The Benefits of Long-Distance Relationships
What Is a Long-Distance Relationship?
Long-distance relationships are defined by geographical distance between partners that does not allow them to spend time with each other on a regular basis. In some long-distance relationships, the partners can see each other on weekends while in others, the partners live so far away from each other that they can only see each other a couple of times a year. Long-Distance Relationships are formed for several reasons, of which the most common ones are of academic or professional nature, where the partners study at different universities or work in different cities or countries.
My Personal Experience with Long-Distance Relationships
I have lived in four different countries on three different continents. Distance between me and my friends and family were always an issue. Nonetheless, the more I moved, the easier it got to handle the distance and its psychological consequences. It is not that your heart becomes cold but you process your thoughts in a different way which makes you "survive" the distance. You understand that distance does not destroy friendships but only makes them stronger and shows you who your real friends are. The most challenging long-distance relationship but at the same time the most rewarding one I had, however, was the one with my husband.
As he is a native Brazilian and I am from Germany, I knew our life would never be normal and we would always be different from everybody else. But I feel like the phases we have gone through have turned our relationship into a very resisting, strong and inviolable one. We have overcome hurdles and difficulties that 'normal' couples never have to worry about. There are the language barriers, cultural differences, gaining the acceptance of family and friends and choosing a mutual path which combines both partners culture and expectations. Another hurdle, but very important one, was leading a long-distance relationship over months.
We found out that long-distance relationships don't necessarily mean you have to suffer the whole time from emotional stress. We very much benefitted from it in many ways.
1) More Time to Focus on Career or Hobby
Focusing on work or a time-consuming hobby can be much easier when you live away from your partner. In my case, I am busy with preparing for my second triathlon which means integrating 3 different sports in my busy work schedule. Not having to justify another training session to your partner is a relief and gives you the liberty to concentrate completely on that goal. Long work hours will not be a burden for your relationship either. It will be the perfect time to focus on and move forward with your career.
2) Every Minute Counts
I remember that when my husband and I were living together, we weren't taking advantage of the little free time we had together. We saw each other every day so what was the point of making the most of our time together? In a long-distance relationship this problem doesn't exist. When you finally see each other after weeks or even months apart, all you want to do is spend every minute with your loved one and cherish every sweet moment you have together. You begin making plans about how to use those few days your beau/belle in the most effective way and you certainly will not waste any minute with him/her.
3) The Butterflies Return
Have you ever complained to your partner about the lost magic in your relationship? Do you miss the excitement you had before a date? It will all return when suddenly, time with your partner is limited and he is not there at your disposal anymore. When you are reunited, your feeling of joy will be incredible. Every time you see your loved one after a period of time apart from each other, you will feel those butterflies again and all the nervousness that you had when you were only dating will return. It can even help you revive your sexual life and get you spending more time in the bedroom than before.
4) No More Silly Disputes
Arguments about small daily problems will most likely not be an issue anymore. You simply cannot take your stress or anger out on your partner as he is not there. In the little time you have with your partner, you will not worry about dirty dishes or why a bill hasn't been paid yet.
5) Better Communication
Long-distance relationships can really boost the couple's communication. You are more likely to tell your partner about the details of your daily life as obviously you want to make him feel like he is a part of it. Often, when our partner comes home from work, we are too lazy to discuss what happened so we just don't ask or don't show that much interest. In long-distance relationships, you are curious about his/her day because you simply aren't there to share these experiences with him/her. Everything you can find out about his/her daily activities makes you feel closer to him/her.
6) Deeper Trust
Long-distance relationships can deepen the trust between partners. If there is no trust, the relationship quickly ends. Long-distance relationships are a great way to find out if you really trust your partner. And if you already do, your trust will grow over time and develop into a deeper more meaningful relationship.
7) More Intense Social Life
Your social life will benefit from a long-distance relationship. As you need to fill the time that you usually spend with your other half, you can spend that extra time with your friends and even catch up with lost friends.
Obviously, there are always two sides to a medal. Not everything about long-distance relationships is great. There will be moments of loneliness, sadness and times when you just desperately need a hug from your loved one. There can also be misunderstandings because text messages and emails are not as clear as conversations and they might be misinterpreted. You need patience to resolve these issues and show a lot of understanding for your partner. You are not there to experience the happiness or pain he is going through so before losing your temper, it is always best to talk to him/her about that misunderstanding. Not everyone is able to have a long-distance relationship. Some people simply don't see the sense in only seeing their partner on weekends or even less. Before attempting a long-distance relationship for whatever reason, the partners need to discuss how to overcome such an important hurdle and how to deal with the financial and emotional burden that they are facing. In any case, long-distance relationships can be very rewarding if they are handled correctly and can make both partners and their relationship grow in many ways.