This is my last week of long distance dating (well I hope my last week, but atleast my last week for the forseeable future!) Dave is moving to Jackson this weekend for his 5th year of architecture school...so we will live in the same town in 4-6 days BUT who's counting, right?
This is the second time in my life I have dated long distance and despite the fact that NO ONE would choose to date long distance, I have actually really cherished this time. We both agree it has been very formative in our relationship....and not just formative in the "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" way. I've heard a lot of people say they would never date long distance, and to be honest, I think thats silly. You never KNOW where the right man for you will be living. Why say no to a date?
But, for the "NEVER" crowd, you are right, a few NEVERS apply: NEVER date long distance for too long if there is not talk of a timeline where one or the both of you will move. NEVER date long distance too long if neither of you has any intention of compromising and moving (IE, if a cali boy could never move to MS, and a MS girl could never move to cali, and they have no place they are both willing to move in between, then don't keep dating -- if you can't compromise, then you may not like the person enough to continue the relationship), NEVER casually date someone long distance.
That being said, here are the plus sides of long distance dating:
1. You decide how serious you are really quickly. I've dated casually a LOT and sometimes it takes awhile to figure out my feelings. But when I had to make such a big effort to see Dave, it forced me to examine how I felt very quickly.
2. You have more certainty about how the other person feels. I knew he liked me. He willingly drove to see me and made an effort to call. When guys call you Thursday night to grab a drink Friday, you aren't always sure how he feels -- is he excited to see you or was his night just free and he needed plans? LIKEWISE, Dave knew I liked him. Girls sometimes don't have to make much of an effort early on because the man is pursuing...but when a girl has to make an effort to drive 2 hours, then I think its clear she must have feelings.
3. Improved communication skills from hours on the phone (obvi)
4. Equal effort. NOT completely equal, as in, we don't measure things out -- but instead of those first few months requiring Dave to figure out every single date out, often times I figured out plans for us. If he was driving into town, we'd meet up with friends.
5. Flirty sweet text messages.
6. Every visit/date/etc feels special.
7. 2 honeymoon phases. Not there yet, but about to be. Dave and I have rarely done daily tasks together like watch weeknight tv, run errands, get coffee, go for a night time bike ride or walk, etc. We don't know the freedom of being able to just see eachother without PLANNING it out. We are now excited for some of the small things most people are excited about early on. We like it-- kindof like a new exciting phase for us.
8. There is the whole "If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger" motto which is true.
9. While starting to date Dave, I didn't jump in and abandon friends. I still had time for them and he still had time for his life too. It was great to have that sense of balance that distance supplies.
10. ability to spoil eachother. Rarely does Dave leave Jackson without cookies in hand. Silly as it may seem, I always view it as me taking care of him throughout the week. I certainly hope to keep that up now that its not as "necessary". Hopefully, distance trained me well.
11. Lots of hello and goodbye kisses.
12. weekly countdowns
13. space -- every couple needs it, those who date longdistance have it built in! we don't have a choice!
14. Plenty of moments when I don't have to dress up. Dave doesnt know when he is talking on the phone if I have makeup on or my hair done!
15. BUT this creates a desire to try and look my best when I do see him. I do have those moments on the couch in sweats, but fewer of those than other girls have with their guys. Its fun to still want to dress up for him.
16. Not seeing him daily encourages me to pray for him daily. I dont think I would do that as much if I saw him daily.
So, there you have it, some of the PLUSES from dating long distance. Its not all goodbyes and waiting by the phone. There are some pluses for doing this for a short period of time. Just some advice for anyone considering dating someone in a different city, state, etc.