Being in a long distance relationship is a privilege. You’ve found someone who loves you, wants to grow with you, and is willing to do that all while navigating the challenges of being far away. Although it may not seem like it, there are plenty of benefits of a long distance relationship.
I’ve had my fair share of experience being in a long distance relationship. I met Kaz, my New Zealander partner, in his home country and just a few months later had to return to my life in the UK. From there we embarked on 3 years of hard work in a LDR (long distance relationship).
Was long distance worth it? I can tell you it certainly was, and still is! We learned so many valuable things along the way and our relationship is stronger because of it.
This post is going to look at 10 benefits of a long distance relationship that will show you that a LDR can be worth it.
Your Friends Will Get More Attention
With you partner far away you won’t fall into the “I’ve replaced all my friends with my partner” zone. I have suffered many friendship lulls from the excitement of a new relationship. So many messages left on read, so many cancelled catch ups… It’s a sadly inevitable adjustment with the arrival of a new relationship, but can be easily avoided.
Friends should remain important with or without a relationship. With a partner far away those dinner dates will turn into friend dates! Having more time for your pals is a blessing.
With no partner to distract you, your friends will likely be your main source of socialising. That’s no bad thing! Not only will it give you more time with the friends you love, but their advice and comfort while being separated from your partner is so valuable.
I’m so glad to have a close group of pals to get me through the long stretches of long distance. Without their wisdom and vivacious personalities I’d have felt incredibly lonely. And, even when living with and spending time with my partner, they continue to play a central role in my life. I love introducing Kaz to friends, and letting them get to know him. I also recognise the need for time away from him so we can maintain some independence!
No matter if those friends and family are new or old, if you have a big gang or a select few besties – keep them close. Even when you’re with your partner, your friends were there throughout the rest so don’t neglect them!
You Have Time for Yourself
Being apart for long stretches give you the opportunity to grow and develop yourself. It’s easily one of the best benefits of a long distance relationship!
IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING – in any solid partnership you should still have time for yourself! But, without distractions of fun joint activities to entice you, you can focus on what matters to you.
It’s natural in a relationship that it will take more of your energy. You’ll be busy spending time together and growing your partnership. And many single folks out there will vouch for the extra time and expense spent on dates and meeting new people. Without the dating scene or your partner to occupy your time, there’s a good chance your calendar will be free for your own personal activities.
No matter how you choose to use your time for yourself: hobbies, skills, interests, experiences, career, you name it – use this time to focus on what matters to you.
Give yourself the chance to be selfish if you wish.
The opportunity for “You Time” during a LDR may not always seem like a good thing. I often felt lonely and even bored with my own company knowing my partner was so far away. However, during patches of motivation I’m so pleased we each had this time for ourselves. We worked on our separate careers and hobbies without compromising our relationship – because we didn’t have much choice!
It might not be for everyone, and you’re totally allowed to spend your time chilling out, enjoying downtime, and even feeling a bit mopey about your LDR during periods of separation. BUT, if you can find the motivation to work on your own projects I promise you’ll be glad for the time and space.
You’ll Appreciate Being Together More
This is an obvious point, but still worth stressing.
All the heartache and stress of being apart will ALWAYS be worth it when you can finally embrace and feel the warm gushy feelings of being together at last.
The overwhelming joy of reuniting with a loved one is a key benefits of a long distance relationship.
Companionship is an underrated part of relationships that many take for granted. Dive into the simple love of life together. Domesticity, physical contact, and regular conversation are all taken for granted until they’re taken away.
I’m thrilled that after 3 years in a long distance relationship that Kaz and I love living together. It felt risky to dive into life under one roof after always visiting the other. However, instead of squabbling over the washing up or arguing over who gets control of the remote we loved our new shared space and appreciate how lucky we are to have this time together. Responsibilities are shared, as they were throughout our time spent apart.
It’s almost like we’ve been training for this the whole time!
Your Communication Skills Will Improve
You’ll DEFINITELY get really good at communicating in a LDR.
