How to survive online long-distance dating

Idonthaveausername

About a year ago, I met my boyfriend on this site...very unexpectedly. It was strange, difficult, expensive, and wonderful all at once, but we managed to make things work out. When this all started, we both agreed 3 things were necessary to actually develop a relationship: determining compatibility, establishing communication, and visiting each other as much as possible

1000% true
1000% true

Initiating a relationship online

Disclaimer: Do not expect to find a relationship online by sending desperate "I love you" messages to random strangers. That is creepy and and huge turnoff to most women. If you randomly run into someone online you are interested in, send a simple, clear message that you are potentially interested in something more. Move on if you do not receive reciprocity. The likelihood of meeting someone randomly online is pretty low, and this post is more for people who have already found a potential love prospect online rather than seeking one out

The first message I received from my boyfriend went something like this:

I read your post about what you want in a guy, and I'm the perfect guy for you. It would be great if we could get to know each other....and I have blue eyes

He always tells me that message was sent on a whim and any interruptions he had that day would've prevented him from sending it; I always tell him I rolled my eyes at seeing yet another message from some random guy in my inbox that day. But something was different for both of us, and it only took a week before we started looking at things seriously. Even though the only images we had of each other were digital text, we could tell there was chemistry based on the way we spoke to and flirted with each other. Although his initial message was extremely straightforward and unexpected, it was beneficial for starting our relationship off with that delineated expectation

How to survive online long-distance dating

My aunt and uncle met on a gun website. She had questions; he had answers. Initially he asked if he could speak to her on the phone because that would make it easier for him to explain (because his sausage fingers are clumsy on the keyboard). After he helped her with her question, they kept talking....and 4 months later they were married...and this summer they celebrated their 10th anniversary

I also used to work with a guy who met his girlfriend in an online pool game chat room. She moved from another country to be with him some 12 years after they met because they stayed online friends for a long time

So however you decide someone online is right for you, put in the right effort to see if you are right for them as well. The first message you send can be the most important, so don't make it sound desperate. Striking up a normal conversation first is generally a good idea to get the proverbial ball rolling and guage potential chemistry and interest

Determining compatibility

How well do you fit together?
How well do you fit together?

Online dating websites tout their questionnaires on relationship compatibility and astrology claims children born in certain months are destined to be in phenomenal or terrible relationships with each other, but there's no substitute for an in-depth conversation between two people. (My experience with Plenty Of Fish was fruitless and astrology determines that my boyfriend and I have the lowest level of compatibility possible while suggesting we argue incessantly...) That is because compatibility is much more than giving similar answers to the same question or liking someone's picture (that is probably a bad representation of them anyway due to lighting and camera angles). Compatibility is a necessary combination of chemistry, attraction, shared values, and long-term goal alignment that hold two people together in a romantic relationship. A common flaw with online dating is skimping on chemistry and shared values for attraction and long-term goal alignment. Meeting someone online not on a dating website gives you the freedom to initiate a more natural conversation about shared values by using chemistry as catalyst to keep the interaction going

How to survive online long-distance dating

Once you determine compatibility based on chemistry and shared values, judging whether you are attracted enough to put forth effort in the long-run becomes an easier question to answer

Chemistry

Chemistry draws people together, drives us crazy, and makes us fall in love. Nobody can pinpoint exactly what chemistry is or create it artificially--you either have chemistry with someone or you don't. Most of the time people describe chemistry as "sexual tension," but when there's a computer screen between you, chemistry displays in a much different way

Flirty jokes and memes coupled with lol chains and laughing emoticons

Virtual hugs and other suggestions of physical contact

Constant messaging rather than surfing the internet between PMs

Writing in a similar way (punctuation and grammar) or reciprocal text novels rather than one-word replies

Noticing that someone is having a bad day because their syntax appears different

Reminds me of a joke we had about a man-blanket because I was cold
Reminds me of a joke we had about a man-blanket because I was cold

People write in a similar way to how they speak, so creating chemistry through messaging is entirely possible. One of the things that caught my boyfriend's attention was the amount of detail I used in the post he read that just "stuck out." Wanting to read more of what someone is writing is a sign that you could potentially have chemistry is speaking with them

Chemistry online is less about what you are writing and more about how you are writing it

