When it comes to the benefits of long distance relationships, we believe there are far more than anyone actually realizes.
The reality is they can be hard to hold onto when:
- Being apart becomes too much, or
- Those around you aren’t supportive
Many of us know this scenario all too well!
It could be family or friends that offer their inexperienced opinion on your choices.
Or in our case, a negative comment on Quora, igniting the flame that became the basis of this very article.
The Quora Comment in Question
I don’t see any benefit except that you escape from commitments and operate on convenience.Comment author removed for privacy reasons
While we can now appreciate how the distance shaped us as individuals and our relationship. It’s totally understandable that the pros of long distance relationships may be difficult to recognize while you’re apart.
It’s time to change that.
We’ve put together the most important benefits, which help show why long distance relationships are worth it. To go a step further we’ve also included the positive impact they can have throughout your lifetime!
Ready? Let’s get stuck in.
1. Becoming More Goal-Oriented
In a regular relationship, it can be easy to fall into the scenario of just coexisting with your partner. When apart, you’re forced to be consistently intentional about how to navigate the distance successfully.
This usually takes the form of setting goals for things like:
- Visits, and
- Closing the distance
While you may not feel like you’re setting goals, you are likely setting ‘micro-goals’ that are positively impacting your relationship. For example, cutting out your morning espresso or meal prepping during the week to save money for the next visit.
No matter how big or small, studies show the act of goal setting strengthens relationships by improving communication and boosting connection.
There are also many benefits on an individual level.
Scientific research has shown that it rewires your brain to ensure you are thinking and behaving in a way that is aligned with your overall intentions. This leads to higher levels of motivation, more focused attention, and increased persistence.
2. Mastering Money Management
Managing money is an important life skill that should always be viewed as a ‘work in progress’. But being long distance makes it a priority.
Many of us might like to pretend we can afford to live like rockstars, our bank accounts may say otherwise.
From expensive to unexpected, there are many costs that come with a long distance relationship. Forcing you to take a closer look at your spending and saving habits.
Plane tickets, hotels, visas, insurance, data plans, gifts, spending money… the list goes on!
Building the skill of money management and budgeting at this stage of your relationship will set you up for success later on.
People who budget report feeling more confident, in control, and secure, while those who don’t express feelings of stress and worry.
Also, couples that talk about and manage finances together (not necessarily joint accounts) are more likely to be in a happy relationship with less conflict and higher levels of trust.
3. Increased Self-Awareness
Throughout the relationship there will be waves of intense emotions and the only person you want next to you, can’t be.
This and similar scenarios forces you to become:
- More self-aware
- Gain emotional management tools, and
- Learn how to truly show up for yourself
Whether you’ve been long distance for years or one of you is soon making the move. You’re probably familiar with the fear and uncertainty that comes in the wake of separation.
Not only fear of the unknowns and difficulties that comes with separation. But also the uncertainty of your ability to handle those unknowns and difficulties.
The reality of being apart is that you’re going to gain the ability to handle those challenges on your own.
Simply because there is no other option.
Without being able to turn to your partner for comfort, you have to look within to figure out:
- What is causing fear and discomfort, and
- How you can comfort yourself in the wake of fear.
This can open your eyes to other areas you aren’t taking control of and empower you to make positive changes.
Becoming more self-aware will not only help you show up for yourself, but help you be a better partner.
Gaining the ability to look inward and reflect on our own thought patterns, beliefs, triggers, and coping mechanisms equips us with the power to make healthier decisions, regulate emotions, and communicate with clarity.
This results in us being happier with who we are, and building stronger relationships with others.
4. Gaining Effective Communication Skills
Long distance couples have little to no physical cues to interpret how each other is truly feeling.
For the most part, words are all you have and if you aren’t able to express yourself effectively, you quickly realize that something needs to change.
When communication becomes the basis of a relationship, it needs to be strengthened, or the relationship will fail.
As your relationship grows you both become better at verbalizing things like feeling sad, lonely and insecure. Helping you to work through these problems effectively together.
While your relationship will become stronger, healthier, and build more trust, you also learn to effectively communicate in other types of environments in your life.
Research has also shown that effective communication is one of the most important skills to have when it comes to professional development.
Strong communication skills allow you to effectively negotiate, motivate others, and boost your credibility, leading to accelerated professional success in the future, regardless of career type.
5. Learning to Plan Like a Professional
A huge perk of long distance is, slowly but surely, learning how to effectively plan ahead with your partner.
