When my partner took a job in Los Angeles, I cried in my New York apartment every night for a week. I was positive it was over. I can’t be in a long-distance relationship, I thought. What’s the point? I hit up all of my friends who were in one, or had been in one, and they all said one thing. It’s going to be really hard. To which I groaned loudly and walked away. Why would I willingly go into something that’s going to be a ton of work, and with what reward? These are the questions I was asking myself over and over again, and finally, I voiced them to my partner. He responded simply. “I’m going to make it work.” To which I groaned loudly and walked away. Just kidding. I stayed. And it was hard. And it did take a lot of work. And sometimes it didn’t seem like it was going to work. But in the end—or at least now—it does.
You will never hear me say this again, so treasure it while you can. My saving grace was optimism. There are a lot of reasons to hate a long-distance relationship, the primary one being that you rarely get to see the person you love, the secondary one being that your sex life is basically an endangered species. But focusing on those reasons is the fastest way to end it. Try thinking about some of the things you value about your relationship in the form of an LDR and make them your religion. In the meantime, here are some of mine:
1. Space, Space, Space
It seems like an obvious idea in relation to the LDR, but many couples cringe at the thought of it. The glaring six words, “I think I need some space,” is the precursor to most breakups, after all. But as a relationship progresses and the honeymoon phase comes to an end, space becomes crucial to its survival. The ability to make plans as an individual, come home when you feel like it and spend more time with your friends and family will help you appreciate your partner that much more when you do see them.
2. Speaking of that, you really do appreciate your partner so much more!
Think about it this way: if your favorite food is eggplant parmesan and you eat it every single day for every single meal for a year, at some point, the thought of it is gonna make you wanna vomit. But if you only eat it once every three weeks, every time you dig your fork into that squishy, saucy goodness, it’ll feel like an orgasm in your mouth.
3. Which reminds me, the sex could be way better.
Take number two and apply it to sex. Your sex is eggplant parmesan. Savor it.
4. Communication becomes necessary
It seems that the more time you spend with someone, the more you’d communicate, right? Well, that’s how it should be, but a lot of couples who spend all of their time together, or maybe even live together, don’t really talk at all. A long-distance relationship is built on communication, because more often than not, that’s the only thing you have. Whether it’s through letters, mix-CDs, emails or phone calls, there’s very little to be left unsaid in a functional, long-distance relationship, Unless all you do is have Skype sex. In which case, go you.
5. You’ll get to see your partner in new places
The couple that travels together, stays together. Or something. Traveling to see your partner not only makes seeing each other much more exciting, but it also means you’ll experience the world together in new, fun ways. Seeing your partner in their home city gives a fresh perspective to the relationship and can make your love-life feel like one big adventure.
Images: Javi Sánchez de la viña/Flickr; Tumblr (5)