click here to jump to start of article
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​

Dating Advice #37 - Long Distance Love
Dating Advice 37

Dating Advice #37 - Long Distance Love

He wants to keep it going, but the distance seems too vast to overcome. Here's some handy tips.


Dear Rosie & Sherry,

I met this fabulous girl two days before she was scheduled to return to Canada, where she lives. We liked each other very much, and it's been about a month that we've been communicating, mostly through email.

I don't know where this is going to lead and if it's worth the effort. Any suggestions on how to deal with the situation? Thanks.


Dear David,

Assuming that you are dating with a goal of marriage, a long-distance courtship can work out beautifully. So your correspondence with your Canadian friend is definitely worth the effort.

However, it's hard to sustain a long-distance romance when you're not dating with the goal of finding a partner. If the relationship is a good one, you eventually will want the status quo to change, and both of you may be unwilling to make geographic and other changes without a long-term commitment.

However, it's hard to sustain a long-distance romance when you're not dating with the goal of finding a partner. If the relationship is a good one, you eventually will want the status quo to change, and both of you may be unwilling to make geographic and other changes without a long-term commitment.

We have some suggestions that make a long-distance courtship easier and increase its chance of success. If you hit it off well on your first couple of dates, emails and periodic telephone calls are a good way to build your friendship and to get to know each other better once you return home. However, there's no substitute for face-to-face contact. Optimally, we advise you to get together again after one-to-three months of long-distance courtship, to renew the attraction you felt when you first met, and to add a dimension that only being in each other's presence can provide.

This is where long-distance dating can get sticky. Often, you've invested so much time, effort and money into arrangements to meet, that you literally overdose on each other when you do get together. Everyone needs time between dates to let their emotional and intellectual processes work themselves through. Long-distance daters have to learn to juggle their desire to maximize their short time together, with their need for personal space. Years of experience has taught us that people who try to spend most of their waking minutes together, often ends up tense, unsettled and unhappy.

We recommend that for a Shabbat or weekend in the same city, you give yourselves a block of a few hours' time apart each day. If you both will be in the same vicinity for a week or more, consider one or two long dates (go on a daytime hike or spend an afternoon-into-evening together) as well as a couple of evening dates. But space your dates one-to-three days apart, and vary your activities together. During the down-time, visit family, see friends, make business contacts, shop, sightsee, read a book, work out at a gym -- there are plenty of productive things you can do to fill your time.

After the interlude, if the two of you agree that you'd like to keep your courtship going, you can continue your long-distance e-mails and phone calls, but focus on another time in the near future that will allow you to spend time together again.

You may have to make some modifications to suit your own needs, but we have seen this method of long-distance courtship lead to many now-happily married couples. In fact, Rosie had a bi-coastal courtship that resulted in a great marriage. So good luck!

Rosie & Sherry

December 16, 2002

Submit Your Dating Advice Question (Click here)

Give Tzedakah! Help create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.
The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 7

(7) Anna, November 27, 2005 12:00 AM

Dear 16-year-old Anonymous

Dear 16

You and your boyfriend seem to have the right idea in not wanting to marry until you are in your mid-20s. If you still feel the same then, go for it. If not, you will have some lovely romantic memories !

Our neighbour married at 17, against all advice and prophecies of doom that it wouldn't last, but it did for about 40 years until he died.

But as teenage marriages have a huge breakup rate, I would not advise taking the chance ! I hope that you and he will be happy and I wish you well.

God bless the man who invented the internet!!!

(6) Laura Lloveras, August 26, 2002 12:00 AM

Its refreshing to hear POSITIVE advice on this classic scenario of long distance courtship.

(5) Anonymous, April 8, 2002 12:00 AM

Im worried??

I am having quite a bit of the same problem, I am having a long distance relationship with my boyfriend, it is very hard, he talks about marriage, and i am the only one for him!! I totally trust him, but what can I do to feel closer to him, or let him know how i feel for him, he knows but I feel like I should do something to make him see that I love him with all my heart?? any suggestions???

(4) Anonymous, September 3, 2001 12:00 AM

good luck

i am in a long distance relationship and although its hard it is well worth the effort. if you feel for this girl as i feel for my boyfreind then you wont have any problems overcomming the gap

(3) Anonymous, June 8, 2001 12:00 AM

Long Distance Doesn't Work

My boyfriend and I have been in a longterm relationship for 15 months. Several years ago, he met a woman on vacation who lives several thousand miles away. They still keep in touch now and then and he has never told her he is in a relationship which bothers me. However, relationships need closeness and spontanity and that is difficult to maintain by phone, email and short visits. People in a relationship need to be THERE for each other.

See All Comments

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment