17 Essential Life Lessons You’ll Get From Dating Long Distance (Even If Your Relationship Fails)

Spreng Ben
Spreng Ben

1. You are brave.

Brave for putting fear aside and attempting a relationship that people on the sidelines shake their heads at. Brave for facing things alone because you have to, with no one holding your hand and guiding you through. Brave for opening your heart, for trusting. And whether things work out or not, you will learn how strong your heart can be.

2. Patience isn’t just for dealing with three-year-olds.

Adults need patience too.

3. Time is important.

And should always be valued, especially if it’s limited. But even if it’s not.

4. You’re never in a relationship with just your significant other.

You are dating his mother who loves cooking strange Oriental foods, his brother who plays basketball, and her pothead cousins. They all want to be included in your lives. They all want to stalk your Instagram posts. They all want to be Facebook friends. And this will teach you the sometimes annoying, but definitely awesome, connecting power of love. But…

5. Your relationship will never involve your families/friends or their love lives.

You can (and should) let people in. But being long distance will always be you and your human’s decision. Stressing about everyone else’s thoughts and opinions and comparing yourself to other ‘happily in love’ couples will never do anything for your sanity or relationship stability.

6. Not everything needs to be a battle.

Not being face-to-face consistently will teach you what pisses you off, what is worth arguing about, and what really isn’t a big deal. No text back for two hours? Not worth it. A Snapchat of her and her ex? Yeah, probably fight-worthy.

7. Never move in with someone before knowing their goals, future plans, and annoying bathroom habits.

This one’s self-explanatory.

8. Sometimes you need to Facebook stalk the ex…and sometimes you don’t.

A good creeping session won’t hurt anyone…unless you let it consume your life and you start comparing yourself to every little thing he/she wears, does, or posts on Instagram.

Never be clueless about your bae’s previous relationships. But becoming obsessed with the past to the point that it takes away from the now? Dumb.

9. You are a beautiful person.

Beautiful because you believe in love, no matter the obstacles. Beautiful in your Snapchat selfies. Beautiful over Skype. And beautiful, even if things don’t work out the way you planned, because you will realize your beauty on your own. Which is the most important thing.

10. Little things do matter.

Like telling your significant other you’re headed to the store, brushing your teeth, or eating Oreos while watching the news. These are all actually relevant and important to someone who isn’t there for your day-to-day life.

11. Distance actually does make the heart grow fonder.

Contrary to the anti-LDR belief that a two people can’t live apart or they’ll grow apart, your long distance relationship will actually bring you closer. In ways you never even imagined.

12. Growing apart is a good thing.

You have your own set of friends, your own Friday night plans, and your own passions that are uniquely yours. You will learn to value your alone time. You will become more independent. And this is good, whether you end up together or not.

13. You will learn your self-worth.

And that it’s not determined by your body, but by your intelligence, communication, and self-sufficiency.

14. Phone calls will tell you a lot about a person. More than you think.

You will learn the way your human’s voice sounds when he’s sad, the way she texts when she’s busy, or the best time of night to chat. You will learn his fears, her honest thoughts, and his happiest moments. You’ll be forced to engage in your absence, and not cover your feelings with small talk. And you’ll see and understand more than you would standing right in front of the other person.

15. You have a purpose outside of your love life.

And that is discovering who you are, which is equally, if not more important.

16. Long distance should never become ‘normal.’

No matter how long the timeframe of being apart may be, you will learn that the end goal is togetherness. And you will end up together, or realize that it’s better to end things before anyone gets really hurt.

17. And finally, will discover that you and bae are actually legitimate bad a$$ses.

For doing this. For loving each other despite distance, no matter if you succeed. Because love is always worth the battles we fight, no matter the outcome. TC mark

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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