If you’re not coordinating timezones and planning a video call schedule for the week, then you really haven’t done long distance for long enough yet.
But in all seriousness – this will be one of (if not THE) most important parts of making your long distance relationship work. Communication is how your relationship will thrive and survive. That’s why mastering it is a major benefit of long distance.
What’s even better is how this will seep into other areas of life! You may quickly realise that you prefer phone calls over emails at work. Or that you can happily go for long stretches without chatting to your friends. Or that a daily call with your mum is essential. All are so important to understand ourselves and our minimums and limitations on different forms of human contact.
Not only will you get an understanding of your communication style, but there’s a high chance you’ll be a better communicator as a result of a long distance relationship. Expressing negative feelings in a clear and non-accusatory way is something many of us struggle with. Playing the blame game never solves anything, and when you’re battling long distance it’s especially tricky.
After a few misunderstandings and bumps your long distance communication skills will build the solid foundation of your relationships, both romantically and otherwise.
You’ll Get to Experience Things You Might Not Have Without Your Partner
If you’re from very different locations you may well have the chance to travel and explore new places you wouldn’t have without your relationship.
You can get creative with the places and ways you DO get together. Always wanted to visit an exotic holiday destination? Now’s your chance to get planning for a romantic escape! Eyeing up the new mini golf place in town? Sounds like the perfect date night for when they visit.
When you spend time apart, you’ll want the precious time you spend together to be extra special.
Saving cool activities to enjoy together because you know they’d like it too is a great way to make treasured memories. It’s quality time not quantity of time in a long distance relationship!
I’m lucky in so many ways that Kaz is from New Zealand. Firstly, it’s my favourite country! Secondly, there is SO much I still want to see there. And likewise, what a pleasure it is to show him around my home country and play tourist in the UK when I wouldn’t normally get the chance.
Your Partnership Will Grow in New Ways
Just because you’re far apart doesn’t mean your partnership will stop growing.
Long distance relationships may not be the most conventional path to building a connection, but they sure do have their own unique qualities. As mentioned, your communication is bound to be better than many non-LDR couples. Additionally, your approach to supporting one another will be tested and strengthened over time.
Tests like the 5 Languages of Love will teach you about your partner’s needs. Learn whether your partner prefers to hear you say “I love you” or if they value a thoughtful gesture more, for example. Although separated physically, how you show love will endure beyond the distance.
Through effective communication, you’ll learn more about each other’s pasts, hopes, goals, and interests. Use the time apart to educate yourself on your partner. Simple things like what makes them laugh or what makes them anxious will be important to know throughout your relationship.
Don’t let physical separation prevent your relationship from blossoming!
You’ll Learn New Things About Your Partner
A step back from their lives will reveal things you might not have seen from a closer perspective. Are they always late for your video chats? Maybe they’re less organised than you thought! Are you always arranging and planning the next visit? Perhaps they’re more spontaneous than you.
Distance can show a whole number of personality traits that you didn’t pay attention to before. Many new things you’ll learn will be great additions to your relationship and strengthen how you understand and support each other. Other traits might be areas you want to work on improving together!
Use the time apart to learn about them, and show them things about you.
Getting the groundwork in while you’re apart will make the transition from a long distance to a close relationship smoother.
You’ll Learn New Things About Yourself
You’ll discover how much you crave and need physical touch, conversation, and other aspects of a relationship when you don’t have access to it.
Remember that 5 Languages of Love I mentioned? Take the test for yourself! Let your partner know what you need, let the learning experience benefit both of you.
You might even be surprised by yourself. I’ve come to realise that I’m a pretty impatient person, but I also know that I’m proud of how I tackle issues with a healthy balance of head and heart.
Your partner can’t be by your side in person, so you’ll also learn how you cope with situations alone. For example, I know I HATE going to social events alone. It just sucks for me to be in a room full of couples! But that’s ok, I’m learning how to deal with that because Kaz won’t be available for every occasion either. It’s a skill I can build on by myself for now AND in the future.
