Dating a guy who lives in another state presents a unique set of challenges, quirks and joys. Dating across state lines means that you both must make an extra strong commitment to each other and to the relationship for it to be successful. If you've met a guy who you think might be "the one," then the distance between you is only a small obstacle to your relationship and happiness.
It may be more difficult to define your relationship when you are dating someone from afar than when you see each other every day. As the number of dates and the intimacy shared between two people in the same place at the same time increases, the relationship evolves naturally from just dating to exclusively seeing each other. When distance is involved, however, how your relationship evolves and is defined depends on how committed you each are to the relationship. Without a strong commitment to one another, you might find that distance is a factor in the temptation to cheat or break up.
Because the bulk of your relationship is spent apart from one another, taking time to include yourself in your boyfriend's life may make or break your long-distance romance. This includes setting aside time to talk, Skype and meet whenever possible. Failing to make the time to include your boyfriend in your life may increase the temptation to cheat with someone nearby.
With the advent of smart phones, webcams and text messaging, your guy who lives in another state doesn't have to feel so far away. Instead of coffee dates, make FaceTime dates, set up a co-op group on Xbox Live or watch a movie together on Netflix. If you communicate only via text or telephone, you may miss important visual cues and tonal inflections that are integral parts of a traditional conversation. Using technology to keep in touch with your boyfriend may be the next best thing to being with him in person.
Taking the Next Step
When long-distance relationships do work, ultimately you are faced with the question of where your relationship is heading. Consider talking to your long-distance boyfriend about your future and what that means for the two of you. If you decide to get engaged or move in with one another, who will make the move for whom? Will one of you have to change your career to be with the other? Consider starting these conversations after one to two years of dating. At that point, it's probably time to determine if your long-distance relationship can survive close quarters, or if the distance between you is too great for one of you to pack up and move.
Anthony Oster is a licensed professional counselor who earned his Master of Science in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as a writer and lead video editor for a small, South Louisiana-based video production company since 2007. Oster is the co-owner of a professional photography business and advises the owner on hardware and software acquisitions for the company.
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