Long-distance relationships can be especially challenging although it is a lot easier now with technology. At least you can email, text, FaceTime, or Skype. But even with that contact online, it isn’t exactly the same as being able to be face-to-face and to go places together and to just hang out and get to know each other well.
Note: I am assuming that the ladies reading this post are seeking to live for Christ wholeheartedly and that they would only date/court men who are seeking to live for Christ wholeheartedly. This doesn’t just mean going to church. People can go to church and say they are Christians without knowing the Lord at all. What I am talking about is completely yielding control and the direction of our lives to Jesus as LORD of every area.
There can be some pitfalls to long-distance relationships:
- It may be easier to hide character flaws, sin, other relationships, and activities.
- Insecurity in the relationship may be an even greater temptation.
- It can be more difficult to connect and grow the relationship.
- You don’t have as many opportunities to observe the other person’s interactions with other people and to see how they really live all day every day.
- Not everyone likes to bond online, so that can be more challenging for some people than others.
- Each person, by necessity, will probably have to have more time with friends, family, and other activities than with the relationship and that can create jealousy sometimes.
- It’s harder to get to know each other’s families and friends.
- It’s easier to create very different expectations for the future and what an in-town dating relationship would be like or what marriage would be like.
- If you are from different areas of the country or from different countries, there can be some cultural barriers and language issues to overcome.
There are advantages, too!
- You may have more time to develop your own walk with the Lord and relationships with your family and friends.
- You may be able to see things more clearly and not get so caught up in physical temptation.
- You can get to know someone that may be a great fit for you that you couldn’t have gotten to know locally.
- You may learn to have great communication because of the distance.
- You could take this opportunity to practice praying together or for each other.
- You can take your time and stop and pray before responding to something that is upsetting to be sure you respond in a godly way if you are texting/emailing rather than showing an immediate reaction in the flesh.
- You may get to know each other’s personalities and hearts better this way, potentially.
20 ways to nurture a long-distance relationship (some of these things will apply to any dating relationship):
- Be sure to keep your relationship with the Lord your first and most precious priority. Abide in Him and be sensitive to His leading and prompting.
- Be flexible, patient, and understanding of the your man’s scheduling needs and limits for communication. Be completely respectful of his limits if he can’t text at work or if he has times when he is busy studying. And be sure to be upfront about your scheduling needs in a gentle, polite, direct way.
- Appreciate the time and attention he does give to you – they are wonderful gifts. Be sure not to assume you are entitled to them and be careful not to resent him if he can’t be in touch with you as much as he would like.
- Enjoy the journey with him and don’t freak out about trying to get to the destination ASAP.
- Share your needs, concerns, desires, and feelings respectfully.
- Don’t assume the worst about him. And don’t assume he thinks, talks, and acts just like you do. He is not you! He is his own person. Seek to believe what he says. Assume the best but be alert and in tune with reality and sensitive to God’s Spirit and wise godly counsel.
- Keep in mind that a many guys don’t bond a lot with words, so some guys will have limits as far as how much time they want to spend talking on the phone or online. It may be wise to only be in touch for 30 minutes to an hour or so per day max and let him have some space. Too much contact can feel smothering.
- It is best to have really serious discussions on Skype or FaceTime so you can read each other’s body language and not have as many misunderstandings.
- Allow your guy freedom to make his own decisions, to live his own life, and to be a grown adult. Avoid trying to control him, mother him, or smother him.
- Maintain your sexual purity – avoid conversations about sex and don’t send inappropriate pictures, etc…
- Take responsibility for your own emotions and your own spiritual wellbeing.
- Be fun, positive, friendly, warm, and inviting when you do talk or communicate. Guys love to be around girls who are pleasant to be around.
- Be observant and aware of red flags and move extra slowly with a long-distance relationship.
- Don’t pick fights or argue. Guys do not enjoy drama. They enjoy having a teammate who has their back and who sees the best in them.
- Focus on good things rather than on complaining about how hard things are.
- Don’t rush into marriage with a man you have barely met in person and only known online. There will have to probably be extra time taken to be able to spend time in person and to really prayerfully evaluate the situation and a guy’s character when most of your interactions are just online.
- Keep in mind that just because a guy is charming with words, seems very romantic, and knows just what to say to make you feel special does not mean that he is necessarily Christlike. Generally, it is wise to believe his actions more than his words if the two don’t match.
- If you find yourself feeling anxious, bitter, jealous, or resentful toward your man – take some time to really seek the Lord. Sometimes if we allow our guy to become an idol, we may feel this way. Of course, these negative feelings can mean there are issues on his side, too. When you deal with any sin in your own life first, then God can give you the clarity you need to see what direction to take.
- Be at peace in the midst of the unknown. Hold your dreams and desires for this relationship loosely and allow the Lord to lead you.
- Communicate clearly and concisely, don’t expect your man to read your mind.
What tips have you learned that may be a blessing to our sisters? You are welcome to share!