When my husband and I first met we did not live in the same town. In fact, in we didn’t even live in the same state. I lived in Georgia and he lived in New York.
We met while I was in New York City attending a design conference. My last night in town, I met up with a college friend. She had a friend, who had a friend . . . It was nice meeting him that evening, however, it wasn’t until a few months later that we “got together.”
It started out with a few phone calls here and there, and eventually we found ourselves talking everyday. We would email during the day and talk on the phone for hours at night, just getting to know one another. Luckily I was able to visit him often because my roommate worked for an airline at the time and I was able to fly standby for free. Many Fridays after work I drove straight to the airport and flew to NYC, then returned on the last flight back to Atlanta on Sunday night.
While it was tough to not see each other a frequently as we would have liked, there were many advantages dating my husband long distance.
Every minute together counted.
When we visited each other, we went to nice dinners, baseball games, museums, and other touristy things. We were intentional about time spent together. Since time together was at a premium, we didn’t take it for granted.
We consistently engaged one another in meaningful conversation.
This was back in the day when long distance phone calls were more expensive than local ones. Even though we mostly called each other in the evening, when it was cheaper, we didn’t have money to waste. We shared our opinions openly on a variety of different topics. We asked spent hours on the phone exploring the answers to questions such as:
What do you believe about…everything?
How important is corporate worship? Other participation in church life?
What are the expectations for togetherness?
What’s your thought on money in general? How much to give to the church?
Every step in the relationship was intentional.
In previous relationships, I’d find myself spending far too much time with someone I had no intention of marrying. I was having fun and dating was something to do. With my husband, however, there was more at stake in a long-distance relationship, like time, resources, and emotions that I didn’t want to squander. I sought God and made very prayerful decisions about the money I had to spend to maintain the relationship, when to become exclusive, and whether I should move.
Eventually the prospect of signing a new lease with my roommates and a job offer prompted us to take the next step in our relationship. After only five months of dating I moved to NYC. Five months after that we were engaged. Eight months later we were married.
It may seem like a whirlwind relationship, but we were very thoughtful about every step we made together. The foundation we established in the months apart made it worth the wait.
As you seek to counsel your son or daughter or the ones you mentor when it comes to this matter of dating and a long-distant relationship, we hope that this story opens the door to communicating about the pros and cons of such an investment. For more on this topic of dating, consider the following resources:
Dating & Relationships Leader’s Guide for Moms & Mentors
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Dating & Relationships Study for Tweens & Teen Girls
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12 Questions for Engaging in the Dating Conversation
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