Why long-distance relationships rule

man-driving-in-long-distance-relationship

This weekend, I’m driving two hours for a first date with a woman I met online.

Crazy?

We’ll see. I’ve had a long-distance relationship with several women who lived more than an hour away from me.

One lived almost four hours away.

To me, the added distance can be a plus if you’re not intent on becoming serious – and I’m not.

When you’re dating a woman who lives nearby, you lose much of your freedom.

You’re obligated to meet up for spur-of-the-moment lunches and dinners. Hey, the two of you live only 10 minutes away. Why not?

At least that’s how the woman often thinks. (And I guess some men.)

But not me. After two miserable marriages, I no longer need daily contact with the same woman.

I haven’t sworn off women by any means. But I’ve sworn off – at least for now – the idea that being in a relationship means you must see each constantly.

If you and the woman live a few hours apart, you’re not rushed into becoming exclusive. The distance gives you a better perspective on the relationship. You get together when you really want to, not out of habit.

If more marriages started out as long-distance relationships, I think the divorce rate would be lower. Seriously.

Staying in touch is easy these days

Distance isn’t the hindrance to communication that it used to be. With email, instant messaging, texting, cheap cell phone minutes and Skype (I haven’t learned how to do that yet) you can be in almost constant contact with your girlfriend.

If you choose.

Here’s the beauty of a long-distance relationship: Every time you see each other, it’s special. The date becomes an event. You pick just the right restaurant and just the right entertainment. Absence can make the heart grow fonder.

Also, with long-distance dating, it’s far easier to break up. If one party realizes the relationship isn’t what they want, it’s simple (and acceptable) to say:

“You know, this long-distance thing isn’t working for me. We tried. But I’d rather not do it anymore.

No drama. The distance has slowed down the pace of the relationship – so if a breakup occurs, it’s easier for the man and woman to move on.

See what a mean?

The distance allows each person to retain independence, pursue a career, be a better parent if they have kids and contemplate what they really want in a relationship.

The infatuation of constant contact doesn’t cloud your judgment and infringe on your obligations.

Give the relationship time – then move closer together

If a long-distance relationship lasts for a year or more, then both of you know it has staying power. It’s withstood the test of a four-hour drive, for instance.

Then, once your feelings have been confirmed, you can make plans to move closer together and intertwine your lives more.

I’m not alone in advocating long-distance relationships. Erin Michelle, who describes herself as a wellness coach, wrote an article called “The Seven Benefits of Long Distance Love for TheDailyLove.com.

She says distance can improve a couple’s communication skills and help develop trust in one another.

“You and your partner should share events of the day or week, friendships being made and other important details about your lives,” Michelle writes. “If [he or she] doesn’t make you feel like a part of their day from afar, this won’t change when you are physically nearer.”

Amen.

Oh, about that woman I’m seeing this weekend. We’ve corresponded for several weeks online and talked on the phone once. Meeting face-to-face is the obvious next step.

If we click, I’d enjoy seeing her perhaps a couple of times a month. I’d say a two-hour drive could be the perfect distance for a budding relationship.

Two hours away is far better than two minutes.

THE TAKEAWAY

If you’re meeting women online, don’t rule out those who live a few hours away. In fact, pay special attention to them. A long-distance relationship is less likely to consume your life. Especially if you have kids, you need to maintain balance between your parental responsibilities and romantic desires.

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About Ed Housewright

Ed Housewright is the chief cook and bottle washer at Single Dad House. After three decades as a newspaper reporter, he’s trying to adapt to the social media world. He’s matrimonially challenged with two divorces under his belt and is trying to do a better job at raising his 12-year-old son, Connor. Follow Ed on Twitter: @singledadhouse.

Comments

  1. So how did this date go? Was it worth the drive? I never thought about looking further out while dating….might open up some more possibilities! Great idea!

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    chance, and I am surprised why this accident didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

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