It's no secret that college long-distance relationships can be challenging. The distance -- both geographical and emotional -- can sometimes seem overwhelming with everything else you have going on during your time in school. A long-distance relationship, however, can actually provide some benefits in ways that traditional college relationships don't.
You get to know each other on a deeper level. When you can only talk to someone on the phone, via message, or on Skype, you often don't have the ability to cover the casual, random topics that come up, say, if your partner were closer and you could walk together to class every day. Talking with a significant other is a deliberate task that you often schedule in advance and that you pay deeper attention to than other conversations. Consequently, you and your partner can get to know each other on the issues and values that matter most without the inane details of your college life getting in the way.
You usually have a strong relationship to begin with. It's a rare couple that decides to do the college long-distance thing if they've only been a casual hook-up from time to time. If you're trying to stay together across a distance, chances are you're both committed to making the relationship work. You're starting out strong and dedicated for the long-haul, which can be an important strength when your relationship inevitably has its challenging times.
You can get an outside perspective on campus problems. With a partner who isn't involved in all the daily details (and drama) of life on your campus, he or she can often offer some great, outside perspective on any issues you may run into during your time in school. Additionally, just having to explain the details of a troubling or confusing situation can help you think through it -- and come to some kind of resolution or conclusion about what next steps to take. A partner who is caught up in all the details wouldn't be able to support you in this way.
You don't always have to look your best. Let's be honest: nearly every college student knows exactly how many minutes it takes to fly out of bed, get dressed, brush their teeth, put deodorant and shoes on, and make it to class just in the nick of time. Just because you've completed each of these steps, however, doesn't mean you're looking your finest. Not having a partner whom you might bump into on the way to class can often be a blessing in disguise on the days when just making it through your routine in one piece is a major victory.
You often have more fun than most when you're together. Because you don't get to enjoy all the little things about your partner -- feeling their hand on your back, catching the scent of their shampoo -- on a regular basis, you tend to really enjoy every minute you're together. And you rarely just hang out bored with each other, either. You have more fun when you're with each other because, well, you're not with each other very often. You wouldn't be putting all this effort into maintaining your long-distance relationship if it were boring, right?
You don't take each other for granted. While there are some pros to having a long-distance relationship during your time in school, there is always the con of simply not having a significant other around to share the little things with. Consequently, people in long-distance relationships rarely take each other for granted. Each partner knows how important the other is and realizes what a unique gift their relationship is. Things may be hard sometimes, but even the challenging aspects of your relationship are something to be shared together.
Even the smallest gestures become the most meaningful. If your roommate gets sent a classic, handwritten note from their significant other down the hall, everyone would agree that it's super sweet. But if you get sent a handwritten note from your significant other from across the country, nearly everyone would ooh and ahh over the gesture. When you aren't around to share the little things together, the little things take on a bigger importance. And sometimes, those seemingly little gestures end up being the basis for the fabric that holds your entire relationship together -- no matter the distance.