My Snowman and I were asking each other questions the other day while I was sitting in traffic. A question came up;
How does a long distance relationship make you a better person?
Luckily I was sitting in bumper to bumper traffic because I would have slammed on the breaks.
This question deserved time to reflect. It was a type question that made me look back on our past 4 years of dating.
Before we continue you this post I encourage you to ask each other that question:
“How does a long distance relationship make you a better person?”
You’ll have some answers you’re able to give right away but try to take your time to answer it. Really sit back and think.
Also try not to answer this question in the middle of rush hour traffic 😂
As a couple you and your partner are always evolving and learning how to grow with each other. With that growth comes an understanding with each other.
Y’all now understand that you are growing into a better person because of each other’s strength. This strength is what makes long distance relationships so beautiful. The ability to strive for our own goals and still be able to lift each other up with support along the way.
Even though this question came as a shock it was also very inspiring and empowering. This question also made me realize how much I love being in a long distance relationship.
7 Ways Long Distance Relationships Change You For the Better
There’s no doubt in my mind that my Snowman helped me become a better person during the course of our long distance relationship.
Here are some ways our long distance relationship helped us change for the better.
Teaches You How to Be Present
When you are in a long distance relationship, you cherish the moments you have calls with your partner. While you’re on a call you could be planning for the future meet-ups, closing the distance and starting a life together.
While it is easy to daydream about the next time you see each other it is important to remember to be in the moment whenever you are with your partner.
By being present you start to develop mindfulness. Mindfulness is when you become more self aware of your thoughts and actions. Some thoughts that can come up for us in long distance relationships would be:
“I don’t want them to get off the phone” or “I don’t want our meet-up to end”.
These types of thoughts steal your mindfulness. They invade your brain space wanting to take away all your happiness and joy. This happens because you are worried about the future. Worrying about things that haven’t happened yet, which then causes you anxiety.
Anxiety lives in the future, happiness lives in the present.
So now, instead of thinking “I don’t want our meet-up to end” I try to shift my thoughts to “I am enjoying all the time I get to spend with my partner during this meet-up”.
The second thought is affirming that I am able to control my mindfulness. It gives me the control to prevent my thoughts from stealing my present happiness away from me.
Teaches You About Learning Patience
In long distance relationships the time in between meet-ups can sometimes feel unbearable. Not to mention getting frustrated with poor cell or wifi connection.
Then add in a sprinkle of pressures you face in your own life it makes it even harder to be patient when you are on a call with your partner
All these things contribute to creating stress and frustration in a relationship. While being in a long distance relationship we have to learn patience with things that are outside of our control.
Because whether we like it or not, when our stress increases that means our patience for things slowly decreases. That lack of patience with each other will make it harder for you to love your partner, when they could really need your love and patience the most.
Patience is what’s needed to see the best and to be there mentally for each other.
During covid-19 we all had to endure a lot of stress, it was also during this experience that I was able to develop more patience for the things I cannot control. My Snowman also showed me that he is the pillar of patience, as he has been able to be there mentally for me during a rough time.
Covid-19 made us realize that unfortunate events can forge great relationships. It tempers them by creating a foundation for patience and understanding.
Will Make You a Better Listener
Before my Snowman and I started dating I always felt I was a pretty good listener.
Then I started dating him and I realized that I wasn’t.
I was a horrible listener 💩
I never was really listening to other people talk. They would talk and I would get excited and want to interrupt to tell them my thoughts. That’s not listening, that’s just being selfish.
While dating my Snowman I have learned what it means to actively listen. I learned that when you actively listen to your partner without interruptions, it allows them to go further into detail. A lot of times that could mean changing the conversation from voice call to video call.
When you are in a video call it is a lot easier to focus solely on what your partner is saying.
When you actively listen it allows your partner to fully reveal their vulnerable side to you. Which helps them to trust and love you more.
Active listening means to focus all thoughts on everything the person is saying, when they are sharing with you. If there is something you don’t understand then follow up with a question.
You’ll Learn How to Argue Without Hating Each Other
Like any relationship there are going to be a few arguments. This goes the same for distance relationships. Especially, if you are dealing with different languages, cultures, ideas or beliefs.
