Don’t let the distance get in the way of your happiness.Alex Larryngton
You just met someone special. This someone touches you in all the right ways. You would love to get to know them better, but there’s a catch… They live miles away. As special as they are, you inevitably start having doubts. You are asking yourself if this relationship has a future because of the distance? Is it even worth considering?
Starting a long-distance relationship with someone you just met can be a lot of fun. You find them special and hopefully they feel the same way. It’s natural you have questions about whether this relationship can work and how long it can last.
But you really like them! So what can you do? It’s normal to have doubts when something looks difficult and you don’t know what to do. When you feel a connection with someone, embrace it with all its entirety. Everything else can be worked out.
Let me show you how…
Why Start a Long-Distance Relationship?
Starting a long-distance relationship allows you to connect with another person across the world. But getting to know someone long-distance can be challenging. Without seeing their body language or being able to touch them, its harder to gauge their behaviour.
The benefit of a long-distance relationship is you can take your time to come up with questions and find the right answers.
The journey of getting to know someone long-distance has 3 stages:
- Meeting the person and deciding to start a relationship.
- Getting to know them long-distance.
- Moving in together.
You met a person who picked your interest. They live far away, but you are considering the possibility of a relationship. You know you like them, but you also want to know how they feel about you.
If you like the person and the feeling is mutual, then starting a relationship is definitely worth it. Your relationship may develop into a friendship or you might have a family and grow old together.
Tip: Don’t let the distance stop you from trying.
Here is what you can do and what you should avoid:
- Express your feelings as clear as you can.
- Your feelings will change, so express how you feel at the moment.
- Ask your partner how they feel about you.
- Hope and assume that they like you.
- Be afraid of asking how they feel.
- Take it personally if don’t share the same feelings as you. We all have our preferences.
If you are unsure of how to express your feelings, this book will help you. Marshal Rosenberg and his non-violent communication (NVC) has changed my world.
What are your expectations from a long-distance relationship?
A long-distance relationship is not a complete romantic relationship. A friendship, for example, can be great when you live in different parts of the world. You can even visit each other and have an amazing holiday.
A romantic relationship involves physical intimacy. People expect a long-distance relationship to be just like a normal one, which is a mistake. Physical closeness is an essential part of a romantic relationship. Gifts, bracelets, presents, apps, and virtual dates will not replace that.
Popular opinion is that a long-distance relationship is hard. It has this reputation because people make it into something that it’s not.
Let me explain…
Expecting a complete romantic relationship without physical intimacy is like expecting to drive a car without the fuel. You can only push it so far before you get tired. And it’s also hard work.
For ideas on how to get to know each other in a long-distance relationship, check out this article.
Tip: A long-distance relationship isn’t a relationship, it’s a phase.
How to Start a Long-Distance Relationship?
Start with checking how you feel…
- Ask yourself if a long-distance relationship is for you
- Make a plan of how your long-distance relationship is going to work
- Assess your expectations from this long-distance relationship
- Ask your partner how they feel about a long-distance relationship
- Ask your partner about their expectations from your long-distance relationship
- Set the boundaries for your communication
- Agree on who is going to visit and how often
- Agree on how long your-long-distance phase will last
- Talk about moving-in after a long-distance when both of you are ready
Before starting a long-distance relationship, consider your expectations. What are you trying to achieve? Do you want a fling or are you looking for a life partner to build a family with?
That said, be mindful of making plans, creating different scenarios and worrying about it not working out. Before you know it, you start living in the future.
Get to know each other first, enjoy the present experience. As your relationship develops, your feelings will change. If you stay in touch with your feelings, you will know what to do as your relationship develops. For now, note how you feel and have fun with this new adventure. Worrying about the future takes you away from enjoying the present.
Tip: The only thing you need to consider when starting a long-distance relationship with someone you just met is how you feel about this person.
Starting a Long-Distance Relationship
If you live in different places, for some time you will be apart.
And physical intimacy will be a luxury, reserved for special visits.
A long-distance is a phase in a relationship. During this time there’s a lot you can learn about each other.
You don’t need to suffer the distance while wishing to be together.
Use the time apart to get to know each other. If you like what you learn, when you are ready, make a plan to take the next step.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that if both of you decide that you are ready to move-in, you can do it.
Tip: Getting to know a new person is exciting, just remember to enjoy more and worry less.
Starting a Long-Distance Relationship With a Friend
Being friends with someone means you already have a relationship. So what you might be asking yourself is: do your feelings have a romantic nature.
It’s normal to be afraid to bring up the possibility of a long-distance romantic relationship. Because it may destroy your friendship. But you owe it to yourself to acknowledge how you feel. It’s fine to share your feelings with your friend.
They might feel the same but are worried about bringing it up. And if they don’t feel the same, that’s also ok, as long as you don’t feel rejected. Everyone has the right to have their own feelings and if they have someone to share them with, that’s a true friendship.
How to Bring Up Starting a Long-Distance Relationship?
While your feelings are the only thing that matters when you just meet someone, there are things you can do to before starting a long-distance relationship:
- Get clear about what you are feeling exactly (excitement, physical attraction, intellectual interest, etc.).
- Share your feelings openly and honestly with your special someone.
- Ask them how they are feeling.
- Don’t expect them to tell you what you want to hear.
- Be ok with everything they say.
- Express what you want from this relationship (a long-distance fling, an open relationship, a friendship or start a romantic relationship).
- Ask what they want.
You may find that both of you want the same thing which is great. Don’t be afraid of a little disappointment or sadness if it will not be the case. Honesty is more important than disappointment. Learn how the other person feels about you and try to be ok with everything. It’s ok to feel joy or sadness, just don’t give it too much importance.