Shared Values

Determining what you value both in life and in relationships is extremely important for long-term compatibility, but it's less obvious in the short-term for the vast majority of couples who meet in person. Many couples skip past this essential part of dating because they're caught up in making out and showing each other off on social media, and then decide to either break up or stay together once they determine compatibility at a later date (weeks, months, years...). Online relationships lack physical connection, so they rely more heavily on discussing common interests and mapping out ideals for a potential relationship early on

If only it were possible
If only it were possible

Within the first few days of us messaging, my boyfriend and I determined we have all the same political, social, and relationships beliefs, laid out our deal-breakers, and shared any information that could've been a point of contention later. We discussed the heavy stuff early on. --Now that was refreshing compared to standard formula-- (I think the first thing we disagreed on was ketchup, but after determining so much compatibility in shared values, a silly condiment wasn't going to break us up)

Of course there is an amount of blind trust necessary to date someone online, and any lie could've destroyed the whole thing. Honesty, loyalty, and trust are essential for long-term potential

The truth turns little lies into big lies
The truth turns little lies into big lies

Attraction

To be perfectly clear, my boyfriend had absolutely no idea what I looked like when he messaged me, and I only had his word to go by. We lucked out in being exactly the other's type. We waited a week before exchanging pictures, and then we sent several to guarantee against catfishing. Physical attraction is an important part of relationships, and is generally what initially attracts a guy to a girl. Skype is a useful tool in determining attraction to someone you're dating online because that verifies image and authenticity. However, physical attraction is less important when you determine chemistry and shared values first (moreso for women than men)

Long-term goal alignment

Couples who meet online tend to marry much more quickly than couples who meet in person. Part of this stems from determining compatibility early on, but the most important part is determining long-term goal alignment during the dating process rather than after the commitment of a relationship. When you meet someone who is either more or less serious than you about marriage, children, and potentially moving thousands of miles away from home, the stakes of costly visits and the time invested to build a relationship diminish the excitement and interest of pursuing anything further. Many couples pursue relationships they shouldn't because they aren't clear with each other about their long-term goals early on, and then continue the relationship expecting or hoping the other to change. It only takes a few messages online to determine something that it can take couples years to divulge, so you won't waste 5 years wondering if you should--or will--tie the knot

If you can communicate long-distance, everything else will be easy
If you can communicate long-distance, everything else will be easy

If you're going to spend $1,000 to meet someone for the first time (not counting the actual date night), you're going to be looking for a guarantee on that investment if everything goes well, but will also be more diligent in predicting whether it will go well or not. While driving 20 minutes to meet up with someone on POF who lives in your same city is a waste of a Saturday night when it turns sour, the stakes of dating long-distance are much higher. Most dating websites have a tab for what type of relationship you desire, but people often select the option they think is more appealing only to divulge true intentions later. So while relationship intentions are a focal point on dating websites, selections are often misconstrued to imply more commitment when a casual relationship is desired while marriage is seen as too forward. Never mind that cold approaching would be the worst time to express interest in marriage, people who meet in-person for the first time tend to determine long-term goal alignment last compared to those who meet on other platforms. Online relationships determine long-term goal alignment before meeting up in person for the first time because you can determine what type of relationship is desired before pulling the trigger on commitment based on chemistry, shared values, and attraction

Establishing communication

So many nights spent on computers and phones
So many nights spent on computers and phones

When the only access you have to a romantic prospect is online or through your phone, it is imperative to set up a constant flow of communication. Text messaging is not enough! Set up a regular schedule for phone calls and Skype. Too little communication for an online long-distance relationship will kill any "spark" you might have. You should spend just as much time talking to your online date as you would in person if you want to develop the same kind of relationship

The first time we spoke on the phone was a little nerve-wracking, but the next time we spoke for 7 hours...and then 9 the next. I suggested we schedule phone calls every Monday night because that was a good time for both of us...but then we ended up talking every single night as soon as I got home until I went to bed. It was necessary for both of us to have this contact to feel like we were actually dating. Liking someone's voice is an important part of attraction, and hearing the inflections in each other's voices made our feelings feel more grounded. Laughter is contagious and an essential part of flirting and chemistry, especially when you can't see one another

Downloading Skype was the next best thing to being in the same room as each other. The ability of video messaging to grant facial expressions is incomparable to merely speaking on the phone. I was able to share my art with him over Skype, and we even played a fun drawing game. I met his parents briefly, and got to know his brother a decent amount. After we decided to commit to a relationship, Skype was an essential part of our relationship and daily routine

