We see it all the time: two people who are madly in love with each other but choose to go their separate ways because they live hundreds of miles apart.

When I chose to come to the University of Kentucky, I also chose to be in a long-distance relationship. Constantly, people would criticize me saying there was no way my boyfriend and I would survive the distance while we went to two different colleges. In reality, the distance between us has only made us stronger.

We have learned to appreciate one another on a whole new level, making our bond stronger than most. Here are some reasons why I think long-distance relationships can actually be a GOOD thing.

1. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is a true statement

Whoever coined this phrase, you’re a genius. When you and your significant other spend hundreds of aching minutes away from each other, those minutes you get to spend together every once in a while are that much more valuable.

2. You get to go on a lot of cool dates

Haven’t seen each other in a month? Time to celebrate by trying out a new trendy restaurant in the city or visiting a fancy art museum! Going out on dates is a great way to keep your relationship strong, despite the time you have to endure apart.

3. The distance from your significant other gives you a chance to be independent

You all know that one girl that can absolutely not function without her boyfriend. Long distance relationships give you a chance to avoid being “that girl”. It’s an opportunity to make your own friends, chase your own dreams, and still be committed to the one you love.

4. You don’t have to look your best

Don’t feel like shaving your legs? That’s fine because you won’t see your boyfriend for another two weeks. Don’t want to brush your hair? No problem, your girlfriend will never know because she’s three states away.

5. It tests your level of commitment

In today’s society, loyalty is rare. If you and your significant other can thrive in a long distance relationship, you two can take on just about anything life throws at you.

Yes, a long distance relationship is not all sunshine and rainbows, but it does have its benefits. You learn to cherish the limited time you spend together. You appreciate each other’s efforts to make time to see each other. In a perfect world, it’d be great to live in the same place as your significant other. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? If you two can make it through the distance, you can make it through it all.