Some people set no distance requirements on potential suitors. One Adventures in Delicious Dating After 40 reader shared she was romanced by a guy half way around the world for over two years! (They never met and he went poof one day.)
Other people have ridiculously short distance requirements. Some men list 10 miles as their dating radius in their dating profiles. Unless you live in New York City, I think this is too small. An hour’s drive seems reasonable to me.
Throughout my post-divorce dating, I was always clear I didn’t want a long distance relationship. Even thinking that, I’ve been entranced enough with four of the 112 men to explore dating them. With three of the four, I spent hours on the phone with them, often talking every day for up to several months before meeting. Two I never saw after one date, and one I saw 3 times before he went poof.
Then I found myself in a 600-mile long distance relationship. Why? Because he is a great, loving, smart, romantic, thoughtful guy. The long distance has its pros and cons.
Here’s what I’ve found so far:
Pros of a Long Distance Relationship:
- Because you aren’t seeing each other frequently, you appreciate each other more.
- You plan special activities for when you are together.
- You spend compressed time together, so can get close fast.
- You send each other love notes/emails to keep the passion alive. More so than if you were within a short driving distance.
- You plan special romantic gestures to show the person you care after the visit — notes tucked in luggage or left on the refrigerator, chocolate hidden under the covers.
- Hellos and goodbyes are particularly sweet.
- You build up anticipation of spending time with your special guy.
- If you have a busy life, you can consolidate your dating into a few days a week/month/quarter rather than allotting time each week.
- You have plenty of time to see friends, work out, and participate in hobbies in between sweetie visits, so you don’t feel you’re cutting out activities you like while developing a relationship.
Cons of a Long Distance Relationship:
- Easier to misinterpret things over the phone and email when the body language and facial expression are missing.
- If one of you is exhausted, sick or has to unexpectedly work, your together time is compromised. The person doing the travel may resent spending time and money to visit but not having the other’s full attention.
- Travel costs.
- Because of the compressed time (spending 2-3 days together nearly 24/7), you can move faster than you might if you saw each other in short few-hour spurts.
- Waiting too long between visits can strain the bond.
- Built-up expectations create unreasonable fantasies. We all have warts, but when you don’t see someone regularly, you imagine them as perfect. When the warts show up it’s shocking.
- Resentments can fester if a special effort isn’t made to talk about them.
- Might be tempting to see others.
On one hand, long distance dating takes more effort. In addition to traveling to see one another, you need to take special effort to keep in touch on more than a superficial level in between. However, some relationships thrive on having a little time and space between the pair.
I think it is easier if you have an already established relationship where circumstances require you to be apart for a few months or year. When developing a relationship, however, you both have to be clear the effort is worth it.
If you’ve had a long distance relationship, what have you found are the pros and cons?
This is an excerpt from In Search of King Charming: Who Do I Want to Share My Throne?, part of the Adventures in Delicious Dating After 40 series. Order it at Dating Goddess.
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