It's undeniable, when it comes to long distance dating there's a massive stigma attached.
"Wow that must be really hard"
"I don't think I could do that"
"Yeah well it probably won't work out"
I can't tell you how often I've heard these phrases, accompanied by a look of pity. Yes, LDRs can be challenging. But they are no harder than any other relationship. Let me break it down for you.
Challenges Are Important, Not Impossible
True love doesn't just survive in difficult situations, it flourishes. So whether you live 2 minutes or 2000 miles away from your significant other, your love for the other person should only continue to grow, especially as you overcome hardships together.
If a couple never has to face a challenge together, it's unlikely that they will handle the first big hurdle they encounter very well. Through occassional difficulties, you begin to realize whether or not the person you're dating in in for the long haul, what kind of a person they really are, and if you can see yourself being with them for more than just a couple months.
Dating long distance forces couples to engage in a substantially greater amount of communication, as physically seeing each other to work out issues may not be possible all the time. You learn more about each other because you can't spend the silences kissing or cuddling. You build trust. In fact, I think any relationship could stand to be long distance at some point because trusting someone blindly like that takes a lot of courage on both ends, and it truly helps a relationship grow.
But It's All About Attitude
Even though you aren't physically near your partner your love for each other shouldn't diminish. If it does, you either want something (or someone) else in place of having them in your life, or you don't think you can handle the physical separation, which is personally not my idea of true love.
This is where positivity comes in. Let's say you've decided to take the next step and pursue a long distance relationship. You're both committed, so now what? Think of it as a new adventure that you can set out on together. You get the privilege of missing them, only to have your next reunion be that much sweeter. You get to be surpised by little gifts or letters in the mail and you have a constant source of support and love just a call or text away. You can live your own life and have your own friends without getting wrapped up completely in your significant other (which is very easy to do when you can see them whenever you want). Yet they you will always be a top priority for each other.
But you don't have to have some "grand plan" laid out about where you'll be in a couple years and if you'll get married and what not. Unless you want to of course! All it takes though is knowing that you love each other unconditionally, plus a shared positive attitude, to just sit back and enjoy the ride.
So Why The Doubt?
Some people still say these relationships are "harder" than others. People that say this may get caught up in the physical distance. But what I don't think they realize is that LDRs don't have to be a big deal.
For example, my boyfriend and I go to school 700 miles apart. We message sporadically throughout the day, but spend 1-4 hours skyping at night, depending on our schedules. We don't fight, we discuss. We deal with disagreements maturely, and move on once they've been delt with. We say whatever is on our minds and are completely open with how we're feeling. We talk about anything and everything under (and beyond) the sun. We compliment each other often, and keep track of details in each other's lives. We respect and trust each other immensely. I'm just as happy now as I was when we could see each other on a consistent basis. In fact, we function pretty much exactly how we do in person, minus the obvious physical barriers. I didn't think it was possible, but I love him more every day.
Put in perspective, as long as you are emotionally close, physical distance can be a pretty silly thing to worry about.
So if you're in a long distance relationship, or will be in the future, embrace it! What a wonderful opportunity for you to grow closer as the distance between you grows larger. Believe me, you'll appreciate what you have every single day. Remember, "long distance relationships" aren't really a thing. They're normal relationships, just continually strengthened by the physical space between the couple. If you find the right person, anything in the world is possible because you have them not by your side, but in your heart.
Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the bold. It's for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It's for those knowing a good thing when they see it, even if they don't see it nearly enough...
Thank you for reading! :)
P.S. For reference, I've known my boyfriend for over two years and we went on our first date almost a year ago, so perspectives may differ for those who have been in relationships for a longer/shorter amount of time.