Missing his presence, his hugs, and the smell of his deodorant. Getting antsy seeing other couples acting lovey-dovey. Plastering pictures of you and him by your bed, and desk, and refrigerator, and bathroom, and basically any open wall space that is at eye-level. Talking about him incessantly with your friends who have never even met the guy. Knowing, at any given moment, exactly how many days it will be until you get to be together again.
So that may have been a bit exaggerated, but as I am approaching my third year of dating long-distance, I admit it is a struggle!
No one wants to be away from the one they love! However, instead of moping around, dwelling on your heartache, and convincing yourself you can’t be happy away from them, I’ve found that you can have a very healthy relationship and a joyful life even on days you are apart. You just have to embrace your circumstances and recognize some of the positive aspects of long-distance dating and how it can enrich your relationship..
You learn more about yourself!
By being on your own you get the space to pursue your own interests, make decisions for yourself, and do things on your own time. Your confidence grows and you come to better understand who you are as an individual. A better concept of self leads to a healthier inter-dependent relationship in which both intimacy and individuality exist.
You learn more about your partner!
Your partner has the space to undergo the same sort of self-discovery that you experience. And because your interactions are limited to conversation, you get to learn an enormous amount about your partner’s thoughts, stories, perspectives, experiences, and sense of humor. Much more than you would sitting side-by-side watching a movie.
You can enjoy having friends of the same sex!
We all know those couples who don’t know that anyone else exists besides the person they’re dating and the person who cuts their hair. By consuming all of your time with your partner it puts an undue amount of pressure on them to always be entertaining and fulfill all of your social “needs”. It is an impossible feat and can therefore only lead to conflict. A girl needs her girls and a guy needs his guys! Being away from your partner allows you the time and space to invest in relationships with a variety of people which can be refreshing, fulfilling, and an important outlet for all of your “girly” or “manly” tendencies.
You get excited to see each other!
Butterflies, gigantic smiles, and chill-inducing hugs! There’s nothing like the first embrace with your love after a long time apart. The unbelievable energy and excitement surrounding a reunion is one that you get to experience again and again and is almost exclusive to long-distance daters. It’s like falling in love each time you see them! You appreciate your partner so much more and don’t take your time with them for granted. Along with that, you share an inner feeling of accomplishment knowing that, against all odds, you’ve made the relationship work!
If I had the choice, I would surely want to live within walking distance of my boyfriend! But since our current pursuits and stage of life prevents us from doing so at the time being, we have learned to embrace our distance and make the best of our time apart! Skype dates, letter writing, phone calls, care packages- get creative! You can certainly make it work.