Whenever I tell someone that I’m in a long-distance relationship, the typical response is a cocktail of sympathy, pity, and skepticism. And as guilty as I am of trying to make lemonade, unless that glass-half-full contains gin, constant optimism can get pretty tough and pretty old.
That being said, as a retired member of the Sisterhood of Single Women and a begrudging shiny, happy, partnered person, I think I’ve tapped into the secret for a perfect balance: the long-distance relationship. And after ten months of being apart-together, I’ve curated the list below of often-undisclosed perks of being in a ldr (spoiler: that stupid abbreviation isn’t one of them).
You Can Be Disgusting All the Time
Mustache hair getting a little overgrown? Have you been walking around all day wearing a shirt that (let’s face it) no longer fits? It’s no problem, because not only is your partner not around to think to themselves oh god. I’m dating that, but you have probably been too busy being in love to notice anyone’s disgust.
Spreading FOMO, and Making Life More Fabulous
This might be a result of my competitive nature, but I refuse to be the more lovesick partner. If we were in a traditional relationship (as traditional as two girls can be), chances are most nights would be another routine evening of Netflix and Chill. Instead, since my long-distance lady plans to move up here, I take every opportunity to go out and do something amazing, and snap a “look what you’re missing” picture.
An Excuse for Wild Romantic Gestures
Whether it’s during visits or between trips, otherwise puke-worthy romantic gestures suddenly don’t seem so bad. Make a mix cd, send flowers, or splurge on an unaffordable event, at a price even native New Yorkers would balk at. Because debt doesn’t exist in the love bubble.
Travel Hacks Become Second Nature
A few trips into a long-distance relationship, you’ll become a veritable travel wizard. And while travel is still a huge pain (still waiting on that teleporter, scientists) at least it’ll be an efficient pain. This could mean anything from finding cheap flights, to packing the perfect carry-on, to learning the best route to the airport. You’ll have prepping for a romantic getaway so refined, you could do it in your sleep (perfect for those discounted 5 am flights).
Trite But True: Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Without the day-to-day realities of whose turn it is to do the dishes, hogging the covers, or the story you’ve heard her tell ten times, you’ll find it’s hard to stay angry, and easy to be twitterpated. Plus with apps like Couple and platforms like Skype, you’re still connected across the miles.
And while these perks don’t make up for the couples dinners you have to attend alone, the days spent out of sync, or the overall emotional weariness and damn-near Shakespearean agony of being apart, the distance leads to an appreciation for time spent together, and a deepened intimacy that (on its best days) almost makes up for it.
**Originally published on TwentySomethingNYC.com on September 24, 2015**