Does Long-Distance Dating Work?
Today’s question is on a hot topic: Does long-distance dating work? There is such a vast difference in opinion on this subject, and many times it’s up to the individuals dating to either make it work or have it fizzle out. I am of the opinion that online dating opens you to a world of daters for a reason; your soul mate may live anywhere in the world. (As I write this, I just got a message from a guy in Israel who wants to meet me!)
Many people only date in a small geographically desirable region, and while this will certainly make dating more natural and organic, it also limits the amount of people you meet. Today, I will share a story of two online daters who live hundreds of miles apart.
Abby met Steve on the dating site, JDate two summers ago. He lived in Kentucky, she in Connecticut. They began with emails, soon leading to daily phone calls. As their relationship grew closer, Steve was finally able to make the journey north to visit Abby in October.
Fearful that after all those months of communication, the in-person date might be disappointing, Abby was nervous for their first date. There is so much excitement, fantasy, and expectation built into that first meeting. To their delight, Abby and Steve were both attracted to each other. Not in a mind-blowing, oh-my-G-d, this is it kind of way. But in a very nice, whew, I am relieved that he/she is pleasant to look at kind of way.
In November, Steve came up for Thanksgiving, along with his 22-year-old son. That was a big step, the family intro! Abby felt like Steve was moving full steam ahead with their relationship, which felt good to her, but she wasn’t yet ready to introduce him to her family.
Their next get together was New Years, where he introduced her to his parents in Atlantic City. I want to point out that Abby held out on sleeping with him until this trip. She wasn’t ready to make that step until she knew they were for sure in a committed relationship. Meeting the parents can be a pretty good indicator of that next step!
A few months later, they were engaged. They will soon be married, and she is moving to Kentucky. Her youngest child just graduated high school, making the move that much easier.
I asked Abby, “What made this long distance relationship work?” She answered that the phone calls brought them closer over a long span of time. And the fact that they took their time to develop the physical part of the relationship, too. After their engagement, Steve admitted that if Abby had been ready to jump into bed with him right away, as per most of his prior girlfriends, he probably would not have valued her as much and he would not have viewed her as a potential life partner.
I know, it sounds so archaic and old school, but most men still like to hunt. And most women put a lot of value into the relationship after sleeping together. So, please take your time. Slow and steady wins the race. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, with couples who slept together on a first date and are in great long-term marriages. But those are exceptions…
So, for all of you online daters, open up your geographical search if you dare! You never know where your soul mate may be residing. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Remember to pace yourself. Now, go make something happen!