For couples who live in the same city, organizing to meet at a local spot for dinner within the hour is super easy. You may rarely need to make plans if you spend most of your time together already.
When apart, you have absolutely no choice but to plan in advance in order to figure out things like visits, organizing fun virtual date nights, and getting to the point of closing the distance.
Planning can also positively influence your mindset while apart, especially when organizing the next visit. As you’re continually working towards and looking forward to an event that leads to crazy amounts of happiness and excitement!
It doesn’t matter what stage your relationship is in or what you’re planning for. The most important factor is that you and your partner are learning how to plan for the future together, which of course has numerous benefits!
A study conducted by DMH research has shown that people who take the time to plan ahead in their life report it helps:
- Focus on priorities
- Set helpful goals
- Effectively gauge progress, and
- Even better manage their finances
6. Being Able to Easily Adapt to Change
No matter how airtight your plans are, how far in advance they are, and how much time you put into them.
Things will inevitably disrupt them.
Nothing can be predicted with 100% certainty, but we truly believe long distance relationships require a higher level of adaptability.
Rejected visas, missed flights, personal commitments, sickness and other unforeseen circumstances can lead to longer separation than anticipated.
Once you’ve accepted you can’t control every situation, you free up energy to focus on how to work with what you do have control over to make your circumstances better.
Being flexible and adaptable isn’t always easy, but there is always a pay off.
Adaptability will help both you and your partner grow as individuals by becoming more resilient, while making it easier to navigate future changes. This in itself leads to higher overall life satisfaction and from a professional standpoint, can help you to become a more effective and reliable leader to others.
7. Becoming an Expert in Time Management
It already seems unrealistic that we need to juggle sleeping eight hours with working eight hours while drinking eight cups of water every single day.
Throw in maintaining a relationship with someone on an entirely different schedule and potentially in a different timezone, and you have no choice but to manage your time effectively.
If you don’t, life tends to completely unravel.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s three minutes or three hours. Successful long distance couples create a schedule that allows them to spend as much meaningful time together as possible. Doing so can only benefit other aspects of their lives, present and future!
Improving your time management skills offers numerous benefits, including:
- Reduced stress and anxiety levels
- Better prioritization
- More confidence, and
- Achieving goals at faster rates
Balancing work, school, activities, social interactions, and self-care while still being able to prioritize time with your partner also sets the standard that, no matter how busy your lives are, you will always make time for each other.
If you plan on settling down and having a family together in the future, that skill is sure to come in handy!
8. Having Time to Focus on Personal Growth
Humans are a social species, and when we partner up with someone we tend to spend the majority of time together.
When you transition from a relationship with someone who lives nearby to being long distance, you suddenly have a lot of one thing…
While it can be a difficult adjustment, having a lot more time on your hands creates an amazing opportunity to invest in yourself.
You and your partner can use this as an opportunity to pick up old hobbies, invest extra time into furthering your careers, or set some goals to work on personal development that you may have previously been neglecting.
Studies show that having hobbies and participating in leisure activities have numerous benefits on our health and well-being, including lower stress levels, lower heart rate, and more positive moods.
Self-care and personal growth should always be a priority and having the time to remind yourselves of your own potential will help you prioritize investing time in continuing that momentum even when you eventually close the distance.
9. Forging Stronger Relationships
Beyond investing in your relationship with yourself, having more time in your schedule gives you the opportunity to invest in other important relationships in your life.
It can be easy to neglect relationships with friends or family when you’re wrapped up in a romantic relationship. Distance can help you reconnect while breathing new life into relationships with people that mean the most to you.
Research has proven how having strong friendships can benefit you, both on a personal level and your relationship.
On a personal level, having strong friendships helps you live longer, creates opportunities to pursue new interests, and opens your eyes to different perspectives.
In terms of relationships, maintaining friendships can strengthen your relationship by keeping you both connected to a larger community and providing additional outlets for emotional expression and general enjoyment.
10. Developing Perseverance
While are biased when it comes to the many benefits of long distance relationships. There is no denying that you will encounter many struggles.
It doesn’t mean it’s without payoff, but there will be struggles nonetheless.
Despite these difficulties and the potential discouragement from those around you. You both continue committing to the relationship because you know in your heart that it’s worth it.
This mentality proves that as a couple you are able to persevere through any obstacle, while showing what you are able to achieve together.
As much as no one enjoys struggling, research shows that people who struggle have better learning potential.