Feeling comfortable and confident with yourself is only going to strengthen your relationship with someone else.
Outside of your relationship, the time apart will be valuable to get in touch with your passions. What activities do you enjoy alone? Could they work alongside your partner’s interests? Are there any new passions that you’ve discovered with the time to yourself? Get to know YOU as an individual, you deserve it!
You’ve Got a Mutual Goal to Work Towards
Anyone in a LDR knows that the uncertainty is the worst part. When will you see each other again? How long will you have to be doing long distance? These can eat you up with worry and doubt if you’re not careful.
Instead, consider it this way: You’ve been given an opportunity.
You know what you want (to be together) and you can make steps to work towards that goal.
Complacency is almost non-existent when each of you are striving towards the same objective. There are endless evenings of visa research, life admin, flight bookings, job hunts… And more!
Long distance relationships are a journey, and all of us hope to make it to the end and be together at last.
You’ll Look Back One Day and Realise Long Distance Was Worth It
It might not feel like it at times, but your long distance relationship is worth it. Yes there will be struggles, doubts, worries, hurdles, and all sorts of challenges along the way. But will you give up? I hope not!
Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
I really believe in the power of giving ourselves space to be ourselves. But that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in the power of love too! Your own development can work in tandem with the growth of your relationship through long distance relationships. It’s when you realise how far you’ve come that you’ll see the LDR was worth it all along.
If you’re in a the beginning stages of a LDR, consider how much you still have to look forward to. Of course there’ll be times you’ll be frustrated and wish to jump ahead to the part where you’re finally together. Don’t wish away the present moment, though. There will come a time when all of your hard work, your learnings, and experiences will pay off.
And if you’ve been in a LDR for a while, don’t give up. Look at the experiences so far. There’s gotta be a reason you’re still doing it – hold on to why that is. Channel that energy into the next steps to be a tiny bit closer to your goal.
But how will you know if long distance relationships are worth it?
That’s for you to decide. It breaks my heart to see couples give up on love because of distance. Especially if they know something special could be brewing!
A wise friend once told me:
“You’ll never make the wrong decision because you’ll learn from every experience.”
So yes, if it all goes tits up, that will really really suck. And yes, not every LDR will last! But you know what? Neither will every typical relationship. So give it a go, what have you really got to lose?
Long distance relationships are too hard and never work.
BOOOOO. Not true!!
I hate when people assume long distance relationships are all the effort and no reward. I’ve already shown how many benefits of a long distance relationship you can find!
But I get it – I was always SUCH a sceptic. I didn’t know if I believed in long distance. I couldn’t understand why you’d want to be apart from your partner.
But now, I realise that long distance relationships are hard, but worth it.
No one really chooses to be in a LDR. They just sort of happen! It’s what you make of it and the effort you’re willing to put in that will define yours.
For me, I wasn’t ready to give up my personal goals just yet. Neither was I ready to move across the world. And that was fine! OBVIOUSLY it was pretty difficult at times, I won’t deny that.
But was it worth it? HELL YES!
We got there in the end. The stars decided to align when we moved to Perth together. It was a long 3 years, but what an experience and it was the right time at last to close the gap.
For those that have come out the other side of LDR: we can all agree that long distance is hard but worth it.
There are bumps along the road. There are trial and errors, there are endless admin tasks to sort out. But when you love someone, you’re a great partnership, and you know it’s going to be worth at least trying it – you will make it work.
And if nothing else, these benefits of a long distance relationship are proof that you can get something out of it even when you feel like giving up and it’s all a bit too much. Remember the awesome things you’ve learned about yourself or your partner and I hope these reminders will get you back on track!
For me, the benefits of a long distance relationship come down to 3 main things:
If you focus on improving in these 3 areas, you’re on the right path to coming out the other side unscathed.
What other benefits of a long distance relationship have you noticed? I’d love to hear what you’ve been grateful for!
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