Everyday I looked forward to Skyping after work
Everyday I looked forward to Skyping after work

Despite the constant communication with phone and video calls, open communication was equally important. I have a more active social life than my boyfriend, so I made sure he knew when I went to hang out with my guy friend or went to clubs on the weekends to dissuade any illusions or concerns he would have of me not messaging him while I was out. At one point he was very open with me about a potential problem we could've had with our relationship, and I was able to help him work through that, but it would've been very easy for him to hide that concern since we couldn't be around each other everyday. It's almost more important to be more open and clear about what you're doing and interested in when you're in an online long-distance relationship because they other person can't keep tabs on you. Cheating is a huge concern for a lot of people, so open communication is necessary to avoid those concerns (especially for me since I've been cheated on in the past)

Saying goodbye was the worst
Saying goodbye was the worst

Visit as much as possible

Here comes the difficult, costly, nerve-wracking part, but it should also be a no-brainer. When meeting someone online, traveling to meet each other is absolutely necessary for long-term success. Physical contact is an essential part of relationships (that's why couples hug and kiss) that simply isn't possible when you live thousands of miles apart. Unfortunately everything could go sideways when you meet for the first time, but that's why I stressed the importance of video chat and discussing everything beforehand. After the initial date, it's important to further see each other as much as possible to keep from feeling neglected

This picture if the teddy bear was my cat
This picture if the teddy bear was my cat

My boyfriend came to visit me a month after we met online. It snowed outside and my terrible sense of direction got me lost, so I picked him up from a cold airport around midnight, during a snow storm, an hour late, but the weekend went well nonetheless. (Before anybody asks, yes I let everyone at work and home know where I was before I went to meet some stranger online and I'll have you know his mother was more worried about it than anyone else.) We only needed a weekend together in person to decide that things were meant to be. After that, I planned a trip to visit him for my birthday--best birthday ever--and he moved to live closer to me shortly after, and we have been extremely happy since

Ending the long-distance part is crucial for a long-distance relationship to work. If you meet someone online you want to be with, you have to be willing to make the sacrifice of moving away from your home to be closer if you truly want to be together. In the beginning, I was willing to move, but it turned out he wanted to move anyway, so things worked out well for us. Once you've found the one, no distance is too far, but less distance is better

This was one of the preconditions he gave me at the beginning
This was one of the preconditions he gave me at the beginning
How to survive online long-distance dating
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Most Helpful Guys

  • YHL6965

    Great take! I also met my crush online but she does not feel ready for a relationship yet, she is still kind of scared after what she has been through but we both got feelings for each other. We are talking daily through text, but she worries a lot about the impressions she will give through video chat so she is still a bit scared. I'm madly in love with her, like I have never been before and I want to do everything I can to make it work. She lives in America and I'm willing to move there for her, partly because I don't have much to lose here. Besides, my career might lead to me moving anyway so yeah.

    I wish I could hug her, cuddle with her, have her in my arms so much. I am craving physical affection so much and I also want to show her my affection, how much I love her.

    Like 3 People
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    • You're so sweet. That last part really reminds me of my boyfriend. Even his mom commented to me about how much he was craving love before he met me

    • YHL6965

      Thank you! I love her so much, she is such a wonderful woman and I really want to show her how much I value and appreciate her.

    • roland77

      Good luck and be open with your feelings to her, both negative and positive feelings. She then might feel "connected" to your feelings. Did help here a lot, but mine had never a relationship.

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  • spartan55

    Easily the overall best mytake I've read on here. When I started reading, I mentally started comparing your points to my own long distance relationship experience. With the exception of video calling (the technology was iffy at the time) our journey through LDR to marriage shared virtually the same blueprint as what you wrote. I hope you realize that what you accomplished is truly special. I hesitate to use the word 'lucky' because of the amount of hard work and perseverance involved. It's very uplifting to read a success story like yours. Thank you.

    Like 4 People
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    • Oh you're very welcome. I've been wanting to write this for a while, but it took me a while to figure out how to say it. There was so much more I could've added, but I probably would've run out of character limits

    • spartan55

      You must have spent lots of time on it, and it showed. Your boyfriend is right, you are a very talented writer. I'm going to follow you, and look forward to some of your takes in the future! Thanks again!

    • spartan55

      My God, your mho% is insane.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • CubsterShura

    I know several people whose long distance relationship online have worked out and I am so happy for them. Unfortunately in my case, the guy that I met on gag, turned out to be an unfaithful infidel. I immediately dumped him.

