One of the many benefits of online dating over 50 is that it opens you up to a large pool of people outside your local area, as well as nearby. Although this increases your chances of meeting a great match, it can also sometimes lead to the possibility of a geographically challenging relationship.
Fear not. A difference in location doesn’t have to spell the end of romance. Here are five tips to make a long-distance relationship work.
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1. Communicate daily as part of a routine
Normal relationships have patterns. Perhaps you get up at the same time, eat breakfast together, travel to the bus stop together or talk at lunchtime. These patterns are important for establishing a feeling of shared space and habitual comfort. If you’re dating long distance, why not phone or Skype each other at breakfast time each morning as you both drink your coffee or tea, or talk at lunchtime over your sandwiches? Regular communication closes gaps.
2. Send gifts to show your affections
Everyone loves getting gifts, but so many people in long-term relationships don’t continue their gift-giving ways after the heady days of new romance. One of the great things about being in a long-distance relationship is that you can still surprise each other via the mail service. Sending cards and flowers, CDs, photos or chocolates will bring a smile to your partner’s face and remind them why they love you. You don't even have to spend too much – just knowing that you are in someone's thoughts is flattering, so if money is tight send amusing postcards or gifts that you know your partner will appreciate.
3. Tell each other how you feel
Opening the lines of communication straight from the heart will make you feel closer emotionally, even when there’s a physical distance between you. It will also help to prevent small issues turning into larger ones. Don’t forget to share your thoughts with your partner; the positives as well as the doubts and concerns. The more you put out into the open, the smaller the gap will feel between you.
4. Go on dates together while you’re apart
You might not be living in the same city but you can still enjoy shared experiences by doing the same things at the same time. Do you love Thai food? Why not both go to a Thai restaurant for dinner with friends and family in your respective towns at the same time, and talk on the phone after your meal? Likewise, you could both go to the cinema and discuss the film afterwards over a glass of wine, or even keep the phone on loudspeaker while you watch the same film on television. Having these ‘dates ’ will make you feel a lot closer. (Just don’t watch Titanic when you can’t snuggle afterwards – take it from us).
5. Set boundaries and stick to them
Many couples whose long-distance relationships end early do so because they failed to set boundaries and stick to them. But this doesn’t have to be you.
Make sure you both know where you stand as you enter the relationship and if you’ve agreed not to see other people, double check it’s what you both really want. Distance can be hard but if you’ve made a commitment, you can make things work and enjoy a loving and satisfying relationship.