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10 Positives of Being in a Long-Distance Relationship

10 Positives of Being in a Long-Distance Relationship

Everyone knows that long-distance relationships are hard work, but here is something you may not know: being in a long-distance relationship—at least for a season—can actually be good for you.

Here are 10 great benefits that can come with long-distance love.

1. You get to know each other very well

When you’re in a long-distance relationship, you have nothing to build your relationship with but words. Recent research suggests that long-distance couples talk less frequently than those who live in the same city, but that their interactions tend to be deeper and more meaningful. Talking at this deep level helps you as a couple get to know each other very well. In the process, you also develop communication skills and habits that will help your relationship in the long run.

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2. You are less likely to confuse lust with love

Attraction in a long-distance relationship tends to be based primarily on a foundation of emotional intimacy and shared values rather than physical intimacy. Being attracted to someone mostly because of the conversations you have (rather than the sex you share) is not an iron-clad guarantee of long-term relationship success, but it certainly helps.

3. You get to road-test your trust

When you are far away from someone you love, it can be difficult to keep your imagination in check. When your partner is out without you and having fun, it can be easy to second-guess them and let jealousy get a foothold in your mind. Being in a long-distance relationship forces you to recognize and confront some of these types of insecurities. It lets you practice trusting and being trustworthy. The confidence and sense of security that you can gain as a result? Priceless.

4. You learn to communicate and resolve conflict well

In a long-distance relationship you have nothing to do most of the time except talk to each other. In the process, you learn to connect deeply and communicate well. No matter how good you are at communicating, however, you and your partner will experience misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and conflict at some point.

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When you’re far apart from each other, it takes even more trust and skill to negotiate these challenges. Couples who learn to address and resolve problems and conflict over distance equip themselves well to deal with future challenges in-person.

5. You really appreciate the time that you do spend together

Seeing each other less frequently helps you fully appreciate the time that you do spend with each other. You learn to savor time together regardless of whether you’re doing something mundane like grocery shopping or living it up at a fancy restaurant. Since feeling grateful is a surefire way to increase your happiness, this sort of appreciation both feels good in the moment and also provides a long-lasting mood boost!

6. You make more memorable moments

When you’re in a long-distance relationship you put more effort into making your time together special—you’re more likely to branch out and stretch to make a moment memorable. Maybe you play tourist in your own town, try a new restaurant, take a trip somewhere romantic, or have a picnic in your own backyard. When you do crazy things or work hard to make a day special, you create moments that carry particular power to shape your memories and flavor your personal story. These vivid memories become important and positive touchstones in your relationship.

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7. You practice being patient

We live in a world where many things come fast and easy. We can send a text or an email and get a reply almost instantly. We can grocery shop online and have it delivered. We can buy instant oatmeal, instant noodles, and instant coffee. Just like decent coffee, however, good relationships require some patience.

Long-distance relationships seem custom-designed to teach patience, and patience is a powerful life skill. Patience helps you tolerate minor frustrations without getting stressed. It enables you take a long-term view of situations and problems. It stabilizes you in the face of life’s challenges. And, trust me, if you ever have children, you will need it in spades. When you are being patient in your long-distance relationship you are not just nurturing love, you are developing your character.

8. You have more time to pursue other passions and interests

I wouldn’t advocate being in a long-distance relationship because it frees up your time, but extra free time can be a silver lining to living far apart from your loved one. Don’t spend every spare minute on Skype with your partner. Instead, use some of your extra time to do things that are fun or fulfilling—read books, work out, do something creative, spend time with other friends. Investing in other passions and relationships isn’t betraying your long-distance lover, it’s making you a more well-rounded, interesting, and happier person.

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9. You develop independence

When you’re on your own most of the time you must learn how to tackle most challenges that daily life can throw at you—from getting your car serviced to making dinner or managing finances. When times feel tough, your partner can offer emotional support but won’t be able to sweep in and fix things for you. Like many other aspects of long-distance love, this rarely feels fun in the moment. You will, however, grow in self-sufficiency and independence. This, in turn, will only make you more attractive to your partner.

10. You cement your commitment

There are no two ways about it—long distance relationships are hard work. Settling down for a Skype date on a Friday night when you’d rather be spending some time snuggling can leave you feeling wistful at best and downright depressed at worst.

But here’s the good thing about hard work: the things we have to work for are often the very things most worth having. Many long-distance couples credit their time apart with helping them see just how much they really did want to be together. Persevering in the face of the distance helped make them even more committed to the relationship.

And after that? Well, if your relationship can survive long distance, it can survive most other things as well. Hopefully, the personal strengths, trust, and communication skills that you develop during your time in a long distance relationship will serve you well as a couple for many years after you have closed the gap.

Featured photo credit: Young people kissing outdoors via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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