Nothing tests a relationship more than distance. In the time I’ve been away from my guy, I’ve learned a lot about my relationship, including the lessons that we’d been avoiding. I definitely believe that being in a long distance relationship — or, as those familiar with the situation call it, an LDR — is something that every couple could benefit from going through. Not only does a long distance relationship strengthen your relationship and test it — but the experience also strengthens you as an individual.
That being said, long-distance relationships also SUCK. You feel completely surrounded by happy couples who are drowning you in their PDA. Your phone or computer becomes your lifeline, and you may or may not spend a lot of time feeling sorry for yourself.
But we LDR-sufferers are not alone. In 2013, 14 million couples defined themselves as being in a long distance relationship. That's a helluva lot of people in the world spending time apart from their significant others.
Over the four years I’ve been apart from my S.O., I’ve certainly learned a few things about my relationship — and myself. Because there are some things only those of us in an LDR truly understand. Things like...
The only time you get really dressed up anymore is for Skype dates
Makeup is reserved especially for Skype dates. Because why not? You have to show your boyfriend or girlfriend what they’re missing. And then you can pretend you dress like that every day.
which, yes, can be romantic
You are probably familiar with the wonders of Skype sex, though you prefer not to admit it.
either way, you have an unlimited phone plan
You're no stranger to cellphone radiation, that's for sure. At least your communication has never been better.
You’ve spent a night or two being the third, fifth, seventh, or ninth wheel
Time for another night out with my best friend and her boyfriend!
When your roommates have someone over:
It’s fine, guys. I’m used to it. Let me just turn on my heated blanket and watch Netflix.
you look at pictures just to remind yourself you’re lucky
You obviously take a lot of photos when you’re together so you have a lot to look at when you’re apart. Seeing the memories is a good reminder of how lucky you are, even when you’re surrounded by happy couples.
Some days, you are a strong, independent woman who doesn't need a partner
Sometimes you just wake up and think, “Who needs a relationship? I’ve got grown up shit to do today.” Keeping yourself busy makes it seem A LOT easier to be away from your guy or girl.
...And then the next minute you miss them to tears
It sucks not to be able to come home after these long days to a cuddle buddy. So eventually, you break down and complain.
when Everyone is talking about their relationship you're like:
I love ... someone who is 5,000 miles away. Cool.
and When other people complain about missing someone after a week apart?
Sorry, but I have no sympathy for you missing your boyfriend who is on vacation for ONE WEEK.
at least Coming home alone after a night out is okay, because pizza
Your favorite pizza place is saved on your phone, and while you watch your friends go home with their guys, you make two phone calls: one to the S.O., and one to your pizza guy. Never a disappointment.
Shaving only happens the day before you see each other (and rarely in between)
Extra money = gas / plane tickets
If your relationship is more than a few states away, chances are CheapFlights is bookmarked on your computer. And that bonus you got from work? An extra weekend trip to see your S.O. – YAY!
You may or may not have a countdown app on your phone
And if you don’t have it on your phone, you have a countdown on your whiteboard. Checking it daily (sometimes twice a day, just in case) is a regular routine. Plus, that notification when the countdown ends makes your heart jump.
the day before you know you'll see them is like:
24 HOURS!!! Time to bounce off the walls with excitement and most likely overpack for a short trip.
and the day that you finally get to see them?
All you want to do is get on the road but that professor you hate is dragging on. How could time be moving so slowly right now? You barely slept, but you didn’t even need coffee this morning to stay awake and alert. The excitement is enough!
...though you still always get a little nervous right before you're reunited
What if something's different? What if you don't even recognize each other anymore? What if they're just a figment of your imagination?
but then, when you finally do see each other:
...cue Making out for days
and finally feeling happy
There may or may not be some happy crying on your part.
and fantasizing about it being like this all the time
What do you think we'd do on Tuesday nights?
...until The day when you have to leave each other
If you’re anything like me, you spend the day moping. Not a lot distracts you from being sad, except maybe a Keeping Up with the Kardashians marathon, wine, and girl talk.
yup, you’re just looking forward to the day when you get to see them again
And until then?
Long distance isn’t ideal. But it does make you appreciate a lot more about life and your relationship. This is the time to focus on building a relationship off communication. It’s also the time to binge watch your favorite shows by yourself.
Good thing they're worth it
I mean, would you really do this if they weren't the best?