going on dinner dates every week, or ‘Netflix and chilling’, so you brainstorm. You write letters, you send them packages, you surprise them. You are forced to connect in a unique way and it makes your relationship stronger because of it.
7. The break up isn’t as tough.
No separation is easy. But it’s definitely harder when you’re used to seeing your partner on a daily basis. When you end things in a long distance relationship, it’s the norm not seeing them every day so the break up results in less of an emotional shock. You also don’t have to worry about bumping into them around town or seeing their friends out at the bars. The likelihood of seeing them is in your control. Out of sight, out of mind.
If you love someone enough to not let them go and long distance is the only option, go for it. If you want it to work badly enough, it will. And you may be even pleased to find out that LDRs aren’t as bad as everyone thinks they are. You may even grow to really love them.