Long-Distance Dating Pros and Cons

by Dating Goddess on October 14, 2018

Some people set no distance requirements on potential suitors. One Adventures in Delicious Dating After 40 reader shared she was romanced by a guy half way around the world for over two years! (They never met and he went poof one day.)

Other people have ridiculously short distance requirements. Some men list 10 miles as their dating radius in their dating profiles. Unless you live in New York City, I think it this is too small. An hour’s drive seems reasonable to me.

Throughout my post-divorce dating, I was always clear I didn’t want a long-distance relationship. Even thinking that, I’ve been entranced enough with four of the 112 men to explore dating them. With three of the four, I spent hours on the phone with them, often talking every day for up to several months before meeting. Two I never saw after one date, and one I saw 3 times before he went poof.

Then I found myself in a 600-mile relationship. Why? Because he is a great, loving, smart, romantic, thoughtful guy. The distance has its pros and cons. Here’s what I’ve found so far:

 Pros:

                   Because you aren’t seeing each other frequently, you appreciate each other more.

  • You plan special activities for when you are together.
  • You spend compressed time together, so can get close fast.
  • You send each other love notes/emails to keep the passion alive. More so than if you were within a short driving distance.
  • You plan special romantic gestures to show the person you care after the visit — notes tucked in luggage or left on the refrigerator, chocolate hidden under the covers.
  • Hellos and goodbyes are particularly sweet.
  • You build up anticipation of spending time with your special guy.
  • If you have a busy life, you can consolidate your dating into a few days a week/month/quarter rather than allotting time each week.
  • You have plenty of time to see friends, work out, and participate in hobbies in between sweetie visits, so you don’t feel you’re cutting out activities you like while developing a relationship.

    Cons:

  • Easier to misinterpret things over the phone and email when the body language and facial expression are missing.
  • If one of you is exhausted, sick or has to unexpectedly work, your together time is compromised. The person doing the travel may resent spending time and money to visit but not having the other’s full attention.
  • Travel costs.
  • Because of the compressed time (spending 2-3 days together nearly 24/7), you can move faster than you might if you saw each other in short few-hour spurts.
  • Waiting too long between visits can strain the bond.
  • Built-up expectations create unreasonable fantasies. We all have warts, but when you don’t see someone regularly, you imagine them as perfect. When the warts show up it’s shocking.
  • Resentments can fester if a special effort isn’t made to talk about them.
  • Might be tempting to see others.

On one hand, long-distance dating takes more effort. In addition to traveling to see one another, you need to take special effort to keep in touch on more than a superficial level in between. However, some relationships thrive on having a little time and space between the pair. I think it is easier if you have an already established relationship where circumstances require you to be apart for a few months or year. When developing a relationship, however, you both have to be clear the effort is worth it.

If you’ve long-distance dated, what have you found are the pros and cons?

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Dating after 40: In Search of King CharmingThis is an excerpt from In Search of King Charming: Who Do I Want to Share My Throne?,part of the Adventures in Delicious Dating After 40 series. Order it at www.DatingGoddess.com.

 

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“Are You Man Enough To Be My Man?”

by Dating Goddess on September 26, 2018

This can be a common thought for powerful, successful, midlife dating women. It was expressed by Adventures in Delicious Dating After 40 reader Diamond in a question to me:

            I’ve been in business my whole life. A friend’s mother shared this advice just prior to my running off to meet what I thought was the man of my dreams in London. She gently said, in a loving mother’s voice, “Do you mind if I give you a piece of advice about your man in London? Please don’t treat him like a business!”

            I have a hard time switching from client mode to date mode. I treat my date as I do my clients”— I want to know up front, “What are your goals and objectives?” This is me, who are you? BAM! I’m sure I’m too direct for the first call. This doesn’t evolve over time — I want to know now so I don’t waste time.

            OMG — I don’t know how to date! The last guy went packing after our initial call. Run Forrest! Run!

            I even took a painting class to “get my girl on,” “open my heart,” take off my pants!

            Getting a massage, I asked my body worker for insights. She quipped, “I wish you could see your back as I am seeing it now.” Where are the ceiling mirrors when you need them? “Your right side is highly defined and your left side is lower, softer and not as defined as the right. The right side represents your male side and the left your female side. You are spending too much time in the male energy area of your life.”

            I asked, “Is there a book I can buy to be more like a girl?” So male of me.

            Later that night, I shared with the elders who had become my temporary grandmothers what transpired during my massage and they, too, laughed. One wise soul responded, “Dear, you do not need a book to be more like a girl. Simply go to your heart more and less from your head.”

            So, my questions:

            How do you find a man more man than yourself?

            Where are all the strong men that love strong women?

            What does a strong woman do to leave the business side at home on a date?

            How do you stay in a “skirt” when dating when all you do all day is wear “pants” at work?

            How do you date when you have never dated because you have a belief that you only date someone if you are going to marry them?

            How do you overcome the “I don’t want to waste my time” disease?

Diamond (and other strong women):

This is such a good inquiry. I, too, have struggled with this and am not sure I have answers, but perhaps some insights that will help you find your own answers.

Many of us midlife women have created great lives through our focus, power and assertiveness. This is effective in the male culture of work, dominated with war and sports metaphors. We’ve learned how to dress powerfully, not provocatively, speak clearly and directly, stand with poise and confidence. It is so part of who we are that we have forgotten there is another more feminine side.

The truly powerful, I believe, have learned how to adapt to each situation and behave in ways that make them successful. A general is gentle around children or the infirm, yet speaks assuredly to the troops. A CEO knows that behavior in the boardroom is different than at the company picnic. So, too, we must relearn what it’s like to allow our femininity to come out and still be powerful.

