With online dating now a thoroughly acceptable way to meet the next love of your life, it’s becoming more common for people to fall in love with partners who are on the other side of the globe. Now, more than ever, there are no borders or boundaries when it comes to love.
But falling in love is one thing (and something that’s alarmingly easy to do with someone you meet online). Staying in love is another thing entirely, especially when you’re dating long distance.
Whether you started your relationship online or not, how do you keep a relationship going when you live far apart from each other? Katie Jones from orlajames.com shares these tips:
1. Be prepared for it to be hard work
If you go into a long distance relationship, know from the start that it will require more work to keep it going. It is, by definition, harder to communicate well and establish real intimacy when you can’t physically be together. If you don’t expect this right from the beginning—if you think it will be easy–then you are setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration.
2. Understand that it can work
While a LDR is hard work, that hard work can pay off. You shouldn’t give up hope of achieving your happily ever after just because you’re in a long distance relationship. In fact, you may end up with a deeper and more grounded relationship precisely because you have spenT some time long distance. If you are committed and willing to put in the effort, there is every chance that your relationship will succeed if you both really want it to.
3. Be honest, and be yourself
With the distance between you, communication is all you have to rely on. It is really important to be honest and up front. Don’t try to be something or someone you are not—remember that if all goes well you’ll actually have to live with this person one day! So be honest from the start. This will build a relationship based on openness and trust. That will serve you well in the future.
4. Don’t rush into your relationship
Especially when you meet online, it can be tempting to throw yourself into instant in-depth communication. This is understandable–it’s all new and exciting!!–but don’t start pouring your heart out and talking very intimately straight away. If you want a relationship that will last, you need to build that up over time. Don’t rush into it all head first.
5. Stay safe online
Don’t throw caution to the wind because you think you’ve met the perfect person online. Remember, there is no perfect person, and this person is actually still a relative stranger. So stay safe and be smart. Don’t give out personal identification information, don’t share money or bank details, don’t take your clothes off in front of a webcam, and be really careful about personal safety issues if you do agree to meet up.
6. Bring the relationship into the real world
The only way to tell if you really do have chemistry and a connection that could lead to something long term is by meeting in person. So try not to get too invested in someone until you have actually met them in real life. And if you live nearby, meet in person as soon as possible. When you live at a distance, however, that’s not so easy. It’ll take you longer to meet up, but that should be your aim right from the moment you start to think seriously about a relationship with someone you’ve met online. Remember though, stay safe!
7. Don’t get obsessed
Don’t spend hours and hours on the phone every day. It’s not healthy to become obsessed. Right from the beginning, it’s important to keep up with your own life and get out and about. If all you do is spend time on the phone, you will run out of things to talk about, anyway. Spend time watching films, reading books, and doing the normal everyday things you do. Keeping your life balanced is important either way. If the relationship doesn’t work out you’ll be better off, and if it does it will help you keep things fresh and interesting to give you something to talk about when you do catch up.
8. Improve your communication skills
One of the good aspects of being in a long distance relationship is that it really encourages regular and high quality communication. While you don’t want to get obsessed, you do want to really engage in good conversation, ask lots of questions, have fun together and get to know your partner deeply and well despite the distance. There are many resources out there to help you come up with ideas to keep the communication interesting and lively and ensure that you never run out of things to talk about or ways to connect across the miles.
If you follow these steps and take things bit by bit there is no reason at all that your long distance relationship cannot develop into a successful long term partnership leading to the happy future that you really want.’