When my husband and I moved across the country last summer, I knew that my relationships with my friends and family would change. They would no longer be down the street, across town, or two doors away at work. What I hadn’t realized was that moving away from LA would lead to periods of long distance for my husband and I as well.
Last month, his work took him back to LA for what we thought would be a three weeks. Turns out, it’ll end up being more like seven. We certainly aren’t the first couple to deal with the hardship of long distance, and we won’t be the last. But that doesn’t make it any easier in the present.
The full moon on March 31st was in Libra, which I read is all about relationships—romantic, friendship, familial, even our relationship to ourselves. With this in mind, I thought about how to shift my mindset around my relationships and distance: instead of focusing on the negative parts, I asked myself what the upsides are instead. Here’s what I came up with:
#1 Solitude and Space
I love having my husband around, but one upside to distance is the fact that I get to be unapologetically selfish with my me-time. Whether I want to go for a long walk, spend time reading, or binge watch Call the Midwife, my down time is all about me (this would obviously be different if we had kids, but right now I don’t have anyone other than my cats to worry about).
#2 Quality over Quantity
This benefit goes for friends and family members, too. When people come to visit, they stay at our house, and we get to spend hours hanging out, exploring different places, talking, and just enjoying each other’s company. As much as I love coffee dates and wine nights, having friends and family stay with us is just a different bonding experience.
#3 Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
I know this is a cliche, but I find myself smiling when my husband texts me, looking forward to his phone calls, and getting giddy about my trip out to LA to see him. When we’re together day in and day out, a text or a call is nice, but it’s also routine. The time apart helps build up the desire to connect and reminds us what that connection means to us.
#4 Connection over Convenience
Lastly, the distance between myself and those I love helps me to remember why I love them in the first place. The relationships that stand up to the test of distance grow stronger because you know the bond is because of genuine connection and affection instead of convenience or location.
Whether you’re currently battling long distance with friends or lovers, or if you’re just looking to shift your perspective around relationships, remember that mindset is everything. Being far from the ones you love can be difficult, but it can also be a time to reflect and grow so that the relationship blooms when you’re back together.