Yep, it's that time of year. You and your high school sweetheart of however many years are taking the next step in different directions. They're off to study computer engineering and you still haven't decided a major, but you're planning to get through the next few months with Skype dates and ice cream binges. It's a big decision and there's plenty of skepticism. As someone who just had to say goodbye to their best friend and other half earlier today, it's definitely momentarily heart wrenching. But the art of The Long Distance Relationship has a good side too; one that can balance out the feelings of longing and loneliness.
1. Time to miss each other.
Sure, sometimes we wish we didn't have to be apart to grow fonder one one another, but being with your partner indefinitely can also be a bit much to handle. Long distance relationships "make the heart grow fonder" as they say, as well as stimulate a commitment to think of the other person in ways that may not always be present when you're close to your partner.
2. Relationship perspective.
Sure, you're super involved with each other, but time away gives an opportunity to balance out the other activities in your life, as well as witness new things that can impact how you interact with your partner.
3. Healthy doses of independence.
This means no apologies for time for yourself, freedom to embrace activities that you enjoy that perhaps your partner does not (ex. Dances or karaoke), and self reflection.
4. Strengthened communication skills.
Strong, straight-forward, and confident communication is key. Whether you're bidding your partner good morning or good night, or asking about their day, it is important to always be upfront and talk about important things thoroughly. You may be far apart but a phone call or in-depth texts can create the illusion of being near one another.
5. Stronger mutual trust.
This is a biggie. You trust one another to go out with friends responsibly, make good decisions and live independently without excessive worries of each others' social habits. You're clear and comfortable with the boundaries you have set with one another (via awesome communication skills, yeah?) that you have complete trust in the other person'a actions. Teamwork is essential. As long as you're both on the same page with what you want, you're golden.
6. Heightened feelings of excitement for interaction.
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Skype calls, phone calls, and the occasional weekend date are always on your radar, giving you something to look forward to and a reason behind the butterfly feeling in your stomach.
7. Increased time management.
If you're scheduling phone calls or FaceTime sessions, you become aware of what needs to happen with work, friends, and studying in order to make communication with your partner a planned priority.
8. Time to bond with other friends.
Good relationships with other friends are just as important as the one bond you have with your partner, and also gives you a chance to keep up your social side.
9. New things to talk about!
Just when you thought you knew each other cover to cover, you turn over a new page. Because you're both taking on a new experience together, there's always new stories to tell. Imagine--no more awkward pauses or small talk!
10. Endless opportunities for unleashing the hopeless romantic within you.
The time away from each other gives you time to plan and make more room for the little things. Hand written letters, detailed emails, thoughtful notes, or unexpected gifts can put the "awww" factor back into your relationship. Little gestures like this can illustrate on a big scale just how much you care for each other, all while adding a bit of fun that distracts from the distance.
11. A sweeter reunion.
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Because let's be honest-- almost nothing can top the feeling of the first moment you set eyes on each other after a long time apart.
While you're away in your separate dorms, it can be easy to dwell on each other's absence. Whether are minutes, hours, or days away, hopefully this list will put a more positive spin on your thinking!