Everyone enters the dating world with different expectations. Some people just want to explore the world and have a good time with the people they meet. There’s always the alternative of a shorter relationship, meant to get people through the holidays with someone by their side until spring. The classic idea of a long-lasting relationship can also be a big goal.
No matter what you want from your experience in the dating world, you’ll have to make a choice to either date someone near you or someone who lives far away. Dating someone who lives in your town comes with its perks, like frequent dates and never having to plan major trips to see each other. Throw some gas in the tank and you’re on your way across town for pizza dinner with your favorite person.
That kind of relationship isn’t always in the cards for some people, but it can end up turning out in their favor. Long distance relationships often end up making the happiest couples for many reasons — here are six of them.
1. They Learn to Communicate
This is an obvious but important factor in long distance relationships: Communication is key. There can’t be a single text or two in the morning and a conversation over drinks later in the day. Communicating is the only thing keeping the relationship afloat in between visits, which may not happen all that often.
Long distance couples learn how to adapt to communication needs quickly. If they need a text explained or more frequent Skype calls, they have to say those things and own how they feel. Likewise, they have to learn how to respond to their partner’s communication needs without taking things personally. It’s a practice that may take some more time than others, but the longer a healthy relationship endures, the stronger the communication becomes.
2. Everything Slows Down
Everyone knows the stereotypical rule of dating. By the end of three dates, you probably know if you’re going to seal the deal or not. There’s really no way to know that the relationship is going to work out if those three days happen over the span of a week, but when there’s time spent planning and taking trips to make the dates happen, everything begins to slow down.
It may take a month or two to even have a first kiss in some cases, and that can be a good thing! You learn more about your partner before making any serious commitments. Instead of rushing through a lunch date or watching Netflix together, you can spend more one-on-one time developing the mental and emotional bond that will keep you together.
3. There’s Less Pressure
Part of the reason people rush through the beginning of a relationship is because there’s pressure to settle down. It’s tiring being in the dating world, so it’s understandable that people feel pressured to make a relationship work. When you have time and distance separating you and your partner, it’s understood that things are going to take more time. The pressure to get through a certain number of dates evaporates, leaving a more pleasant space for love to grow.
There’s also less pressure from family and friends. They may want to meet your new significant other if things go really well at the beginning of the relationship, but they won’t be hounding you every weekend if they know you won’t be seeing that person either. They’ll more easily sit back and wait for you to be ready, since sacrificing a few hours of your limited time with your partner would mean so much more.
4. Trust Becomes a Priority
One of the biggest components of a long distance relationship that is the foundation of success is trust. It’s good to be dedicated to the person you love, as is reported by many long-distance couples, but don’t let that dedication become a competition. You should trust your partner to value you and your relationship as much as you do. Otherwise, there will be petty behaviors like social media stalking or accusations that only hurt both people involved.
5. They Count Every Second
Taking your partner for granted is a major problem when a relationship seems easy. When you can see them any time or any day you’d like, their accessibility makes them a nearly guaranteed part of your life. Long distance couples have to wait for that text, wait for that Facetime call and plan sometimes extreme trips just to be able to hug each other.
It all makes it difficult to take a long distance partner for granted. Not when there are countdown apps helping people across the world look forward to their next flight so they can see the person they love. Having only a few days together before flying back to months of separation makes you value your partner and love the little things you may miss about theme every day. Being aware of your good relationship and being grateful for it will only result in that relationship getting even better.
6. They Grow Into Themselves First
Love is an incredible emotion that can even be addicting. Having all those firsts with someone new is the best feeling, and being loved can make life seem complete. Even if you share the most love with your partner, it won’t stand up to the test of time if you don’t love yourself first. This is true for anyone in any kind of relationship.
You have to know who you are and what you want out of life to have a good relationship. That way, you become the strongest version of yourself, and your partner can cheer you on along the way. Partners who influence each other’s identities allow codependency to come between them, whether they can see it or not.
This is one of the major reasons long distance relationships make some of the happiest couples — they get the space to spend time learning about themselves and growing into their passions, then return to celebrate with the person they love. Added to being more aware of how they communicate and valuing the time they spend together, long distance couples may have found the best keys to romance and true love.