There's no sugarcoating it: Long-distance relationships can suck. A phone call or Skype screen is never as good as the real deal, and your body can physically hurt from missing another person so badly. However, let's not pretend there aren't some upsides to an admittedly tricky situation. Long-distance relationships come with their own unique set of advantages, and here are 10 that you may not have realized.
1. You have your own life.
Of course you want to spend time with your partner, but were you in the same city, you'd constantly be walking the line between when you should spend time together and when you shouldn't. If you're just feeling a night with the girls, you don't have to feel guilty about not bringing your partner along, because they can't come anyway.
2. Your communication is on point.
Since your relationship involves a lot of talking, you've had plenty of practice expressing yourself and know just how to articulate what you want and need. Even better? You know how to listen, which means you're well-prepared for any challenges the relationship might throw you.
3. You get the whole bed.
It's a tiny thing that makes a huge difference. While snuggling with your partner can never be beat, a full night of uninterrupted sleep in which your body is spread out luxuriously to all four corners of the mattress comes pretty close.
4. You don't need to carve out alone time.
It can be hard to ask for space without upsetting the people you're distancing yourself from. Even the healthiest relationships need some breathing room, but when it comes to long distance, it's a built-in part of the package.
5. You have ample opportunity to travel.
By definition, a long-distance relationship means at least one of you has to travel in order to see the other. To keep things exciting, you guys can jet off to totally new places together.
6. You're forced to have the conversations you might otherwise put off.
If your long-distance relationship has large chunks of time in between reunions, you have to think about things in the long term. Logistically, you two have to be on the same page about what you want and where you see things going, because you might find yourself making plans months in advance.
7. You have a 24/7 support network.
A relationship that relies on social media and technology means you're always plugged in, and so is your partner. There's no going off the grid or "we'll talk about this later." Whenever you need them, they're there.
8. You get ~*very good*~ at masturbating.
When you have to go months without sex, you get to know yourself pretty well. Ample time to masturbate means ample new things to learn about your body—and to tell your partner to try next time you see them.
9. You have so much more to talk about.
Every little thing that happens in both of your days is fuel for your next conversation. The phone calls are seemingly never-ending, because you each have your own lives and experiences to catch up on.
10. You're always looking forward to something.
While the day-to-day of a regular relationship can be monotonous (in a good way), long-distance couples are unpredictable. It sucks to be apart, but that just means you're always getting excited for the next reunion and surprising each other with new ideas for the future.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.