6 Reality-Checks To Consider Before Starting An Online Long-Distance Relationship

A relationship coach shares the good ... and the very, very bad.

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Most of my clients are choosing online platforms as a way to make long-distance dating work.

Just what is considered long-distance dating? In my opinion, driving for more than two hours is a long way to go. I think of it this way: What distance would make it difficult to get together for an impromptu dinner date?

The definition really is personal, though. It could be an hour’s drive for some and for others, it may be three hours or more. Some people may consider getting across town by train, bus, or Lyft as long-distance, too!


No matter what you think qualifies as long-distance dating, I’d like to share the pros and cons of pursuing a relationship like that online.

RELATED: 8 Expert Tips On How To Make A Long-Distance Relationship Work

Let's start with the cons of online long-distance dating 

1. Sometimes the in-person sparks just aren't there

When you’re engaging in long-distance online dating, you may not see the person on a regular, weekly basis. This lack of in-person time can make it hard to establish a deep connection with your intended love interest. And for many, to know if chemistry exists there needs to be an in-person physical connection.


And you could spend all this time staying connected by phone, Facetime, and email, but when you meet … there aren’t any sparks! I’ve seen this happen with a couple of my clients.

After building the anticipation up for months, the couple finally meets, and then one or both are no longer interested in continuing the relationship. Such wasted time!

RELATED: 12 Undeniable, No-Doubt-About-It Signs He Loves You (No Matter The Distance)

2. It's tough to be there for each other

When tough times occur, your partner has a hard time being there for you in person. What happens when you get a flat tire, or you need to go to the emergency room? Who will be there for you? Also, it can be frustrating for the partner who isn’t able to be there to help you!


Another difficult thing about long-distance online dating is that you don’t really know what’s going on with someone or if they’re being faithful. You may be obsessing about what they’re doing and who they’re spending their time with. Of course, this can be true if they’re living in the same town too. It just seems harder when you’re living far apart from one another.

RELATED: Is It Really Love If You’ve Only Been Dating Online & Never Met In Real Life?

3. Online relationships are actually more time-consuming

With long-distance dating, it takes more planning and investment of your time, energy, and money to keep the relationship going. Many times, there are costly plane flights and hotel reservations too. Also, there’s planning the time away from work which may eat up your vacation time.

But it's not all bad.


RELATED: What It's Really Like To Be In An Open, Long-Distance Relationship

The pros of long-distance dating online

4. You have more opportunities to meet wonderful people

You get the opportunity to meet someone wonderful who you’d never have met if you hadn’t been open to dating out of your area.

When you meet someone via long-distance online dating, you have to spend the time to get to know them via the telephone and video chats. This allows you to build a mental, spiritual, and emotional connection with your partner before the physical connection.

Many couples find this a deeper, more-effective process for establishing a long-term, long-distance relationship.


RELATED: 10 Ways To Be Deeply Intimate In A Long-Distance Relationship

6. Potential red flags come to light sooner

When dating long-distance, you tend to talk about the tough stuff sooner than later to make sure you’re a match. This is especially true since you don’t want to invest your time, energy, finances, and vacation time to travel if you’re not on the same page and don’t want the same things out of life.

A couple gets in the groove of talking every day with long-distance online dating. This keeps the communication going. One of my long-distance couples made time every day to get on a Zoom call to connect. And this was a transatlantic relationship during the pandemic! They finally met and it was a match made in heaven!

RELATED: 7 Ways To Make Long-Distance Online Dating Work (And Last!)


A personal decision — that takes a lot of work

As you can see there are many benefits and pitfalls to long-distance online dating. Only you can decide if this is for you!

Just know that you have to have stamina and fortitude to do what it takes to make this kind of love connection work.


Although several of my clients' relationships ultimately broke up when long-distance dating, I give them credit for giving it a shot.

And there have been several clients who have successfully met their life partners through long-distance online dating. What I’ve witnessed is they have a commitment to each other and worked hard to set up the relationship for success.

RELATED: 6 Super Common Long-Distance Relationship Problems — And How To Fix Them All

Amy Schoen is a Washington, D.C.-based national expert in dating and relationships, as well as life coaching.