This means that every rescheduled trip, jealous argument, or miscommunication over text can be an opportunity for you and your partner to approach relationship hurdles with curiosity, and constantly improve how you handle challenges as a couple.
11. Growing Emotionally
When your partner isn’t able to see or feel your emotions, you have to become emotionally expressive.
In order to keep communication lines open and healthy while apart, you are both required to take full responsibility for your emotions, how you understand them, and how you handle them.
Not only does the distance strengthen your ability to express emotions, it also improves how you regulate your own emotions, when your partner isn’t there to calm you down or boost you up.
Being apart will create intense experiences of emotions like anger and sadness.
Handling those emotions in a healthy way is not only a skill that will make your relationship a more connected and communicative space, but a skill you will use in many different aspects of your life, both personally and professionally.
12. Trying the Latest Tech!
The benefits of technology in long distance relationships makes it easier than ever to stay connected.
Beyond Skype, Zoom, and smartphones, every year new high-tech and affordable gadgets are being created that help long distance couples maintain a consistent connection no matter where they are in the world.
Some of our favorites include:
These devices make long distance sex more intimate than ever before. Each toy is designed to respond to the other’s movement, which helps you really feel connected to your partner.
Connected via Wi-Fi, when you tap your lamp, your partner’s lamp will light up. You can even set different colors to convey different emotions or messages.
These shirts are embedded with sensors that can capture the details of your hug and transmit a recreation of it to your loved one’s shirt, giving them the feeling of being held by you.
We freaking love tech that connects long distance couples. If you do too, check out our article on the latest and greatest long distance relationship gadgets.
Being an early adopter, of the many ways technology can help us maintain connection with a wide variety of people, sets you up for success.
A study by Pew Research Center found that adults who use technology to stay connected with others are more likely to be lifelong learners and pursue knowledge through the internet.
Technology has also proven to help seniors feel more confident and independent, and helps them remain connected to their family and friends regardless of their living situation.
13. Opportunity to Focus on Emotional Intimacy
While physical intimacy is important, emotional intimacy is what truly holds a relationship together.
With the option for traditional physical intimacy stripped away, long distance couples automatically shift their focus to emotional intimacy and connection in order to maintain the relationship.
Even when you and your partner are intimate while apart, the focus is still communication and vulnerability.
You may find yourself having conversations you’ve never had before about your likes, dislikes, boundaries, and desires because in the past your bodies did all of the speaking for you.
Wanting to further explore the physical side of things too? Check out our long distance sex tips & ideas to enhance your intimate moments from afar.
The more honest conversations you and your partner are able to have about your needs, the more equipped you both will be to truly show up for one another, and the stronger your relationship will be.
This not only increases levels of trust and safety in your relationship, it also reduces scenarios where you may feel stressed or anxious because you have the emotional support system.
On a personal level, this can create an environment that leads to boosts in morale and self-confidence!
14. Stronger Conflict Resolution Skills
When couples who are geographically close fight, hurt feelings and anger can easily be pushed aside with flowers or being physically intimate.
Note that we said ‘pushed aside’ and not ‘resolved’. These gestures may feel good in the moment, they never address the root of the original issue.
The only real option long distance couples have is to actually talk about the problem. You need to be able to express how you feel, listen to how they feel, and come up with a plan to handle those types of situations verbally in the future.
Without quick fixes or distractions, you’re left to face the problem head-on and work together to come up with a long term solution, which helps sharpen your conflict resolution skills.
Having the ability to successfully resolve conflict will inevitably help you with stubborn coworkers and navigating family dinners, it will also strengthen your relationship by reducing resentment, learning how to set boundaries, and helping you both be solution-oriented.
15. Learning to Live in the Moment
With so much time spent apart, every moment you have with your partner becomes special andIn a long distance relationship, you want to take advantage of every second you have together.
In a typical relationship, couples can take the time they have together for granted because of how endless the time seems. It’s no big deal to waste a night together scrolling on your phones because you still have the next night and the night after that.
Each interaction is spent entirely being present in the moment with your partner because you want to soak up as much as possible.
Apart from fostering a deeper connection with your partner by being intentional about how you spend your time together. Research shows that being present in the moment increases the ability to handle stressful situations and practice effective coping mechanisms.
This improves well-being and overall happiness while helping to lower levels of anxiety and depression.
Even if you and your partner are dealing with flight delays while traveling together or less than ideal timing for virtual dates. The ability to be in the moment together will help you create special memories no matter the circumstances.
