The world is a big place and it’s become more and more common for couples from foreign lands to meet and fall in love. Then there’s work or study, where one partner is relocated for a period of time, and then there’s dating girls you’ve never even met (but that’s a whole other article). A long distance relationship may at first seem like one of the worst things that could happen in a loving relationship, but as we find from 10 couples, it could very well be the best. Here are some of the perks of having a girlfriend in a land far, far away.
You get to do ‘you’
Isn’t it nice having time to yourself? Being in a long distance relationship means that you get to work on you and do the things in life that you really want to do. They don’t have to be anything bonkers like becoming a wrestling champ; but maybe you’ll discover that running is your thing or you’ll find that learning to speak Mandarin isn’t so difficult after all. “Before I got with Jessica I was so busy with life, but since moving to a the US for work I have been playing my guitar more for a bit of down time, you know, while she’s asleep, and actually I always seem to have a song to show her by the time she wakes. I love having that time for me and I feel like it’s something I would incorporate into our relationship when we’re back together again,” says David, 23.
You can be a slob
Hands up if you’ve ever had a nagging girlfriend; one that drags you up early for events and expects you to put on a shirt? Guys, we all know how great a lie in on the weekend is with last night’s leftover takeout and a Netflix binge. You get to enjoy being a slob and there is nothing wrong with that. “OK, so when I’m with my girl I make a lot more effort, but I’m 19 and while we’re at different universities I want to just be a lazy teenager for one more year! Let me enjoy it!” says Ed, 19.
You become more independent
No relying on your other half to do the ironing or prepare your meals, you have to do every single thing yourself when you live alone, which teaches you complete independence and thus, a vital life skill. “Before I met my wife I was still living at home. I had never steamed vegetables, paid household bills, or even had a real full-time job. Then I moved to Japan for a year and learned how to do all that and more, in another language. My girlfriend stayed at home, and when I got back I was a much more independent version of me and that would never have happened had I left home and married her right away. I’m glad I got to learn some valuable life skills, and plus I can give her a bit of a break when things get full-on in her life, too,” says Carlo, 24.
You make two sets of friends
Living apart means both your social circles are widened and you have double the people in your lives than if you say, were childhood sweethearts and shared all the same friends. You’ll have pals from all walks of life and have lots of stories to bring to the table, plus a variety of couches to rest on when you travel abroad. “I feel like I have a whole new set of friends and adopted family when I visit Christine in Honolulu, and it’s the same for her when she comes to visit me in Cebu. We haven’t decided where we will live yet, but it’s nice knowing that we have friends from all over the world,” says Christian, 28
You have a deeper relationship
You connect with each other beyond just sex and the physical side, it’s also on an emotional and mental level too. “Janelle is my best friend. I tell her everything and we talk on Skype for hours and hours. I feel like she knows me inside out and vice versa, and it’s something I’ve never had with any other girl before”, explains Miguel, 30, “I think that doing long distance forces us to talk and form a deeper relationship that’s from the heart. We only did long distance for six months but that was in the early stages of dating and it wouldn’t be what it is now if it wasn’t for that”.
Reunions are as horny as can be
Imagine having sex for the first time all over again. That’s what going without it for four months is like, and then being reunited with your love. “Lorraine and I were apart for the longest at four months,” says Andreas, 31, “there was a lot of sexual frustration, as you can imagine, and by the time I saw her I was ready to explode. I remember walking through the door and having the most incredible sex literally as soon as I saw her. It’s like that each time we reunite and let’s just say we didn’t sleep much that night at all. We were making up for lost time”.
You get quality time together
When time is limited you make the most of every second, and that’s what things are like between Taylor and Vanessa: “We live in the same country but a flight apart, so when we do see each other, we try and squeeze in as much as possible in a weekend. We’ll go to the beach, meet each other’s family and friends, or just see the sights in each other’s towns. Even if we decide to stay in, it’s quality time, like making love or having a bath together. We know that it’s going to be weeks before we see each other again, so we don’t want to waste a second of it doing nothing.”
You get better at arguing
Couples fight, and that’s a good thing. It means that you’re not afraid to disagree or voice something when you’re unhappy. However, being apart means you can’t just sulk in the corner, or slam the door and walk out. You have to talk. Long distance moves you both into better communication, after all, that’s all you both have when separated. Derek, 27, says, “We used to handle arguments pretty badly but over time we have learned to react in a more positive way. We tell each other that we’re going to get back in touch in an hour, when we’ve calmed down, and then we call to discuss and resolve the situation. Also, we never ever go to bed angry at one another.”
You learn to miss her
When you miss your partner, you appreciate the time you have together, which many couples forget and take for granted. “I’ve been in a LDR with Raylene for eight months now. Right now I get a full month with her and although that’s a long time, I have been appreciating it all so much because I know in a couple of weeks I’m leaving and will miss her like crazy,” reveals Jacques, 29.
Everything else will feel easy when you’re back together again
Long distance is one of the hardest things your relationship will experience, and if you can make it through then well, everything else doesn’t seem so hard in comparison, because you finally have each other there in person. Long distance requires commitment and dedication, which shows that you are both willing to put the effort in to make something work; from overcoming jealousy, coping better with fights, dealing with loneliness and all the second-guessing as to whether all this is really worth it. “The truth is at the end of it all, you realize it was worth it. You wouldn’t have just gone through all that for just anyone, and you realize it takes a really special girl to devote yourself to like that. Victoria and I went through a full year of long distance, and I can honestly say that since then, while we’ve had struggles such as finances and work, nothing else seems much of an obstacle for us. I’m still grateful that she’s here and we really believe that together we can get through anything,” says Chris, 33.