Relationships aren’t easy, but there is almost always something you can learn from them. Long distance relationships can be especially enlightening, but you have to be really careful. With the wrong person, the whole situation could get out of hand and you end up getting hurt. However, with the right person, it could be one of the best things you can do. In my LDR, I have learned so much, but I know that there is more to learn.
Here is a list of things my long distance relationship taught me:
1. What true intimacy really is.
It’s more than touching or even talking. It’s about the care, openness, and comfort that comes from another person whether they are sitting right next to you or 300 miles away. You learn to value the other person and have a better understanding of who they are and why they are so important to you. It takes being open and overcoming the difficult things to really know the value of your significant other.
2. To be less selfish.
This probably goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. In any relationship, it’s good to be a little selfish and hold on to your values and beliefs, but a long distance relationship can really help show you when and where there needs to be some give and take. My LDR taught me the importance of compromise and keeping one another happy and content.
3. Hard work is key.
All relationships need work, especially in the beginning. However, when you go from a regular relationship to a long distance relationship it starts all over again. There is a certain amount of effort and persistence that is necessary to making a long distance relationship successful.
4. The value of patience.
As easy as it would be to bug the other person all day and night, it’s not quite that simple. They’re busy, you’re busy, and sometimes you go a couple days without talking. It’s reality. Sure you both get frustrated and annoyed, but it’s more about the distance than the other person.
5. You have to make sacrifices.
Relationships take sacrifice and compromise, and distance adds more stress and purpose to that. You sacrifice so much more when you are in a long distance relationship because it takes everything you have to keep it going. You either have to decide to make sacrifices in your relationship and stay apart or sacrifice other things (job, family, etc.) to be with your partner.
In a long distance relationship, you really start to see what is important and what is not. You learn the value of the other person and what you are willing to sacrifice if anything. You learn how to make the other person a priority even if they are not physically with you.
7. To communicate effectively and often.
All relationships require communication and nearly all couples have issues with that. But in a long distance relationship, I learned that communication is one of the keys to making any relationship work because when you are apart, it’s all you have. A long distance relationship forces you to work through the big things AND the little things. You learn to be understanding and empathize with your significant other.
8. How to handle miscommunication.
All couples fight and argue, but LDR couples learn how to handle it. It’s a struggle I face regularly from not understanding something, to forgetting something, and even just not paying attention sometimes. But my long distance relationship helped me grow as a talker and a listener.
9. The importance of planning.
This kind of relationship takes an awful lot of planning and structure. It’s not just about seeing the other person but also about talking to them in general. Sometimes it’s days before you hear from them or they hear from you. It’s a difficult thing to deal with, but it just reinforces the necessity of planning.
10. How to make difficult decisions.
As scary as it is, decisions and choices have to be made. Who is going to move? Where will we be? Is it going to work? If so, how? When are we going to do it? These questions and more are things that need to be decided, or problems are bound to arise. Even if these things don’t happen immediately, planning a future for any relationship is essential.11. The importance of touch.
As cheesy as it sounds, my long distance relationship helped teach me that feeling someone you love next to you is one of the greatest things in the world. It’s not something that should be taken for granted.
12. The meaning of love.
It takes faith and maturity to love someone that lives far away from you. To love someone that you don’t see every day means having grace and strength in the toughest of times. A long distance relationship shows you that if you can love someone that is so far away, you can love them when they are right next to you.
A long distance relationship needs trust more than most anything. As hard as it is, you have to be able to trust the other person and know who you are with. You have to know that they won’t do anything to jeopardize your relationship.
Commitment is a difficult thing. But in a long distance relationship, you learn that respecting each other’s time and responsibilities are essential to keeping it going. It’s one of the most difficult things to do, but not respecting the other person’s responsibilities and obligations can cause major issues.
15. Who I really am.
My long distance relationship taught me that no matter what, I am still myself. At the end of the day, I always have to take care of myself. It also taught me what was important to me and what I really wanted in another person and my relationship.
It isn’t easy, but no one ever said it would be. There are benefits, though. Not everyone can pull it off, but there is something to be learned. No relationship is a mistake if you learn something from it, and you can definitely say that I learned something from mine.