I have a friend who will only date someone local. In her mind, that’s within a 20 mile radius. I met a guy at a party and when he found out I lived outside the city, he said, "It doesn’t matter how beautiful you are, I would not drive out to Timbucktu."
I never really thought about distance when dating. Perhaps it’s because I was raised with a father in the military and a mother from a foreign country. I traveled ALOT and distance was a norm to me. I have friends and family all over the country, so I can always call them and visiting is just one great perk. Plus, today with email, texting and skype, it’s easier to stay in touch.
So, maybe that’s why when a handsome guy (who lived 3,000 miles away) asked if he could visit me, I said "yes." He wasn’t just any guy, but a family friend I had met at a wedding 11 years ago. We reconnected at a family gathering and couldn’t wait to get to know each other.
You typically hear about people who date locally and then one of them has to move for a job or school. In our case, we were 3,000 miles away from each other from the beginning. Odds were against us in establishing any relationship (let alone romantic) since we had no foundation to help with the challenges of the long distance.
I have to say it was fun getting to know my guy from a distance. Since we couldn’t kiss or touch, we spent alot of time learning about the other. We asked a million questions and even flirted over skype. It’s fun to watch someone blush on video! Our first date was 21 days after we first reconnected and it was so great! We were lucky the chemistry we had established long-distance was even more amazing in person.
I decided to do some research on the subject and found some rules/tips that I found to be true.
While distance can make the heart grow fonder, Rabbi Shmuley says there are five rules every couple in a long-distance romance should follow if they want their love to thrive.
The Five Rules of Long-Distance Relationships:
- See each other frequently. "Do not let more than two weeks go by without seeing each other," Rabbi Shmuley says. "Certainly not a month."
- Talk on the phone everyday. Have a set time when you call each other, Rabbi Shmuley says. "That way, you build your partner into your life and schedule."
- Don’t overdo the phone calls. "Better to speak everyday for half an hour than twice a week for two hours," he says. "If you overdo the phone calls, you are left with not enough to discover and uncover about each other once you actually meet."
- Make your reunion special. Plan a special dinner or buy a special gift when you reunite, Rabbi Shmuley says. "You just need to show you’ve been pinning for them, you’ve been longing for them, you’ve been lusting for them," he says.
- Decide who will give up their job and move. If the relationship gets serious, Rabbi Shmuley says marriage needs to take place and someone has to leave their job and move closer to the other. "Long-distance relationships all work provided that there is someone who is prepared to move after you marry," he says. "It’s wrong to ask someone to move and give up a job with out any real commitment."
I also found some advice from a guy’s point of view that I found helpful.
- Agree on an end. Before you decide to jump headfirst into long-distance relationships, you should first agree on an end goal with your partner — a specific time, be it six months or a year, when the separation is going to end.
- Schedule communication. You will need to be on the same page with your partner as far as frequency goes; will you speak three times a week or once a day? Schedule the calls on your calendar.
- Schedule visits. A weekend together is vitally important at least once every six weeks. For all the Jetson-like qualities of video chat, there is no plug-in to replicate touch or smell — at least not yet. And since smell is the strongest sense tied to memory, you’ll want to keep up physical relations during long-distance relationships.
- Raise your trust level. When living a great deal of your lives away from each other in a long distance relationship it’s natural that you develop some of your once-laudable independent tendencies.
Another personal tip that I found helpful:
- Little things can make a difference. There are little ways to let someone know you are thinking about them. A quick text that says, "thinking about you," sending them some fun/special photos of you for their eyes only, or sharing a song you heard that reminded you of them.
When it comes to long-distance relationships the name of the game is prioritizing what’s important to the both of you. If it’s family or a relationship that you find occupying the top spot, great, but you’ll have to sacrifice your career a little bit. If you are both career-oriented people and can put your relationship on the back burner for a while, then a long-distance relationship may be for you. It’s all about weighing the ups and downs associated with what you want from your life!