Love it or hate it, online dating is one of the best ways to meet your romantic match - especially if you’re divorced and over forty. Whether you choose Match.com, OKCupid.com, or OurTime.com, online dating opens you up to a world of daters. Your potential life partner could live anywhere on the planet. Yet, most people limit themselves to no more than a ½ hour drive away. All of my long term relationships have been with guys who lived 1 – 2 ½ hours away.
Do you have what it takes to make a long distance relationship work?
You might be one of those who will only date within a 5 or 10 mile radius. While this will certainly make the dating process more organic and less complicated, it will also limit the number of men you’ll meet. What if your Mr. Right lived a ½ hour further away? I encourage you not to limit your chances for love.
Abby and Steve: a long distance love story
They met on JDate.com two summers ago. He lived in Kentucky, she in Connecticut. They began their connection through email, which soon led to daily phone calls. By October, their relationship was pretty solid, and Steve flew out to visit Abby for their first date.
Abby was nervous. After all those months of intense communication, the in-person date might be disappointing. There was so much excitement, fantasy, and expectation built into that first meeting. To their delight, Abby and Steve were very attracted to each other. Not in a mind-blowing, oh-my-God, this-is-it kind of way. But in a very nice 'I am relieved that he/she is attractive in person' 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 liked that Steve was escalating their relationship, but she wasn’t yet ready to introduce him to her children.
Their next date was New Years, when he introduced her to his parents in Atlantic City. I want to point out that Abby held out on sleeping with Steve until this trip. She wasn’t ready to make that step until she knew they were in a committed exclusive 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, which makes the move that much easier.
What made it work?
I asked Abby, “What made this long distance relationship work?” She said, “The phone calls brought us closer over the long span of time between dates. We made Skype/Facetime dates, too. We would get dressed up as if we were going on an actual date. That was fun and kept the spark alive. I also like that we didn’t rush the physical part of the relationship.”
After their engagement, Steve admitted that if Abby had been eager to jump into bed with him right away, as per most of his prior girlfriends, he would probably not have valued her as much. And he would not have viewed her as a potential life partner.
It may sound archaic and even a bit Neanderthal, but most men still prefer to hunt. They value a woman like Abby who has standards, who paced herself in dating, and who insisted on monogamy before sex. Abby is a high value woman with clear standards. This is what we worked on in coaching sessions. This is what helped her break her pattern of dating emotionally unavailable heartbreakers and attract a man of high value like Steve.
So, for all of you online daters, please open up your geographical search. You never know where that great guy might live. Long distance dating comes with its challenges, but true love is worth the effort. Where there’s a will, there’s a way to make the relationship work. Abby and Steve did it. You can, too. Now, go login to your online dating site and make something wonderful happen!
Please share your thoughts and experiences with long distance relationships and online dating.
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