Long distance dating. Those three dirty words strike fear into the hearts of men and women alike and no more so than for online dating aficionados who often stumble across love in the most inconvenient of places. As someone with a more-than-reasonable number of long distance years under her belt, let me offer you a few reasons, nine to be exact, to not just tolerate but love long distance dating. Love happens, my friends – I’m just here to offer a silver lining…
1. Constant Vacations
If you’ve got to travel to see each other, why not travel somewhere fun? For example, my boyfriend and I lived on different ends of the East Coast so we once met for a weekend in DC, another time in Orlando. Spending quality time together is even better when you get to do it outside of say, Akron, Ohio and you’ll both be more relaxed if you’re away from home and its responsibilities. And really, who wants to have to sleep in separate bedrooms for the weekend at your parents’ home or shower in a frat house if they don’t have to?
2. Deeper Connections
One thing long-distance daters may not realize is that they miss out on all the physical and social cues that normally come along with early dating; no shoulder grazes or hand holding but rather phone calls and purposeful words – these are the things that bond distance daters together at a much deeper level from the get go. Saying it often takes much more courage than implying it with a touch or a wink and, you know, is infinitely less creepy.
3. Less Friend Involvement
If the worst thing about your past relationships has been your significant other’s friends, long distance dating is going to be a breath of fresh air. In these types of relationships it’s usually just you, your honey and a couple of cell phones or inboxes, leaving little room for “Crazy Pete” to insist on a man date or for your girlfriend’s gaggle to drag you shopping. Win win for everyone.
Okay, so this isn’t just a long distance dating idea but how much fun is it to get a letter in the mail or a box delivered to your front door? Long distance dating really is reinstating some of the long-lost rules of courtship, mainly the idea that suitors have to win your heart – what a novel concept (here’s looking at you, every guy that ever drunk dialed me to pick him up from a bar at 3:00am.) Gifts and trinkets mean so much more when they come from hundreds or even thousands of miles away and gentlemen, $3.50 spent at Hallmark will never get you any luckier than this.
5. Earning Trust Like Interest
Long distance lovers learn to trust each other quickly and if they don’t…the relationship usually fizzles. Though it’s hard to know your man’s out on the town with his friends or your lady’s at another work function without you, just imagine how easy it’s going to be to trust each other once you live in the same town! Never again will you have to pour a beer on a girl just because she was giving “the eye” to your babe at a bar. But maybe that’s just me.
6. Frequent Flier Miles
That’s not a metaphor – frequent flier miles are awesome! Think of all the upgrades and free legs you’ll acquire after just a year or so. Seriously, major perk.
7. Short Bursts = Extra Good Times
Seeing your significant other for only a weekend or so at a time really forces you both to come into each interaction with your best foot forward, no bickering or daunting conversations allowed. Quick visits mean lots of laughs and fun planned activities – it’s like thetotallybestweekendever each time you see each other! It really is true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, not to mention the effect it has on both the male and female libido…That’s kind of gross, but you get my drift.
8. Time to Develop Independence
You know how couples sometimes seem to morph into one boring, codependent unit? Well, long distance couples never really do that and it’s because the two participants have nothing but time to develop individual interests, personalities and lives. Better rounded individuals make better partners (seriously – remember your neediest high school girlfriend? That’s what proximity breeds…) and couples who foster this type of autonomy are more likely to succeed once they enter into a normal, same-place relationship. Added bonus: Couples with their own lives have more to talk about and less awkwardly silent dinners.
In a city the size of, say, Topeka, Kansas, there are only about 7,775 men between the ages of 24 and 35. If that’s your target market, you’re already fishing in a pretty small pond – why not open yourself up to the world of online dating and long distance love? When the rest of your life is on the table it seems limiting to discount suitors who may happen to live elsewhere so get out there and meet someone and remember that long distance dating’s not all bad! You could still be single or in the case of Nicholas Cage’s wife, actually have to live with your partner. Shudder.