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Why I Love my Long Distance Relationship
For this Restless writer, long distance has made her a happier person
Long distance relationships get a bad rap.
I should know, I’m in one.
Family members question why I’m wasting my time with someone who lives halfway across the world when I’m nearly 30. Friends ask if I ever feel the urge to cheat as I must be sexually frustrated. When I tell people I really enjoy being in a long distance relationship, they don’t believe me. But actually, I prefer it.
To quote Hannah Montana, you get the best of both worlds. Even if my boyfriend and I aren’t physically together in either LA or London, I still get the emotional support of being in a relationship from him via texts or Skype calls. But I also gain the freedom that comes with singledom. No arguing about what to watch on Netflix, no agonising over which starter to share and no compromising on how we spend our weekends.
Having previously been in a suffocating relationship where I spent almost every waking hour with a partner, being independent is now super important to me. My long distance relationship has prevented me from completely losing myself in another person, because we are often psychically apart.
I use my ‘alone time’ to keep up old friendships and nurture my own hobbies. I attend parties and weddings without a plus one, and instead of seeking validation by flirting (which is something single me was often guilty of) the confidence boost from my relationship allows me to happily ride solo.
It’s also been great for my professional life. If I know my boyfriend and I will be apart for two months I’m slightly comforted knowing I’ll have more time to focus on my career. Being self-employed, dedicating energy to my job is essential. If I can work late nights or meet a client on the weekend without annoying my boyfriend, I’m all for it.
But I know what you’re thinking. What about the sex stuff. This can often be a deal-breaker when deciding if you can handle long distance. Luckily, tech is my best friend in the bedroom. Alongside kinky video calls and sending nudes there are now plenty of fun remote control sex toys that let you give your partner an orgasm just by opening up an app. Don’t worry, I’m getting mine.
Let’s be real though, not everyone is cut out for long distance. Entering a relationship with someone who is incapable of texting back is doomed to fail even if you live five minutes from each other. So trying to make it work with someone like that on an eight-hour time difference is redundant. If it’s going to work you both have to be good communicators.
You also have to not be a cheater. I’ll be honest, I sometimes wonder what my boyfriend’s up to when he’s at the bar till 3am. We all do. But the fact he’s over 5000 miles away has nothing to do with it. Sadly you can be married for 25 years and have your husband easily hide an affair from you. Proximity to each other really isn’t the important bit. It’s all about the intention. If they want to cheat, they will.
That sounds depressing, but realising this made it much easier to trust my partner regardless of the distance between us. I know he’s a trustworthy person, so there’s no need for me to worry.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss my boyfriend like mad when we’re apart. Ultimately every couple wants to be together permanently, but sometimes long distance is the only way to make it work for right now. Rather than be scared by the challenges you might face or confused by online tips about how to keep a long distance relationship going, just try it.
A long distance relationship can make you a better and happier person. Being in one has improved my career, strengthened my friendships and rebuilt my confidence.
It’s taught me to appreciate the person I’m with as an individual and not just one half of our duo. It’s also made me truly appreciate myself.
And that’s something we all need to do more often.