Arguing doesn’t mean you’re dating the wrong person or that your relationship is doomed. It just means that y’all have different views on how life looks.
And that’s fine 💁♀️
After you accept the fact that y’all don’t think the same way, you and your partner are able to start learning empathy. Empathy is when you are able to learn how your partner thinks. As well as, learning more about the experiences that have led them to think the way that they do.
The only way to apply empathy is by active listening. 💕
Another part of active listening is also listening to your partner when they need to take a pause from the argument.
The pause doesn’t mean the conversation is over, it just means that you or your partner may need a break from the discussion. This will help prevent you from saying something you will regret later.
We just started to use the pauses in our arguments. Well, it’s mostly me that needs to use it. I get angry, I get loud, then I hate myself for acting like that.
So now I tell my Snowman that I need to pause. I like using it because it let’s him know that I am frustrated without me being rude or talk to him in a way that will make me upset later.
It’s still a work in progress but I am proud of the progress we’ve made with the pauses.
What it Means to Love Yourself
Learning how to love yourself is an endless process. It’s endless because it spans into so many aspects of life.
Loving yourself in your relationship. You do this by treating yourself with respect within the relationship. If your partner says something was hurtful even if they meant it as a joke, then you need to let them know it was hurtful.
If you don’t let them know that it hurt you, they will unknowingly continue to say hurtful things, which will only bring you down in the end.
Self care is another huge area of loving yourself. While in a relationship you practice self care by doing things for yourself. Sometimes, that means reserving time for yourself to be alone.
We call it being a Finn 🤭
Self love is finding that balance. That balance between the person you are in the relationship and the person you are outside of it. If anything, this area is where those of us in long distance relationships have an advantage over “normal relationships”.
We are so used to being apart from our partners, that we are used to hanging out with our own friends because your partner isn’t around.
Loving yourself also means learning to see what your partner sees in you. As well as learning how to accept compliments from your partner when they say them.
As RuPaul says “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”
Remember, you deserve love as much as everyone else 😊
That Being Vulnerable is Okay
Before my Snowman and I started dating I was overcoming a lot of trauma in my life. I felt like I was so broken that I could never have another person love me. How could a person accept all these broken sides of me?
My walls were so high, that surely anyone who dared climb them would fall into some outer circle of hell.
But, I had to learn what it meant to feel vulnerable and learn how to trust others again.
I am thankful for being in a long distance relationship, because I don’t think I would have been able to be vulnerable in what people would define as a normal relationship.
My snowman showed me that being vulnerable also makes it easier to identify and work through those broken pieces.
Being vulnerable also means creating open dialogue in order to ask real questions beyond the subjects that are “safe”.
It also means learning how to express your emotions freely without feeling the need to hide them. So that means talking to your partner about your thoughts, hopes, and even your fears.
Once you have shared your vulnerabilities to your partner, it will help them to develop love and acceptance of who you are.
Even though it can be pretty scary to reveal this stuff to your partner. At the same time, you’ll learn that being vulnerable is how you build empathy with each other.
That Saying I Love You isn’t Enough
When you’re in a long distance relationship, saying I love you can only go so far. You have to take action in your relationship.
You need to show your partner that you care for them. That means learning more about your partner, how they handle certain situations, or even learning their love language.
The best way we do this is by having meet-ups. Meet-ups are a wonderful way to know that your partner is invested in you and the relationship.
Seriously, my Snowman is the only person I know that will travel for 10+ hours to be with me.
That’s the definition of taking action for someone you love 🥰
During the times we are in the distance phase of the relationship you’ll have to show your partner you love them through appreciation and acknowledgement.
You need to tell your partner that you appreciate them and praise them for things they have done well.
Not only does it make your partner feel good when you notice things they have done; it also encourages them to continue to do those things.
Additionally, speaking about the specific qualities you love about your partner let’s them know that you truly value them in y’all’s relationship.
It Also Made Me Really Good At Booking Cheap Flights
Okay so being able to book cheap flights doesn’t really make you a better person.
But it does help your wallet feel better 😂
During the past few years of long distance dating I have learned more about myself and more about what it means to be a good partner in a relationship.
What are some ways your long distance relationship made you a better person? Let me know in the comments below!