It’s not distance that kills relationships, its doubt. That is what I have discovered after 9 years of experience in my own LDR, as well as in discussions with others in the same long distance situation.

It’s easy to label the distance as the cause for a failed relationship. But more often than not distance has little to do with the actual reasons for why an LDR doesn’t work out.

What’s Key #1 to strengthening your long distance relationship? Getting rid of any and all doubt that you may have about the type of relationship that you are in.

With so many people telling you that your relationship is not real, that this ‘type’ of relationship will never work out, it can be easy to succumb to negativity. But having even a slightly negative view towards your own LDR will only add fuel to the fire of your impending failure as a long distance couple. Negativity will fuel doubt.

Take some time to look at the benefits of being in a long distance relationship. Replace those negative thoughts with good ones. They will help to replace and remove any doubt you may have about being in your LDR. When you feel good about your relationship, you are one step closer to succeeding in it. So, on that note, here are some positive things to focus on.

9 Benefits That Come From Being In An LDR:

1. You always have something to look forward to.

A visit, a phone call, a text, an exciting plane ride, a trip to a new country, new people to meet and grow to love. There’s always something new and exciting around the corner for you.

2. The small things that most people don’t put much stock in become some of the most treasured things that you love about your partner.

Sending flowers in the mail suddenly becomes more than just a cliché, due to the sheer amount of effort it takes just to have them delivered. The snoring you once found annoying is now something you wish you had the luxury of complaining about. Holding hands for a day can make you happier than winning the lottery. The sock s/he left behind is suddenly the most precious thing in the world. Small things now have big value to you.

3. Your relationship is one big adrenaline rush.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, that is a fact. The longer you are without someone, the more joy you will feel when you are reunited again. That goes for many things, like the first phone call you make after weeks of not being able to talk to one another or the feeling you get when you walk through the doors of the airplane, train or vehicle you traveled in –only to see the person you haven’t seen in weeks, months or years. That simple feeling of pure joy, excitement and anticipation. Everything about being in an LDR gives you some kind of wonderful adrenaline rush.

4. You value your time together.

Because you are limited in the amount of time that you actually do have together, you make the most of it. When you visit one another, you try to squeeze as much love, fun and goodness into those few days or weeks that you have together. Despite being far apart, you have wonderful memories to look back on when you’re missing one another.

When you’re not physically together, you make use of even the time that you spend together while apart. You are constantly looking for ways to stay close and connected until the next time you can be physically connected again. Doing this you not only reaffirms that you value your time together; you also show that you value one another.

5. You have so many tools at your disposal.

We live in an age where being in a long distance relationship no longer means we have to write letters that take weeks or months to reach our recipients. There has been a huge boom in the amount of digital and real world tools that can help anyone in an LDR –this magazine being included among them.

You can text your partner and receive an instant reply, you can see someone on your computer screen from halfway across the globe, you can use the resources on this website to find activities that you and your partner can do together while apart. All the work is already done for you. If there was ever a time to enter into a long distance relationship, this is by far the best time in the history of them all.

6. Romance is a real part of your relationship.

In a world where romance had all but died out, LDRs give us a chance to express ourselves in a way that we wouldn’t if we were physically close. It’s easy to text, email or even telephone romantic sentiments that you may not dare say to someone face-to-face. Not without a lot of nervousness and jitters, at least.

Maintaining an LDR also takes a lot of extra effort, which means that you have to be romantic and creative to keep it going. You send flowers and care packages and letters to one another –something you probably may not have done if not for being long distance. LDRs have brought back romance in a world where these types of affections are now rare and few.

7. Communication between you becomes strength.

The silent treatment doesn’t work in an LDR and arguments can cause your relationship to crumble. Talking to one another makes up at least 80% of a long distance relationship –there’s not much else to do when you’re far apart. So when you have a problem, you can’t kiss to settle a dispute and you can’t simply ignore one another.

Being long distance forces you to use the only tool you have in resolving disagreements –the tool of speech. You have no choice but to talk your problems out, or risk losing the relationship all together. This develops trust between you and sets the standard for how you will deal with problems in the future. When you are physically and permanently together, talking things out will become a real strength that you’ll be happy to have cultivated in the course of your LDR.

8. You know each other inside and out.

Talking, again, is something that is a big part of being in an LDR. When you have to talk to one another this much, there’s only one real result –you get to know one another better. You have time to share memories, beliefs, fears and goals that you would otherwise not have the time to tell someone. It may never have crossed your mind to share some of the intimate things that you are no sharing with your long distance partner with anyone else. But constantly talking and looking for ways to feel more connected draws those things out. The end result is that you know one another intimately.

9. You know someone out there loves you a lot.

There’s a quote I’ve seen floating around that basically says that being in a long distance relationship means that someone out there is willing to wait for you because they love you enough to do so. If you are in a serious long distance relationship, there should be no doubt in your mind that someone truly loves and cares for you. Just look at what they are going through just for the chance to be with you at some point in the future. That should make you feel truly valued, appreciated and loved.

The list doesn’t stop here. There are so many other benefits to being in a long distance relationship. The distance is not easy, and there are many hardships –but there is also a lot of beauty and strength that can come from that hardship.

What do you value about your own long distance relationship?

photo © 2010 Dvortygirl, Flickr