The holidays are all about spending time together with the ones you love, but how does distance help you out the rest of the year?

Now, distance does not have to mean hundreds of miles, it could just be a week solo or even just a day to yourself.

To get a little personal, my boyfriend of almost five years and I made the distance between Jackson and Grand Rapids, Michigan work for us for almost our entire relationship. Now that we don't have two hours between us, that time apart has actually made our relationship stronger!

Of course these are not hard, fast rules for everyone but just a few reasons a little distance can help no matter if you've been together five years, twenty-five or more!

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  • 1

    Self Care

    Spending some time apart really gives you a chance to focus on the things you need for yourself. When you are alone, you have nobody to take care of but you so figuring out your needs and your own routines is absolutely necessary. If you can't make yourself happy, making someone else happy is more of a challenge!

  • 2

    Cultivating Your Own Interests

    Like self care, your interests are things you know will always make you happy but they are things that don't come from that other person! Sure, having common interests makes it easy to do things you both enjoy, but being able to show your person things that are new to them keeps things fresh! Maybe you are really into cooking and your partner is not, get good at it on your own and blow them away with your skills!

  • 3

    Working Through Disagreements

    Fights happen in relationships; it's just how it is, but spending some time apart can help both of you learn how to deal with it before a blowout! Knowing your needs and how you want to communicate helps you approach the dispute with reason. A better understanding of how you need to communicate to your partner is something that can only be achieved when you are not "too close" to them.

  • 4

    Time Together Is Sacred

    When you spend some time away, that time you finally get together means more and you try to make the most of it. The things that would normally bother you if it was an every day occurrence now either don't or are just not worth spending your precious time together bickering over!

  • 5

    Divide & Conquer

    This comes in handy, especially around the holidays. When you give each other a little bit of space, you both have your own families and people you need to see and often, they're all doing things the same day. Having distance gives you both the confidence to be able to go solo to family events and feel comfortable telling people where your partner is when they ask! It is not that you are in a fight or anything, it is just you both understand you each have obligations and are willing to get out and support the people in your life.

  • 6

    Communication

    You hear it all the time, "communication is key" but it really is not just another trope you hear when it comes to relationships. Once I started going to therapy and learning how to communicate what I was feeling to someone who started out a stranger, I realized I should be doing the same for someone who knows me better than anyone else. Being more open about how you are feeling in general helps your partner know how to help you. Something as simple as "I'm not looking for advice right now and I know you don't care but I just really need to vent." You will be more satisfied with their response and they then know where you are at with your feelings and know how to better help you work through it.