In my 20s, I was willing to travel for boys, probably because I had more energy and an ingénue spirit. So, I did get involved in some long-distance relationships. I didn’t date anyone who lived across the country so I can’t speak to that. I consider driving for an hour or more as long-distance. This can even mean you live in the same city. These days, when I match on Tinder I hesitate to swipe on guys who live an hour or so away. I have had matches who lived an hour-plus away come to my city for a first date. I felt immense pressure to make the date perfect since he wasted gas to see me. It’s a lot of effort for a thing that probably won’t work out. However, if you meet someone who is amazing and he happens to live far away, here are some tips to keep in mind before you get in too deep….
Don’t travel to him all the time…..
It’s important to not be the social dictator and traveler – He needs to make the effort to visit you. “The Rules” say to let him travel to you at least three times before you visit him. It should be unbalanced with him making the most effort.
Men can be super lazy- It’s easy to order you like a pizza while he lounges on the couch.
A man will always try to convince you to move to his town- If he doesn’t care either way about how things play out, he will suggest you move to him eventually.
He will always blame car or transportation issues for not traveling to you- I have heard all the excuses. Once you suggest that he come to you, then all of the sudden, the wheels fall off his car. It’s the most logical excuse for you to cave and travel to him. Don’t fall for it.
Your relationship might be stuck on the fast-forward button…..
It’s so easy to race to the finish line before you are ready- You want every interaction to count, so the relationship will move fast.
This can mean the relationship will burn out- You are more likely to run the relationship to the ground and not be able to pace out interactions.
You might make the mistake of asking about the future too soon- It’s understandable to want to know where you stand before you waste time and energy, but it also will cause constant relationship anxiety.
He could easily cheat on you- You have to blindly trust he is being faithful.
If you hear the phrase, “don’t move for me”….break up….
This happened to me when I was dating a guy who lived an hour-plus away. I started to make more of an effort to see him. It was a lot of trouble giving up my weekends to travel to him. After a few months of this, I felt that it might be a good idea to eventually move to his city. He responded with, “don’t move for me”….Really? Then why are we dating?
The more you invest, the more you will lose….
In another long distance relationship, I traveled two hours to see my boyfriend. At the time, he was living with his mom. I wanted the relationship to work so badly that I would overstay my welcome until his mom couldn’t take it anymore. I was so determined to keep the relationship afloat that I pissed off everyone in the process. He ended up dumping me and going out with a girl in his town.
Can a long-distance relationship work?…..
If it’s temporary – Let’s say you have been dating for a while, then he needs to travel to another county for two months. I feel this can work since he is coming back. It’s not a good idea to start the relationship long- distance. You won’t have a foundation to stand on and get to know the real him.
If you are terrified of commitment – Sometimes men or women just like to know they have a significant other. There might be intimacy issues, or a buffer before taking in-person dating seriously with others. It’s a safe situation and it feels validating to say you are not single.
If he lives across the country- This totally sounds counter-intuitive, yet there will be less flaking when a plane ticket is purchased.
Long distance costs more money….
Sure, he might offer you gas money, but maybe he won’t. Also, you are probably doing more activities versus sitting on the couch watching Netflix. This in turn costs money. For couples with deep pockets it might be totally fine to book that plane ticket or fill up the gas tank. If money is an issue, then this type of relationship is not sustainable.
He should be planning to move to you or making a sacrifice….
Again, be cautious about him suggesting you move to him; it may mean that he cares very little about you uprooting your life. Jobs do factor into decisions, yet it can also be an easy excuse. He needs to be making the tough decisions, not just allowing you to move to him.
Prioritize local dates over long distance….
You might run into a scenario where you get asked by two guys for the same day. One lives an hour and a half away and the other lives locally. Always pick the local guy. The long-distance guy can be pushed back for another time. You need to bump up local guys to first class since there is actual hope for the future. You can even tell matches that you are trying to date guys in your town for now.
Is your “long-distance relationship” real?…..
With the help of online dating you can pretty much have a relationship that lives in your phone. You might talk about deep traumatic things and hopes of the future. The only thing missing is you have not met in person. He might say that it’s not the right time. There is always an excuse attached to it. The problem with this is you are convinced he is your boyfriend. You will waste months and even years talking on the phone and obsessing about what his texts mean. It’s not a real relationship unless there are in-person dates and real effort. The worst situation is you are giving up all men for a few phone calls and some text messages. A fantasy relationship can be common. The worst case scenario is he is a catfish or a con artist. In the micro sense, he might not be as funny or your vibe in person. You might build him up to be this amazing guy when he is not.
Long-distance relationships are the most regrettable. You will invest the most travel, time, and money without being on the same page. It’s extremely hard to build a relationship through the phone. If it’s temporary and you already built the foundation, it can work out. My biggest piece of advice would be to have him be the inconvenienced one. If he is willing to fill up the gas tank and make actual plans, it’s a better sign. See how much he invests and wants to move the relationship along. If he is constantly asking you to travel to him and do all the work, he isn’t serious about you.