Paul has had a number of long-distance relationships, including international. Born and raised in the UK, he now lives in Florida, USA.
A long distance relationship can be a romance with someone in another town or city, or even in another country. Relationships like these have become more common in recent years thanks mainly to the internet, which has made it easier for people in different places to connect and communicate.
This type of romantic involvement can sometimes be difficult to sustain, however, as there are additional pressures to contend with that don't exist when the partners live closer together. It's not all doom and gloom though, in my experience—there are also some definite benefits that come with long distance relationships.
The Main Pros of Long Distance Romantic Relationships
- It's Less Mundane
- You Get to Know Each Other Without the Physical Distraction
- More Traveling Opportunities
- Modern Technology Makes it Much Easier
- If Your Relationship Survives, You Know It's Strong
- Having Time Away From Each Other Can Be Healthy
- You Always Have Something to Look Forward to
- Both Partners Are Equally Involved
- You Must Learn to Trust
- Improved Communication
I will go into detail regarding each of the advantages below.
1. It's Less Mundane
Long distance relationships can intensify the moments you spend with each other, as when your time is limited, it often becomes more valuable and special. You also don't have the same scope for getting bored of each other, like you do when you are meeting all the time and for long periods. The time spent apart also means that you both have new things to bring to the conversation that the other doesn't know about. Then, when you do actually meet in person, it tends to be more exciting than a "normal" date.
2. You Get to Know Each Other Without the Physical Distraction
So many relationships are unsustainable because they start out with physical attraction and involvement, but then the couple discover that their personalities don't really click at a later date. Long distance romances generally ensure that there is a long period of getting to know each other via Skype, texts, email, or social media. Of course, there is always some danger that you aren't physically attracted when you do eventually meet up, but one should never underestimate the power communication for the well being of a relationship.
3. More Exotic Travel Opportunities
One of the fun things about distance relationships is that you get to go and see the place where your partner lives, as well as to show them around where you live. For sure, the travel can be expensive as well as time-consuming, but those negatives can be more than outweighed by the joy and interest of visiting another place. You can also decide to meet in a third place, which is either halfway between you, or just somewhere that you both desire to visit.
4. Modern Technology Makes it Much Easier
In the old days, a distance romance meant communicating through writing letters. Then came the telephone. Nowadays, we can communicate with video and audio in real time, making things much more personal and immediate. On top of that there is texting, emails, and social media. There is no need to feel disconnected from your partner, when you can communicate instantaneously. On top of that, you can share experiences via the internet, such as watching a movie or playing a game online.
5. If Your Relationship Survives, You Know It's Strong
Long distance relationships do present some extra challenges that don't exist when you are seeing each other in person on a regular basis, but if these challenges are overcome then your relationship may well end up strengthened. That might seem counter-intuitive, but there are many that can vouch that if the romance can survive the distance, it can survive anything.
6. Having Time Away From Each Other Can Be Healthy
When you have time away from each other, you always have new things to bring to the conversation when you chat online. It also makes your time spent together more special and intense. Time spent apart also makes for more time to reflect and follow your own pursuits and interests. Essentially, you learn to be interdependent, rather than dependent on each other, that means you want to be with each other but are happy with your "me time" too.
7. You Always Have Something to Look Forward to
It can feel great to have someone special to talk with at the end of each day, or at the weekends. It can keep you going through a tough schedule at work, as well as through some of life's other challenges. Skype conversations, emails, messages are extra special when you are apart from your loved one. Trips where you meet up in person are also fun to plan and the sense of anticipation they provide can bring almost as much joy as actually meeting.
8. Both Partners Are Equally Involved
In a conventional relationship, it's not uncommon for a relationship to drift along for at least some of the time. One partner may also put in more effort than the other. In short, it can be easy to take one another for granted. Long distance romances require a total commitment by both partners if they're to have any chance of working. Communicating regularly has to be organized and meeting in person costs time and money to arrange. The effort is usually all worth it, of course, but there's less room for plain sailing.
9. You Must Learn to Trust
Issues of trust, loyalty, and commitment are usually very important in all relationships, but in a long distance relationship, where your partner can be socializing and having fun without you, it can be easy to get jealous or resentful. You have to recognize and conquer these types of insecurity if your relationship is to thrive. There are many rewards if you learn to be trusting and trustworthy.
10. Improved Communication
You would think that communication is automatically much better in a "normal" relationship, but in practice it's easy for relationships to drift along with very few deep, heart to heart conversations. A study by Cornell University published in the Journal of Communication found that long distance relationships often feature longer, more meaningful interactions. Both parties will need to develop and improve their communication skills if a long distance relationship is going to work, but success will make for the creation of a solid relationship, then keep it strong and healthy. That's certainly my experience.
© 2019 Paul Goodman
Larry Slawson from North Carolina on March 19, 2019:
My wife and I were actually in a long distance relationship before we got married. It was tough, but we managed to get through it somehow. Was definitely worth it in the end. I always felt that the distance apart made us love each other even more.
dashingscorpio from Chicago on March 18, 2019:
However Long Distance Relationships are meant to be temporary.
The goal is to (be with) the person you love.
Whenever there is (no light at the end of the tunnel) whereby someone will be relocating to be with the other most couples drift apart. It's the counting down of the months/weeks/days until one is finally done with the inconvenience of being in a LDR that keeps it strong!
The only valid reason for being in a LDR is the belief that you have found "the one". If you're simply dating for (fun) or to pass the time you might as well do that locally.
More often than not those who find themselves in a LDR cannot afford to travel to see one another very much. Maintaining trust also becomes an issue especially when disagreements arise and one person chooses not to communicate. Making up is more of a challenge when your options are limited by phone and Internet.
Older people usually will do better with LDRs than younger people. Every year high school sweethearts go away to different colleges believing they will maintain a LDR for the next 4-6 years while they pursue their degrees.
Very rarely do these couples end up making it.