Being in a long distance relationship is hard. There’s really no way around it. You see couples walking hand-in-hand or out for a casual Tuesday lunch, and you can’t help but feel a little jealous. Being hundreds of miles away from the one person who can always make you smile is the worst.
Of course, everyone always hears about the negatives of being in a long distance relationship, but that’s not the whole story. When I first started college, I felt like I was going to be the only one crazy enough to keep up my relationship across state lines. But I soon found out I wasn’t alone. There are plenty of people who choose to stay in a long distance relationship—but if it’s all negatives, what’s the draw… or why are so many people doing it?
1. You both get to make your own friends
Of course distance sucks, I’ll be the first to admit it. But you can still make the most of the time you have to spend away from your SO. While you’re both in your separate cities, it gives you both time (and a reason) to focus on new friendships.
If you and your SO always live close by, you might be tempted to opt for a night-in, or hanging out with the same group you always do, instead of pushing yourself to make time for new friends. While it’s nice to know the same people, it’s also important to have your own friends. Plus it might make for a funny story—one they don’t already know—on your next FaceTime date!
2. When you finally do get to see each other, it’s kind of magical
The weeks have dragged by, but finally the moment has come. Your SO is on their way and you get to spend the whole weekend together. While you might have been jealous of those couples you saw having lunch during the week, now the distance suddenly becomes worth it.
The world seems to stop for the night or the weekend, or however long you’re together, because you finally get to focus on just each other. And as cheesy as it sounds… there is a kind of magic to it. And who doesn’t want a little magic in their life?
3. It makes every little thing feel exciting
A phone call. A trip to the grocery store. A late-night outing for McDonald’s. All these things become infinitely more exciting and meaningful when you’re in a long distance relationship. While it’s nice to get a sweet text during the day in any relationship, getting one from a long distance partner means that despite the differences in your lives, you’re still a constant thought on their mind. What’s that saying? “It’s the little things in life that matter most.” In a long distance relationship, that takes on a whole new meaning.
4. You have someone who’s willing to stick through it with you
This might be an obvious one, but I feel like it’s one that could be easily overlooked.
In a long distance relationship, don’t forget to appreciate your partner, who obviously thinks you’re one in a million if they’re willing to stick out the distance with you. Not everyone has a SO who drives multiple hours every few weekends just to eat Chinese take-out and watch movies.
5. You have double the places to explore
When you finally do get to see each other, chances are you’re not going to spend the whole time on the couch watching Netflix (although sometimes that is pretty nice). Luckily, being in a long distance relationship means you have two cities to explore, which means double the restaurants, parks, shops, and events to experience.
While you might not make the initial discoveries together, it’s a great feeling to have your SO visit and finally get to show them all the places you’ve been dying to share.
There will always be people to remind you of the negatives of being in a long distance relationship. I try to ignore them and instead remember that—while they aren’t necessarily positives—there are plenty of things that make the distance worth it, most importantly the person at the other end of what can feel like a million miles. Distance doesn’t have to be the worst thing in the world, especially when you remember that bottom line—even though it might not feel like it now—it’s only temporary.