I spend about half my time living with my partner, and the rest of the time, we're in long-distance relationship. I love our time together, but I also love our time apart. It's taboo to admit it, but I don't want to be around my partner all the time, and there are advantages to being long-distance.
"The level of connectedness for a long-distance relationship must rival that of those couples who have the luxury of being together," bestselling author and relationship expert Susan Winter tells Bustle. "Long-distance couples must work double duty to make sure they're sensitive to their partners' needs. They understand that speaking to each other is a harder task to accomplish. They must learn to anticipate each other’s needs in advance."
But while being in a long-distance relationship may require hard work and communication, it's not all difficult. It also means you get some of the advantages of being single without having to deal with downsides (like the frustrating dating scene). When you learn to support each other even when you're not physically present in each other's lives, you develop an even stronger bond — one that exists no matter where you are in the world.
Here are some reasons I actually love being in a long-distance relationship.
I Appreciate Our Time Together
When I spend months away from my partner, I appreciate the freedom, but I also look forward to seeing him again. I begin fantasizing about our reunions, and when we do meet again, it's extra exciting. And the sex is always great when we've been anticipating it forever.
We Have Our Own Lives
My partner and I both really value our careers. It's important to me to have time where literally all I have to think about is work. Sometimes, I need that focus. And the fact that we support each other devoting time solely to our jobs makes our relationship extra special. We'll go through each other's Twitter pages and favorite and retweet even the things we don't understand. I believe that to have a truly fulfilling relationship with someone else, you have to be complete within yourself, and being away from your partner lets you further develop yourself.
We Rarely Fight
When my partner and I are apart, we don't have much to fight about. We're out of each other's faces and are just glad to be talking to each other when we get the chance to talk. When we're together, we're so happy to be together that we can practically do no wrong in each other's eyes. Fighting just doesn't seem worth your time when you have such limited time together.
I Get My Own Space
Sharing a room with someone is comforting, but it's also annoying. I'm really not surprised that one survey found divorced people get more sleep than married people. Every time my partner rolls over or gets out of bed, I wake up, which means I sleep much better on my own. There's also just something relaxing about having a whole room to myself, and it means I don't have to live in anyone else's mess.
I Get Time Alone
It takes energy to interact with other people, even if that person is your partner. Being around your partner all the time also means you have to put up with their annoying quirks. Sometimes, it's nice to have a break from other people, my partner included, and get lots of me time in.
Being Alone Forces Me To Grow As A Person
There are some things you just get more out of when you go through them alone. When I'm in a foreign country without my partner, for example, I'm forced to find my way around and make new friends. This can be an incredible learning experience that I might not have had if I could always rely on my partner for companionship and assistance.
People always talk about how hard long-distance relationships are, but the truth is, close-proximity relationships can be just as challenging, and long-distance ones can be just as rewarding. Relationship success is not so much about where in the world you and your partner live than how close you are mentally and emotionally.