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Before we get into the fun stuff, I have a quick disclaimer: I am not a professional. I am merely speaking from my own personal experience.

Now, where were we? Let me give you a little backstory on my relationship. My boyfriend and I both graduated college back in May, and we were both super excited and nervous for the next chapter in our lives — employment! Not so exciting — the fact that our jobs put us states apart. We knew that putting our careers first was the healthy and right choice for us at this stage in our lives, so we decided to be in a long-distance relationship.

When the reality of a long distance relationship actually sunk in, I was devastated. No one wants to be in a long distance relationship, and I wasn’t any different. My mind was cluttered with “what if’s” and dread. Quite frankly, it felt like my boyfriend and I were venturing on a long and uphill battle of impending doom — dramatic I know, but hey I’m just being honest.

Now that we’re four months deep in our long distance relationship, my perspective has shifted for the better. Without a doubt, it has been a tough four (going on five) months, however, every challenge has its redeeming qualities. This time apart has made room for growth and progress in both our relationship and other aspects of my life. So without further adieu, here are five positive side effects I’ve experienced while being in a long-distance relationship.

1. Builds Trust

Trust is one of the core fundamentals of a successful and healthy relationship, and nothing quite tests that trust like being in a long-distance relationship. Thankfully, our trust has always been solid and being put in this situation has only proven to us how deeply we trust each other.

“This circumstance has given me an excuse to become even more independent than I realized I could be.”

2. More time for other relationships

When you’re in a relationship, it’s really easy to hermit away with your boo — hey, I’m totally guilty of it, too! However, this time apart has cleared room for me to spend more time strengthening my friendships and being a more present friend. It’s been great having more time to fool around with my girls!

3. Focus on me

This may sound a little contradictory, but some healthy alone time actually helped me get through my loneliness. These past four months, I’ve made a conscious effort to do things that make me happy — I started to write again, got back into a healthy workout routine and finally finished a couple of books on my bucket list. This circumstance has given me an excuse to become even more independent than I realized I could be.

“Would I rather not be in a long distance relationship? Absolutely! But this sure has been a blessing in disguise.”

4. Time together is better appreciated

When your bae is physically around, it’s easy to take time for granted. Now that my boyfriend and I only get to see each other occasionally, we make sure that our short trips are spent doing things we enjoy — whether that’s visiting a new restaurant we’ve been eyeing, finally seeing that movie we’ve been waiting for or just staying in and enjoying each other’s company. Our time together is purely focused on us.

5. Makes relationship stronger

Anyone who’s in, or has been in a long distance relationship will probably agree with me on this — it’s tough! It can ultimately make or break a relationship. But I cannot tell you how much this experience has strengthened our relationship. From developing our communication habits to understanding each other better, long distance has proven to be an integral milestone in our relationship.

Would I rather not be in a long distance relationship? Absolutely! But this sure has been a blessing in disguise.

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