Things to learn from a long-distance relationship

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Each day passes by as I move from work to school to finishing yet another episode of Psych. Throughout each activity and task, I think of him. I miss him constantly.

I press through the day, finding any task to distract myself from the loneliness. Daylight hours feel manageable, but each evening feels a little lonelier. Then comes the best part of the day, the part when I get to video call him and see his face. During these conversations, I am often brought to tears. Seeing him reminds me of just how different this is.

Sounds dramatic, right? Yet, that is how I sometimes feel dealing with a long-distance engagement.

I would never have chosen to have a long-distance relationship. I knew the stigma, but here I am engaged and far from my fiance.

Long-distance relationships are just as hard as they are cracked up to be. That being said, I believe that being in a long-distance relationship can strengthen a couple and help their relationship grow and deepen. Here are just a few things I have learned from my long-distance relationship:

Communication is always key

If misunderstandings can happen within the same room, just think how easy it would be to misunderstand something sent from miles and miles away.

Going from seeing my fiancé almost every minute of every day to only getting to talk to him for a half-hour each night took some getting used to. Through technology, I still get to see his face and text him throughout the day.

I believe that this distance helped me know how to better communicate in my relationship.

Express gratitude and love openly and often

A kind text or sweet note is often what gets me through the day. I used to think saying ‘I love you’ too many times would make it lose validity or seem less meaningful, but this distance taught me that being told you are loved never gets old.

This time can help a couple develop a deeper emotional connection

By taking away the physical side of a relationship, long-distance provides a unique opportunity to grow together emotionally without physical closeness. Take this time to learn more about them. Learning new things, along with expressing appreciation and love often, deepens a relationship.

Treasure the moments you have shared

Leading up to our time doing distance, I would video my fiancé doing random, everyday things like cooking food, sitting on the couch or talking to his mom. When I miss him most, I can look at our photos and these videos to watch those moments. It makes me feel closer to him and never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Discover who you are individually

What are your hobbies when your significant other isn’t around? Now is the perfect time to find out. People often lose themselves in a relationship— not necessarily in a bad way, but it happens. Couples tend to form hobbies together, sometimes leaving behind things they individually used to love. Find those passions again.

One of the best things one can do while away from their significant other is to find ways to better themselves. I want to be a better person at the end of this separation than I was prior.

You balance each other out

During a long-distance relationship, emotions can sometimes be through the roof. I have never been on a bigger emotional rollercoaster. While in these emotional whirlwinds, my fiancé always knows what to say to help bring me back down to earth. Use this time to find balance, to learn new ways to give and to appreciate what is being done for you.

It’s a hard situation to be in, but I believe long-distance relationships can be beneficial. Take the opportunity to grow, individually and together, instead of sitting and sulking in the sadness.