    People were like, it's because you were dumb and chose a man online... As if real life relationships work!! And like I said I've seen it working for many people. Anyway, what happened was unfortunate. I'm happy to know things are working for you, I wish you a happy life with your partner. ❤️

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • midnightmoon05

    Thanks for sharing. Those are all good point and we had all that and more.
    It wasn’t the distance that broke us apart.

    Like 2 People
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  • Alex_988_2

    Damn girl this is exactly what I wanted lol...
    I'm actually into a girl I found here. It happened after a conversation we had (publicly).
    Can you tell me more about this stuff please?
    Maybe in dms...

    Like 2 People
    Reply
  • Annie12234

    That’s great myTake and I did enjoy to read your take 👏🏼👏🏼 I’m glad that worked out for you and good for you girl! Go girl!💪🏼🌸🤗💜

    Like 3 People
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  • nicholas7643

    i met a girl online last November she is from the ukraine we have been talking a year now

    Like 3 People
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    • Best of luck

    • roland77

      Best of luck to you both and lot's of love! Stick with honesty and avoid games/lies. Also say daily to each other how much you love each other and miss and long for kisses/hugs.

  • franziska

    We also have to take care of these dating dates like any other dating, and then something fantastic can happen.

    Like 1 Person
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  • Avicenna

    I'm very happy to hear that this worked out for you two. Congrats!

    Like 4 People
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  • themomo84

    Open communication is vital in every situation even if it's uncomfortable. Tc

    Like 5 People
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  • elisa_0

    This got me very emotional. I'm so happy for you! I had a very similar experience. Congratulations. <3

    Like 2 People
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  • nella965

    I think it ultimately boils down to the type of person that you are. I know that for me, it wouldn't work out even if I used all the tricks, communication skills in the world, or texted 24/7 to this person. You must be a very specific type of person in order to remain faithful without physical comfort, no sexual satisfaction, and with such a virtual, out of reality connection to that person. Most people would not be able to accomplish such a thing. there's a lot that's lacking in an online relationship.

    But honestly there's is really no point of doing a long distance relationship if both parties can't see either one of themselves ever moving to them.

    Like 1 Person
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  • Creepazoid

    Damn.. sounds like a lot of time and work. Glad things worked out for you though

    Like 3 People
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  • ChrisMike019

    Sorry but I don't believe in online long distance relationship.

    LikeDisagree 5 People
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  • AvaMorales

    My best friend set me up with this friend of her's. We met on her birthday. we didn't talk much but igot that feeling that "he is someone special". this was big, as i had never dated anyone before. I called him, secretly, using my friend's phone (I don't have one) after 2 days, and we talked for half an hour. turns out even he had called my bestie numerous times over a weekend only to ask her where i live!!! We continued calling and occasionally texted. It was like this for about 2 weeks.

    Unfortunately since we are only 15 so we decided not to make this serious. we have'nt talked since.
    Nice article. people can get out of their fear to date people living far away

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  • Jjpayne

    Thanks for posting this!!!

    Like 2 People
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  • joethemoe912

    I dont do long distance period, unless she is on a long school or business trip

    Reply
  • Paris13

    Beautifully Done, hun. xxoo

    Like 1 Person
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  • gautamdelhi

    Trust is the key of it

    Like 4 People
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    • roland77

      Indeed but trust can be abused for e. g. money-grabbing from "richer" people. Bad things, glad mine is aware of it and says it openly that she is against such behavior of her own people.

    • Yes you are right, most of girls do that "money grabbing"

    • roland77

      I guess there are still many left who find it shameful what others do. But doesn't this also apply to local people?

  • _SOARER_

    Amazing. Thank you.

    Like 2 People
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  • justcurious2019

    @Lemia maybe this will help you

    Like 3 People
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    • Lemia

      Again We are not having trouble in the relationship. We are just missing eachother

    • @Lemia ok my bad

    • roland77

      @Lemia Keep saying that at least 1+n times daily (!) to her. That you miss her, long for her kisses and hugs and love her so much. We are saying that ~10* daily to each other and we keep chatting daily and update when someone is not "available" (reason to stay offline). It helps here a lot.

      Good luck and all love for you both from my heart to your both'! :heart: :heart: :heart:

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  • Dean269

    Already did

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