I am not saying you need to dummy down who you are. I’m saying that there are men who will love you for your power and will also love you when you allow your vulnerabilities to surface.

I started my business at 24. I felt to be taken seriously I needed to look and behave man-like. I only wore man-tailored clothing, had a short, no-nonsense hair cut, light makeup and carried an all-business briefcase. I continued to do this long after my credibility had been established and the severity began to hinder my effectiveness, as the people I wanted to connect with were intimidated. With the help of a few image consultant friends who saw my image was not eliciting the response I wanted, they helped outfit me in more feminine, yet still powerful attire. I consciously softened my behavior to be more approachable, softer, more welcoming. I can now shift more readily from business mode to date mode, with not only my dress but my demeanor.

My suggestion is to be conscious of the behaviors that aren’t working in dating, and to choose new ones. How do you know which are more welcoming? Since there’s not a book on it J(at least not one we know about), my suggestion is to find women role models from whom to learn. They can be friends, colleagues, or even those in the media. Watch what they do and adapt it for yourself. In your example of drilling a potential suitor on the first encounter, think beforehand what questions you could ask that would be gentler, yet still elicit the information you desire.

Also, it helped me to read several of the Mars/Venusbooks to understand that men want to be needed, and feel good about being useful to a woman. It helped me not feel I had to insist on splitting the check, or reciprocate every kind action a date made. I choose to give to him in ways he would appreciate, even if it was a smile, a word of sincere thanks, or a hug. My feminist bent felt I had to match everything equally, tit for tat. I’ve learned I can be feminist and feminine at the same time.

It’s the yin and the yang of relationships that make them work. If both of you are yang, why do you need the other? The secret, I believe is to be able to be yang when the other is in yin and vice versa. My ex was pretty yin. He embraced his feminine side, and while not effeminate, he was nurturing. When my yang started to diminish and I let my yin side out more, I believe that’s when our disconnect began. He didn’t know how to be more yang. I could have chosen to go back into predominately yang mode, but that was not satisfactory anymore.
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Dating after 40: In Search of King CharmingThis is an excerpt from In Search of King Charming: Who Do I Want to Share My Throne?,part of the Adventures in Delicious Dating After 40 series. Order it at www.DatingGoddess.com.

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Is he emotionally abusive?

by Dating Goddess on July 29, 2015

She said he has given her a 2-week probation to decide if he wanted to stay or go.
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When your ex dies

by Dating Goddess on July 2, 2015

My ex learned he had cancer 2 years ago. Since we didn’t keep in touch, I learned of it a year ago. He did semi-weekly podcasts for a few dozen friends to update them on his health. I listened to the previous 100 podcasts before reaching out via email.

He said he was thrilled to hear from me and was stunned that I would listen to all 100 previous podcasts. I’d asked if now we could be friends and he said he’d like nothing better. We exchanged a few emails and he said he’d like to talk about the end of our marriage as he was sure I had some questions — which I did. I asked for some good times to call since he was so overwhelmed with treatment appointments and recovery. However, he never closed the loop to set up a call, so I decided I’d make the 600 mile trip to visit him and have that discussion face to face. A few months ago, his doctors had given him 18 to 24 months, so there was plenty of time.
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How much mind space does he take?

by Dating Goddess on June 19, 2015

When I’m smitten, or even in the beginning of a budding relationship, I think about the guy a lot.

“I wonder how his day is going. Should I text him?
“I should ask if he wants to come over for dinner Friday.”
“I need to ask him why his marriage broke up.”
“I think I’ll ask him to accompany to the party next weekend.”

This sort of incessant chatter fills my idle thoughts. I rarely have time to think of my other interests.
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Right man; wrong continent

by Dating Goddess on May 22, 2015

He was not classically good looking. He had a pronounced nose and craggy face etched from decades of intense work. But his entrancing blue eyes made everything else fade away.

He stood straight so his fit 57-year-old body seemed decades younger. And when he looked at you, it felt like he really saw you. He listened and asked intelligent relevant questions. The combination was sexy — my married gal pals felt it too. He was divorced.

We met speaking at a conference in Singapore. We spent all our downtime together the next 3 days. I invited him to a small dinner party with some of my pals. He got along with them beautifully, balancing listening to their stories, asking questions and sharing his own experiences.

But alas, it was not to be.

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When certainty is a bad thing in dating

by Dating Goddess on May 10, 2015

Both genders say confidence is one of the most appealing attributes in a sweetie.

However, there is a thin line between confidence and arrogance. Certainty is part of both. Here’s an example of when certainty turned unappealing.
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The woo dance

by Dating Goddess on April 22, 2015

Wooing can be exhilarating, fun, and exciting. It’s nice to be the recipient of a man’s attention and affection. It’s especially nice when he’s good at it, but not so good it seems practiced.

I’ve been the recipient of good woos and not so good ones. The latter wooers seem clumsy, perhaps out of nervousness or lack of confidence. The former seem relaxed; the wooing feels natural, comfortable and sincere. But of course, that could also come from frequent wooing.
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Cruisin’ for love

by Dating Goddess on March 16, 2015

DSCN2178I’m on an 11-day cruise. It’s not a singles’ cruise. Am I here looking for love?
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When a former date passes on

February 23, 2015

One of the unexpected experiences of dating after 40 is when someone you dated dies. I’ve had it happen twice now. Of course, death occurs at all ages. It’s just shocking when it’s someone you have met and become even a little fond of.

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Can you be wacko on dates?

February 11, 2015

We all have stories of some date gone awry because your companion acted strangely. In fact, we love to regale our friends with these stories whenever mid-life dating enters the conversation. We never see that we might have been the one someone is telling a story about. How could we be the focus of a […]

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