I was talking to one of my friends not too long ago. He had recently joined a dating website. When I asked him about his luck, he said a few girls had reached out, but they all lived far away. We then proceeded into a discussion about why that discouraged him. After experiencing some failed long-distance relationships, I think he placed the blame for the failure on the distance rather than the people involved.
That is where the mistake often happens.
I’ve been in a couple long-distance relationships (LDRs) and I can confidently say the distance was not our demise. If anything, it held us together longer than it should have. And I think that is the real con to long-distance relationships because it can take a little longer to really get to see who someone is if they haven’t been truthful upfront.
But I understand there are many things people don’t like about long-distance relationships- can’t go out on a whim, limited physical touch, can’t really observe one another in group settings often, and just the little things that happen by being able to be around each other. It’s just different. Perhaps harder. But I’ve learned what’s really hard is not being with the right person. And I think if we get honest with ourselves, we will realize it was never the process; it was always the person.
Even though there are cons to LDRs, there are also benefits. I think sometimes the distance has a way of bringing out underlying issues that were already there, that perhaps you weren’t able to pick up on because you were around each other all the time. Especially when it comes to insecurity. Insecurity will quickly surface in long-distance relationships. But so can transparency and communication. You can feel more connected to someone miles away than you can with the person lying next to you.
Boundaries- you already have a built-in distance boundary that allows you to foster growth in other areas; it gives you space to grow as an individual before growing as one together.
Physical- the temptation to compromise in your physical boundaries can lessen.
Deep conversations- as a different dynamic is formed, you have to potential to go deeper quicker.
Creativity- since distance is there, you get to find more ways to be creative in your efforts to show that you care.
Special moments- they say absence makes the heart grow fonder so the times you get to spend together create some of the best memories of your life.
The bottom line is you never want to discount someone for things that can change. Our willingness of whether or not we choose to engage in a long-distance relationship shows where our values lie. I ended up telling my friend he should give those girls a chance if he values quality over convenience. But maybe that has to do more with my values than his. I know the type of guy I am looking for. I know what I am willing to compromise on. And I’d much rather be in a long-distance relationship with that guy than a relationship closer to home that doesn’t impact me the same way. Because at the end of the day, it’s never about where you are but rather who you are with that matters most.