I've been there. I kick my own ass every day for doing something similar. Sure, I was "happy," but I would've been a lot happier if I was dating around and meeting people at the time. I didn't know myself, let alone how to know other people in all of their glorious diversity.
After that year of trying to persist my long-distance relationship, I had a lot of chance encouters and interests. I never consistantly dated anyone in that time (unless you count hanging out and making out "dating"), but I did see that love and sex had little to do with each other and that with an essentially clean slate for life ahead of me, I needed to figure out myself first.
People have this thing where they need someone to feel complete and whole, or happy. That in itself isn't a problem or a sign of weakness. I think we do need that. However, no one ever teaches us that for us to effectively enjoy a relationship we need to enjoy ourselves first. Experience... with people, lovers, jobs and life-learning... are what makes us whole for ourselves first. The passage of time is the only thing that provides that.
I was lucky. I finally started to "get it" in the last part of my junior year in college and the following summer. By the time my senior year rolled around, I was ready for anything. I got into this physical relationship with no expectations and saw opportunities all around me in terms of "hooking up." Despite a lot of ups and downs, I ended up marrying that girl six years later.
So to put it bluntly, you miss opportunities to grow if you have to be hooked up. I didn't know what the hell I was doing in college, and even to this day I'm not always sure. What I did know is that I had to be on solid ground before I decided to stick with someone who would be a major part of my life. You'll never answer all of the questions, but you won't acquire data to answer any of them if you blindly commit yourself to relationships early in life.