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How Can You Make Long-Distance Relationships Last?

By Michele Burghardt September 18, 2023 Dating

Are you scared to date someone long-distance because you believe distance is the beginning of the end of any relationship? Do you refuse to date men unless they live within a certain geographic radius from your home?

To date or not-to-date long distance has been a burning question for many single women over 60. It may surprise you to learn that long-distance relationships can be more successful for older daters than for our younger counterparts.

While relationships may have been driven by our libidos in our younger years, now that we’re more mature we can better balance our physical and emotional needs. For many, being able to hop into bed with someone is no longer a top priority. Still, long-distance relationships require an additional layer of time and attention at any age to make them flourish. But for many it’s worth it.

*If you and your partner only communicate via text, you have a pen-pal not a relationship. Do Not send money to anyone you haven’t met in person, regardless of how long you have been texting or what he tells you his needs are. If he asks for money, even $1, he is a scammer.

According to 2023 research, the average long-term relationships last approximately 4.5 months. If you’re looking for a romantic connection while you still maintain your independence here are some tips to help you extend your happiness:

Come to an Agreement

If you met each other on a dating app or while traveling and don’t want to leave your hometown right now, try to set a timeline as to when you’ll reunite as a couple. It can be you moving to him, him moving to you, or both of you moving to a new location so you can enjoy your next chapter together. You could even decide to split your time in half, spending six months at your home and six months at his.

If neither one of you is willing nor able to move, calling this a relationship might be a bit of a stretch. If you know from the beginning that relocation is not an option for you, dating locally will save you some heart break. Knowing what you want from a long-term relationship before you fall in love will keep you from getting hurt.  

Make Time to Share Your Day

The best way to feel like you’re both part of each other’s lives is to set down some ground rules regarding how often you’ll connect with each other during the day. Make sure he agrees to put forth some effort as well, so you aren’t the only one reaching out. You still want him to pursue you – it helps to keep things spicey. Nothing dims the flame of attraction like inattention.

It doesn’t need to be a 60-minute phone call every day. Sometimes quick texts or photos help you feel like you’re part of his life. Show him your new haircut, send a photo of something from your garden, etc. You want to share your everyday life with each other as much as possible to help maintain the continuity and passion in your relationship.

Mix things up and take advantage of all the available technology. Combining a quick text, a longer phone call, and sharing dinner together with a video chat can keep things interesting and fun.  

Nothing Replaces Physical Touch

Depending on your distance, schedules, and budgets, it’s a good idea to make a plan for when you will see each other. Chatting is fine, but nothing is better than spending time in person.

You want to decide if you’ll be together for birthdays and holidays? Will you see each other once a month? Who goes to see whom, when? These are the types of things you want to discuss at the beginning of your relationship. As you design your plan, keep it flexible enough to allow for fun surprises.

Having specific dates to see each other on your calendar will give you something to look forward to and make the time apart seem less painful. When you manage your expectations, it helps cut down on disappointments.

This is where many women go wrong in relationships in general. They do too much for their partner and over-give, which then turns into neediness. You always want to keep your life rich and juicy whether you have a long-term partner or not. This is especially important if you’re dating long-distance. Your partner is the cherry on top of life, not the entire ice cream sundae.

Before you begin a long-distance relationship make sure this is what you really want. You could always decide to remain casual with your long-distance friend while you continue dating locally. Remember, dating is all about finding someone you like who will love you the way you want to be loved. If you feel like you’re making too many allowances for love, maybe he’s not the right man for you. And if he’s not, there is someone out there who is.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What are your thoughts on dating long distance? Is it something you would recommend? Was it fun and fulfilling? What tips can you share that helped it work for you?

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Beth E Severson

I’m 69 years old. A fellow from Scotland—eight years younger—has been wooing me for four and a half years. Phone calls, msging. Still have not met in person. Not sure we ever will. Not sure it matters. I get the boost of talking with a man who thinks I’m gorgeous, smart and says he loves me to bits. Over the top romantic meanderings. Its fun and no issues with ‘leaving the seat up’! LOL

Michele Burghardt

Hi Beth, I’m so happy that this has worked out for you. This is one of the few success stories I’ve heard lately. Thank you so much for your nice comment.

As a warning to other readers, this is not the norm. Typically, this man would be a scammer and would eventually ask you for money. Please be very careful if you’re unable to meet up in person.

Marilyn Larson

I’ve tried long distance dating and it doesn’t work for me. I need daily face to face interactions. Texts and calls don’t cut it. It’s hard for me to trust someone long distance as everyone of the relationships I tried this way the man cheated.

Michele Burghardt

Hi Marilyn, I’m not a fan of LD relationships either and don’t recommend them to my coaching clients unless they would absolutely move if it came to that. Time and physical touch are my love language as well so I understand how you feel. Thanks for your comments and best of luck! xxoo Michele

The Author

Michele Burghardt is an author, speaker, and dating coach for women 50 and over with 20 + years of experience in the self-help area. She believes loving yourself is the first step to finding love. You can learn more about her transformational coaching style and her book at

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