Long Distance Dating – how to make it work

One of the unfortunate consequences of online dating is that you might end up liking someone who’s nowhere near you, and have them interested in you as well. Sure, this is not a caveat exclusive to online dating, though, it seems to have been accentuated by it. While indeed, long distance dating was less frequent back when the internet wasn’t so widespread, today the scenario is more common.

But it doesn’t even have to be online dating that puts you in the long distance dating/relationship in the quandary. It can also be that you or your date have been separated by distance for all sort of reasons. Yes, you don’t want to renounce it, but you’re also unsure on how to make it work. While every relationship will evolve its own way and people will react differently when distance is a factor, there are however a few ways to make sure the relationship keep going strong. Here’s how.

1. Get involved in your date’s decision making:

They will tell you that communication is key and that talking on the phone, over the internet, skyping and Face-time-ing it will have to cut it. Indeed, communication is vital, but there are a couple of types of communication that are actually valuable. It’s not spamming your date that will get the relationship any further, it’s actually in the quality of the conversations. And nothing is more valuable than helping someone to make a decision even when you are thousands of miles away.

So, what does it mean and how can you be helpful? Well, next time you are asked to present an opinion, even on the least important type of decision, say, when asked what clothes to wear or whatever else in that very same alley, don’t just say you don’t know. Yes, you might not be an expert in fashion, but an outright” I don’t know” will translate to “I don’t care”. When you build trust and get asked to supply more significant opinions, try not to judge it internally and then give your answer, try to walk your date through the process, so they can find their own path. That is real bonding right there and real value, and you will be able to learn a thing or two about your date in the process, adding value to the relationship.

2. How far away are you from one another really?

It’s your financial situation and your schedule, but try to think about it: how often can you actually get to see your date, and for how long? Sometimes, if you don’t know your date that well, it might be improper to visit them and crash there for the night or for the day. But, at any rate, make sure that if you have the option of seeing them, you do it. Use celebrations, concerts, workshops, whatever is happening to find an excuse for a bit of a trip, phone calling and messaging can only do so much, you do have to add in some extra real face time whenever possible and proper.

3. Write them a pen and paper letter!

You know what, you are dating long distance, so why not use that for a bit of romanticism that right there in the cards. Yeah, you’re going to have to actually get a piece of paper and write something with your own hands, DIY all the way, but boys and girls appreciate that just as much. It’s a sign that you took the time and trouble and that you’re having your date in your mind. Just manage your tone correctly. A friend of mine used to send such letters but to avoid being too sappy he would write them as if they were IRC chats! Sure, everyone has their own type of humor, so my friend’s option might not be for everyone, but humor and lightheartedness can be a good way to bond over distance.

4. Don’t let your mind go crazy!

It’s quite possible that you and your date (and there’s a reason we’re calling it a date and not a relationship) will get to have different amounts of investment and expectations from the relationship. As with any date, you don’t want to be too forgoing. Remember, whether local or long distance, dating is about exploration. Sure, maybe you’ve already figured it out, maybe you both want kids and to get married and so on, but don’t act and react as if you know somebody – you wouldn’t do it if you were dating. Sure, these questions and their answers will come but do give it time. Being extra controlling and freaking out when your date is not answering a phone or a mail should not put you in overdrive. You will give out the impression that you might be more possessive and controlling in a negative manner and over long distance misunderstandings can happen more quickly. Thus, keep your calm and while demanding for explanations don’t be too overreaching.

So, overall, while dating someone from a distance, try to both make the distance an advantage or as well as reduce it as much as possible. Make extra sure that your communication is clear and concise when it is important to be so, and ultimately don’t forget that dating is a game of hunting for information and for a more personal understanding of each other, which isn’t necessarily hindered by distance.

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