Long-distance dating pros and cons

mapSome people set no distance requirements on potential suitors. One DG 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 it this is too small. An hour’s drive seems reasonable to me.

Throughout my 2.5 years of 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 75 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.

And now I find myself in a 600-mile relationship. Why? Because he’s a great, loving, smart, romantic, thoughtful guy. The distance has its pros and cons. Here’s what I’ve found so far:

long-distance datingPros:

  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Cost of traveling.
  • 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.

What have you found are the pros and cons of long-distance dating?

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5 responses to “Long-distance dating pros and cons”

  1. Maureen Shaw Avatar

    A long distance relationship isn’t easy but it’s not impossible. I did
    it for 2 1/2 years and we’ve now been together for 13. You have to
    accept that you aren’t together and cherish the moments that you are –
    through email, chat, video or phone. Flat screen can lead to
    misunderstandings so don’t be tough on each other.

  2. Mitsy Avatar

    My experience with online dating and long distance (an hour or more away) did not cut it. I think you would have to be a super good match to begin with and have each person be willing to make the time and effort, which just did not happen for me in my dating situations. I met more than one that I would have gone above and beyond for, even though they did not live locally. The guys were not willing to make that effort and eventually quit calling me. So, I have a bad taste in my mouth for long distance romances as well as online dating. Just can’t deal with the disappointment anymore.

  3. Joy Avatar

    I have just started a long distance relationship and it is very hard. If you can keep the interest alive with emails, phone calls and so on, it could work. My guy goes out of his way to make me feel that I am part of his daily life. That really helps and though we only see each other for 2-3 days once a month(for now), we are getting closer by the day. But I think, if you’re supposed to be together, you will be….one way or another.

  4. Gabriella Avatar

    I am currently in a very long distance relationship and it is very very romantic and special. We text and phone sometimes 2-3 times a day, thanks to cell phones…but the difficulties lie in the intimacy factor. If a relationship is meant to be it will be no matter what the distance is, you will surely find a way. Great relationships are very very difficult to find.

  5. Maureen Avatar

    Hello! It’s been awhile that i hadn’t reply to this entry. Well it is quite hard having a long distance relationship, i agree. I myself could testify to that. But if you really put things into it (and your partner also) you could pull things through.