Tips for long distance dating
Posted by John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert onDating can be a challenge at the best of times. It may take several months of going out with a person before you really start to feel comfortable with them. That being said, spare a thought for those trying to date someone in a different city or country!! There's no doubt that long distance dating can work, but it also has it's own unique set of obstacles.
For starters, you simply cannot get the one-on-one in person dating experiences that others get by going out on regular dates. As well, you're not able to become affectionate or intimate in a way that other couples do. Time zones can be a nightmare for trying to connect and technology can let you down - bad Skype connections, poor mobile phone coverage and computer meltdowns.
And then there are the feelings of loneliness, jealousy, disappointment and frustration as you spend so much time apart, longing for each other. On top of this, when you do manage to get together in person, there can be an awkwardness and pressure to get along because you haven't seen each other for such a long time.
Although there are some real challenges to this type of dating, there are things you can do so that it runs more smoothly. Follow the tips below and make the most out of your long distance dating situation:
1) Establish expectations and long distance rules
Creating a game plan is vital in this situation. You both need to be clear about your expectations around your long distance relationship. Know exactly where you stand in terms of exclusivity. Also, set up rules around when and how you're going to contact each other. Do your research around technology and time zones so that you connect on a regular basis and get on the same page about how this needs to run. Don't leave it up to chance.
2) Communicate clearly and raise issues immediately
It's very important to be clear about your communication in a long distance dating situation. Beware of mixed messages with your texts, emails, twitter comments and Facebook updates. Also, if it's an important issue - talk about it on the phone or Skype and give yourself plenty of time to do this. And, if you have a burning problem, bring it up immediately rather than stew on it for weeks.
3) Have regular visits
Long distance dating is only going to work if you get some regular one-on-one time in person. That means you have to plan to have frequent visits with each other so you can connect and be intimate. One or both of you will need to travel to see the other person at set times during the year. Without this, you'll simply start to lose interest and the relationship will fizzle out.
4) Remember important calendar dates
Being away from each other means you'll miss out on being with your partner on some of the important events throughout the year. So, get out your calendar and go through the year together and circle key dates. These might include birthdays, Valentine's Day, graduations, family events etc.
5) Set a deadline
If you're going to pursue a long distance relationship you must have an end point in mind. You need to agree on a deadline where you will then come together and be a couple living in the same area. It doesn't matter who decides to make the move, but one of you will need to compromise so that you end up being a couple who exist together in each other's company rather than separated by geographical distance.
John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert and seen weekly on Ch 7's the Morning Show (www.johnaiken.com.au)
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