16. Becoming a More Patient Person
Every long distance couple knows, you don’t truly understand what it means to be patient until you’ve watched days, weeks, or even months slowly tick down on your countdown app until you’re in each other’s arms again.
Navigating distance means navigating the time between things like:
- The next time you can talk to your partner
- Waiting for the next visit, and
- Waiting for the distance to officially be closed.
To quote every mother everywhere, “patience is a virtue”, and one of the biggest benefits of long distance relationships is that you really begin to appreciate the importance of patience.
Along with helping you handle the time between visits, or not blowing up your partner’s phone while you’re waiting for them to wake up on the other side of the world, being patient is shown to improve mental health.
People with high levels of patience also report experiencing higher levels of gratitude, being more mindful, and feeling a greater level of abundance.
17. Improving Your Independence
As we’ve mentioned before, it can be common to have moments of doubting your ability to be productive and independent without your partner before experiencing a long distance relationship.
Sometimes, your partner can play a major role in your support system, that you unknowingly stop being a cheerleader for yourself.
Without them directly by your side, you become fully responsible for encouraging yourself, making your own decisions, and being accountable for your growth and progress.
In a healthy relationship, you and your partner are fully functioning, independent people who don’t need the other person in their lives, but want them there.
Once you realize the only person you truly need in your life to succeed is yourself, it takes so much pressure and anxiety off of your relationships and helps you grow into a stronger person.
In fact, researchers have found that independence and autonomy is more important to an individual’s well-being than being provided with any amount of money or financial support.
18. Gaining More Effective Decision Making Skills
Long distance couples have to make a lot of tough, unique and ultimately life changing decisions.
Many of them in a short period of time.
You need to make tough decisions about:
- Spending and budgeting
- Prioritizing how you spend your time, and
- The sacrifices being made to maintain a committed relationship from afar
They never stop or get easier, but you become better at acknowledging and weighing up the pros and cons. This alone helps you consistently make choices that are aligned with your goals for your relationship and for your future.
What’s better training on decision making skills than planning a future with someone who lives across the world from you?
Studies show that people who develop their decision making skills have higher levels of self-esteem and better coping mechanisms.
19. Improving Your Creativity
Dinner and drinks are usually a classic date night.
You can have the option to try a new restaurant, switch up your drink order, or decide you’re going to get a little fancy and wear something more formal, and it can still be fresh and fun without you actually trying something new.
Once you’ve had a few movie nights and dinner dates over video chat. Sitting at your kitchen counter alone with a drink and your laptop can start to lose its appeal.
Situations like virtual date nights inspire you to get creative about how you show love and connect with your partner. Helping you to break out of your routine, think outside the box and try things you’ve never tried before.
Speaking of date nights: Check out our list of long distance date ideas and activities that you can try tonight!
Couples who try new things together tend to be more satisfied overall, so the ability to be inventive and spice things up creates sustainable enjoyment in your relationship.
- Surprising them with a handwritten love letter
- Planning a virtual cook-off
- Making a homemade care package, or
- Planning a trip to a new city
The ability to be creative in how you connect with your partner will serve you for years to come.
20. Exploring New Places
Not only can you feel like you’re living in two totally different places at the same time. Every reunion has the potential to happen in a new city, or even country!
Since you already travel to each other, it can require the same money and energy to see new places.
Pro tip: Starting a collaborative travel bucket list can help to always have something to look forward to. It also serves as a reminder of the incredible adventure you’re embarking on together.
A survey conducted by the U.S Travel Association found that couples who travel together are more likely to:
- Be more satisfied in their relationship
- Have better communication
- Enjoy improved intimacy
- Experience more romance, and
- Share common goals and desires
21. Creating a Unique Love Story
It’s just objectively romantic to be in a long distance relationship.
No matter the distance, how many bumps in the road, or how many times you fall asleep on FaceTime together. You are waking up every day and choosing each other. Knowing in your heart of hearts that it’s worth it to be separated by miles, countries, and even oceans.
There isn’t anything specific to back this up, but doesn’t the benefit of having such a romantic story to tell your grandchildren one day speak for itself?!
Now It’s Your Turn!
Another benefit is that you have the opportunity to join an incredibly supportive and inclusive community.
Distance can feel extremely isolating, but having a strong support network helps make the tough times feel more manageable.
Join our LDR Support Group filled with people who understand what you’re going through!