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Global Guide to Divorce

Jack Jack the Cat

Successful dating

Tips For Making A Long-Distance Dating Relationship Work

Long-distance dating relationships can be challenging. Easier to keep the passion high when you can call up your partner and say “Hey, come right over.”  Long-distance requires planning, not spontaneity.  Many people who have been through these types of relationships, say it was worth the separation. Being sure of each other’s commitment got them through this period.

Long-distance take extra effort to keep them alive. One person might be doing more in the reaching out and this can become frustrating. Logistics have to be factored in, who is travelling and who is not. It is one thing when in the same locale, to decide who pays. Quite another when getting together requires serious money.  An example is Harry, who moved and had a six-year long-distance relationship. He resented paying 100% of transportation costs for them both. No give and take financially. Eventually Harry thought about how in other areas of their relationship he was his doing most of the work. Although relationships are rarely 50-50, there has to be somewhat of a balance.

People in long-distance relationships mention how getting together in short bursts is more like being in Disneyland. Fantasy vs reality. It is like being on a holiday, doing fun activities. While this may be fine for some, others want a relationship on a deeper level.

People brought up that they missed or ignored red flags in a long-distance relationship. They concentrated on having fun instead. They dealt with the cracks when these could no longer be ignored.  A local relationship could have been patched up or ended sooner. Nip problems in the bud before they get huge. Your partner is not a mind reader, so bring them up.

The Pros

Distance allows commitment to be gradual. One is more conscious of it and makes a choice instead of falling into it. You decide to be a couple and less likely to take the other person for granted. When dating in town, one can fall into a pattern. On Friday night we do this, on Sunday we go out for brunch. When living in different locales, one is not in a predictable schedule or rut.

Being apart forces one to build a stable foundation. The relationship may be moving at a slower pace. One man said there are less triggers to get to him in his long-distance relationship as are in past local ones.  He also said that they met on different levels before initiating physical intimacy.  One was getting to know each other spiritually. They did not jump into bed right away, as what happens when dating locally. He feels they really got to know each other first before having sex.

Tips for making it work

Communication is imperative. Be conscious of word choice. Are they expressing your intention and exact emotion?  Easier to give a more ambiguous communication when not done in person. Emails and texting can seem blunt without vocal quality.

Be aware of your own emotions

Other emotions can come through subconsciously with communication such as hostility or resentment.  If you are angry, disappointed, then express them using “I” statements. “I feel hurt when you take several days to answer a text.”  Be direct and not sarcastic.

Keep in touch, even if a quick text “Thinking of you. Hope your day is great.”

If becoming serious, discuss where to live together. A US man with a girlfriend in Norway, advises finding neutral territory to settle. They are looking for a city which fits both of their needs. Others may want to move to a place where one of them lives, especially if that person has children. Some couples live in different loculations indefinitely and spend time blocks together. One couple does six weeks together and six weeks apart. This is working fine. Discuss if there is a time table for when living together. Or, if commuting is desirable for you both.

Flexibility is a plus in a long-distance relationship

Here is an example with a happy ending. Matthew and Elizabeth became a couple when they attended university. Matthew went on to law school and Elizabeth studied to be an ophthalmologist in different cities. She had internships in various places during the summer months when Matthew did not have law school. He stayed with her during that time for three years. Elizabeth managed to get one in Matthew’s hometown. They got together at other times during the year.  The long-distance part of their relationship for lasted three years. They are blissfully married with two children. When a couple is committed to make it work, it can.