To most people, being in a relationship means that you have someone that is always there for you, a constant support system, and an indefinite friend to share experiences with. In the majority of cases, this is a worth-while set up, but for some of us it truly isn't all that simple. Many people have to learn that being away from your partner can actually be an okay thing. Allow me to explain..
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder..."
I think I may have heard that saying about 1 million times before I ever understood it's true meaning. People often think that a relationship is not as strong when both people aren't always together. I've heard men and women both say how they would never allow their significant other to go away from home to pursue education or work for any amount of time simply because they would be away from each other. In my opinion, saying something like that reveals a lot about your relationship. You are either: selfish for not wanting to see your partner succeed, insecure about where you'll stand once they are gone, or you simply don't trust them. These are all problems that people face from time to time, but they can be worked out in order to build a stronger relationship. Don't get me wrong, I do believe that there are acceptable amounts of time that work better for different couples. I'm not saying, "Here's a free pass to go explore the world for as long as you like and leave your partner behind". I'm talking about reasonable things such as taking a year to go to school in another city or accepting a job assignment away from home for a few months.
Speaking from experience, being apart from your significant other in order to pursue goals that will make you stronger or propel you down your career path can be a great thing. I'm in the military and I often have to be away from home and my wife does jobs in her career field that take her away from home as well. I won't lie and say that being apart from each other has been on the top of my The Best Things About Marriage list, but it has taught us a few things. I will share 3 of the most important lessons that we've learned with you.
1. It will teach you that love should be liberating.
True love is a freeing experience. Not only does it free your spirit and emotions but it should also be physically freeing as well. I've learned that your partner should be one of the biggest advocates for your personal growth and progress in life. Unfortunately, there are people who get in relationships where the other person makes them feel trapped and that prevents them from reaching out to pursue goals and opportunities that may potentially benefit them both. Even if you never actually pursue an opportunity that would take you away from home, knowing that your partner would support you if you did is a big deal. Neither party should feel limited simply because they are in a relationship. Honestly, I think that you should feel more empowered to strive for bigger goals because you now have two people believing in them rather than just yourself. Love should free each person to be the best 'self' that they can be. I know it sounds cliche, but it's true!
2. You'll realize the strengths in your relationship.
Being away from each other forces you to evaluate the true strength of your relationship. You'll learn more about each other because you'll be faced with different situations that may bring up weakness that you haven't already addressed. You may learn that you have trust issues, that you rely too heavily on the other person, or that one of you has issues communicating effectively. If that happens, don't fret, that just means that you are human and you're experiencing something that many couples go through. What makes your relationship stronger is how you get through these times. Working together to fix problems that arise and being mature enough to handle the outcomes will strengthen everything about your relationship.
3. There will be more love because of it.
More often than not, once the absence is over, there will be a lot more love between you both. This can be attributed to the fact that you now know that you can support each other selflessly and work through your issues like adults. It also has a lot to do with knowing your partner trusts you and has complete confidence in your abilities. People underestimate the true value of simply believing in each other. If more people understood how much it means to your partner to simply know that you believe in them, we would have more "power couples" in the world.
You know how they say, "If you love someone, let them go and if they come back then it's meant to be"? I think that same rule applies here. When you truly love someone, you should be able to let them do whatever they need to do in order to pursue their goals and they should do the exact same thing for you!