The only way to know if it’s worth having a long-distance relationship is by getting to know each other. If you feel that you have a lot in common and your goals and values align, the distance can be closed. On the other hand, you may discover a platonic friend that you can go visit for a holiday.
Tip: Talking about your feelings is a great way to begin a healthy relationship.
This book, Emotions Revealed by Paul Ekman will help you better understand your feelings and emotions. As well as teach you to recognise the emotions of your partner. So you can create a loving relationship from the very beginning.
What can you do before starting a long-distance relationship?
So, you’ve met a special someone and talked about your feelings and intentions. By being open and honest with each other, you are building a strong foundation for your relationship.
Let’s say your feelings are mutual and you want to have a relationship. But can you make it work long-distance? How long can you make it last? Both are valid questions. A lot of couples find it hard to be separated for a long period.
To get ahead in your relationship, discuss with your special someone how important physical intimacy is for each of you.
If one of you needs it more than the other, then being exclusive will be more difficult for that person. Think of some ideas of where and how often it would be fun to meet. Talk about how you would like it to be in the ideal world.
Tip: Before starting a long-distance relationship, have fun and be creative.
Sometimes having something tangible that connects you in some way can mean a lot. While I am not into overpriced things like lamps and bracelets, this keyring (us amazon) or this one (uk amazon) carries the right message. You can always get creative and come up with something like this by yourself. That’ll make it even more special.
What to Ask When Starting a Long-Distance Relationship
- Ask yourself, how are you feeling right now?
- Ask your special someone about their feelings.
- Ask what they want from being with you.
- Do they want to have a relationship with you?
- What type of relationship do they prefer?
- How often do they like to be physically intimate?
- Are they ok with a temporary long-distance relationship to get to know each other?
If you’re ever feeling a bit lost, give these questions a try and see if they help!
Tip: If you are having positive feelings, you are on the right track. If not, take a moment to reassess. Just be mindful to distinguish temporary emotions from your deeper ‘gut’ feelings.
Here’s a very popular conversation starters card game. It’s a fun way to talk about questions that you might find tricky or awkward to bring up by yourself. Playing with physical cards while on a phone or a video chat will bring something tangible in your long-distance relationship.
Why Do Long-Distance Relationships Fail?
Long-distance relationships fail for a number of different reasons. In a lot of cases, the lack of touch and physical intimacy can be too much to bear. But sometimes it can be as simple as a couple deciding that they are not a match. But I wouldn’t say it’s a fail...
Somehow if you decide to break up a relationship, it’s considered a failure. A long-distance relationship, like any other relationship, is two people getting to know each other because they like what they see.
As the relationship develops, you learn new things about each other. Your long-distance relationship may start because you met a special someone on holidays or maybe you’ve met online.
When you meet a new person, it’s a clean slate, aside from a ton of baggage each of you carries. With time you get to know this baggage and this may cause you to grow fonder or call it off. Either way, you gave it a go and hopefully, you enjoyed the journey of getting to know someone new.
What I think is more of a flop is a failure to bring up the baggage in a healthy way or worse – ignore it completely. If this happens, you may end up building a relationship with someone you think the other person is, rather then with who they truly are. And that’s just a waste of everyone’s time.
Tip: Be open to learning everything there is to learn about your special someone. Likewise, make sure you are comfortable sharing your story, your values and your preferences. If you find yourself less than free to express and share, then maybe it’s not the right person to share it with. Or you may need to practice sharing.
How to Start a Long-Distance Relationship Online?
When you start a long-distance relationship the 2 most important things you can do is: to be honest and open-minded. You want certain things and so does the other person. All you need to do is find out if you want the same things. Be honest about your feelings and remember to share them.
The challenge in starting a long-distance relationship is knowing how to express yourself in a way that your special someone can understand. If you hide your thoughts and feelings in the beginning, when will you be ready to share them? Give this relationship a chance. If you agree on what you want from this relationship, brainstorm fun ideas on how it will work.
This couple’s journal if a great way to bring life and creativity into your relationship.
Starting a long-distance relationship with someone you just met can be fun and exciting. It’s an opportunity to make a new friend or to build a long-term romantic relationship. In this article, we’ve covered the most important aspects to consider before starting a relationship.
Remember, a long-distance relationship is not a complete relationship. It’s a period when your relationship will have limited physical intimacy. It has its challenges, but don’t worry, I will guide you through them in my next article.
How to start a long-distance relationship with someone you just met
- Recognise the fun part of being in a relationship
When you met, you must’ve had fun. You enjoyed each other’s company. See things for what they are.
- Share how you feel about each other and your relationship
Tell them what you enjoyed about their company and ask how they feel about you. It’s good to know if your feelings are mutual.
- Share how each of you sees your relationship
Maybe you’ve had a fun time and are ready to move on. But you may have stronger feelings, which you would like to explore. Just check in to see that you are on the same page.
- Decide what you want from your relationship
If you are on the same page, start exploring your relationship. And if it has to be long-distance, to begin with, that’s ok.
Getting Some Help
I hope that this article answered some of your questions. If you are struggling and could do with more help, send me a message so we can talk about your situation in more detail.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you start a long-distance relationship?
Is a long-distance relationship worth it?
If you have feelings for each other, then starting a long-distance relationship is worth it. After you get to know each other better, you can reassess.
How do you know if a long-distance relationship is serious?
You know your long-distance relationship is serious when you are ready to move to a different place to be with the person you love. Check out this article on moving in after a long-distance relationship.
How do you know your long-distance relationship is not working?
- You are no longer enjoying being in this relationship;
- You are feeling sad more often than you are excited;
- It lasts longer than what you are ok with.